REVIEW: Safe by Jess Bryant

The Official Description: Trevor Thorne has always played it safe.

He’s a ballplayer. The game has had his heart and soul since he was just a kid. He learned early on that living in the testosterone-fueled world of baseball meant living a lie. He couldn’t afford to be openly gay, not when he had his whole career ahead of him. But his days behind the plate are numbered and he’s tired, so damn tired of hiding who he is, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to deny himself what, and who, he wants.

Rodrigo Cruz is the opposite of safe.

He’s young, ballsy, and bold. Out and proud, Cruz has never shied away from going after what he wants. He wants a career as a big-league ballplayer, and he wants it on his own terms. No hiding his sexuality or his past but also no throwing himself at his beautiful, blue-eyed bunkmate. Not even if he suspects Trevor isn’t quite as straight as he claims.

Crossing that line, testing that theory, it could put his entire career at risk. If he swings for the fences and strikes out, he’ll always be that guy in the locker room who can’t keep it in his pants. But what if he’s right and they’re more than just teammates?

What if they’re soulmates?

Just the facts: Adult, M/M contemporary romance, professional athletes, novella in existing series, stand-alone or part of series, bisexual main character, gay main character, coming out, character has not publically disclosed sexual orientation

My thoughts bit: This is a fast-paced, novella that focusses on two supporting characters from Stay a Little Longer (Fate, Texas #1).  I hadn’t read the first book and had no trouble reading this one. If you’re planning to read Stay A Little Longer, I would suggest reading it first so you don’t spoil some of the plot!!

Because this is a short novella, there’s not much opportunity for the author to explore the world of professional baseball. Primarily the story is confined to the attraction and ultimate passionate relationship between the two main characters, Trevor and Cruz. Cruz is openly bisexual…. young, talented and in-your-face while Trevor is older, nearing the end of his career and has yet to disclose his sexual orientation publically.

Cruz and Trevor are in the bar at the beginning of this novella and the sparks are flying. Their first kiss is in an elevator and this propels them into a physical relationship that distracts them from the fact that they should be talking about Trevor being closeted. It’s no secret that the world of professional sports is a tricky one for people with orientations other than heterosexual.

Trevor and Cruz are definitely hot together on the page, and there’s a bit of characterization. I wish that I could have learned more about these two characters.

I found the language a bit “flowery” at times. I found it difficult to believe that a man who was closeted to the point of being estranged from his family would spout terms of endearments etc so immediately in a sexual encounter. That’s just personal preference though! This novella is well-written and entertaining.

The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: character has not publically disclosed sexual orientation, family discord, long-term estrangement from a sibling, mentions homophobia.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel


I received an ARC of Safe by Jess Bryant from NineStar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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