Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.
Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.
They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.
Title: Practice Makes Perfect
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)
Length: 54,000 words
Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Release Date: Wednesday 22nd June 2016
Series info: #3 in the Housemates Series but it may be read as a standalone
Sitting on his bed, Dev yawned, his full stomach making him sleepy. He stared at his phone as he contemplated calling home but decided he couldn’t face it tonight. He loved his mum, but she did tend to bang on. Once she got him on the line, she’d end up talking for ages and asking him a million questions he was too tired to answer. Instead, he sent his mum a quick text.
All moved in, everything’s good. I’m shattered now so I’m going to have an early night. I’ll call you tomorrow.
She replied within seconds as though she’d been waiting for him to call.
Okay sweetie, glad you’re settled. Sleep well xxx
He picked up his notepad and crossed off phone home. Texting counted. He also crossed off everything else on his list for today. That was Saturday done.
Dev set his notepad aside, opened his laptop, and pulled up his lists app. He liked his notepad for day-to-day organisation; it gave him a certain satisfaction to cross out the things he’d done and to get to the end of the day with all the tasks completed. But for longer-term planning, he kept his lists on his Mac, synced to his phone.
For the first time in six months, Dev could breathe again. Finally he had a safe place where he could get back on track and look to the future. He began to type.
Things To Do This Term
Make some friends
Learn to cook
Research sex stuff
Get some experience
Find a boyfriend
He stared at the words on the screen and sighed. That seemed like a lot of things to aim for. But it was good to have goals, right? Jez and Mac seemed really nice, so hopefully Dev was already on his way to achieving the first objective. And that bloke Ewan… Dev’s mind conjured up the image of the flame-haired hunk who lived next door. Ewan had been friendly.
Maybe there was potential there too.
I absolutely adore the Housemates series by Jay Northcote. When I saw the announcement of Practice Makes Perfect, I seriously started bouncing around like a kid in the month of December. I wanted it. Right. Flipping. Now.
Dev is just a bit obsessed with his lists. I’m pretty sure he has a bullet point on his list to make a list, because otherwise he doesn’t get the same sense of satisfaction. There were times this obsession got a bit tiring, but it was still cute.
After seeing one of the worst ever Grindr profiles, Ewan jumps in to basically save Dev. I’m not typically a fan of this motivation, but it was cute. It worked. And I loved how Ewan helped Dev get the experience he wanted without trying to rush him into anything. Again, should’ve been awkward, but it wasn’t.
Overall, Practice Makes Perfect was a great weekend afternoon read. It wasn’t overly angsty, it wasn’t so steamy you’d blush if you read it at the pool or beach. It was just a good, fun read.
4 pieces of eye candy
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.