Reviewed by Caroline & Christie
TITLE: Safe and Sound
SERIES: Twist of Fate Book 2
AUTHOR: Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy
PUBLISHER: Self Published
RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2017
I’ve been drowning for a long time. I never thought I’d find someone who knows what that’s like…
Self-proclaimed playboy, Aiden Vale, has it all – good looks, successful career, plenty of cash in the bank and an endless supply of men who know the score… that one night is just that. So the last thing he wants, or needs, is to forge a connection that might mean revealing more of himself than he’s ready to. But when fate intervenes, putting Aiden in the path of someone who threatens to knock down his carefully constructed walls, he’s quick to realize the young man he’s become infatuated with is hiding a painful secret.
I finally have a shot at freedom. I’ll never let anyone take that from me ever again…
Ash Valentine is just looking for a way out, and the last thing he wants or needs is another man controlling every aspect of his life. Desperate for the cash that will help him flee his abusive boyfriend, Ash accepts what is supposed to be a temporary job at a local coffee shop. But nothing prepares him for the gorgeous and enigmatic Aiden Vale, and the small acts of kindness the charming coffee shop regular bestows on him or the new friends he begins to make along the way.
Terrified of once again becoming too reliant on someone else to take care of him, Ash refuses Aiden’s repeated offers of help in any form. But when it becomes clear that there’s something more behind Aiden’s need to save him, Ash begins to wonder if he’s found someone who needs saving just as badly.
I know he wants to save me, but what if he’s the one who needs saving…
As their tentative friendship turns into something more, long buried secrets begin to surface. When Aiden’s need to protect Ash clashes with the younger man’s desire for independence, memories of the one he couldn’t save begin to tear at the fragile cords of Aiden’s soul, and he’s forced to face a truth he’s been hiding from for a long time.
Threatened with losing what they’ve only just found, will Aiden and Ash find a way to accept their pasts or will they let the pain drag them below the surface for good?
No cliffhangers and can be read as a stand-alone.
*** TRIGGER WARNING – includes scenes of domestic violence. ***
Sloane is one of my favourite authors in this genre – I love how easily I can get lost in her books and how invested I become in the characters and families she creates. This one didn’t draw me in quite as much as her books usually do and I think this was mainly due to what I felt as a slow first half.
Ash is certainly not living the American dream in fact he is slowly dying in a nightmare that revolves around domestic abuse. You should note that there is abuse on page here but it felt necessary to read to understand Ash and to see what his reality is. A lot of time is spent waiting for ‘something’ to happen in the first half of the book and because as a reader you know what that is it felt drawn out a bit too much. Ash’s escape comes in the form of a forbidden job, new friendships and attraction but it is always tempered with the fear of being found out.
Aiden is described as a playboy but I’m not sure that is accurate. He is a man living with personal demons that have left him lonely and scared of forming attachments. That fear disappears the morning he meets Ash and he is inexplicably attracted to the shy and scared man who serves him his coffee.
The story covers some pretty huge subjects but only really skims the surface of the affects they have on our MC’s. The second half of the story certainly had a better pace. This could easily be read as a standalone and sets up the next book in the series well at the end. I haven’t read anything solely by Lucy Lennox before but I’m sure Sloane’s fans will enjoy this one.
After having read Lost and Found by Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy, I was (impatiently) waiting for the second book in the Twist of Fate series to come out, because I really wanted to read Aiden’s story. So, here we are with Safe and Sound, and I could not have been any happier with it. As heavy and emotional as it was, I loved every moment of it.
****But, before we go any further, I must tell you that Safe and Sound is not an easy book to read if you have triggers that include domestic violence. There are references to domestic violence, and also domestic violence situations in this book.****
That being said, on with the review, shall we?
We first met Aiden in Lost and Found, and know that he is a major player. The thing is, he is haunted by a tragic incident from his past, and the way he knows to escape it is by losing himself in a string of mindless hookups and one night stands. And, it totally works for him. Especially since he doesn’t want to get close to anyone, for fear of losing them. There is no way he wants to go thru that ever again. But of course, fate has a way of changing things up for us when we least suspect it. Am I right?
In Aiden’s case, it all starts with a notebook.
After coming across a notebook in his favorite coffee shop, Aiden can’t help but feel a deep connection and fascination with the author of the passages that fill the pages. He knows he should turn it in to the coffee shop owner, but can’t seem to bring himself to do it. The very next day, there is a new cashier behind the counter. Beautiful, but shy and highly skittish, Ash instantly captivates Aiden. There is something broken about Ash that Aiden can’t quite put his finger on. And before long, Aiden finds himself looking forward to being the cause of Ash’s shy smiles and occasional eye contact. Aiden and Ash have instant chemistry and strike up a friendship. Even tho neither is nearly ready for it at the moment, each one would like to take their relationship further.
But Ash is hiding a huge secret. He is in a highly abusive relationship, and has no way to get out of it. After being sick with a heart condition, Billy was the only one there for him during his time of need, and Ash feels he owes it to his boyfriend to stay with him. Until one day he realizes that life has so much more to offer him. But, he has no money, no job, no friends, and especially no home of his own. So, when he stumbles into a coffee shop to write in his journal, he finds out that they are hiring and takes a chance. One that Billy will hopefully know nothing about while he is out of the state on a business trip for a month.
What happens when Billy comes home from his business trip? Can Aiden and Ash truly have a real relationship with each other? I mean, each man is broken in their own way. Can they somehow heal each other’s unseen wounds and have the kind of relationship we all wish we could have? For answers to these questions and many more, do pick up a copy of Safe and Sound and see for yourself.
Highly emotional but absolutely beautiful at its core, Safe and Sound, book 2 in the Twist of Fate series by the incomparable duo of Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy is phenomenal. Do yourself a huge favor, get a box of tissues, then read this wonderful story as soon as you possibly can.