Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Safe & Sound
Author: Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy
Narrator: Michael Pauley
Series: Twist of Fate #2
Heroes: Aiden & Ash
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 2, 2017
Available at: Amazon & Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
In one word, this audio was harsh. I knew, kinda, what to expect going in, but it is always shocking to actually read about abusive partners and domestic violence. Michael Pauley brought this story to life in such a way that I wanted to reach out and save Ash in anyway possible. His life, his history, his poor luck was almost overwhelming, and his desperation rang out crystal clear in Michael Pauley’s voice.
Aiden wasn’t expecting the Star Wars loving barista to worm his way into his playboy heart, but there was something about Ash that just would not allow him to walk away. What he doesn’t realize is that although Ash is interested, and a friendship blooms, Ash is not in control of his own destiny. And that comes out in horrific fashion. There is a lot of sadness within Aiden, there is a lot of self-doubt in Ash, and it takes over 9 hours of listening before they end up in there happy place.
This story has some serious viciousness and ferocity in the form of tough love. Ash’s “boyfriend” Billy is psycho. And with the recent news and videos of professional athletes beating their wives and girlfriends, it did not take much for me to envision Billy taking his fists to Ash. I am being very serious, if domestic violence is a trigger for you, you may want to look elsewhere.
The only part of the story that felt unresolved, to me, was with Billy. Does he really get off scot free or did I miss something? I know he is “busy” with his forceful public coming out story, but really? He is not going to be held accountable? And the only part that felt a bit unrealistic was the hospital scene. I really do not see how a hospital nor the police would not look further into the assault, even if Ash said it was random, or whatever. But other than that, my heart was in my throat for near the entire book and I could not put it down. Now I am a bit nervous to start book three. But, with Michael Pauley narrating that one, as well, I am sure it will be gripping.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*