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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Lucy Lennox & Sloane Kennedy (P)2017 Lucy Lennox & Sloane Kennedy

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Lennox + Kennedy + Pauley = A Must Listen

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.

Reviewed on Rainbow Gold Reviews

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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OMG

I have cryed, smiled, gotten so mad and have finally got through this book. This book has so many ups and downs and twists. There's nothing I can say about this book this is one that you just have to read for yourself to know how amazing it is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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this is amazing

i loved listening to the audio as much as i loved reading the story.. Aiden Vale has everything in this world but happiness. He runs into a smart Sexy but shy man Ash Valentine... Ash is running hard from his past where all he knew was anger an pain.. Instead Aiden shows him how love can be protective an safe. Just as the worlds collide Ash's past catches up with him can he safe Ash in time. Can they last forever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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powerful story

Another great book in this series. Its a story of a new heart, a new life, and a new lover. I was touched.

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I loved this. and an important topic

I think this story and the characters will be a strong memory for a long time.

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Wow.

This book is very sad and emotional, but also oh so sweet.
You can't help falling in love with Ash and Aiden.
And the audio book is really good, and have the perfect narrator.

  • Overall

No! No, no, no!

Primary issue with the audio book: The narrator performs approximately 75% of the book in a monotone, sometimes strained. Boomer and Edward have the same voice. The narrator adds in some odd vocal hitches--small pauses that don't correspond with a coma, followed by hitting the start of the next word harder. I can't recommend the audio book at all.

I typically buy audible books for novels I have already read more than once, so I'm accustomed to having to adjust to hearing a character's voice be different than I imagined. That's not the issue here.

Plot and characters: The book itself is not the problem. Sloane Kennedy and Lucy Lennox know how to crank up the angst, and in this case, put pen to the emotionally crippling context of a physically and psychologically abusive relationship. It's a lot to take in, but the characters are so compelling, and the payoff when they hold on for their happy ending is huge. It's a well-written story.

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Wonderfully sweet

Loved it!
Great story.
Characters definitely had very rough struggles in their lives, but they found each other and overcame them.

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Lucy, Sloane and Michael are a dream team!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Absolutely. I'm the type who has to actually read a book first before I can listen to it. Just the way I'm wired. So I know going in that the book is awesome and I can't imagine how it could be better. But Michael Pauley knows how to take it to the next level. He really brings the characters and story to life!

Who was your favorite character and why?
I loved the MCs and revisiting with those from the first book. I guess if I absolutely had to choose I'd say Ash because he just really brings out the need to hug the hurt out of someone in me :)

What does Michael Pauley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He interprets everything the way I felt that I did but so much better even. He really seems to feel and understand the characters and their emotions. He takes it from being 2D and makes it 3D.

Any additional comments?
Michael Pauley is a fantastic narrator with the talent of making a book that seemingly couldn't be any better, better. And Lucy Lennox and Sloane Kennedy are must read authors.

My original Amazon review for the e-book:
Warning: read this book under doctor supervision! Your heart will be stolen. It will be broken. Mended. Broken some more. But ultimately mended and filled to bursting. Further side effects include, but are not limited to, laughing at nerdy banter, uncontrollable goofy grins during heartwarming tender moments, a newfound love of poetry, ugly crying, desperately wanting to hug the hurt out of two very sexy adorable men, a need for a new box of tissues, and possibly counseling to help you deal with the emotional roller-coaster and then subsequent book hangover.

This book...If authors truly do live on the tears and heartbreak of their readers, then I think it's safe to say these two ladies are well fed! This book is definitely on the list of my favorite books ever. I just don't know how I'm going to tell my husband that it's over because my heart now belongs to two fictional gay men! :D I just couldn't help falling in love with Ash and Aiden. They're funny, sweet, sexy, nerdy, with that bit of broken that makes you want to see them healed, happy and loved. And that cover! Holy wow. It's a beautiful cover but once you've read their story it has such an amazing impact.

This book can be read without having read the first, but you should really read that one too, because it's all kinds of awesome itself! and Xander, Bennett and Lucky make some appearances in this one. But again, it's not actually necessary you'll just be missing out on another great read. I think it's obvious, but I absolutely recommend reading Safe and Sound, and if you enjoy it even half as much as I did then you're still going to love it!

Would I re-read? Absolutely! Over and Over. But remember, this isn't a lighthearted fun read. But when I want to feel deeply, when I want to really be in love, when I want a well deserved HEA then I'll be reading Safe and Sound.

Was it worth the money to me? I received a free advanced copy but still paid full price for it as soon as it was out.

Did I fall in love? Oh my poor heart, yes!

Were there moments sweet/sexy/funny/daydream inducing that I still think about? Yes, and I've been waiting anxiously for a week to post this review because everyone needs to read this :D

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I loved listening to this awesome story

Would you listen to Safe and Sound again? Why?

Yes, I loved listening to these characters who I quickly loved.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love Ash. He's so innocent, but not. I love his smiles and his laughs.

What does Michael Pauley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He gives it the voice you always just hear in your head.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did laugh and cry.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-17

Excellent

I felt like I walked every step with Ash and Aiden. Looking forward to reading the next collaboration. Well narrated.