Title: Safe in His Heart
Series: Safe #2
Author: Renae Kaye
Length: 270 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 2nd 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Blurb: Andrew and Paul learned about God and Jesus in different churches and realize their views of spirituality are worlds apart.
Andrew was raised Catholic and was told his homosexuality was a sin. For his entire life, he hid the truth. He married and had children to present a façade to the world—that of a straight man. It’s not until he has an affair with Paul, who shows him a different side of Jesus, that Andrew realizes he can be gay and still believe in God. Paul’s Jesus is one of acceptance and love, and in Paul’s church, being gay is not a problem.
For Paul and Andrew, falling in love is the easy part of their journey. They must make it through the fires of cheating, being discovered, Andrew’s wife leaving, the necessities of childcare and family life, the demands of their jobs, and working on their commitment to each other.
Only then can they be safe in each other’s heart.
Cat’s Review: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Andrew was brought up a strict Catholic. He deep down believes that his being gay is a sin, and he is doomed. To keep his family off his back, he married Kristy, a woman who had her own secrets. They fit each other fine, and their marriage is more like an agreement to cover for each other and make their family happy. It works. Kristy gave him two lovely children. She doesn’t have to work, just run the house, and take care of the children. Andrew is a big CEO and goes to the gym. This is where he gets his sexual fulfilment when he needs it.
Then he meets Paul and everything changes.
Paul is a nurse and gay. He doesn’t hide his sexuality. He too is religious, but his church doesn’t condemn people who are. It is an accepting atmosphere. He sees Andrew getting laid in the gym one day and find himself wanting him. They start just hooking up.
Paul isn’t into casual sex but he can’t help himself with Andrew. He knows he will never get anything but a broken heart from a closeted man; it’s worse with a married man and even worse with kids. But every time he makes up his mind to quit; he can’t. Then Andrews life takes a drastic change that affects them both.
First off, I will warn you that there is cheating. Andrew is married. However, he and his wife do have an open marriage. I know some people will still call this cheating.
I bounced around with my rating for quite a while from a 3 to a 4 (I don’t do partials). The reason for this is the writing style. The flow was pretty off kilter. In each chapter, the story would switch character views and time frame with no warning, making the story a bit hard to follow. This was consistent throughout the story. You would be reading then suddenly it is days or even weeks past. It was quite jarring.
But I liked both Andrew and Paul. I felt there were realistic. I loved the slow growth of their relationship and how neither saw it coming. I liked the storyline. There were other characters in the book I would like to read, and this is book two.
Though it stands alone pretty well, I would recommend reading book one first I am fixing to now)because it does talk about the other characters and at times you feel like something is missing. I think reading book one would have cleared that up.
I decided to rate the story and characters, so I give this a 4.
If you like CEO’s, nurses, coming out, and some very hot man-sex this is for you.
Aerin’s Review: ♥♥♥2.5 Hearts
As much as I love Renae Kaye and as nicely written as this book is, it was a bust. There are so many archaic ways of thinking, so many stereotypes that no matter how great the story flowed, no matter that the kids were adorable, no matter how much I liked Paul, and I simply ended the book in a rage. I usually review a book as soon as I can after reading it so that my feelings and thoughts are fresh in my head, but this time I had to wait until the next day, otherwise my review would’ve been a curse-fest.
I know a few reviewers mentioned how the cheating ruined the book for them, but I disagree on that note. Andrew is married, yes, but Andrew and his wife have a friendship more than a marriage and their agreement is that their marriage is simply for show (and for having kids) and they can both have sex outside of the marriage, as long as they don’t have to have sex together.
I’m not going to criticize their arrangement (much) because I hate to judge and in this case it worked perfectly for them both. Andrew’s many sexual hook-ups can’t exactly be considered cheating because they are encouraged by his wife. The only thing she doesn’t know is that Andrew’s partners are men.
When Paul and Andrew start hooking up it’s clear for them both that this isn’t a simply sexual relationship. Andrew is deeply closeted and doesn’t have any intention on coming out and ruining his life and his reputation. But the two of them form a close friendship and they end up falling for each other.
This is the one and only thing I liked about their relationship, the love I knew they felt for each other. Andrew was a bloody idiot, a religious catholic who believed that gay men are sinners and that gay sex is unnatural. Yet he has no problem bending over and taking it in the ass like a pro. Sometimes even giving other gym members a show. Double-Standard much???
I got so sick of hearing about Leviticus and all the bullshit that comes with that name! And speaking of religion. Did we really need a full sermon about the interpretation of the Bible and Jesus’s stand on homosexuality? I understand what was intended by Paul’s priest, but I truly wanted to see Andrew come to that conclusion himself. Maybe use his brain and think for himself instead of having the constant ‘Jesus hates me’ pity party. So yeah, the religion was over-used and it didn’t have the intended effects, at least not for me.
Maybe the religion and the other stereotypes (I’ll address those shortly) could’ve been forgiven if not overlooked, if only Andrew and Paul’s relationship would’ve progressed the way you’d expect it to. With the risk of dropping a small spoiler I’ll just say that if it wasn’t for Andrew’s wife leaving him and the kids in order to follow her dreams, Andrew NEVER EVER EVER would’ve acknowledged Paul as his boyfriend, never would’ve come out of the closet, and definitely never would’ve loved Paul like he deserves to be loved.
Andrew is a spineless wimp, an asshole who’s taken total advantage of Paul’s feelings for him and never had the intention of changing their status quo.
Fuck that! The least I expect from a situation like this is the intention of doing something to change things for the better, the fight for the one you love because they’re worth the sacrifice. It was just too convenient that Andrew’s wife left when she left! He never intended to separate from her, so that they could both be with the people they loved.
And speaking of Andrew’s wife… I sincerely hope Australia doesn’t still live in the 16th century when the only thing women were useful for was to bear babies and take care of the house. That was literally all Kristy did throughout her marriage with Andrew and it was one of the reasons she married him. And the fact that that’s the only thing Andrew expected from her was disappointing as hell.
There were nice things about this book as well. Like the hot sex between Andrew and Paul. The fact that we see Paul in total parenting mode while he takes care of Andrew’s kids better than Andrew ever did. Paul with the kids really warmed my heart. And there’s a HEA, a nice one, but as much as I liked seeing it, the journey to get there was not what I needed or expected.
I sincerely hope the next book will be better because I know Renae Kaye can write some bad-ass books. I think it’s Ash’s story so that should be good.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *