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Better Place

(Rainbow Place #3)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  482 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Joe deserves better. Meeting Dylan helps him see that.

After a recent redundancy, Joe takes a few months off to try and make it as a writer. His partner, Harry, is less than supportive but Joe is used to that after ten years together, just like he’s used to Harry’s controlling nature and his drinking habit.

Dylan, a server at Rainbow Place, is fascinated by Joe as he sits in
Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published February 22nd 2019 by Jaybird Press
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  482 ratings  ·  131 reviews

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Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it

Third book in the series but can be read on it's own as characters from previous books who are present here are well introduced.Each story is loosely connected by Rainbow Place, a LGBT friendly cafe in a small town in Cornwall.

Dylan is in his early 20's and works as a server in the cafe and is growing increasingly attracted/drawn to a man who sits quietly working on his laptop.He's definitely Dylan's type so he tries to engage him in conversations which is met with some reluctance at first bu
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

Like the other books in this series, Better Place can be read as a standalone but, in my opinion, will bring more enjoyment if read as part of a whole.

The series revolves around a cafe owned by Seb (MC from book 1), and all the characters interact and are at least tangentially involved in each other's stories.

Dylan has a crush on an "older" (I use this term loosely since Joe is 42) guy who spends hours at the cafe writing on his lap top. Joe is trying his hand at being an author and is wo
Going on the blurb this book should have checked all my boxes, sdly it didn't. I was hoping for an angsty romance between Dylan and Joe, I didn't get that. There was a lot of telling and little to no showing, which made for rather flat characters that I struggled to connect with and was definitely lacking in the feels.

I feel kind of meh about it 🤷
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, read-2019
Jay Northcote is one of the authors that never disappoint me. No matter what he writes I always end up enjoying whatever I read by him.

"Better Place", the third story in the "Rainbow Place" series, kept with the program. It was a second chance story with an age gap between the characters that dealt with an abusive relationship and new beginnings.

Dylan has recently moved to Porthladock, he's an artist and works at the Rainbow Place until he can support himself with his art. He was in an abusive r
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to love Better Place by Jay Northcote, but in the end, it was ok. I enjoyed the setting, the characters, but there was a disconnect in the relationship development between Dylan and Joe.

Why? Fucken Harry, Joe's boyfriend through half the book and that never went away after the breakup. There was a good reason why- Harry and Joe had been together for ten years, lived together, and their finances were tangled up together. It wasn't a situation that'd have a clean break, but I was tired o
Jay Northcote
Jan 27, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
This is book three in the Rainbow Place series. They don't have to be read in order and it can be read as a standalone.
I had to think about my rating for ‘Better Place’ for a bit. Some parts I liked, but ultimately I didn’t really connect to this book at all.

Dylan’s job at the Rainbow Place café is made even better by the quiet writer who becomes a regular. The server never misses an opportunity to awkwardly flirt with his favourite customer.

The customer in question, Joe, thinks Dylan’s sweet. But he’s focused on his writing. And, more importantly, Joe’s already taken.

From the beginning of the book, readers know
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just like with his Housemates series, Jay uses a loose theme - in this case the Rainbow Place cafe itself - to hang his stories on.

And, like that series, each of the three books released in this one has been utterly different in the couple it features but has a similar hook with each pair focused on taking a step into a new future.

This has a small age gap, an MC who has escaped an abusive relationship and one who is in a relationship that seems to have become one after a decade together.

Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ku, lgbtq, not-for-me, age-gap
I usually enjoy Jay Northcote’s writing and have read lots of his books. Mostly his books are light, nice and relaxing reads with a good dose of romance. This series though is not doing it for me.

I wasn’t overly excited about book 1 and was hoping for more here. I’m very sorry to say that this didn’t happen. On the contrary. For me this book was decidedly bland.

Two-dimensional MCs, too much telling rather showing, a plot that consisted to big parts of every day routines (as accurate to RL as thi
Chris, the Dalek King
I’d like to say right off, that the timing of this review could not have happened at a worse time. This week happens to be one of the busiest we have all year at my day-job, and I’ve been pulling double-digit work days in order to stay on top of everything. Needless to say, I’m a little spacey and a lot tired. Luckily for you, me, and the whole of the cosmos, this book actually turned out to be my favorite of the series. So that means I don’t have to be extremely grumpy on top of exhausted. Unfo ...more
Joyfully Jay
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kris
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.25 stars

I’ve been reading the Rainbow Place series right along, and I’ve enjoyed the way this small cast of characters are all finding their HEA. I love that the café brings them together and that Seb has a way of connecting everyone. I will say though, I had some problems with this book, and I think it’s my least favorite of the three so far.

I enjoyed both Dylan and Joe. They each have their own hurdles to face, and they both do a lot of growing throughout the story. Dy
Pam Nelson
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so I wasn’t sure I would like this book once the story got going. I was rooting for Dylan so hard, and Joe oh Joe his situation had my heart sad. I ended up loving the way this book unfolded.

So many people are in long term relationships and either they feel like everything is fine and dandy and never take a deeper look. Are they really happy or are they just content. You don’t want to be content in your relationship. Or afraid to be yourself. You should never have to ask permission to do so
I'm disappointed. And...I'm disappointed that I'm disappointed.
I don't know why exactly this series isn't giving me my usual Northcote feels. It's as though it's missing something but I can't put my finger on what? Ugh.
So here's the thing...I knew going in that Joe was in a relationship when he initially meets Dylan. That's clearly stated in the blurb. Not ideal, but okay.
However, I had *hoped* they would split early on giving ample time for Joe and Dylan to be together.
That did not
Rachel Emily
3.5 stars for me.

Better Place is the third book in the Rainbow Place series. This one works well as a standalone, as I haven't read the first two books in the series but I also never felt like I was missing something. Joe is an aspiring writer in his early 40's who has been in a committed relationship for ten years that has definitely gone stale over the years. Dylan is a waiter who works at the cafe where Joe comes in to work on his story.

I really enjoyed the first half of the story where Dylan
Funzee Shu

Maybe this is the hardest review I ever made this year because I have a huge dilemma when I wrote it. I have some issues with what had happened in this book that made me a bit in struggling to finish it.

I’ve known Jay for years and enjoying his works so much. Almost ALL the books I read always ended with 4 and 5 stars, but I need to admit that this book is not one of his best works and it’s hard for me to give this 3 stars but I think I need to be truth (at least) to myself and finally decided n
Barb ~rede-2-read~
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-review, read-2019
ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review.


I generally love Jay Northcote’s stories. His writing style is pure Brit and his characters are always believable, three-dimensional, and endearing. I’ve enjoyed the Rainbow Place series and always look forward to the glimpse of past characters and a chance to catch up with them. We get that here, and it was enjoyable, but I had a few problems with the romance in this st
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm a pretty big fan of Jay Northcote but this one was not my favourite. I felt the potential escalation of abuse in Joe's relationship with Harry really compromised the romance in this story. I liked both Dylan and Joe but didn't connect with them as much as I'd have liked. I've had my own experiences with exiting a relationship with a controlling alcoholic so this might just be me but I did not enjoy revisiting that in any way. This one probably just wasn't for me.
I had to push myself to finish this story.
I like Northcote's stories, and I do like the Rainbow series, but this story not so much.
For whatever reason I felt a disconnect with the characters and the plot. I just didn't care.

For me, as a reader, the story, the romance, the conflict, whatever comfort and hurt showed in the story was just muted or toned down to the point where (for me) it didn't matter.

I'm kinda disappointed. This one is a 2.5 rate because Northcote is a competent writer.

I enjoyed Jay’s third story set in and around the cafe. Better Place is an everyday romance, and even though there is some drama between Joe and his long-term selfish partner, there’s nothing OTT about this tale. There’s plenty of eating, drinking, working, and watching TV in this slow-burn, low-angst romance.

Dylan works in the Rainbow Place cafe and that’s where he meets Joe, who’s attempting to write his first novel. I liked how they gradually get to k
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author and publisher note this could be read as a standalone, and I mostly agree, though reading the books in order will help explain the background and characters more clearly.
The blurb summarizes the book and plot quite well and accurately, so I won’t rehash. Also one trigger warning as relates to abuse.

The plot was a reminder that abuse can be mental or physical, that it can happen in all relationships, and that it sometimes takes someone who’s been there to point out the signs. In this
K.R. Phoenix
🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.5 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3.5

A wonderful story about taking your life back and deserving better!

This was the first story of Jay’s that I’ve read and I loved it! Great, detailed writing style with whimsical romance and witty characters with depth and heart.

An easy to read, story about realizing you deserve better. Joe is in this situation with his long term partner, Harry. I liked how Jay approaches Harry’s controlling ways and subtle abuse of Joe. Abuse isn’t always physical and it’s importa
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
The third book in the series, Better Place does stay true to Rainbow Place being a center point for the characters (Dylan works there, and Joe starts coming in as a customer). When the story begins, Joe is already in a relationship with someone else—with whom he lives—so there’s an immediate obstacle which Dylan does try to respect even though he is drawn to Joe.

Joe does have issues with his current relationship, and Dylan recognizes certain “signs” that echo issues he had with his own prior rel
Ruthie Taylor
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~

This is the third book in the series, and whilst it could be read as a standalone, I think the experience would be richer if you know the background to the Rainbow Place, its owner and staff. That said, you do get quick updates on who is who as we go along.

I really enjoyed this story, a lot, because it really does deal with the nitty gritty of life, rather than just the sparkly bits. I do think that the blurb gives away
Jenn (not Lily)
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ku
I liked how much Dylan and Joe had in common with their artistic impulses, even before they had a chance to bond over controlling arses in their relationship pasts. It was a little rough at times watching Joe and Harry's relationship implode, but it was good seeing the support Joe had, even though Harry had cut him off from most other friendships. I can't wait to see how Lady Gogo and Wicksy work out their attraction in the next book!
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny Wood
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
We’re back at Rainbow Place, and can I just say…. I love Seb… there will be no topping him. (no pun intended)…. In this one though, we have Dylan, who works at RP with the guys. He’s quite smitten with a man that’s just started coming in with his laptop and seems to be doing some writing.

It’s slow going with him, as it would be with someone you don’t know who comes in to work and not socialize, but it was cute, how taken with him Dylan was. When he finally gets the courage to give the man his n
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars - I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

This is the story of Joe, an aspiring writer, and Dylan, the server at Rainbow Place who develops a massive crush on the older man. This is quite a dark read and I feel like this book is missing some of the joyful moments that balance the grittier themes in the previous books.

Joe’s life is pretty grim at the start of this story and I think we might actually see more of Joe and Harry’s miserable relationship than is
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: age-gap, arcs, m-m
Better Place marks the third book in the Rainbow Place series and may be the easiest to read as a standalone. I’ve really enjoyed the sweet simplicity of this series and while Better Place has these hallmarks, this one had a more tenuous start for me.

The Rainbow Place series boasts a wide range of characters and different storylines, but they all lean toward the slow burn style of romance. Better Place was no different. When Dylan and Jeff first meet, there’s some obvious chemistry but Jeff’s l
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are series that feel like coming home.
I always love when I have a series, where I know I will enjoy reading the next book.
Rainbow Place is one of these series - I'm always looking forward to the next story.
Jay Northcote has established himself as one of my "1-click" authors. Not every book is as good as the next one, but all hold an entertaining quality that I enjoy a lot.

So - that said - I had difficulties reading this one. Not because of the writing but because of the subject. Joe's rel
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Bit of a Slow Down, Really 3 1/2 Stars

Each of the covers in this series portrays a hunk who is eventually going to hook up with a younger, openly gay, many who sweeps him off his feet in the milieu which becomes Rainbow Place, an LGBT-friendly café that is basically where most of the out-of-the-bedroom action takes place.

In this one the guy on the cover is Joe, an incredibly hot 40-year-old college professor who has apparently lost his position but has also decided to he would rather be a writ
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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

Rainbow Place (5 books)
  • Rainbow Place (Rainbow Place, #1)
  • Safe Place (Rainbow Place, #2)
  • Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place, #4)
  • Happy Place (Rainbow Place, #5)

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