Safe 2: Safe in his Heart by Renae Kaye

Title : Safe in his Heart                                Word Count:93,035
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

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.

My Review: I’m a bit on the fence when it comes to this book. Here’s why, the whole premise of this book is based on breaking marriage vows, cheating, down low and inevitably possibly pulling apart a family with young children. However, this story is real, it’s something that happens all the time. There are so many men who suppress their sexuality for the sake of their families or due to religious beliefs and lead half of a life. Andrew is one of these men, he is married with two children and he says his wife doesn’t care about his extramarital affairs as long as he is discreet. Andrew comes off a little bit as a slut. The first time Paul makes eye contact with him is while Andrew is getting skewered in the bathroom stall of the gym and loving it. Paul is extremely turned on , but is a bit unsettled when he notices the wedding band on Andrew’s ring finger. As soon as Andrew is done , he offers himself up to Paul. Paul resists as he is a bit skeptical about getting involved with a married man.
Even though Andrew is rebuffed a few more times by Paul, he is not offended and there are no hard feelings between the two men. They start working out together and give each other pointers. The attraction that Paul feels for Andrew increases and it’s getting harder to resist this pushy bottom who doesn’t take no for an answer. There is definitely no temerity in Andrew and he goes after Paul like a greedy dog goes after a bone. Andrew attacks Paul voraciously the first time they hook up in a hotel. Andrew acted like a well trained porn star and Paul was in awe of this shameless man he was getting a glimpse of.
It soon becomes clear that Andrew’s powers to compartmentalize are becoming muddled when he starts thinking about cuddling with his hookup. Andrew is greedy for more material for the Vault, the place in his mind where he keeps all illicit thoughts and moments locked away. They go hot and heavy for a few weeks and the sex between them is passionate and the best they’ve both had. Andrew knows this is more than a hookup for him, as things have certainly moved into the category of having an affair.
Unlike Andrew who just brushes off his married status, Paul feels guilty at times. It is not until an acquaintance mentions that Andrew has kids that Paul feels the serious recriminations of his actions. Paul cancels a few of their hotel meetings, but before long they are back to their routine again. Andrew is shocked and petrified when he realizes that Paul knows about his kids, but he doesn’t know what to do as he is not ready for Paul to leave. In their own way, they both come to the realization that they are in love. They try not to let on their feelings for each other as they don’t want to put pressure on each other.
Little do they know that their lives are about to be changed and even more intersected when Andrew’s wife decides to leave him for another man. Andrew is selfishly upset at his wife for going back to her former married lover. He says he’s upset at how she left her kids, not really at the fact that she was throwing away the deal that they had. It is really sad that for him their marriage was just a cover story, something to keep his down low activities separate. Paul steps in seemlessly to help Andrew deal with his kids and get his home in order. He becomes more entrenched in the day to day running of Andrew’s family which leaves Andrew feeling a sense of fear at being discovered, but also one of rightness.
It doesn’t take Paul long to see the harsh realities of Andrew’s life. He soon realizes Andrew’s selfishness as he expects Paul to just fall into a role of taking care of his kids without the outward acknowledgement of being his boyfriend. Andrew still expects to play it straight to the world. Paul is hurt by Andrew’s expectations and nips this in the bud by telling him his position on what he expects out of their relationship. From Andrew’s arguments Paul understands that he feels dirty and ashamed at being gay and that is a problem steeped in Andrew’s religious beliefs which is the foundation of his life.
They both realize that they have to make some changes if they are to move forward. Paul takes Andrew to his parents church so that he can gain a new perspective on religion and what it looks like from the Anglican denomination. Andrew and the pastor have a real heart to heart about religion and how to understand and interpret it from a perspective that is not so archaic. Andrew leaves feeling like his foundation has been shaken and with his eyes more open. Andrew has a renewed love for God and Paul is right there to give him the support he needs.
Paul and Andrew have settled into a routine with the kids and are forming their own family rituals. They work together in perfect harmony and Andrew knows it’s definitely time to come out to the world. Andrew’s wife Kristy comes back when she hears rumours of him being gay. Her first time meeting Paul is explosive but she is calmed when Andrew reasons with her. They work out the logistics of their divorce amicably and she actually stands by their side to tell their straight laced families. They are far from pleased and this is definitely not a story book ending. However ,Paul and Andrew stand strong in the face of adversity. They are not picture perfect and definitely not without faults, but they love each other. Within their love they able to grow stronger as a couple and as fathers to two beautiful children. This is definitely the stamp of a great author, because even though I was on the fence at the beginning, I really ended up loving this couple by the end. They were faced with a hard situation and harsh choices of their own making, but they really pulled together through their love in a believable way. I give this my ratings of 4 -lose the underwear.

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Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye

Title : Shawn’s Law             Word Count : 66,628

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?

Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.

The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books.

My Review : Shawn is famous in his community,  but not for the reasons one would expect. Shawn is extremely accident prone and anything that can go wrong at any given time will definitely happen to him. He is a very sweet,  lovable guy who has his plate full with taking care of his mother who has advanced alzheimers. Shawn is unaware of his own assets and charm.  He doesn’t understand why a hottie like Harley would ever give him the time of day. Harley has definitely noticed Shawn and he has made it hid point of duty to walk his dogs past Shawn’s house everyday.

Harley and Shawn meets officially when Shawn wipes out ass first on the pavement at his feet while looking for his mother who has escaped yet again. Harley is kind enough to point out that she is dancing naked under the sprinklers. Shawn is mortified,  but it’s nothing new. Their relationship develops overtime over a series of mishaps. Mishaps or not , Harley is definitely interested in Shawn. He just has to make Shawn believe it too. Shawn hates the fact that he is so accident prone and tries to break up on more than one occasion with Harley . 

It takes him awhile but  he eventually realized that Harley is in it for the long haul. Harley sees Shawn as being very precious and he loves him and takes care of him like no other. Shawn and Harley had great chemistry in and out of the bedroom .  This was hilariously funny and overall a sweet read. Renae Kaye has become one of my favorite authors.  I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Safe in his Arms by Renae Kaye

Title : Safe in his Arms                 Word Count :70,149

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : In the late-night quiet of the caravan park shower room, Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines. He’s not looking for anyone, but when Casey offers, Lon doesn’t turn him down.

Welcoming the young man in his big, hairy arms, Lon provides a safety to Casey that he has never known, and Casey wants to stay forever. Still reeling from the breakup of his family years ago, Lon’s not sure he’s ready for the responsibility of the comfort and security Casey craves.

But perhaps Lon can risk opening his heart again and hoping for a brighter future. Casey has some pretty big skeletons in his past to deal with. And Lon wonders what Casey will do when he finds out how badly Lon failed at protecting the ones he loved eight years ago.

My Review : Certain lights just can’t be dimmed no matter what unspeakable horrors has been done. Casey is that special someone who carries that kind of light, even though he has been victimized sexually by his own father at the age of fourteen. He is scared , he has nightmares that is cause for sleepless nights and he still suffers through panic attacks.  Irrespective of all of this, he is fun and carefree and trying hard to have agency over his own life and his sexuality. Casey understands that what has been done to him is no fault of his own and is separate and apart from him identifying as a gay man. 

Lon the big and hairy guy -who Casey met in the bathrooms at the trailer park where they both live- has been the only one who makes him feel safe and protected. Casey finds himself sleeping for hours safe and sound in Lon’s bed and he trusts him enough to blurt out his deep dark secret of his childhood abuse after a few days of being with him. Casey has been violated in the worst possible way for months on end, with photographic evidence and videos all over the internet for all to see. He is fragile, a little bit broken but ultimately one of the strongest,  bravest , most loving person that Lon has ever met. Lon is insanely attracted to Casey , but he is not sure how far to push him sexually. Casey and Lon are coasting easily in a sweet, fun, lighthearted relationship that they have not labeled.

When Casey’s grandmother realizes that Lon is the guy that he has been spending all his time with, she gets really upset. She thinks that Lon is way too old being 13 yrs Casey’s senior. She says horrible things to Casey accusing him of not knowing his own mind and accuses Lon of being a pedophile, making the assumption that because he’s a big bear he’s abusing Casey.  Lon is torn up about this, because while he knew that Casey was young , he had no idea that he was only 19 yrs old. He is upset at Casey for lying about his age and he is devastated that he might have lost the best thing that has happened to him in forever.

After talking it over, they realize that they both need each other , because what started out as a bathroom hookup has turned into so much more. Casey has brought back the joy and love into Lon’s life and Lon offers Casey a safe haven within his arms. Lon has to go back to his job at the mines for a few weeks and he asks Casey to stay in his trailer and make himself comfortable. 

Lon comes home on Christmas eve and his heart is warmed when he sees that Casey has gotten him a gift that is propped up beside  a potted fern (read Christmas tree ☺). Lon is overjoyed to be wrapped around Casey again, and Casey is ecstatic having his big bear home. There are lots of hills , valleys  and peaks in their relationship. There are a few therapy sessions for Casey to deal with his past. He also finds out Lon has a past almost as tragic as his.They have some hot man on man action once Lon is assured that he won’t cause flashbacks inadvertently when he penetrates Casey anally. They have toe curling sex. They find out quite a bit about each other, but throughout it all their love grows steadfast and strong. Their love is something that they can believe in, it is almost tangible, but most of all its a safe place for them both. Renae Kaye is definitely one of my favorite authors.  I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

The Blinding Light by Renae Kaye

Title: The Blinding Light      Word count: 73,624        Genre: Contemporay Gay Romance

Blurb:Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it, he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad it luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude… and blind man.

Born without sight, Patrick is used to being accommodated, but he’s met his match with Jake, who doesn’t take any of his crap and threatens to swap all the braille labels on his groceries and run off with his guide dog unless he behaves.

Jake gets a kick out of Patrick. Things are looking up: the girls are starting their own lives and his mum’s sobriety might stick this time. He’s sacrificed everything for his family; maybe it’s time for him to live his life and start a relationship with Patrick. When his mother needs him, guilt makes his choice between family and Patrick difficult, and Jake must realize he’s not alone anymore.

My Review:This author has become one of my new favorite authors.In this one, the beauty tames the ‘blind’ beast, but the beast is actually the most handsome man that he has ever seen and beauty is actually the housekeeper. Jake is a man who has a lot of familial and financial burdens which he takes very seriously. He comes from a broken home with an alcoholic mother and three sisters he’s been taking care of since he was six years old. Even though , he doesn’t have bus fare most days , he uses his rickety bike to go out as a housekeeper and make an honest living. He is a confident gay man who takes things one day at a time and tries to  conquer the world with his smile. The day  that he finally meets his rude employer is a day when Patrick is sick with a cold. Being the decent human being that he is, Jake goes out and buys cough syrup and ingredients to make soup for Patrick. Patrick doesn’t even say thank you and is constantly reminded by Jake about his manners. I think the fact that Jake wasn’t afraid to stand up to Patrick, draws Patrick to him which leads to a bond that circumvents the regular housekeeper/employer relationship. Feelings develop fast between these two , because they are exactly what the other person needs. Patrick needs someone who doesn’t always treat him like he is blind and Jake needs someone who will have his back regardless of all his issues. This was a sweet story filled with just the right amount of angst and the sex was hot. i loved it from beginning to end. This book was absolutely amazing and that’s The Truth. I’ll give this one my ratings of 4- Lose the underwear.