Title: Safe Haven
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: 8th Nov, 2016
Genre(s): Menage, Trauma, Healing
Page Count: 151
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Being alone was what Blake had always needed before his new team of bodyguards arrived. Now things might be very different.
At seven years old, Blake’s life was destroyed when he and his parents were abducted and he watched them being murdered. Now, twenty years later, he refuses to leave the house and he lives in a constant state of fear. He has a bodyguard around the clock, a housekeeper who has never seen his face and an uncle who checks on him often but isn’t all that close to him. Blake likes his isolation where only his cat really knows him.
His bodyguard of eight years is ready to retire, leaving his life in turmoil again. Blake isn’t good with people in general, and new people are the worst. But he needs someone in his house all the time to make him feel safe. His uncle hires a team of bodyguards to replace his old one—Malcolm, CJ and Rex. They come highly recommended, and they’re good at what they do.
They’re also together and it’s a relationship that Blake is instantly fascinated by. He’s never been interested in another person before, and he hasn’t had a real friend since his parents died, because he has refused to leave the house. But with the three of them trying to be there for him, he begins to want a life he has been convinced up to now would be completely impossible.
Ménages are not exactly my thing but the combination of a broken/damaged hero with three hot bodyguards was just too much for me to resist. “Safe Haven” presents a very touching and emotional story of a traumatized Blake who has shunned contact to the outside world completely in order to feel safe. This story is about how the three new men in his life breaks him out of his shell and help him fall in love and eventually lead a normal life.
Blake’s anxiety and innate fear of someone out there trying to get him comes from a traumatic incident when he was just a boy. From then on he has never ventured outside his home. He does not like physical contact or even being seen. He is a prisoner of his own deep-seated fear and he has no hope of ever breaking out of it. Well that is until he meets his new bodyguards. Malcolm, Rex and CJ are different than any other bodyguards he ever had. They care for him and want his company. Blake feels safe with them while also being attracted to all three of them.
Malcolm, Rex and CJ are in a relationship and Blake wants to be part of that close relationship. He is intrigued by their unusual bond but is wary of his mental inability to ever be free to be with them. But when the three men shows interest in him and pushes him outside his comfort zone, Blake gradually starts to accept change. He may never completely break through his anxiety or fear but he does find love, safety and companionship with his three partners, Malcolm, Rex and CJ.
The pacing of the story is nice and slow especially when the plot deals with a person who is traumatized and has been living with his fear for two decades. You do not expect such a broken person to change overnight. The change needs to be gradual. That’s exactly how the relationship develops between Blake and the others. I loved how he gradually opens up to the three men and start trusting them to keep him safe.
Out of the three men, I liked CJ the best. He was sweet and kind and so very gentle with Blake. Malcolm was the solid base of the relationship with his inner strength and responsible nature. Rex, I liked the least. He pushes Blake to get him out of his shell but I did not appreciate his methods at all. Any person in Blake’s place would have freaked coz of Rex’s stupidity IMO. There was not much about the three guys to properly get a feel of them. They were more like secondary characters with Blake being the one and only MC. I wanted more interaction among Malcolm, Rex and CJ to get to know them better or learn their feelings for Blake.
The boatloads of money that Blake inherits at the end kind of made their new relationship a little sleazy. The guys did not take advantage of Blake but still I felt that there should have been more to express their unconditional love/affection towards Blake. The painfully lacking chemistry among the four also made the relationship blander. I did not expect full on sex from the very start but few sexy scenes at the end to showcase Blake’s change would have been awesome. The lack of heat took out the excitement of a new relationship from the story.
I would have loved more intimacy between the characters. Also more interactions among the trio rather than only Blake interacting with them would have been great. This book has an intriguing concept with a potential to be a more emotional/healing tale but there were too many holes in the plot to accomplish that.