Code Yellow (Heroes at Heart Book 3) By Susan Laine

release day review

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CodeYellowLGBlurb

 

Two years have passed since that long, dark, night of despair and near death when English-lit geek Yancy Bell met dancing jock Curt Donovan. Now a couple living in New York, they appear happy and well suited to one another.

But appearances can be deceptive.

Yancy feels Curt is growing distant, and they barely see each other. At Juilliard, Curt has bonded with a new friend, Greg. Yancy fears his relationship with Curt is coming to a head. Meanwhile,Curt harbors a secret that could spell the end of Yancy’s love for him.

Yet neither man dares to confront his fears—or the other.

Will their fate be a code yellow or a golden opportunity?

Review

So this is the third installment – you’re only reading this is you know about Yancy and Curt and how they met, etcetera. Now, Curt’s in Julliard and Yancy’s finishing school and the two are not taking time out for their relationship. Instead, Yancy frets that Curt is lying about all his practice and is instead cheating with a classmate, Greg.

Instead of talking about it, Yancy stalks Greg and calls Curt’s family.

**

So… on the one hand our heroes are back to being happy by the end of the story and we get some really sweet smexy times. On the other hand – most of the book is spent with Yancy pulling his hair out while the reader wants to punch him in the face for not just SAYING SOMETHING!

When he does finally confront Curt, the two have a long discussion that shows Curt’s dark, depressive mind at work again. While I was glad the bladder thing seems to have taken a back seat – at last! – and our couple is working out some more “adult” issues – I really felt that the dialog and the set-up and the “in-laws” and even the classmate were just too “perfect”. None of it rang authentically at all.

The way the young lovers talk to each other is stilted and not at all what people their age would say. Yancy – unfortunately – comes across as extremely needy and co-dependent while Curt comes across as juvenile and insecure.

I had really, really liked these guys in book one, felt not as great by book two and now in book three (with a similar situation facing them based on the excerpt for book four) I think I might be done with this series.

I loved the idea and the unique flavors these characters brought to the table, but the execution in these last two books just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

2.5 of 5 stars

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Safe in His Heart (Safe Book 2) by Renae Kaye

release day review

 

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29625071Blurb

 

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.

Review

Paul is Lon’s BFF whom we met in Safe in His Arms. We knew something hinky was going on with Paul by the way he was reluctant to share who his new love interest was and then we found out he’s a married man. Oh. Man.

So that gives us an instant set of judgments about both men – right? Cheating makes a lot of us squirm and makes us feel uncomfortable. Casey – Lon’s beau, is up front about it. He tells Paul it’ll all end in misery so he should end it now. In fact, most of the people in Paul’s life give him similar advice. Lon – not so wordy our Lon – tells him to be careful, but doesn’t tell him to stop seeing the guy.

Paul – himself – know it’s a bad idea, but he just can’t stop himself. Andrew – the cheating husband – is just so needy and hits Paul’s buttons just right.

Andrew – for his part – is a confused soul. He wants to please his family, is worried about his soul, and his job but most importantly he worries about his kids. He loves gay sex but he doesn’t love being gay. He’s had a crush on Paul for months before Paul finally caves in to an affair. Once they begin they soon realize this is more than a hook-up, but what can ever happen between them?

So –I don’t think this is a spoiler when I tell you up front – Andrew’s marriage is a sham. He and his wife are really just friends and roommates – it’s all explained in the first few chapters – but even given that information – the idea of them getting a divorce and Andrew being out and proud is a still a pretty dim prospect.

Of course, as the story moves on, things change – but for most of the first-half of the story, Andrew is stuck between a rock and a hard place – warring between what he wants and what he wants to want.

**

First let me say that I love and adore Renae Kaye and have loved each and every book she’s written and listened/read them over and over. They’re just that awesome! Safe in His Arms is soooo good and I was really psyched to see this book in the pipeline.

I had my reservations when I saw the blurb – cheating, married, religion… – uh-oh. These are all things I usually avoid like the plague. I won’t lie. They didn’t strike my fancy one bit. But – It’s Renae – it’s gonna be good right?

Well… mostly.

Though it truly pains me to do so – I can’t say that I loved this. I liked it and was definitely pleasantly surprised that I was able to get over the religion/cheating/marriage thing pretty easily. Those weren’t my issues with this story – not really.

What I didn’t love was the relationship itself between Andrew and Paul. God, it felt so lop-sided. Andrew is mostly a jerk through most of the book and doesn’t quite redeem himself by the end.

Paul – for his part – just gives and gives and gives – and – I’m not sure what he got for all his troubles.

The part that was missing for me is the relationship stuff apart from the sex. Sure – I see how compatible these guys are in bed. I can also see how “helping” is something that a nurse like Paul would be really attractive in a relationship. But Andrew – aside from the sex and getting a new “mother” for his kids – doesn’t seem to really like Paul. He doesn’t treat him with respect and the two don’t spend much time together not in bed. So I had some serious doubts about them as a long term couple.  I’m not even sure Andrew would have had to balls to be “gay” if it weren’t for Kristy’s actions – and that being the case – Paul would have had to move on because Andrew was definitely stuck and really showed no impetus toward being honest with himself.

The other thing I couldn’t reconcile was Andrew’s wife, Kristy’s behavior and her treatment of the children.  There just wasn’t enough there to explain how she was acting and why – so I was left confused and a bit frustrated by that.  Andrew seemed to just let her get away with A LOT and it was never clear why.

As for the religion – well – that’s tough.  I don’t share the same beliefs as the author and I respect all paths – so I just chalk it up as to each his own.  But I will warn readers that there are a lot of hot buttons in this book that may make people uncomfortable.  I think she tried to be diplomatic but it’s hard when so much passion is wrapped up in a subject and she doesn’t shy away from some tough topics, so… be warned.

I thought Erica was THE BEST and I loved Paul’s family and the glimpses of Ash and Devon, Case and Lon we see again. (Hope Ash and Devon get their own book next!)

The writing and editing is excellent – no faults there. I just didn’t gel with the couple as well this time.

I applaud Renae for her willingness to tackle both these big subjects in a way that is believable and authentic and I think she achieved those goals. The couple just needed some time to themselves – on page – to convince me they had what it took to make it long term.

3 of 5 stars

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