Reviewed by Kat
TITLE: Safe House
SERIES: Buchanan House – Book Four
AUTHOR: Charley Descoteaux
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 19, 2016
Kyle Shimoda is an asshole magnet, has been for as long as he can remember. At forty-seven, he doesn’t see much chance for improving his luck in love. His friends who run Buchanan House, a gay retreat on the central Oregon coast, know he wants to find “someone nice” to settle down with, and they set him up with Officer Brandon Smith. Kyle has a turbulent history with law enforcement, but he can’t deny his attraction to the buff cop.
Brandon has been a police officer in Lincoln City almost since the day he graduated from high school over thirty years ago. He’s cultivated the facade of a serious, disciplined law enforcement officer, but beneath his overdeveloped chest beats the soft heart of a drama queen. A cancer scare shifts Bran’s focus from finding a serious relationship to having as much sex as he can—putting his goals squarely at odds with Kyle’s. If he can’t find the courage to be honest about his feelings for Kyle, the happiness they’ve both been searching for could slip through their fingers.
I believe this is the best book in the series so far. I was excited to get to take another “trip back” to my childhood stomping grounds again.
The Buchanan House series is based in Lincoln City, Oregon at a Gay Retreat Center/Camp. It is the stories of a group of friends from the Portland area food scene that have relocated to the Central Oregon coast. Two of the friends bought and transformed a former rundown camp into a thriving Gay Retreat Center. These friends have become family and support system to one another and are all slowly migrating down to the coast from Portland to live and love.
“Safe House” is the story Kyle Shimoda, Derek and Paulie’s friend and former work mate. Kyle remained working at Puddle Jumper after Paulie left and moved to Buchanan House to be with Nathan. After Alex and Derek moved there he was invited down to what he was sure was a “set-up”. Officer Brandon Smith was the local police officer that had helped and befriended Nathan when he was drinking too much over Paulie. He was also Tim’s ex, that he accidentally “outed” during an emergency. Both Kyle and Brandon are in their late forties, single gay men who their friends knew were looking for that special someone like they had all found. The problem was that both men had a suitcase full of issues. Kyle had had a situation with police and racial profiling early in his adulthood and was extremely leery of police. Brandon knew he wasn’t as physically attractive as the men at Buchanan House and thought of his facial appearance as more like a rough bulldog. He never felt in their league at all. Add that to the fact that he has had the same health scare recently that had killed his father when he was young and now wasn’t looking for love but one-night stands, not his usual MO. But there was an instant chemistry that just clicked in them both. After a brief but intense one-night fling there was tension between the two men. “Safe House” is the story of these two men overcoming their individual baggage and looking to discover if they have a chance with each other after all.
I was pleased that even though we saw and heard from many of the characters in the former books they didn’t overshadow the story but instead helped it move on. My complaint in the past was that the author kept introducing new characters and it took a long time to finally get to the story of the characters that book was about. That didn’t happen this time. This story focused on Kyle and Brandon and was enriched with appearances of former characters instead of overshadowing it. These people are an essential part of each other’s lives. A family formed and bonded not by blood but by love and caring.
I do love how the author is re-introducing family members back into these men’s lives. They are learning to accept and embrace the lives these men have lived. Kyle’s father and Brandon’s mother were an important part of their lives. I also look forward to hearing more about Jason, the teen that Brandon coached and mentored. I believe his story might be somewhere in the future.
The author noted in her forward Author’s Notes that she had used some real locations but used some creative license on them. I was glad she mentioned this because it would have frustrated readers from Lincoln City if she hadn’t. Lincoln City and Portland are very LGBT friendly cities and the perfect settings for this series.
I do highly recommend that you read the entire series in order to fullY comprehend the dynamics of the relationships mentioned and understand all the back stories. As I stated, I believe this is the best book in the series because it was no longer an introduction of characters and a story but an actual story straight up. I am becoming quite the fan of this series and eagerly await more of these men’s adventures.