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Starting from Scratch (Housemates, #5)
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Starting from Scratch

(Housemates #5)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,427 ratings  ·  299 reviews
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 id
Paperback, 196 pages
Published April 10th 2017 by Jaybird Press
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,427 ratings  ·  299 reviews

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4.5 Stars.

Another great book in this super sexy series but can be read as a standalone.

Ben and Sid were briefly introduced in the previous book.

Ben is transgender and has gone through his transition.He returns back to the shared house in the New Year determined to try and be more outgoing and interact with people more.

Sid is Jude's ex hook up from the previous book.He's just recently broken up with someone so when he gets an invitation from Jude inviting him on a night out with his friends he th
Oh how I love this series! I've been looking forward to reading Starting From Scratch since I found out Jay was writing it. I haven't read many books with a trans MC, but I'm always interested in the many facets of the human experience, and if I can learn something along the way, all the better. I can't pretend to know a damn thing about what it is like to go through life in the wrong body or what transgender people go through on a daily basis. Being cisgender, I know I have privilege I didn't e ...more
~Mindy Lynn~
What a learning experience this book was!

This wasn't my first transgender book, but it was the first one where I felt like I got a deeper look into a trans persons psyche. I was pretty uninformed when came to what it means to be transgender. I mean I knew the basics but the information that this author gives on the physical and emotion psyche of a transgender person was very informative and well written. I now understand and know so much more and am better for it.

Ben is an amazing character ful
Jay Northcote
Feb 22, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
This is Ben and Sid's story, you meet both of them briefly in book 4. But as with the others in this series, this book can be read as a standalone.

Edited: release day now set as April 12th :)
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Believe me when I say that this book is Jay Northcote at his best. I really hope that all MM readers will give it a chance. If you don't trust this coming from a cis het woman, trust that it is a well-written, own voices story.

We met Ben and Sid briefly in book 4. This is their love story. Because above all else, this is an incredibly sweet, sexy and romantic story.

Ben is an amazing character. His imperfectly perfect voice felt so honest and authentic to me, and I believe the author did an amazi
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-love
I love this series so much. I have enjoyed every book so far!

This was my first read with a transgender and I wasn't sure how it was going to play out. Would I like it?? I can say that I for sure loved it.

Ben had such a sweet personality. I just wanted to hug him and tell him that he was perfect the way he was.

Sid surprised me. I expected him to not be so accepting but he was so good for Ben. They are were really sweet together.

It was also nice to catch up with the other guys.

Wonder who will b
* A Reader Obsessed *
4 Stars!

I don’t want to do a disservice to this book, and having only read one other transgender story, I found this equally complex, inspiring, and admirable in bravely living one’s truth, no matter how scary and challenging it may be. However, I also don’t want to just focus on what’s different, because this was a great contemporary romance that ranks along with Practice Makes Perfect as my favorites of this series.

Ben understandably, has quite a few fears, especially if and when he’ll have to
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars! Review to come...
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
Reread January 2020

Still think that Jay throws a huge light on what it means to be trans in this book, in a practical, undramatic and non-threatening way.

original review

Love this series, loved this book!

What does it mean to be transgender? Changing your outside to fit the gender inside is one thing. But what happens then? It is like starting from scratch. Because you are a new person.

Do you tell people? How do you tell them? Is it even necessary? Who can you trust enough to share your secret? C
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been looking forward to this book since Jay announced he was writing it and it did not disappoint. I've read some great books with trans main characters and this is definitely a new favorite of mine. I loved Ben and Sid's relationship and how Sid accepted and loved Ben as he was. I felt like I went through Ben's inner turmoil with him. I also feel like I learn so much with each book I read about a trans MC. I recommend you give this book a try. It's so worth reading. Even if you've never ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars – Before I get to my review, I’m going to start with a reminder about my strong belief in adhering to the principles of being fair and honest in my reviews. Jay Northcote’s Starting from Scratch is not my first exposure to the author, but it is my first time reading a romance novel in which the pairing involves a transgender person. Because of this, I feel it’s important to state that whenever I rate and review a book, I base them entirely on the merits of the book not the gender ident ...more
4.5 hearts

Another sweet romantic book in this lovely series! This was my first book with a transgender main character and honestly, I only felt safe venturing into this genre with Jay Northcote. His characters are always loveable and his stories will always be emotional but sweet, with glorious HEA’s! And I'd say this was one of the most sweetest and angst free, as well as one of the most emotional novels in the series.

Ben is venturing out into the social world for the first time after completin
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-contemporary
Really sweet and beautiful- oh Sid - I loved his willingness to love and understand Ben's fears and his way of making Ben feel like the perfect man for him. Ben's housemates were awesome and SIds housemate Johnny has got me wondering about his possible lingerie fetish ! This was a real eye opener and I have nothing but love and respect for those who make the changes they need to feel whole in their lives. Transgender peeps deserve lots of respect and love. ...more
I love this series so hard and I am grateful beyond measure for this non-binary MC. Yes I like non traditional and all that but the reality is that these stories need to be told. And this book is beautiful! I hope all people find this book and are educated while they are turned on. Is there a better way to learn? If you are hesitant to read this because of the trans character.... I urge you to look past it and read the book!
Danny Tyran
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
In my current phase of trying new literary genres, I read this novella about a young trans (woman -> man) and his coming out. His meeting with Sid is interesting. And I liked the fact that the MC's family, especially his mother, supported him in his change of genre and new start in life.

The fact that this novella was written by a trans author adds to its credibility. Even if the writing is quite adolescent, it's correct (without spelling or syntax mistakes). I liked.
4 Stars

Great book; both heartfelt and enlightening. Definitely a favourite read among an already highly entertaining series.
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: male-action
4.5 Stars!
This was lovely ❤

This book was adorable! Ben & Sid captured my heart.

What I loved:

-It had well developed characters
-Easy, quick pace
-Alternating POVs
-Great cast of secondary characters
-And an ending that left me assured they were in it for the long haul.

My only complaint is I would've liked a bit more angst.

All in all, an excellent addition to the Housemates Series. 4 Stars!
Heather the Queen of (Smut)Books
Beautiful and hopeful story. Loved it. A bit more romantic than the others in the series but I didn't mind at all. I absolutely adored Sid and I'm so glad he was everything Ben needed. ...more
Emily Seelye
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, arc, trans
I haven't read that many books with trans characters, but this by far is the best one. I'm Sure that's in part because Jay is trans himself.

I don't want to give too much away because I think readers need to experience this for themselves. Ben is three years into his transition and is really insecure because his last b/f didn't handle his transition well. Sid is the first person he's really felt comfortable with and wants to try dating. I love how supportive Sid is and his willingness to take th
This is the first romance novel I've read with a Trans MC. I'm not ashamed to admit that I spent as many hours researching on Google as I did reading this book. I've learned so much. I know it will make me a better person.

This book already has many great and detailed reviews so I'm not going to repeat what has already been written. I only want to point out, yet again, how powerful authors truly are. With words on a page, they can change a society's perspective; one person at a time.

Thank you for
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's no secret that am a huge Jay Northcote fangirl but I think, with this latest in the Housemates series, he's absolutely on top of his game.

All the Housemates series have a charm to them which comes from exploring life as young adults either at university, or just graduated from it, the excitement of independent living, the freedom of exploration, the tentative emotions that come with the first serious "grown up" romance.

This one though has what I suspect is just more than a little bit of Jay
chan ☆
enlightening, sweet, but triggering

i've never read a romance with a trans main character and i definitely haven't read any trans own voice characters before. which is a damn shame. but this book definitely made up for that.

the story is about ben, a trans man as he navigates his relationship with sid. i liked the simplicity of the story and i really enjoyed reading about an identity i don't have experience reading about. there were lots of tender moments and a LOT of sexy ones too.

there are some
I think that might be my favorite in the series thus far. Lots of good feels all around :)
Maze the Amateur Reader
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hurt-comfort, ftm
This was the first book I’ve read having a transgender MC, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This book was very enjoyable and enlightening. I enjoyed reading while learning about the experiences of a transgender man, both the physical aspect and the emotional issues that can be difficult to overcome. Sid and Ben's relationship unfolds in a realistic way. A heartwarming story with a perfect ending. ...more
mina reads™️
I’m noticing something about myself as a reader and I think I really love romances that are kinda boring??? I just love when a romance novel is about two characters meeting and starting a relationship and the rest is just them figuring things out, making the relationship work and being adorably domestic. I don’t know it feeds my soul on so many levels and brings me happiness. All that to say, this story is exactly that! We start off meeting Ben a trans man in his mid twenties who has only within ...more
Anna Goerlitz
I received a free ARC of this book from the author, for my reading pleasure. This has in no way affected my review.

I love the Housemates series. Fun, lighthearted, hot and thoughtful NA series, and they just keep getting better, book by book. This story is Ben and Sid's story. We met both of them briefly in book 4, but you do not need to read any of the others in the series to enjoy this book - although why would cheat yourself out of that treat?

I read romance for the sake of romance. I am not t
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic and Enlightening!

4 Stars!

What a candidly honest story about a trans man navigating relationships and sex post transition.

I have to say that I learned a lot in this MTF book through the way he author presented his characters. Jay Northcote wrote about the physical aspects and the dysphoria trans men contend with. I was also googling like crazy, wanting to learn more about this subject. This made me realize how little fiction I have read that deals with his topic, and how little I knew a
I learned so much reading this book and all of it was welcome.

I'll admit I was nervous but feel the author did a great job with meshing the explanations into a very sweet and romantic story.

I really enjoyed this, quite a bit.
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I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you'd like to connect with me then Twitter, Facebook or an email is usually best :) All my contact details are on my website.

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website c

Other books in the series

Housemates (6 books)
  • Helping Hand (Housemates, #1)
  • Like a Lover (Housemates, #2)
  • Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates, #3)
  • Watching and Wanting (Housemates, #4)
  • Pretty in Pink (Housemates #6)

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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