Friday, September 21, 2018

Book Review: SAFE PLACE by Jay Northcote (Rainbow Place #2)

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Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Length: 48,000 words approx.

Rainbow Place Series

Book #1 - Rainbow Place - Amazon US | Amazon UK


Where do you go when your home is no longer a safe place?

Alex is about to turn eighteen and is firmly in the closet. He’s been biding his time, waiting to escape to uni, and finally come out away from the oppressive influence of his homophobic father. When he flunks his exams, he’s stuck in the small town of Porthladock—and what’s worse is that he’s working for his dad. The only thing that makes it bearable is Cam.

Cam’s comfortable with his bisexuality, but he doesn’t broadcast it. Young, free, and single, his social life revolves around playing rugby and hanging out with his mates. He’s attracted to Alex, but with the six-year age gap, Cam’s wary of getting involved. Plus, he thinks Alex needs a friend more than he needs a lover, and as their friendship grows, Cam decides he’s not willing to risk ruining it for casual sex.

When Alex’s dad finds out about his sexuality, Alex is suddenly both jobless and homeless. He finds work at Rainbow Place, the local LGBT-friendly café and Cam lets Alex stay in his flat for a while. But Alex would rather be sleeping in Cam’s bed than on his sofa. With them both living under one roof, their feelings for each other grow stronger, and the sexual tension is hard to ignore. Will giving in to it ruin their friendship and complicate things for Alex even more?

Although this book is part of a linked series, it has a satisfying happy ending, and can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Carra's Review

When I read the first book in this series, Rainbow Place, I was definitely intrigued by Alex considering who his father is since I knew that would be a hurdle for him in this story.  And all of the rugby players from the first story captured my attention (how could they not?), so of course I was excited that Cam was being featured.  How things played out…there was plenty I liked, but again like with the first book my frustration levels were raised for a large portion of the story.

The majority of the blame for my frustration can be laid right at Cam’s feet.  When characters keep themselves from getting involved with someone because they think it’s for their own good, or because they don’t want to risk their friendship…well that drives me nuts.  Take a chance, you’ll never know unless you try.  But when they don’t want to try—well, *sigh*.  Thank goodness close proximity between Cam and Alex was at work since it’s a big factor in them finally getting together.

This story is very slow burn thanks to Cam keeping Alex at arm’s length, and while some scenes do elevate the heat level a bit, for the most part things are pretty light when it comes to physical intimacy.  The two of them do go the “let’s be friends” route for a while, so the story does turn into a friends-to-lovers one.  I liked both of their characters, though I would have warmed up more to Cam if he wouldn’t have done the whole “let me be your friend” thing for so long.  Alex was wonderful, and I liked how he handled his father (whom I hated with a passion…what a jerk!).

In the end, after my frustration finally eased up, Safe Place wound up being a 3.5-star read for me.  My interest continues to be piqued for more in the series—there are so many side characters that have been introduced that could use their own stories, so I hope there will be many more to come.  Though the intimate scenes in this book are not many, this story is still mean for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

About the Author

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

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