Safe in His Heart (Crabbypatty’s review)

Safe In His Heart

Title: Safe in His Heart (Safe #2)
Author: Renae Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 270
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 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.

Andrew and Kristy hardly have a fairy tale marriage. Kristy was traumatized by a breakup with a boyfriend who refused to leave his wife. Andrew was trying hard to ignore his “sinful urges” and marry a woman like the Bible told him.

The day he stood in front of the altar of Kristy’s church and promised to love and honor her, he lied. He looked Kristy in the eye and lied, and she looked him in the eye and lied right back.

Andrew and Kristy have a marriage contract, not a marriage – sex only for procreation (12 times in six years) and each can have lovers. Andrew works and Kristy takes care of the two children, except when Andrew comes home an occasional evening before the kids are in bed to play with them. Granted, he truly loves his children but he is unaware of their daily lives. Although Kristy seems to be depressed and sleeps most of the day, Andrew is upset only when the children are unfed at night. Andrew goes to a gym to work out, mostly to meet men, and once he meets Paul they enter into a sexual relationship where they meet in motels and hotels. Then one day, Kristy leaves him and the children behind to get back with her ex-boyfriend.

This book was a difficult one to review. It was hard to move beyond the initial feelings generated by a very unlikable (and self-hating) Andrew and concentrate on the love story between Andrew and Paul. Granted, the sexual relationship between Andrew and Paul is steamy and when it moves beyond sex to a deeper relationship, it is touching. But the pace of the book bogs down in the middle with Andrew and Paul learning how to care for the children, and Andrew trying (badly) to come to terms with his sexual orientation. Andrew comments I didn’t want to be gay, Paul. Why did God make me gay? and I mean, I didn’t want to be gay. Who would choose to be gay, if they had the choice?

Also, the book blurb makes it appear the book is mostly about religion – Andrew’s anti-gay Catholicism and Paul’s faith. But there is little in the story about religion until about Chapter 22 when Andrew meets with his priest and Paul tells him of the inclusive church he attends with a child-friendly service.

Finally, I believe that Andrew would NEVER have come out of the closet and/or left his wife and only crawled out of said closet because his wife left him shortly after he found Paul. And if I had to read one more time about his “gay lover” I was going to toss my Kindle across the room, as in What does one say when one’s secret gay lover is sitting down at the table purchased by one’s wayward wife, talking to one’s conservatively Catholic mother and drinking coffee? – oh, the horror. Or A part of Andrew cringed with embarrassment. The CEO of Cabott’s was almost begging his gay lover to help him drop off his own kids at day care? Sigh …..

This book did not work for me. The plot was too convoluted, Andrew was very unlikable and for only 270 pages the book “read slow.”

Safe Series

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Galley copy of provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

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