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Where Love Grows

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  323 ratings  ·  80 reviews
When two broken men look to each other for help, an unexpected romance blooms.

Stephen’s home, deep in the heart of the Welsh valleys, suits his reclusive nature. However, as he recovers from illness, he’s struggling to manage alone. As nature reclaims the land he’s poured his heart into cultivating, he becomes increasingly unhappy. His only outlet is his blog, where he
Kindle Edition, 259 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Jaybird Press
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  323 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was a little nervous going into this story. I didn't realize what illness our young man had battled and survived. GBS, otherwise known as Guillain-Barré syndrome, is a rare yet horrid illness. I had never heard about it until the doctors were able to slap a name on the condition that put my grandfather in the ER one snowy winter night. I was very close to my Gramps and I spent every evening in the hospital until he lost his battle with GBS, nearly three months after his first symptom appeared. ...more
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
Where Love Grows is a sweet, quiet, hurt-comfort story about two broken men who find a home in each other. Jay Northcote excels at writing tender stories where most of the characters’ struggles are internal. In this book, both MCs, Stephen and Luke, have been hurt, physically and emotionally.

Luke grew up with a mother who was an addict. She died when he was young and even though he’s very successful in his career, Luke is a recovering alcoholic who’s hit rock bottom. When his business manager
Oct 29, 2019 marked it as lost-interested
DNF @ 31%

At first, when I started reading it sounds interesting; two people who were struggling, one with his health and the other with depression but after a few chapters it was me who was struggling! My mind couldn't focus and started wandering all of the place except the pages, so I lost my interest in the story. Probably it was me and not the book though. Hope you enjoy it more than me.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*2.5 stars*

I really, really wanted to like this book, mainly because I usually enjoy Jay Northcote's stuff, and the book is so sweet, but I struggled to get through it, if I'm being honest.

The story was very... nice. I'm usually a sucker for hurt/comfort types of books, and I like MCs who are going through some real-life turmoil, but I found the pace to be torturously slow. There are a lot of everyday details in the story, like what they are eating and what they are planting, and I often found
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, ku
Loved the title and the whole feel of the book.
This is mainly calm, serene and soothing.
I could virtually hear the bees humming, the birds singing and smell the fresh rain in Wales.

Maybe I’m biased here because I love that area of Britain and it makes me feel at home.
I also love gardening, and there is a lot of that going on. Add in the music making (also one of my favourite things) and you can see why this book reverberates with me on various levels.

Luke and Stephen’s story is both: serene and
Jay Northcote
Sep 17, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
This book took me a very long time to write. This was partly because I was in college for one day a week, and underestimated how much time that would take away from writing. But mainly, it's because I was writing it in the summer, and the weather was lovely... so the lure of being outdoors kept taking me away from my desk. So I was often outdoors pulling up nettles, digging out bindweed, and watering courgette and tomato plants when I should have been writing.
Given the themes of this story, that
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's no secret that the way Jay writes resonates soundly with me.

But in this one, he pulled out all the feels about how to write a romance where one of the protagonists isn't a perfectly fit man but is living with the after effects of chronic illness.

I will state for the record that I did a sensitivity reading as someone who is living with a very similar situation albeit from a different condition.

But I'll also state, I made very little input to the narrative other than lots of "OMG yes,
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This was overall an ok read for me.

I really liked the setting and the atmosphere and I enjoyed reading about their daily activities. I found it very comforting.

Luke is very likable, but Stephen is one very prickly and stubborn character. I could understand him but I still found some of his actions to be rash and unfair towards Luke.
I liked how slowly everything developed between them, it was done really well, but personally I wasn't a fan of the intimate scenes.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
* 4.5 stars *

"Where Love Grows" is different than what we're used to from this author. I always think of his books as stories full of light and colors. Something to calm you down and help you relax. I always pick a Jay story when I'm in a book slump because I know he'll be able to take me out of it. I also pick one of them when I'm coming out of a heavy read and want to decompress.

This story was darker, the characters weren't young guys enjoying their life, not having a care in the world. They
JD Crittendon
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
With Nurture & Care Love Blooms!

The Stephen & Luke story includes insecurities, stubbornness, a debilitating disease, alcoholism, and finally, Love. This story has all the best ingredients: likable, but flawed MCs, interesting enough premise, slow-burn romance and just enough sexy times. OTOH, this storyline seems familiar, as in a well-known trope. No surprises, just well-written storytelling.
*Please note: Received ARC; my review is my honest opinion.
Sweet with a bit of angst, though a bit too slow at times.

Stephen and Luke struggle with two very different things, but both men look to the Welsh countryside for healing.

Stephen is trying to get his life back from the debilitating onset of Guillain-Baré syndrome, while Luke is a recovering alcoholic who’s hit rock bottom.

A mutual friend puts the two men in touch - Luke can help Stephen to rejuvenate his ruined garden, and the garden can give Luke the peace and focus he needs.

Their initial
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, m-m, romance
Where Love Grows is a beautiful story between two men who have struggled with hard times, set in the gorgeous backdrop of Wales. Stephen has been seriously ill and is struggling to get his life back on track. It appears hopeless and he feels helpless. Luke is suffering from depression and has no idea on how to make his life better OR be able to move forward. Together, these two are amazing.

Oh my, I loved this story. I am not a gardener although my heart is in the right place. Unfortunately, my
Fernanda Parente
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of best book I've read this year. I love when a book show us regular guys with insecurities and real problems.
I loved seeing things come back to life and friendship, attraction and love growing among Stephen and Luke.
I love books set in Europe, specially in the country.
The way the garden flourishes under Luke's care is similar to the way the relationship between Luke and Stephen develops
This was a brilliant book written by one of my favorite authors!

I received an advanced reader's copy
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy Jay’s stories and this was no exception. The character portrayal here is extremely well done, with just the right amount of angst that tugs on your heartstrings. Stephen and Luke have several personal issues and difficulties that are gradually revealed to each other, as well as to the reader. Despite a shaky start, the two men grow to support and comfort each other and find love along the way. It’s not an easy path for them. I enjoyed all the garden and plant metaphors that ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read a good book and this thankfully filled the gaping void that has been an ongoing book slump - this was just simply a sweet and heartwarming read.

Stephen is recovering from a debilitating illness and has become somewhat of a recluse in the big house in rural Wales, which he inherited from his parents. He's a proud and stubborn man and refuses help, often wallowing in regret and pines for his garden and long walks before his illness. Luke is a city boy from humble
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I've alpha read this book

CW: mentions of addiction, recovery, past illness, mentions of suicide (in the past)

I love this book!! It is only second to Second Chance when it comes to Jay Northcote's books. I have always loved Jay's style of writing and his way of storytelling.

Second Chance was the book that gave me chance to explore and figure out myself. Where Love Grows is a story that made me want to venture out in the nature again, and to try to reconnect with it. Despite difficult
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where Love Grows is one of Jay's finest book. It was almost like reading Passing Through with the different angle.
Luke and Stephen found each other when they're looking for comfort. But never realized it was in each other's arms at first. This was a nice, hurt comfort story between two men who's lost and had no idea what to do in the next chapter of their lives.
I loved reading about Stephen and Luke, the way they adjusted to their new life and found a new purpose. Not easy for two broken souls,
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good book from this author. 2 guys who need something and find it in each other. Great development of tentative friendship to lovers.
Dieter Moitzi
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-book-reviews
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This review has been originally posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!

This is the second Northcote-novel I read and the second Northcote-novel I couldn’t seem to put down until I had reached the last full stop. There’s something with the author’s unpretentious, solid, well-paced writing, his thoughtful choice of topic, his pitch-perfect creation of believable and likeable main characters that stroke a bell with me—again. The
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
As you would say in Italian, “boh...”. This book was OK, but nothing special or memorable. I really enjoy Northcote’s books, but this feels less thought through, less emotional.
Joyfully Jay
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars

Jay Northcote has released a wonderful new novel of healing and love called Where Love Grows. Most of this novel is focused on just two men and the baggage they both carry from their pasts that influence how they view themselves and how that view shapes their self-worth. Needless to say, both Luke and Stephen are in need of a serious shaking and head slapping, for neither of them knew their own value. Honestly, they had become their own worst enemy and neither of
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was lovely. Both Stephen and Luke were compelling characters and I really enjoyed watching them heal together. Luke was such a sweet, caring man. Sigh. Just enough angst to make me feel it but not so much that I felt like I was being tortured. Great read!
Barb ~rede-2-read~
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
As is typical of Jay Northcote’s work, this romance is between everyday people going about their everyday lives in the UK—something I always appreciate. In this story, the setting is Wales, and the characters have disabilities unseen to the naked eye. Yes, anxiety, depression, addiction, and recovery from Guillain-Barré Syndrome. A tough subject, but the author does an outstanding job showing all facets of both of their diseases and their work on recovery from past traumas.

Stephen is finally on
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved how the theme of gardening was so rooted( see what I did there?) in the plot and story progression. It was interesting and very authentic, thorough and you could really feel how much it was part of Stephan. The passion he has for it is almost tragic when you consider his illness and the resulting lack of ability to take part in something he clearly enjoyed. I liked that through Luke he found new passions and also got stronger, physically and emotionally, in a healing way. I found it ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The blurb summarizes the book and plot quite well and accurately, so I won’t rehash.

This is a lovely, slow burn, romance where two men struggling to find themselves, find each other. Stephen is not only recovering from a neurological illness, but he’s still mourning for the loss of his parents. Luke is trying to overcome alcoholism, drugs, and depression, the same illness which took his mother. Of the two men, I felt Luke was the far more engaging character. He had an open honesty about him
Anna Chetwynd
Another tender and sweet story of two men trying to get over the unhappiness in their past and move on to a better future.

Stephen, a man living with the after effects of a debilitating illness, has been forced to sit back and cope with life as opposed to enjoying it. His once beautiful garden is in ruins, he is in constant low level pain, he is still grieving the loss of his parents and he is lonely.

Luke is suffering from a mental health breakdown, careless about himself, frittering away his
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, m-m-romance
Luke is a Londoner with mental health issues and a worrying reliance on liquor. Stephen is an accountant who is recovering from Guillain-Barré syndrome and his physical limitations. A mutual friend brings Luke and Stephen together when he realizes they are both in need of a bit of respite and may be able to help each other out.

I really enjoyed Northcote's characterization of these two men. Stephen's recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome was very authentic and his nightmares were disturbing. I
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, arcs, steamy, 2019-reads

4.25 Stars

I love broken characters, and to get two is a bonus. I loved Luke, although at first, I wasn’t quite sure about him, but once I got to know him, I absolutely fell in love with him. He was definitely my favorite of the two. Stephen, well, while I felt for him and his situation, he was not easy to like. He was a prickly bastard, to say the least. I understand he was left bitter and frustrated by his illness, but he took his anger out on the wrong people, and of course, once I finally
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book.

I bought it on a whim last night after seeing someone post about it on twitter. I'd never read anything by the author before and all I knew about this particular book was that it was about two guys helping each other recover and that there were cats in it. I started reading it immediately and couldn't put it down.

It's very well-written, with characters who act and sound like real people, and the portrayals of GBS, depression, addiction, traumatic life experiences, and
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is quite possibly, in my opinion, Jay Northcote's best book by far. The internal struggles that Luke and Stephen overcome are heart-wrenching. They are similar in their isolation and loneliness in life, and it was beautiful the way in which they helped one another to reconnect with the world around them.

Stephen has recently been hit with a double whammy, coupled with Luke's problems there is enough upset and trauma to throw these two characters together in a wonderful story-line.
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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