Erryn reviews ‘Safe and Sound’ (Twist of Fate Book #2) by Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy. The ebook was published October 1, 2017.The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Michael Pauley, released by SKLL on November 2nd, 2017 and is 10 hrs and 43 mins long.
Why I read this book: I have listened to every book by Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy. When they launched Twist of Fate, I was first in line for Book 1. Buying Book 2 was a given.
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.
Normally I start my reviews with the story and move to narration near the end. This time I want to start with Michael Pauley and his amazing performance. I have heard a few cringe-worthy narrations where the narrator tries to convey emotions – a person orgasming (man or woman), anger, delight, or even crying. Often it is over-done and hackneyed.
Michael Pauley never has that problem. He always hits the perfect note, conveying the story with strong and potent emotions while, never pulling me out of the world the writer has created. Only at the end of the audio did I reflect on how unobtrusive and smooth the performance was. Michael Pauley is one of my favorite narrators, but this performance was him at his very best.
So, now that I’ve waxed poetic about Michael, I’ll move on to Lucy and Sloane. I found Lucy through word-of-mouth and Sloane through an amazing blurb. I took a chance on each of them – buying and listening to their first audiobooks. The rest was history. I buy their audios the day they come out.
Book 1 in the Twist of Fate series was “Lost & Found.” I really enjoyed the audio and fell in love with Bennett and Xander. Revisiting their love story and seeing how Lucky is flourishing now the two men have adopted him was wonderful. “Safe & Sound” is a stand-alone, but it is always nice to see old friends. Which brings me to Aiden – Bennett’s best friend. At the end of book 1, it was clear there was more to his story, so I was thrilled to learn why he is the way he is. As with all of the characters from these authors, there is more than first meets the eye.
Let me pause and say this is not an easy listen. I thought I had some idea but…well, it’s a good thing I had tissue handy. And every time I thought I was good, there would be some little twist I didn’t see coming that would break my heart just a little bit more.
Then there would be a moment of great levity and I would laugh out loud.
I expect some angst when I dive into a book by one of these women and maybe I should have known I would get a double dose. But don’t let that deter you. Ash’s and Aiden’s stories needed to be told and I’m so glad I listened. There were some really tough issues addressed, including why Ash so desperately needs help, but these things never felt heavy-handed.
I also want to say that I loved the secondary characters (the good ones, anyway, although I guess it’s a good sign that I really hated the bad guy – I mean really hated – and thought of all the men I know who are like him).
Emily, Ash’s boss, and Chance, Aiden’s brother, were integral to the story. And although you don’t have to be a geek or Trekkie, the references are more fun if you are.
But as often as I cried and despite how often my heart came close to breaking, Ash and Aiden did get their happy ending. Not that I had my doubts – this is a romance – but I wasn’t sure how much more I could take.
This book is near the top of my list of favorites because I just didn’t want to stop listening. (Okay, I listened to it in one day). I didn’t want the story to end and in a way it hasn’t because Book 3 is nicely set up. And since Jake has always been a favorite and enigmatic character, all I can say is, Lucy and Sloane – I’ll hold on, but please don’t make me wait too long.
This audio is perfect and I give it the full 10/10 pots of gold!!!
10/10 Points of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s.
She enjoys naps, pizza, and procrastinating. She has some snarky kids and is married to someone who is better at math than romance but who makes her laugh every single day and is the best dancer in the history of ever.
She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because that stuff is hot.