Title: Safe Haven
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 151 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Menage
At a Glance: A good story that got repetitive at times but had interesting characters.
Blurb: 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.
Review: This was a good story. I’m usually a sucker for stories where characters are somehow “damaged” from some traumatic event in the past, and this book fit the bill. I had read Caitlin Ricci before and had enjoyed her books, so I was looking forward to reading about a young man with severe anxiety and agoraphobia who requires a bodyguard. When his old bodyguard retires, he ends up with three very attractive men who are in a polyamorous relationship with each other. Sounds like this will be a good time.
While I say this was a good story, I mean just that. I liked it well enough, but it could have been so much more. There were a lot of moments where Blake’s introspection was repetitive. I felt like I had read it before, and it’s because his circular way of thinking just kept coming back to the same topics within the same few pages. I wanted more. While internal conflict is great, I wanted something external.
Blake requires a bodyguard—or three—to live with him full time so that he can feel safe. He never leaves his house, though. A traumatic event from twenty years ago has him terrified of even leaving his rooms. Because there were so many guards, I was expecting something to happen. As the story progressed, I kept wanting something to happen. But it doesn’t. It seemed strange to me, then, that his uncle would hire three men to care for him round-the-clock.
I did like the way the relationship with Blake progresses, but I wanted more than what was presented. The latter half of the book was really good because it shows how Blake grows closer to Rex, CJ, and Malcolm. But I wanted more of that too. Because the point of view is solely from Blake’s perspective, first person, it’s impossible to see what the guys are thinking and why they do what they do. Rex makes some pretty bold and, if I may say, horrible moves against someone with such severe anxiety. I wanted to punch him and did not find his antics charming, unlike Blake.
The ending was pretty lackluster. There’s very little heat in the book, which is totally fine for me, but given that everything was internal, I wanted something to happen. Anything.
Overall the book was good, even if it had an implausible scenario. If the book were longer and the internal monologues cut down, Save Haven would be great.
You can buy Safe Haven here: