Happy Birthday Amber, and thanks for inviting me to help celebrate your birthday month. I’m here with an excerpt from Starting from Scratch, the fifth book in my Housemates series.
This shows Sid and Ben near the end of their story when they’re getting their happy ending. It’s Ben’s birthday, and he’s nervous about having a party so Sid takes him upstairs to distract him with his birthday gifts.
I’m also giving away an ebook copy of Helping Hand, the first in the Housemates series. So please scroll to the bottom for giveaway details.
As there was now no need for Sid to keep Ben away from the party preparations, they both went over to Ben’s place on Saturday afternoon to help tidy the house and get it ready for the evening. It was still supposed to be a small-scale thing, mostly the people from Ben’s house and those who lived next door, but Ben had invited a few students from his course now he knew about the party. Sid thought that was a good thing. It was nice to see Ben starting to reach out and widen his circle of friends.
Johnny was coming too, and a few other friends of Sid whom Ben had met.
Sid could tell that Ben was nervous, even though he didn’t say anything. Something about the hunch of his shoulders and a slightly panicked look in his eyes gave him away, and it got worse as they got closer to the evening.
Eventually, shortly before people were due to start arriving, Sid whisked Ben away to his bedroom and locked them in.
“Stop freaking out.” He put his hands on Ben’s hips and pulled him close.
Ben wrapped his arms around Sid and nuzzled into the crook of his neck. “I’m not.” He snuggled even closer. “Okay… I am a bit. But it’s fine. I’m just not used to being the centre of attention.”
“You aren’t really. I mean… yeah, technically it’s your birthday party, but we can’t even do the whole ‘jumping out and yelling Surprise!’ thing now because you fucked that up. So, all you need to do is deal with people saying ‘happy birthday’ to you when they arrive. We’re all skint students, so you won’t be getting any flashy presents.”
“Yeah, okay.” Ben drew back and gave him a smile.
“But speaking of presents… maybe now’s a good time for me to give you mine.”
“You got me something?”
“Of course I did.” Sid went over to his bed and got out a bag from underneath it. “I got you a few things, actually. Here.” He handed Ben the bag.
Ben sat on the edge of the bed and pulled out three wrapped parcels: one big box-shaped one, a small cylindrical one, and a flat square thing.
Sid sat beside him and watched as Ben opened the small one to reveal a pot of hair product—the type that Sid used and Ben always borrowed when he came over.
“Thanks.” Ben opened it to sniff. “I kept meaning to get my own, but I still haven’t got round to it.”
He opened the biggest present next, tearing off the paper to reveal a box with mountains and a sunset on it, and a small group of people in the foreground. “Settlers of Catan,” Ben read. “Oh, it’s a game! I thought it was a jigsaw at first.”
“Yeah,” Sid said nervously. “You seemed to like that board game Shawn has. I was in the game shop looking for something similar, and the guy who works there recommended this one.”
“That’s so cool, thanks!” Ben looked genuinely pleased, so Sid relaxed. “We’ll have to try it out tomorrow.” He put it aside to unwrap the last gift. As the paper fell away, he gave a surprised snort of laughter. “What the fuck have you bought me?” He held up the package to read the words on the front. “Sigmund Freud magnetic dress-up? Oh my God, you can dress him up as a leather daddy.”
“Or in fishnets and a corset. Surely every psychology student needs this on his fridge?” Sid grinned at Ben’s reaction.
“That’s awesome. Thank you so much. For all of it.” Ben put the fridge magnet set down and leaned over to kiss Sid.
“You’re welcome. Happy birthday.”
“It really is.” Ben’s smile was wide and made Sid’s heart lift in response. “This is the best birthday I’ve ever had.”
“Will a blow job make it even better?” Sid raised his eyebrows and gave Ben a cheeky grin. “Because I’m pretty sure that’s traditional.”
Ben chuckled, flushing with heat at the thought of it. “Yeah. I think that would be perfect.”
Blurb for Starting from Scratch
Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.
Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.
Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.
It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he’s committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?
I’m giving away one e-book copy of Helping Hand, the first book in the Housemates series. Leave a comment to enter to win! Winner will be chosen at the end of the birthday bash!
19 thoughts on “Welcome Birthday Guest Jay Northcote!”
Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a very interesting read. Another to add to my ever growing TBB list. 🙂
Sounds like a must read, can’t wait too start the series
Sounds like a great series.
Sounds like a very intriguing series. I shall have to look into it.
DEFINITELY on my “to buy ” list!
I haven’t read this series yet.
Sounds like fun to read
Great excerpt I enjoyed it. (Already own the book)
Thanks for sharing. Looks great. 🙂
Need to read this series. Thank you for sharing.
Sweet scene. Thank you.
Looks like a very good series!
I’ve read the first couple of books in this series and loved them. Now I just need to get the rest.
Loved the excerpt!
great series 🙂
I haven’t read this series. It looks interesting.
This looks interesting
Haven’t read this series yet and sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway and sharing.
Now I need to read the series, sounds brilliant
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