Author: Jay Northcote
Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Story Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 04/17/2015
Length: 7 hours 30 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?
The Little Things was a slower and darker story than most Jay Northcote tales I have read. It dealt with some heavy elements that drew out my sadder emotions. But in the end, I was so grateful for the sadness because it made the HEA more satisfying.
The story started off with the author establishing the mundane aspects of Joel’s life and giving the reader a history as to how Evie came to be. The author established Joel’s relationship with Dan, which the reader can see is anything but fulfilling and not a relationship that is likely to last through thick and thin. In fact I disliked Dan from the start because in my eyes he was not worthy of Joel and Evie, with his partying ways and his desire to still behave as if he is single and carefree. But as the story moved forward, I felt a bit sorry for Dan. He was a nice guy, just a bit immature, and I can’t help wondering if he would have grown up and been the man Joel needed if only Joel had asked.
I enjoyed the portrait of Joel and Evie as a family in flux. From happy and carefree, to sad and struggling to overcome circumstances that Joel never envisioned. Evie was a typical child and Joel was a typical first time father. It was great to see all facets of their interactions from love, to annoyance, to tears, to tantrums and laughter. This was the constant thread that carried this story from Joel and Dan to Joel and Liam.
Liam and Joel worked so much better than Joel and Dan. Not that I don’t think Joel and Dan couldn’t have made a satisfying life in the end, but Liam fit better. Their interactions were HOTTER and sweeter and more natural. And I even liked the big angst in their new relationship because it was realistic and understandable. It just emphasized Joel’s humanity and his pain. I hated seeing what it did to Liam, but I understood it completely.
So while this one was darker and sadder than most Jay Northcote novels, it was no less wonderful for its characterization and emotion. If you have not read The Little Things yet, give the audiobook version a try! I loved it and think you will too.
This is my second time listening to Matthew Lloyd Davies and I have to admit, his voice has grown on me. I didn’t care for it at first because it was so lyrical, but it was that same quality that worked so perfectly in this case. This story needed a voice like his to carry it through the harder times. He did a wonderful job giving distinction to each individual character and his narration enhanced the emotion.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
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