Title: Watching and Wanting
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Genres: Contemporary, Gay, Light BDSM
Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…
Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth–going nowhere.
Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction to Jude.
Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated–and kinky–fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.
Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.
Two roommates–one straight, the other gay–plus stumbling on a live online sex show equals naked hotness.
The blurb describes the plot very well. Shawn accidentally walks in on Jude, his gay housemate, jacking off to a camera, and things get interesting. There’s not much plot, per se, beyond the two men getting together in the name of bicurious experimentation, becoming better friends, and then falling out and falling apart when Shawn continues to hide in the closet but Jude refuses to do the same.
The absence of a complicated plot leaves room for long, drawn out, extended erotic, sensuous, and sexy scenes between two hot guys. In fact, I’d dub this erotic romance, not just romance. This story has BDSM elements. Shawn has a kink for being submissive, with Jude having an answering dominant kink. There’s some edging, mild bondage, commands and stuff, but this is not hardcore. Most of the chapters take place in a bedroom full of sensual play and sexual chemistry, showcase erotic acts in front of the camera, and then reveal intimacy behind the scenes. We get to see few of the other gay couples living in the same shared household but not much beyond their names. They’re side characters; this is Jude and Shawn’s story.
I especially liked how Shawn, despite being attracted to Jude, isn’t shown as a straight man who becomes gay-for-you when he falls in love. No, he’s a bisexual, and that’s just fine. Falling in love with someone, in spite of their gender, doesn’t mean the attraction for the other gender magically disappears and a bisexual is “cured.” I appreciated how the author handled this aspect of the main character’s personality, not forcing him to change or choose.
Yes, Shawn does start out behaving like a total bigoted jerk when he’s trying to hide his confusion but he gets better. Shawn’s learning his own sexuality, discovering his kinks, and accepting who he is are at the heart of the story. Jude is more of a sounding board, a wholesome character who doesn’t need to develop much because he’s already at peace with himself. His personal progress comes in the form of falling in love when he’s previously been used to one-night stands.
The writing works, the pace moves fluently, and the author knows how to create titillating scenes full of hotness, internal wonderment, and realistic interactions and dialogue. I liked the author’s writing style, characterization, and plot advancement. Sure, the story’s a bit on the thin side, but if you go in with the expectation of revving your engine, then you’re in for a treat.
Like the blurb declares, this is part of a series but works as a standalone. I haven’t read the other books in the series, and wasn’t lost. Recommended for everyone who likes to see straight guys getting hot and heavy with gay guys, and who appreciates their romances erotic and uncomplicated.
Reviewed by: Susan