helping hand audioStory Rating: 4 stars
Audio Rating: 4.25 stars

Narrator: Mark Steadman
Length: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible
Book Buy Links:  Amazon | All Romance

Jez and Mac are roommates and attend university together. After too much partying last year left Jez broke and Mac with poor grades, both guys have decided they are going to spend their nights at home instead of going out. As a result, the friends are spending much more time together alone in the house while their roommates are out.

One night the guys are watching porn together and decide to have a mutual wank. Jez finds himself much more interested in what Mac is doing than watching the screen, however. When he was younger, Jez fooled around a bit with other boys at school, but he chalked that up to being in an all male environment. But now as he and Mac spend many evenings together jerking off, Jez is realizing that his interest in men is more significant than he thought. However, Mac definitely doesn’t identify as anything other than straight, so Jez tries to play it cool to avoid scaring him off.

As one night leads to many, and side-by-side masturbation leads to touching, blow jobs, and more, the relationship between these guys gets more intense. Jez knows he would like more from Mac than just friends with an awful lot of benefits. But he is also sure that Mac isn’t interested in him for anything more than sex. However, Jez may find out Mac is looking for more after all.

This is a cute friends-to-lovers story with a lot of sexy times between Mac and Jez. The bulk of the story focuses on the erotic side of things as Mac and Jez slowly start to move on from mutual masturbation to exploring sex with each other. But Northcote also does a nice job grounding the story with likable characters and enough of a plot to tie things together. I don’t think the story breaks any new ground, but I also found myself engaged and entertained throughout.

I listened to this in audio and I thought Mark Steadman did a great job with this. His tone and narrative voice fit well with college guys and he captures the informal camaraderie, as well as the sex scenes, really well. The voices aren’t super distinct among the characters, but I could tell who was speaking so it worked fine for me. The book was easy to listen to in audio form and it was a nicely paced story.

Overall I found this one to be fun and entertaining. As I said, this is a story heavy on the sex, but Northcote does a really nice job holding it all together and I enjoyed it. I think it also worked well in audio form. Veronica reviewed this one in print form and she liked it as well, so we can recommend it in either format.

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