nothing specialRating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

Noah is perfectly fine with watching the beautiful stranger on the subway every day, except he’s told his co-worker about the guy and Dom won’t let it go. Then Dom has an idea: place an ad in the Rush Hour Crush—which Noah happens to know the guy reads. Noah isn’t behind the plan until the stranger talks him and suddenly he has more confidence. Noah takes the chance and places the ad.

To the gorgeous dark-haired guy who works at London Zoo. I see you on our journey home most days, and I’d like get to know you. If you’re gay and interested, will you go on a date with me?

From the ordinary guy in the WHSmith uniform.

When the stranger doesn’t turn up on the train the day the ad runs, Noah has his answer—he’s nothing special. But then then next day the guy, Sol, shows up with a smile and an apology for not being there the day before because of work.

Their first date spans an entire weekend and they end up spending every night together. One week turns into two and then to many. They meet the parents and Noah becomes friends with Sol’s roommates, who joking-not-joking invite Noah to move in since he’s there all the time anyway, but part of Noah still wait for the other shoe to drop because guys like Sol don’t fall for guys like him. So when the next step is presented by Sol, Noah panics and the choice he makes may end up costing him the man he’s come to love, as well as happiness for both of them.

I definitely have a thing for unrequited love/unspoken crushes, so of course this story was right on my radar.  It’s a very sweet story with kind and heartfelt characters, but in the same breath, it’s a bit lacking for oomph.

Noah is not exactly the most confident of men. Skinny, pale, and awkward, Noah sees himself as less than ordinary. Noah’s a good guy—sweet and charming. He’s a normal guy of twenty-five, living at home with his parents until he can either figure his life out or find one or more roommates. For the most part, he leads a boring life—working and going home every day, except for the occasional date, which he’s all but sworn off since his last boyfriend. I like Noah. He’s a decent guy, but geez with the weight of insecurity. I can’t figure out how Sol practically dotes on the guy, eye-fucks him daily (as well as actually fucking him), and shows him off to any and everyone, yet Noah still mopes about how unworthy he is for Sol’s affections, even after a month, over a month. I would have liked to see him gain a little bit more confidence gradually throughout this story—if not in himself, then in Sol, because Sol (white knight in disguise) never gives him any reason to doubt. The mental whining just got old after a while.

Sol is the greatest part of this book. Never mind that the story is written in Noah’s POV, Sol is the brightest spot in this story. Sol is the more confident of the two, and once he knows what he wants, he doesn’t hold back. Sol is this amazing guy, in my book, for dealing with Noah’s ever growing insecurities and still wanting him—hell, for wanting him more afterward. A saint. He turns out to be this model big brother, perfect son, and dreamy boyfriend. I’m pretty sure there’s not a guy out there like him, but if there is, could you dress him up in a kilt and point him in my direction?

I really liked the setup of this story, but like I said, I have a thing for secret crushes. And this author does a really good job bringing these guys together. The story is sweet, and yes, I happen to know that I keep repeating that word, but it’s just about all I can come up with. There is nothing overtly eye-catching or jaw-dropping. It was just… sweet. And telling. There’s a lot of telling here, which no matter how sweet the story is, has a tendency to read flat. Unfortunately the telling of this story was just that for me—flat.

Overall, the plot was good but the show/tell ratio was off. There is very little showing, if any, in this story. And I liked Noah, but parts of him were grating. Sol and his incredible patience were the best highlight. In the end, Nothing Special by Jay Northcote is a sweet book and left me with a smile on my face.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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