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The Little Things by Jay Northcote ~ A Review

 Title: The Little Things
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 76,000 words
Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Release Date: November 22nd 2013
Series info: This book is a standalone

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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. 

Then 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?

 Reviewed by:

 What a great little story. 

At first I was a little put off by the 'open' relationship between Joel and Dan. I'm ok with people being in said type of relationship, if both parties are adhering to it, but when it's one sided, it may as well be cheating. As the story goes into Hough, I can tell that this is kind of a back burner to the whole thing. 

Joel has a 3 year old daughter with his best girl friend from College. A little drunken tequila slip up and a faulty condom and BOOM, they have a child. I actually liked this portion of the story. Two friends, one 'mistake', and they make it work and remain friends and help each other with split custody. I admire their relationship and Evie is just adorable. 

Things take a turn for the worse for Evies mom, Claire, and Joel finds himself with more responsibility than he ever hoped he would have. This puts a rift in his relationship with Dan, it opens his eyes to see Dan for what he is and what he cannot be to Joel and his family. 

On this fateful night, Joel literally bumps into a kind stranger who helps to calm him down so he can drive home in one piece. After the encounter, Joel forgets about him until another night Dan drags Joel out thinking he needs to get out of the house. Lo and behold, he runs into said stranger again. This further opens Joel's eyes to what Dan really is, and much to my relief, Joel breaks it off. 

Every time Joel meets this wonderful stranger, it's never under good circumstances, but each time is a stepping stone towards something greater. 

The stranger, Liam, is a male nurse in the children's Ward at the hospital where Joel met him. I just absolutely love his character. He's such a gentle giant. Sweet, tall, handsome, and totally great with Evie. I LOVED LOVED he fact that he 'fit' in too. By that I mean, he has an uncanny resemblance to Evie, with their tight brown curly hair and blue eyes, but she has Holes face. It was like they were meant to be a family, and doesn't THAT just make you giddy? 

So, if you're looking for a father/child, sweet, but somewhat sad, but turns into an HEA, then THIS is your book. 


Author Bio:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.


  1. I liked your review and I'm wanting to read this story now. Just one small pet peeve of mine that I noticed. The phrase "male nurse". A nurse is a nurse, period. No gender identifier is required because we know that the character you are referring to is male. Noone says "female nurse", or ever has, because of gender bias. Bias that I had hoped had been overcome in the medical field.For decades now men have become nurses, not just doctors and surgeons, and the days of finding shock or anything out-of-the ordinary in a male being in a previously-designated "feminine" profession are over. I thought. We no longer say "lady cop" to identify school crossing guards either, because guess what, that person just may be a guy.

    It's been decades since that joke about the surgeon (a specialized doctor) not being able to operate on the patient due to being related, yet the doctor wasn't the patient's brother, father, or uncle, leaving everybody stumped. How could that possibly be? Punchline? The surgeon was the patient's mother. Gasps and OMGs, a FEMALE surgeon! So rare back then (1980s) that it was almost unheard of. Hence the joke's success. And the shame of that sexist joke today, as any kid in 2016 could now figure out the punchline in a heartbeat and be confused with the joke itself. So, yeah, I'm a little bit put off by reading that a guy is a "male" nurse, and I'm a female. What would a male think reading that, especially a gay male who has even bigger bias to deal with? Does his being male make him a better nurse than a female? Worse? Somehow different beyond gender? No. So maybe just "pediatric nurse" would be a better description than "a male nurse in the children's ward", because we've already ascertained that the character is male. Other than that, I enjoyed your review.

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