Two lovers seek shelter in a storm of jealousy and passion.
Matt arrives in the seaside town of Nyemouth for a much-needed vacation. As a successful lawyer, Matt has a hectic career, and with an ex-husband still pestering him for money, he is long overdue a break. A holiday home perched above the town and its breath-taking harbour seems like the perfect place to unwind. Matt can’t wait to explore the beautiful, jagged shorelines and lose himself for a couple of weeks.
Jake has made a home in Nyemouth. After growing up in the city, living on the coast is everything to him. Running a business with his sister and volunteering on the crew of the local lifeboat, he is exactly where he wants to be. But Jake’s life is far from peaceful. Though he left his domineering husband Vince a year ago, Vince refuses to consent to a divorce or loosen his controlling hold on Jake.
On Matt’s first night in town, he encounters the couple having a blazing row. When Vince turns violent, Matt intervenes and takes Jake inside to escape his angry ex. Despite what happened, Matt feels a powerful attraction to the younger man. Jake is bright, endearing and unbelievably attractive, but the young man’s life is complicated. Matt already has enough problems of his own. He came away looking for an escape, not a starry-eyed distraction. As Matt and Jake get to know each other better, the gamble on a holiday romance becomes hard for either of them to resist. They have both been unlucky in love before. Maybe this time will be different.
Vince will not be shaken off so easily. He has no intention of letting Jake go…ever. As Matt’s and Jake’s emotions deepen, they do not understand how far Vince will take things to keep his husband. As far as Vince is concerned, they made a vow to each other… “till death do us part.”
Reader advisory: This story contains stalking and assault, physical and emotional spousal abuse, attempted murder with a firearm and references to abusive parenting and substance additions.
- M/M romance
- bad relationships
- stalking/physical violence/ abuse
- second chances
This seems to be the season of the series! Safe Harbour is book 2 in the Jagged Shores by Thom Collins. I really enjoyed the first book in the series: North Point. In the first book we were introduced to the town of Nyemouth and some of its residents. The second book takes us back there.
Matt is new in town. He’s a lawyer who is finally taking some vacation time and trying to completely put his divorce behind him. His ex had some issues that made the continuation of their relationship impossible, and Matt wants to move on. He’s hoping to do a lot of hiking and sight-seeing.
The first night he arrives, Matt ends up breaking up a fight between Jake and his partner Vince. Jake has filed for divorce, but Vince has made it clear he has no intention of letting Jake go. Matt steps in and rescues Jake (even though he seems perfectly capable of handling Vince himself). It’s always nice to have some back up.
The two men strike up a friendship; neither of them is really in the mindset to pursue a new relationship. Nevertheless, they are attracted to one another. The problem is that both of their exes are still circling, and things get complicated and nasty.
This book is primarily about moving forward into a new romance. It’s complicated because ending relationships is complicated. Divorce takes time and can be slowed down when one partner isn’t ready to move on or is malicious.
Collins has really written a terrifying character in Vince. He’s manipulative, abusive and controlling. But what’s pleasant to see is the strength with which both Jake and Matt continue their journeys forward. Neither of them gives in to old patterns and they stay strong. I found myself admiring both characters quite a bit.
Jake was my favourite character. He’s so positive and endearing. He’s young enough to be optimistic but his experiences have already taught him a lot. He’s mature beyond his years and that may be what draws him to Matt.
Please read the content warnings in this one. Jake’s ex is quite a piece of work and some of his actions may be triggering for some folks.
All in all, I thought this was really well written. I enjoyed the growth of the characters and the way that their relationship progressed. It was also a nice perk to get to see some of the characters from the first novel!
Things You May Want To Know: 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: (SPOILERS) stalker, physical violence, attempted murder, gun violence, hostage taking, domestic violence, emotional abuse
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I received an ARC of Safe Harbour by Them Collins via Gay Book Pr in exchange for an unbiased review.