Today I’m reviewing Renae Kaye’s Safe in His Arms. It was a very heartwarming little book, had solid characters, and a wonderfully schmoopy happy ending. There are a few warnings. There’s mentions of violence that happened in the past, and there are mentions of rape. It’s not extremely graphic, however. I’m kind of on a kick with Kaye. I like her books a lot. They always tend to have good people recovering from shitty situations who find someone solid and loving to help them heal (at least in the ones I’ve read so far). They’re generally a nice, heartwarming read.
Let’s take a look at the Blurb.
In the late-night quiet of the caravan park shower room, Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines. He’s not looking for anyone, but when Casey offers, Lon doesn’t turn him down.
Welcoming the young man in his big, hairy arms, Lon provides a safety to Casey that he has never known, and Casey wants to stay forever. Still reeling from the breakup of his family years ago, Lon’s not sure he’s ready for the responsibility of the comfort and security Casey craves.
But perhaps Lon can risk opening his heart again and hoping for a brighter future. Casey has some pretty big skeletons in his past to deal with. And Lon wonders what Casey will do when he finds out how badly Lon failed at protecting the ones he loved eight years ago.
I love how short and sweet the blurb is. The story is actually so much more than it makes it seem to be.
I always enjoy reading Kaye’s work, and part of the appeal for me is learning different little snippets about Australia. Like, I’ve learned that mining is a big deal in the North Western part of Australia, I’ve learned that it gets hot as balls near the holidays which are summer not winter holidays in Australia, and in this book we learn a wee bit about some aboriginal culture, which is really cool.
I enjoyed the holiday schmoop in this book. I really, truly did. There were bad presents, there was a Charlie Brown tree, and there was much love. Lon hadn’t had a present in 8 years and Casey brought him back to life with some tinsel. Shit like that really socks me in the heartstrings. I can’t do it without a tear slipping out.
One of the best ways to hook me in a book is to have something unusual. I liked that Lon talked to his deceased family in an upbeat way. I like that it was a cleansing thing for him, not overly creepy or sad. One of my favorite scenes was when Casey and Lon were flirting in the graveyard, mostly because it’s not something you see every day, and I like the element of surprise.
Lon’s huge penis cracked me up. I loved it. I loved that he was worried about banging Casey and he was sweet about it even though he went about it “the man way” by simply not communicating to Casey about having “full sex” or not. Casey’s fascination with his lover’s man bits was adorable and sweet in a way I wouldn’t have expected. That curious exploration really spoke to the characterization of Casey.
These books like her others aren’t really setting the world on fire plot wise. Things are going on, but the stories are character focused, which, while not a bad thing, doesn’t exactly engage the reader too much toward trying to figure out what the ending will be or things of that nature. There were a few mysteries in the book—what happened to Lon’s family? Why is Ronnie in jail? Where was Olivia?—and those are handled well, but most of the book is character driven. I wanted to know the answers to those questions, but I didn’t feel like they honestly effected the current happenings in the book much.
Another thing, probably the things I disliked the most, I didn’t like in the book was how we got to the heart of Casey’s childhood abuse. He just blurted it out. That seemed like the most unlikely happenstance to me, though his reaction to doing it was realistic enough. I don’t think someone who had been abused would be likely to accidentally blurt it out even if they were now doing much better than they had been thanks to time and therapy. Time may heal all wounds, but I think the instinct to hold that sort of secret close would still be deeply ingrained.
Therapy scenes. They have such a potential to be terrible and preachy. I’m putting this under the “Meh” section, actually not because the ones in this book were so terrible, most of them actually weren’t, but the one where Lon goes with Casey had “teachable moment” written all over it and I couldn’t stop hearing the music from those irritating commercials in the 90’s as I was reading. “The More You Know!”
Lastly, the book ended sugar sweet, which is good and fine, but I sort of felt like it was wrapped up with too nice a bow that they could buy the house, Olivia was fine, and Casey’s dad got what was coming to him (sort of). I’m such a picky ass sometimes. There was nothing wrong with that ending. It was a great ending. But, that’s the way I felt about it.
Conclusions on this book? It’s fun and sweet, it has got it’s harrowing moments. Give it a go. You’ll most likely enjoy yourself.
Check out my book Threefold Love.