Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ImperfectHarmony_FINALImperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote
Release Date: April 15, 2016
Pages: 189 • Format: eARC
Published By: Jaybird Press
Purchase Links:
AmazonAmazon UKGlobal 

Imperfect harmony can still be beautiful…

John Fletcher, a former musician, is stuck in limbo after losing his long-term partner two years ago. He’s shut himself off from everything that reminds him of what he’s lost. When his neighbour persuades him to join the local community choir, John rediscovers his love of music and finds a reason to start living again.

Rhys Callington, the talented and charismatic choir leader, captures John’s attention from the first moment they meet. He appears to be the polar opposite of John: young, vibrant, and full of life. But Rhys has darkness in his own past that is holding him back from following his dreams.

Despite the nineteen-year age gap, the two men grow close and a fragile relationship blossoms. Ghosts of the past and insecurities about the future threaten their newfound happiness. If they’re going to harmonise in life and love as they do in their music, they’ll need to start following the same score.


I hadn’t even read the blurb before I requested the book. This is by far one of my favorite covers this year. The blue really does work well against the black and white cover. I really enjoyed reading this story. It was the friends to lovers trope with a main dish of grief for dinner. I think having both characters dealing with the same grief of losing a partner made them better for each other. I think they learned how to move on, start over, and come to terms that their is happiness after everything feels so dark and bleak. I liked the age-gap as well. It definitely showed the difference on how each guy comes to terms with being with one another. My biggest qualm is that it is never enough. Why???? I could have done with 50 more pages atleast. I liked the epilogue and just wanted to see them happy.

This was a complete slow burn. At the introductions John is grieving the death of a parent and his partner of 20 years. He’s basically living day to day with no form of happiness. He’s working at a job that is only for money. His passion is in music, it’s something he use to have with David. He still thinks about David, and can’t seem to move on. He really doesn’t want to. His neighbor Maggie insists on him meeting Rhys the choir instructor for their town’s accapella group. It’s very begrudgingly that John agrees, and he sees Rhys for the very first time and it’s like something awakens in him. Rhys is not who he thought would be instructing the 60 and over crowd. No he’s the lithe, plate, tattooed kid with an amazing blue mohawk and the warmest smile ever.

In this dingy church hall in their small market town, Rhys looked like a bird of paradise that had accidentally ended up in a cage full of sparrows.

I liked Rhys alot on first glance. He’s the opposite of what everyone was expecting. I wanted to know his backstory and it’s just as bad as John’s. Rhys came back home after losing his lover at the age of 21. He’s dealing with his grief by instructing pupils of the different variety and living life peacefully and out of the public’s eye. John is such a shy person and with a little pushing and nudging from Rhys they both become friends. It’s light, and easy for both. It is the music drawing them in, and comforting them little by little. It’s the instruments, and war wounds that they compare. I can see the love happening right before my eyes. I can see Rhys opening up and realizing this is what he wants. I can see John with his doubts, and him trying to understand what Rhys could wants in a 42 year old. I loved Rhys basically telling John that we only get one life so we should make it work. The age-gap was big in this and both characters looked at it differently. I get why it was such a big deal, but I’m all about age ain’t nothing but a number. It’s rare to find something special with one person, but to lose it and find it again is something magical.

I really enjoy Jay’s writing. I love the proper British so much. From their mannerisms,words,to basic descriptions. This is low angst, good communication and a really good story. I love reading from this author and this one didn’t disappoint me. I can’t wait to see what’s in store with the next book, but before then I suggest we all read this one. It’s a love story.

About Jay Northcote

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with his husband, two children, and two cats. He comes from a family of writers, but he always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, he decided to try and write a short story—just to see if she could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary gay romance about men who fall in love with other men, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. He enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in his head to life through his words. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also publishes his own titles under the imprint Jaybird Press. Some of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is a transgender man and was formerly known as she/her.