Title: Safe in His Arms
Author: Renae Kaye
Narrator: Randy Fuller
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: 15th September 2016
Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
Safe: Book Two
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.
This is book two in the Safe series ( book 1 is Safe in his Arms). I was looking forward to Paul’s story after reading book 1, however it can be read as a standalone. I was intrigued by two points in the blurb, the religious aspect and the cheating aspect. Both need careful handling to avoid alienating the reader. Andrew is a religious man and is in a sham marriage of convenience for both himself and his wife. They have two children and are putting up a front for their religious families. Paul is a nurse who meets Andrew at the gym & they hook up. The aspect of Andrew cheating on his wife is clearly explained by the sham marriage and I found it easier to get past than I thought I would. What I had some difficulty with, was the plausibility of Andrew and his relationship with Paul. I’m not convinced Andrew would have left his wife and kids and lived openly with Paul, if his wife hadn’t left him first and I don’t think Paul wouldn’t have stayed with Andrew either. Paul is such a sweet person and very giving and I liked him much more than Andrew. However, I did enjoy how openly they were living and loving by the end of the story though. They are clearly besotted with each other and the kids.
The religious part of the book looks at both the positive and negative effects of religion on people’s lives. It deals with discrimination and bigotry from both family and the church. A lot of how Andrew lives his life has been negatively affected by his family and their religious beliefs. Conversely, at one point in the story Paul takes Andrew and his children to his church which is much more accepting and tolerant, showing that you can be gay and be wholly accepted by the church. Overall, I was left with a very positive feeling about the church and religion generally, hopeful that more people will find acceptance there. Overall, I enjoyed the story but it didn’t blow me away.
I have listened to a few Australian based books now and to a range of Aussie narrators. As with most things, some are better than others. Some I warm to immediately, others take time to get used to and one I really didn’t like and spoilt my previous enjoyment of the book. This one took me a few chapters to get used to his voice, but once I did so, I couldn’t imagine anyone else voicing Andrew and Paul. I found his voice quite comforting to listen to. Every time I started listening again it felt like I was stepping into a comfy pair of slippers. The pacing was good and held my interest well. It wasn’t overly long either, at under 10 hours. I enjoyed listening to this and would definitely choose another Randy Fuller narrated audiobook.
Meet Renae Kaye
Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back. She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since. After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted. It hasn’t stopped her though. She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever. So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.
Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden. She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything. email: firstname.lastname@example.org