Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you appreciate what you have.
There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter Evie is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
One cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside-down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?
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*I received the book in exchange for an honest review*
As I said in the release blitz (here), Jay is one of my favourite authors and I am really glad that I got to read the book. It is one of the earliest of his books, but it has been re-released, this time it is self-published. As far as I heard, the content has not changed, but it did get ‘more British’? I might remember wrong, but it certainly has that British/European writers feeling than American 🙂
I love the little British things in it, to be honest, as it reminded me of the country I really like 🙂 And Jay’s writing is great. It pulls you in the story, hits you with emotions, and this book certainly is so much more emotional than the other books by Jay that I’ve read by now (Second Chance for example). I am not saying Second Chance isn’t emotional, as all his books are, but The Little Things was on the next level 🙂
Fair warning – unless you have no feelings or you can’t cry for some reason, the book will certainly make you cry. It has a nice blend of sadness and hope, of endings and new beginnings.
Joel meets Liam after an event that changes his life completely and Liam is there to comfort him right after the event. As a nurse, Liam had seen a lot, as well as experienced similar things himself. And while Joel and Dan struggle in their ‘relationship’ (which was not clearly defined, not explicitly monogamous on Dan’s part), and when Joel struggles to get through day-to-day life with his three-year-old daughter who now lives with him permanently, it brings new challenges upon his relationship with Dan.
And even though Joel and Liam forge a strong relationship, Joel is afraid. Afraid of losing someone else close to him. His daughter provides a convenient excuse to push Liam away – for ‘her sake’.
And Evie, Joel’s daughter is such a cute kid. I loved that she was in the book and it was seriously so adorable! And Joel was such a good and devoted father. And yet, there was the great mix of parenting and caring for his daughter, and the hotter scenes between Joel and Dan at the beginning, and then Joel and Liam.
Joel also had a great support system, in his family (his sister who has her own problems), at his work and at Evie’s nursery.
The story also features a second-chance trope and I loved it. What I liked even more is that when Joel comes to apologise, Liam doesn’t immediately say it’s okay. And he tells Joel that he had hurt him. It wasn’t the ‘yes, I’ll take you back immediately’. We obviously know there is a HEA, but the book gives just the right amount of angst.
Yes, Joel and Liam’s relationship develops relatively slowly, but Joel has lost his best friend, and he has to take care of his little daughter, so he is not prepared to just jump into a relationship without a second thought. I loved the slow build as it seemed more realistic than any other option.
The ending almost made me cry again, as it was a bit sad but mostly because it was adorable and happy. I was so happy for Joel’s sister, as well as for Joel and Liam.
I am really glad that Jay has decided to rerelease the book and that I was able to participate in Release Blitz and gotten a complimentary copy to write this review 🙂
And the new cover is totally amazing.
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.
One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.
Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.
Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/dellamere
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction
Facebook author group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jaysplayground
Jay’s books: http://author.to/JayNorthcote