Title: Safe in His Heart (Safe, #2)
Author: Renae Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 2nd 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 270 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
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.
So this was a tough one for me. I liked Paul in Safe in His Arms, but didn’t like that he was with a married man. I hate cheating. Period. All the excuses and reasons in the world don’t matter…I hate it. However, I loved Safe in His Arms, and I really, really, wanted to read Paul’s story. (Though I will admit I was hoping Paul wouldn’t end up with the cheater.)
But the world isn’t black and white, there are grey areas and Paul and Andrew’s story fits in the grey area. So I put on my big girl panties and gave it a go.
THERE ARE SPOILERS HERE UNDER TAGS. DO NOT OPEN IF YOU DO NOT WANT IT SPOILED.
Safe in His Heart is Paul and Andrew’s story. Told concurrently with Safe in His Arms, the story follows from when Paul and Andrew first meet, to when they eventually hook up, through their affair, and, ultimately, to their HEA.
For me, reading is escapism. I don’t usually like so much reality mixed in with my romances. I like fluffy, low angst sweet romances with hot sexy times. Sue me.
However, once I was able to turn down my prejudices (cheating and using the Bible as a hammer: and beware – there is a lot of that in here), I enjoyed the story. Paul is caring and wonderful, Andrew is sincere and *cough* (can’t believe I’m writing this…) loyal. I know, that seems weird – but you have to read it to understand. Even though he’s cheating on his wife, he is loyal to Paul.
Andrew and his wife Kristy married only to satisfy their families. Kristy was in love with a much older, married man, and had been carrying on an affair for quite a while. When the married guy went back to his wife, Kristy suggested to Andrew that they marry in name only, except for the times they needed to procreate for children. Kristy made it clear that she did not want a romantic or sexual relationship prior to them marrying. They have sex a total of 12 times in six years, only in order to conceive.
In his soul it was a problem because, despite the fact that he didn’t love Kristy and she didn’t expect him to be faithful, he did try to honor his vow. His marriage to Kristy was one of convenience on both sides. Kristy didn’t ask him for much—merely the image of a happy marriage, children, and enough money so she didn’t have to work.
And he gave her that.
Kristy didn’t expect fidelity. She was upfront about that from the first time they broached the subject. She didn’t want to fulfill Andrew’s sexual needs, so she told him that, as long as it never became public, he could sate them with whoever he liked.
But she didn’t realize that would be a man.
In the end, even though there’s cheating, I tried not to be all Judgey McJudementpants. Taking out the cheating part of the equation this is actually a pretty fluffy, medium angst, sweet romance with some nice hot sexy times and an emphasis on making a family.
I almost would have preferred for there to be less excuses?
Kristy initiated the relationship, knew what she was getting into, walks off leaving the kids to go back to the ex when he finally leaves his wife, then champions Andrew and Paul in the end.
Like, because she’s portrayed as a not-so-great mother right before she abandons them, and she’s not a proper “wife” it makes it okay to cheat.
But my biggest problem is that I truly believe if Kristy didn’t leave I don’t think Andrew would have ever left her. If it weren’t for the very special circumstances that occur, I think Paul would have eventually moved on because Andrew would have never stepped up.
But that’s not what happens. It all works out so perfectly. It was all just so…tied up in a neat little bow. Like – here’s all the parts that will make this okay! – kind of thing. It…well, I guess I still judged.
In the end though, even with the judging, I enjoyed it. I would have liked to have seen more of Lon and Casey, but I liked Paul, I enjoyed Paul and Andrew’s navigation of their relationship, and the way they worked together to build a life.
All in all I think if you hate cheating, but love medium angst sexy romances, you might try to put on your judgment blinders and give this a shot anyway. You might be surprised by how much you like it.