Safe Place (Rainbow Place, #2)
Where do you go when your home is no longer a safe place?Alex is about to turn eighteen and is firmly in the closet. He’s been biding his time, waiting to escape to uni, and finally come out away from the oppressive influence of his homophobic father. When he flunks his exams, he’s stuck in the small town of Porthladock—and what’s worse is that he’s working for his dad. The only thing that makes it bearable is Cam.Cam’s comfortable with his bisexuality, but he doesn’t broadcast it. Young, free, and single, his social life revolves around playing rugby and hanging out with his mates. He’s attracted to Alex, but with the six-year age gap, Cam’s wary of getting involved. Plus, he thinks Alex needs a friend more than he needs a lover, and as their friendship grows, Cam decides he’s not willing to risk ruining it for casual sex. When Alex’s dad finds out about his sexuality, Alex is suddenly both jobless and homeless. He finds work at Rainbow Place, the local LGBT-friendly café and Cam lets Alex stay in his flat for a while. But Alex would rather be sleeping in Cam’s bed than on his sofa. With them both living under one roof, their feelings for each other grow stronger, and the sexual tension is hard to ignore. Will giving in to it ruin their friendship and complicate things for Alex even more?Although this book is part of a linked series, it has a satisfying happy ending, and can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Safe Place (Rainbow Place, #2) Details

TitleSafe Place (Rainbow Place, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 31st, 2018
PublisherJaybird Press
Rating
GenreRomance, M M Romance, Contemporary

Safe Place (Rainbow Place, #2) Review

  • Judith
    January 1, 1970
    4.5Second book in this delightful series but can be a standalone.I'm pretty much addicted to the charming setting and endearing characters Jay Northcote has created here.A small town setting is one of my favourite things.Alex is 18 and looking forward to going to University where he can finally come out of the closest and be himself.But life has a way of turning things upside down and when he doesn't get the grades he needs he finds himself forced to stay at home, living in an oppressive environ 4.5Second book in this delightful series but can be a standalone.I'm pretty much addicted to the charming setting and endearing characters Jay Northcote has created here.A small town setting is one of my favourite things.Alex is 18 and looking forward to going to University where he can finally come out of the closest and be himself.But life has a way of turning things upside down and when he doesn't get the grades he needs he finds himself forced to stay at home, living in an oppressive environment with a Homophobic father.His Safe Place is a LGBT cafe/restaurant,Rainbow Place and this is where he met Cam.Cam is a few years older.He's aware of Alex's attraction to him and the feeling is mutual but he's terrified of crossing that line.Yes,he keeps Alex at arm's length insisting on only friendship but I kind of got him and his reasoning behind it.And you end up with a truly believable friends to lovers story.One thing Jay Northcote does so well is keeping his characters real and this is no exception.Highly Recommended.An Arc of Safe Place was kindly provided to DirtyBooksObsession in exchange for an honest review. My reviews are posted on DirtyBooksObsession
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  • ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
    January 1, 1970
    The second book in the Rainbow Place series explores the relationship between Alex, who’s nearly 18 and living in the closet due to his bigoted parents, and Cam, who’s 23 and works in landscaping. Unlike the first book in the series, this one is a YA/NA romance. The first couple chapters of Safe Space overlap with Rainbow Place, but I think this story would work fine as a standalone. Cam is bi and attracted to Alex, but he worries that Alex doesn’t the need the complication of a relationship. He The second book in the Rainbow Place series explores the relationship between Alex, who’s nearly 18 and living in the closet due to his bigoted parents, and Cam, who’s 23 and works in landscaping. Unlike the first book in the series, this one is a YA/NA romance. The first couple chapters of Safe Space overlap with Rainbow Place, but I think this story would work fine as a standalone. Cam is bi and attracted to Alex, but he worries that Alex doesn’t the need the complication of a relationship. He also doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. And that, right there, is the main conflict in the story. Alex values Cam’s supportive presence but wants more. When Alex is outed in the worst possible way, his cruel, hateful father throws him out. Cam and Wicksy, Cam’s hilarious straight-but-not-narrow roommate, give Alex free rein of their couch, and it becomes even more difficult to resist the sexual tension between them, what with Cam walking around in boxer briefs and all.What I loved about this story: - the secondary characters (Wicksy plus Alex’s BFFs); - the slow burn (and I mean turtle-slow; save for a couple of kisses, the guys don’t get together until 80 percent); - the hopeful HFN (appropriate considering how young the MCs are); and - the smooth flow of the writing (Jay’s stories never bore me).What made me crazy: mostly Cam, who gave off mixed signals that were unfair to Alex. This story is also surprisingly low on the steam (there’s only one scene toward the end). I think it’s also worth mentioning that (view spoiler)[there is a brief (blink and it's over) sex scene between one of the MCs and another man on page (hide spoiler)]. Shockingly, this didn’t bother me at all. I thought it was fitting and kind of wished Alex hadn’t waited for Cam to change his mind quite so patiently.I read this book in one sitting (or should I say lying; I stayed up past midnight to finish) and really enjoyed it. There are so many potential pairings in this series. I have my eye set on Dylan from the café and a certain mysterious gentleman.
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  • ☆ Todd
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite thing about reading romance is that it takes me on a journey that makes me *feel* all sorts of emotions. And while this story was fine, the only thing I truly felt was mild frustration. : ( I fully admit that this could just be me in a reading mood, which happens, but I felt like I'd been 'told' why Cam was reluctant to pursue a romantic relationship with Alex, instead of being shown.So no, in my mind, Cam's reasons didn't feel genuine enough for me to really believe in his convictio My favorite thing about reading romance is that it takes me on a journey that makes me *feel* all sorts of emotions. And while this story was fine, the only thing I truly felt was mild frustration. : ( I fully admit that this could just be me in a reading mood, which happens, but I felt like I'd been 'told' why Cam was reluctant to pursue a romantic relationship with Alex, instead of being shown.So no, in my mind, Cam's reasons didn't feel genuine enough for me to really believe in his conviction behind his 'friends-only' stance with Alex.Their relationship remaining in the friend zone wasn't necessarily a bad thing; however, it took a really, really, REALLY long time for Cam to get over himself (at 83% in) and allow the book to progress past being a big ole pine-fest. So I waited and waited and waited, but as written, the book felt like there were way more pages than there was actual story being told.Don't get me wrong, I truly liked both Alex and Cam, but the pacing of the story felt pretty slow and I kept waiting for more 'something' to happen -- other than waiting for Cam to get over his fear and Alex to wait semi-patiently in the wings.[Cam] [Alex] The two points of conflict in the story are, as I mentioned, Cam's reluctance to be more than friends with Alex, and the aftermath of Alex's dad finding him with a Grindr hookup.I'm not a huge fan of angst, but here, the Drama Quotient felt pretty light, so maybe Alex taking a second stab at Grindr, ramping up Cam's jealousy might have given me a bit more of what I was looking for.I do love a reluctant MC brought around by the green-eyed monster. ;- ) Other than sporadic kisses, one 'Oopsie Wank' (Trade Mark pending, heh), and one penetration scene, that was it for steam, which felt much less sexy and romantic than Jay's stories typically do.The story felt more coming-of-age NA than YA, as neither character really went all teen angst and "my life is over" on the reader, so I did feel that it fit in with the series.The bottom line is that I just needed "more", so I'd rate this story at around 3 stars and am looking forward to reading what I figure will be Dylan's story (?), since there was a section included that seemed to serve no purpose other than (possibly?) setting up Dylan's book.-----------------------------------------------My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.See All My Latest Reads (Review Quick-Links)-----------------------------------------------
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  • Sheri
    January 1, 1970
    I just wrote an extremely ranty review...and hit a button in my haste...and....it's gone.I'm thinking this is a sign. *cringe*This is a band-aid ripper (and slightly spoilery) so (read with caution and) here goes...Highlights of my lost rant:I love Jay and almost always love his books. Almost.I love slow burn. This was a faint flicker.Niggle: When I'm patiently waiting for two cocks to kiss...I don't want a third cock making page time. Unless it's a menage. When the cock kissing FINALLY happens. I just wrote an extremely ranty review...and hit a button in my haste...and....it's gone.I'm thinking this is a sign. *cringe*This is a band-aid ripper (and slightly spoilery) so (read with caution and) here goes...Highlights of my lost rant:I love Jay and almost always love his books. Almost.I love slow burn. This was a faint flicker.Niggle: When I'm patiently waiting for two cocks to kiss...I don't want a third cock making page time. Unless it's a menage. When the cock kissing FINALLY happens...I want sexy. I want romantic. I don't want, "You smell like my butt."Nope. My afterglow bubble was popped with the 'you smell like ass' comment. I wanted them to connect. I craved them fitting together. I was disappointed when they had to ask about cuddling and spoon status. I wanted...Cam to slide Alex into his arms where he was meant to be. It felt guarded. And reserved. It didn't feel like Northcote to me.And the 'I don't know' response to important questions really jerked my chain. Because, yes Alex (and Cam is guilty too), it DOES matter!*sigh*Looks like Dylan and the Silver Fox Fisherman are next...I am crossing my fingers and toes that it takes a different turn for me. *2.5 wait-what? stars*
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  • .Lili.
    January 1, 1970
    I've wanted to read Safe Place by Jay Northcote since the blurb was first revealed. I don't know; it just hooked me. friends to lovers + age gap + hurt/comfortIt was screaming my name!I was kind of nervous I'd built up this book in my head- when I say I hooked, I'm not kidding. I was checking for release dates and any updates of an early release. I needn't have been nervous as I was hooked from the start and hadn't been for responsibilities I'd have read it in one sitting. Some highlights-Realn I've wanted to read Safe Place by Jay Northcote since the blurb was first revealed. I don't know; it just hooked me. friends to lovers + age gap + hurt/comfortIt was screaming my name!I was kind of nervous I'd built up this book in my head- when I say I hooked, I'm not kidding. I was checking for release dates and any updates of an early release. I needn't have been nervous as I was hooked from the start and hadn't been for responsibilities I'd have read it in one sitting. Some highlights-Realness. There's a quality to Jay Northcote's writing style that comes off as genuine and real. These characters, their lives, and feelings could all be someone we know or walk by every day. - Fantastic set of characters; from Cam and Alex and to their friends. -Alternating POVs.-Relationship development. I loved how their feelings progressed from attraction to friendship. Their friendship felt special, and it was so sweet and nurturing. -UST. Holy. Unresolved. Sexual. Tension! The slow burn was utterly delicious. -And the end was a strong HFN, which was perfect for Cam and Alex, with where they were in their lives anything more would've felt contrived. A couple of things I wanted to address. I've read some reviews where readers were frustrated with Cam because he took so long to give in to his feelings. I get it, but I wasn't bothered by it. I'll try to explain without giving too much away.1. I think Cam was right with the primary reason. Alex's age, his situation at home, and everything else going on in his life- he needed a friend more.2. Cam had been burned before in a similar situation.And 3. Cam holding out provided such delicious torture. I'd rather have less sex and instead, have more sexual tension between two people who care about each other. I love the longing and the build up. Safe Place just clicked all the right spots for me. I had initially given 4.5 Stars rounded down, but as I wrote the review, I realized I needed to round up.
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  • J *deep in the heart of Texas*
    January 1, 1970
    Going to call it quits with this one around 47%! Frankly I’m just bored. And I just don’t get why these two aren’t or can’t be together. Gah, I honestly can’t even remember their names right now. I just wasn’t feeling either one of them. It’s a short book. And nothing’s happening. And it’s taking me forever to read. And I’m just completely uninterested. There. I feel better now.
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  • Jay Northcote
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second story in the Rainbow Place series (hopefully I can find a Goodreads librarian to link them soon). It can be read as a standalone but as always it's probably best to read in order if you can.I hope you enjoy Alex and Cam's story if you decide to read :)
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  • Elsa Bravante
    January 1, 1970
    Una lectura agradable y ligera, pero se queda ahí. Me gustaba mucho más el planteamiento, jugador de rugby seguro de sí mismo con chico más joven intentando encontrar su sitio sin apoyo familiar, que cómo lo ha resuelto el autor. Le ha faltado mucho romanticismo, emoción, lo tenía todo para que destacara por eso y al final la resolución de la pareja es un tanto fría, algunos diálogos son... ugh.Un tanto decepcionante.
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  • Cadiva
    January 1, 1970
    4.5*Jays second instalment in his Rainbow Place series is a sweet slow burn romance with a young adult feel which sits alongside Seb and Jason's perfectly.Alex is an absolute sweetheart, almost 18 and living with a homophobic father and a less than supportive mother and just finding his way with his sexual experience.Cam's six years older but still only in his early 20s and his attraction to Alex is complicated by his fears that it'll ruin their friendship I could understand Cam's point, he'd lo 4.5*Jays second instalment in his Rainbow Place series is a sweet slow burn romance with a young adult feel which sits alongside Seb and Jason's perfectly.Alex is an absolute sweetheart, almost 18 and living with a homophobic father and a less than supportive mother and just finding his way with his sexual experience.Cam's six years older but still only in his early 20s and his attraction to Alex is complicated by his fears that it'll ruin their friendship I could understand Cam's point, he'd lost a friend when he was younger after their relationship turned sexual, but I have to say, I wanted to thump him at times!One thing I always love with Jay's books is that they always feel so very real, like he's writing about a bunch of people he met in the pub last week or who live in the next town over and this book is no exception.I love the Rainbow Place series and am looking forward to seeing what comes next. Dylan and the mysterious shy older customer perhaps? Or Hayden's adventures at college?Either way, I know it will be a book I'll look forward to reading.#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Emily Seelye
    January 1, 1970
    This is a slightly unconventional friends to lovers story. Cam and Alex meet at Rainbow Place when it’s vandalized. They’re attracted to each other, but Cam is unsure of the age difference and slightly afraid of Alex’s father finding out. So, he offers to be friends. When Alex’s father finds out he’s gay, practically throwing him out, Cam is there to catch him, offering him a place to stay and helping him find a job. One night, after too many beers, they fall into bed together. Now they have to This is a slightly unconventional friends to lovers story. Cam and Alex meet at Rainbow Place when it’s vandalized. They’re attracted to each other, but Cam is unsure of the age difference and slightly afraid of Alex’s father finding out. So, he offers to be friends. When Alex’s father finds out he’s gay, practically throwing him out, Cam is there to catch him, offering him a place to stay and helping him find a job. One night, after too many beers, they fall into bed together. Now they have to decide if it was a one time thing, or worth taking the relationship to the next step. I enjoyed this and can’t wait to read the next one. *ARC provided by author
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  • Lelyana's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Though I'm not a fan of Cam, I loved Alex, he is a sweetheart.We met Alex in the previous book, and I was wonder what's his story would be, considering who his father is, you know.This is a very slow burn, and it was getting to my nerves about Cam. I was like, wanted to kiss Cam with my fist, and I didn't blame Alex for trying to move on. Not at all. Alex had every right to try to moved on from Cam.There's a drama with Alex father (of course), but not as bad as I thought would be, not as messy a Though I'm not a fan of Cam, I loved Alex, he is a sweetheart.We met Alex in the previous book, and I was wonder what's his story would be, considering who his father is, you know.This is a very slow burn, and it was getting to my nerves about Cam. I was like, wanted to kiss Cam with my fist, and I didn't blame Alex for trying to move on. Not at all. Alex had every right to try to moved on from Cam.There's a drama with Alex father (of course), but not as bad as I thought would be, not as messy as the first book. I'm glad he's finally got his mother on his side in the end, and Cam come to his senses.Finally!I enjoyed this story, though I had to suffer from the UST and slow burn. LOL.This was fun and Jay's trademark. Sweet and adorable. Loved the friendship between Cam and Alex, and with their friends as well.If you like a sweet, slow burn, low angst and loads of friendship vibes, this is the book for you!
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    The author and publisher note this could be read as a standalone, and I mostly agree, though reading the first book will give background to several items referenced in Safe Place. Premise of the book is Alex is on the cusp of graduating from the British equivalent of High School and is studying for University exams. His short term goal is to get good enough scores to be accepted into a University far from home. Meanwhile, he meets the ruggedly good looking rugby player Cam and Alex thinks they m The author and publisher note this could be read as a standalone, and I mostly agree, though reading the first book will give background to several items referenced in Safe Place. Premise of the book is Alex is on the cusp of graduating from the British equivalent of High School and is studying for University exams. His short term goal is to get good enough scores to be accepted into a University far from home. Meanwhile, he meets the ruggedly good looking rugby player Cam and Alex thinks they may have some synergy between them. Until Cam finds out who Alex’s father is and deliver’s the “let’s be friends…” speech. Alex accepts the offer of friendship while wanting more. When Alex fails to meet minimum scores in one subject and his father catches him with his pants down (literally), Alex’s carefully constructed plans come crashing down. This is a coming of age and coming out story. Alex is moving on and out from under his parents tight – and homophobic - control, Alex and Cam are both growing up and trying to find acceptance from each other and the greater community. Several things didn’t work for me: I found the pacing of the plot slow for my tastes. The reader knows at some point Alex’s sexual orientation is going to be discovered by his parents and there will be life changing ramifications. It seemed to take forever to get to this point. Cam was an all-around Nice Guy. That’s it. Cam kept alluding to ruining a friendship in high school which was why he didn’t want to commit to Alex. I never really felt the emotional gravitas or impetus behind that fear. It was High School, with someone who wasn’t Alex, it's now nearly 10 years later...? This emotional fear of commitment didn't work for me. The Big Reveal and climatic confrontation between Alex and his Father didn’t sit well with me. Alex’s Father caught Alex and a random hook up in very compromising situation, with witnesses. Yes, Alex’s Father was entitled to be angry and embarrassed. NO, physical violence was NOT appropriate. But I came away with the impression that Alex felt somewhat…righteous, about his actions. Ah…you were just caught with your pants down (figuratively), in your father’s business. This whole interaction left me puzzled more than anything. Ultimately, this installment didn’t grab me like Rainbow Place did. Seb makes several appearances, we get glimpses of supporting characters from book one, a handful of new characters that then go off to Uni, and after much angst, upset, and wishful thinking we get our happy ending. Review is cross-posted at Gay Book ReviewsA copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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  • Isabella ~Mikku-chan~
    January 1, 1970
    *~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*This book, although definitely not a light one, was utterly adorable & I can't stop swooning about even days after I read it (yes, I was lucky and got an early copy. <3)You think book one was amazing, this tops it in my opinion. The way Jay fleshed out the character was amazing and my heart break several times for Alex.He isn't having an easy life, living under the roof of a homophobic parent and who isn't sh *~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*This book, although definitely not a light one, was utterly adorable & I can't stop swooning about even days after I read it (yes, I was lucky and got an early copy. <3)You think book one was amazing, this tops it in my opinion. The way Jay fleshed out the character was amazing and my heart break several times for Alex.He isn't having an easy life, living under the roof of a homophobic parent and who isn't shy to be vocal about his disgust about queer people and is even gleeful when he hears about the vandalized Rainbow Place, the café where local queer folks find their safe space. Alex' father isn't a nice or gentle person and Jay is amazing in pointing this out, giving the reader more than understandable reasons to dislike or even hate him.Between living in this horrible place with a homophobic father and worrying about his future - again being forced to do what his father wants and has mapped out for him, Alex is infatuated by Cam, who's older than him and shows a self-confidence Alex wish he was able to live out too. I really liked how we got the two point of views; Alex who is smitten by Cam and who wants to be closer, who's graving for more than just tentative friendship. Then there's Cam, who's not immune to Alex' charm but denies himself to go further; he's trying to act like an adult and mature but fails.Safe Place is an adorbale book but it's neither light nor fluffy, although we have those parts. It's based on a really tragic backstory, and the way how Alex finds his new way, his new life is amazing to watch, even if you want to hug him tight and wrap him into a blanket sometimes.The book lives also from its side characters, and although you can read the single books in the series as standalones and get the events without knowing the former book, it's charming to see Seb and Jason again. I also liked the friends around Alex, although they spread their wings and start their study/new life after school in different towns, so I hope we still see more of them later. :) I also have a guess which the potential next couple is but I won't tell my guess until it's confirmed. *fingers crossed* Actually after reading & ponding about the book I have another couple in mind. :) Let's see what's planned next.This book totally gets and deserves 5 out of 5 stars. I don't know why, but I even liked it a tiny bit more than book one, which was amazing already. :)Review originally posted on my blog with added content Mikku-chan / A world full of words
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  • cupcakes and bookshelves
    January 1, 1970
    Cam drove me nuts ... but still loved every moment of this slow burn, friends to lovers romance. A brilliant continuation of the series, can't wait for more revisits to this verse. I really hope there is some and soon. Thanks Jay for again sharing something that made me feel and think. *ARC kindly given in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much. *
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  • River
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very lovely second installment in the series.I really liked getting to know these characters and their different life struggles, I think it was really great that the author showed us to different upbringings. These guys were at different points in their lives so honestly, their way of looking at the world was different but there wasn't a disconnect between them. They worked really fine as friends and lovers.One of the things that I love and appreciate the most about the author is how This was a very lovely second installment in the series.I really liked getting to know these characters and their different life struggles, I think it was really great that the author showed us to different upbringings. These guys were at different points in their lives so honestly, their way of looking at the world was different but there wasn't a disconnect between them. They worked really fine as friends and lovers.One of the things that I love and appreciate the most about the author is how he includes so much representation in his books, he makes these tiny moments in the stories that hit you right in the chest because comments or actions can be huge for someone that deals with the judgment from close-minded people, so seeing those moment makes you feel like he is trying to make these stories as real as possible.I hope we get the chance to see these guys in future books and how they are doing with their lives because even though the book does a lot of happy, in the end, it's about young guys so they have their lives ahead of them, their HEA it's just starting.sidenote: Alex's mom story made me really happy! it showed that people can be wrong but everyone needs a chance to grow and change.
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  • Bev
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up. I didn't feel much of a connection between Alex and Cam in all honesty, but it won't stop me carrying on with the series. Not my fave Jay story it has to be said 😕.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Alex is studying for his A Levels, desperate to leave home and start Uni many, many miles away from his Father and start his life instead of hiding in the closet. One evening out with friends, he meets Cam and falls hook line and sinker. Cam is a little hesitant due to the 6 year age gap, but starts to wave the "friends only" banner when he discovers who Alex's Father is. Then Alex fails to get the full grades he needs to get into Uni and there's no Plan B..... I liked Alex, he was young, eager Alex is studying for his A Levels, desperate to leave home and start Uni many, many miles away from his Father and start his life instead of hiding in the closet. One evening out with friends, he meets Cam and falls hook line and sinker. Cam is a little hesitant due to the 6 year age gap, but starts to wave the "friends only" banner when he discovers who Alex's Father is. Then Alex fails to get the full grades he needs to get into Uni and there's no Plan B..... I liked Alex, he was young, eager and only saw stars and butterflies whilst Cam was around. Naively maybe, he held onto the hope that Cam would change his mind about their relationship and tried on a number of occasions to help that along - but to no avail. When he eventually takes the bull by the horns, he is left with his pants down (literally), a raging Father, homeless and unsure of his future. Cam. I struggled with Cam. I understand his initial point of view, but once Alex moved out of his family home, there was no reason for the continued "friends only" banner to still be waving. I wasn't able to fathom what was the root cause of his hesitancy, his reasoning about a former girlfriend at school seemed a tad weak. I did like that Cam came immediately to Alex's aid and helped to provide comfort and security and then things started to slot into place and made more sense.I had a couple of niggles - the first was the slow burn. It was so slow, I was frustrated and wanted to slap Cam upside the head with his dithering and commitment-phobia. It was nearly 81% into the book before anything was actually declared, acted on and bodies melded, it felt like I had been holding my breath underwater until then....this was a change to the author's usual playbook, I'm not sure I like it....The other niggle was Alex and his Father and the mighty big blip. It was highly uncomfortable to read. I understand that that had to be some drama, his Father was an arse and had no issues with his constant bluster and sound of his own voice, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I felt neither side were right in the way they handled it.Overall, this was another entertaining read, with some drama, following on the "no fluff" set up from the first book. The side characters were nice additions and it was lovely to see Seb from the first book drop in on occasions and it was also great to see Alex's mum take a small stand of independence. Finally, after some more mulling and wishful thinking, Alex and Cam get their act together and a plan of sorts is put in place for their HFN ending. I look forward to the next book. A copy of this book was kindly gifted from the author for my reading pleasure.
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  • Chris, the Dalek King
    January 1, 1970
    With the misfortune of having the biggest homophobic asshat in the area as his father, Alex has been hiding in the closet since he the first time he knew that he was never going to be the kind of kid that his parents wanted. He has plans to finally come out, though, once he hits university. He only has a few months left to wait, so surely he can last one more summer of hiding the truth from his family. All he has to do is get thru his A-levels, avoid his father as much as possible, and not fall With the misfortune of having the biggest homophobic asshat in the area as his father, Alex has been hiding in the closet since he the first time he knew that he was never going to be the kind of kid that his parents wanted. He has plans to finally come out, though, once he hits university. He only has a few months left to wait, so surely he can last one more summer of hiding the truth from his family. All he has to do is get thru his A-levels, avoid his father as much as possible, and not fall hopelessly in love with Cam.One can probably guess how well that is going to go.I was glad when I realized that his book was going to be about Alex and Cam. They were absolutely adorable in the last book, so I was happy to get to spend some more time with them here.This book was about on par with the first book in the series. I really liked both Cam and Alex. We certainly get a lot more information about Alex here, though. Which was cool, but I would have liked to know more about Cam. I don’t know if I was just really distracted (I have had a crazy busy week, so it is entirely possible) but I can’t remember a whole lot about Cam’s backstory. I know he is bisexual and he plays rugby, but if he has a job of some kind, it has completely escaped my memory. Cam was such a good guy, I just wish I could actually know more about him.But from what I do know, he is a good compliment–if a somewhat hesitant one at times–to Alex, who has a fuckton of issues to deal with. These two have a bit of a long walk to get to a relationship, but I really enjoyed their friendship along the way. Their thing is a bit stop-and-start at times, but you can clearly see that they care about each other, and that’s what I really liked about it.This isn’t an overly complicated story, but it a very well told one. And it was a story that I enjoyed reading. I can’t wait to see what is next in the series, either. So far the first two book have been very pleasant reads. And I can’t say I have too many complaints about this one. It was just a good story, and well worth the read.This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
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  • Barb ~rede-2-read~
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review. We first me Alex, the son of the real estate mogul-slash-local politican-slash-major outspoken homophobe in Porthladock, England, when Alex showed up to help Seb and Jason restore Rainbow Place, an LGBTQ-friendly café, after vandals nearly ruined it before it opened. Alex is seventeen, finishing high school, as the story opens, and he’s still harboring his crush on Cam, one of the gorgeo ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review. We first me Alex, the son of the real estate mogul-slash-local politican-slash-major outspoken homophobe in Porthladock, England, when Alex showed up to help Seb and Jason restore Rainbow Place, an LGBTQ-friendly café, after vandals nearly ruined it before it opened. Alex is seventeen, finishing high school, as the story opens, and he’s still harboring his crush on Cam, one of the gorgeous rugby players he met the night he came to Rainbow Place feeling embarrassed that the vandalism was in response to his father’s letter to the editor.Cam wants to be friends with Alex, and he’s definitely attracted to the young man, but Cam decides not to get involved because he doesn’t want to lose Alex as a friend if their sexual relationship doesn’t work out. Later that summer, Alex’s abusive father catches him with a Grindr hookup at the campground his father owns, and the homophobe punches him, bruising his face and his back. When Alex resulting needs a new place to stay, Cam and his roommate offer Alex their couch, and Seb offers Alex a job at the café, the place Alex has always considered his personal “safe place” so he accepts both offers. Time goes by and the guys are still attracted to one another but Cam keeps holding back. Get the picture? Very slow burn, a good foundation of friendship, and finally Cam gets his act together in time for a lovely HEA—but it takes a while.I like Jay Northcote’s work. Like many of his other stories, this story is sweet, the characters are nice guys, the plot fairly simple, and the enjoyment level very high. Sometimes I just like to escape with good writing to a place where nice guys don’t finish last. So I highly recommend this to those who enjoy that as much as I do.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a copy in exchange for an honest review* RTC when I stop flailing about it 😂But I will say that - Jay is one of my favourite authors for a reason :) ❤🧡💛💚💙💜
  • Helena Stone
    January 1, 1970
    If I had to review Safe Place in one sentence I’d say it’s a quintessential Jay Northcote book in that it is a very well written story featuring two engaging and charming main characters (as well as a cast of fascinating secondaries) and a love story that meets quite a few bumps in the road without ever venturing into the realm of heavy angst. But, I’ve got a feeling you may want to hear a bit more about this book. While we meet characters we first encountered in Rainbow Place in this story, the If I had to review Safe Place in one sentence I’d say it’s a quintessential Jay Northcote book in that it is a very well written story featuring two engaging and charming main characters (as well as a cast of fascinating secondaries) and a love story that meets quite a few bumps in the road without ever venturing into the realm of heavy angst. But, I’ve got a feeling you may want to hear a bit more about this book. While we meet characters we first encountered in Rainbow Place in this story, the blurb is absolutely right when it states Safe Place can be perfectly read as a standalone. And it isn’t wrong when it mentions a satisfying happy ending either—but boy did Alex and Cam face a journey before they got there.If ever there was a slow burn romance, this is it. Cam and Alex spend the majority of this story circling each other. The attraction between them is undeniable and increasingly hard to ignore but they hang on to their friends-only pact with dogged determination. Especially Cam is convinced keeping things platonic is the best option; initially because he doesn’t want to risk Alex’s homophobic father finding out and subsequently because he is afraid he’ll lose Alex completely if taking things further doesn’t work out. If I’m perfectly honest I have to admit that there were one or two moments when I would have happily slapped him (or at least given him a stern talking to) for trying to deny the obvious for so long. The main reason I didn’t end up exasperated is because his reluctance to give in to his attraction to Alex was rooted in him caring for Alex rather than for selfish reasons. But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t mutter ‘at fucking last’ when Alex and Cam finally face up to the inevitable and follow their hearts.I guess what I love most about this book and its prequel, is the wonderful community Jay has created. The Rainbow Place crew and customers are such a supportive and loving group of people it warms my heart. The sense of friendship, loyalty and support in these pages is so strong it is impossible not to experience its warm embrace while reading.Another thing that warmed my heart was how Alex grew into himself, found his strength and started to forge his own way; moving away from his father’s judgement and demands in the process. Overall, Safe Place is a wonderful, easy to read feel-good story. I strongly suggest you get yourself a copy if you want to lift yourself up and finish a book with a huge, happy smile on your face.
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  • Funzee Shu
    January 1, 1970
    Coming from a homophobic father, Alex need to hide deep in the closet and afraid to showing who he really is. All he wants is to finish his study and start the university live far away from his father and be free.When Seb’s café vandalized by homophobic people, Alex and his friends took part at cleaning the café along with others volunteers. And there where he met Cam, one of a rugby players that also help Seb cleaning the café.From their short met Alex and Cam start to be friends, but Alex star Coming from a homophobic father, Alex need to hide deep in the closet and afraid to showing who he really is. All he wants is to finish his study and start the university live far away from his father and be free.When Seb’s café vandalized by homophobic people, Alex and his friends took part at cleaning the café along with others volunteers. And there where he met Cam, one of a rugby players that also help Seb cleaning the café.From their short met Alex and Cam start to be friends, but Alex start to have crush on Cam after their spent time together. Alex almost sure that Cam share the same feeling with him. But after they shared their first kiss, suddenly Cam make it clear that he only want to stick as friends.Hiding his disappointment behind his smile and didn’t want to lose the friendship, Alex accepted what Cam want and staying back as a friend.When Alex's father accidentally found out that he’s gay and do harsh thing on him, Alex decided to leave. Cam then offer him to stay with him.Staying with someone you have crush on wasn’t easy, Alex must hide what he feels, and Cam uncertainty about what he wants had slowly tortured him from inside. Tired with Cam uncertainty, Alex decided to move on and leave.Will Cam finally come to his sense and stop playing ‘bestfriend’ with Alex?☕☕☕I’ve been waiting and really curious with Alex and Cam's story since Alex figure successfully drawn my curiosity when I read the first book. And I really want to know more about him.So when the second book is out and it IS about Alex and Cam, It’s excited me more…With Alex complex situations and homophobic father, I thought the story will a bit angsty. But rather than dark or a bit angst, I found that the story is surprisingly sweet. And I must admit that I kinda ‘hate’ Cam for what he did to Alex and hiding behind the best friend charade and his own worried according to what happen in his past. His uncertainty had made me want to slapped him on his face to make him realized. But Alex? Well, he totally won my heart.Safe Place is a sweet light reading with low angst that will warm your heart, and I enjoying every part of it.Well, is Dylan and that hot Silver Fox will be on the next to have their own stage? I'm curious....*ARC is kindly provided by the Author in exchange of a fair, unbiased and honest review*
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  • Erica Chilson
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads 3 Stars. As a big fan of Jay Northcote's writing, generally all the books have been a massive hit with me, but there is something about this series that is a miss. I can't quite put it into words why neither book in the series thus far has resonated with me. Readers previously met Alex and Cam in Rainbow Place, both helping to get the cafe up and running after it was vandalized. Alex is the son of a local politician who has his I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads 3 Stars. As a big fan of Jay Northcote's writing, generally all the books have been a massive hit with me, but there is something about this series that is a miss. I can't quite put it into words why neither book in the series thus far has resonated with me. Readers previously met Alex and Cam in Rainbow Place, both helping to get the cafe up and running after it was vandalized. Alex is the son of a local politician who has his sights set on Rainbow Place being shut down, with all the expectations and inability to come out of the closet riding along with it. Alex and Cam meet again at Rainbow Place, sparks flying and connections being met, but then when Cam realizes who Alex's father is, he penalizes Alex for it, pushing him into the friend-zone, as well as for the fact that he is so young. This adds the angsty slow-burn romance to their relationship. Obviously the conflict of the storyline is Alex's bigoted father. I guess my issue is how predicable the story was from the get-go, the reader easily able to deduce what events would take place. While I find comfort in knowing there will be an eventual HEA, generally I can't guess the direction of every thread that will take place, but in this case I did. So for me, I didn't feel the delicious tension that has me so fond of slow-burn. This was a quick read, nothing too angsty, making it a good light novella to pass the time. While all the elements were there, it didn't elicit any passion or emotion from me. Without any true conflict for as to why the romance didn't progress from friendship to more, it was just another book about the characters dragging their feet to an obvious outcome, like they were stuck in neutral for the bulk of the pages, leaving me feeling regret for them for wasting time. I'm just going to chalk it up to this series not being a good fit for me, so I won't be reading the next installment, but I look forward to future endeavors by Northcote. I do highly recommend all of the author's works, especially to fans and readers of MM romance.
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  • Karen Meeus
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*This is a NA friends to lovers story set in the wonderful new world created in Rainbow Place, the first book in this series. I usually love friends to lovers stories, but I was a bit bummed by how this particular friendship started out. Cam and Alex have noticed each other already in the first book in the series, with Alex crushing on the cute, slightly older guy who seems way out of his league. Cam is equally drawn to Alex, however, and they spend a lovely evening together. Everythin *3.5 stars*This is a NA friends to lovers story set in the wonderful new world created in Rainbow Place, the first book in this series. I usually love friends to lovers stories, but I was a bit bummed by how this particular friendship started out. Cam and Alex have noticed each other already in the first book in the series, with Alex crushing on the cute, slightly older guy who seems way out of his league. Cam is equally drawn to Alex, however, and they spend a lovely evening together. Everything seems to be going great, until suddenly it doesn't anymore, when Cam finds out Alex's father is a local, prominent homophobe and does a sudden about-face. This really rubbed me the wrong way. Ostensibly it's about protecting Alex, but to me it felt more like Cam wanting to avoid complications, giving in to his own fears and running away from a potentially great relationship. This doesn't exactly scream romance. Throughout the story he rejects Alex more than once, while giving him mixed signals. Cam's extreme reluctance to act on (or even admit to) his feelings for Alex makes it hard for me as reader to believe in the strength of his love. I did like that Cam and Alex became friends under difficult circumstances and I was completely charmed by the secondary characters... seeing Seb and Jason again was amazing and the others like Sophia, Amber, Hayden and Wicksy are a great bunch of friends and I'd love to see more of them in the following books.Still I would have liked to have seen more of Alex and Cam as an actual item. They only get together at the very end of the story, so we don't really see them grow as a couple.(view spoiler)[ Unless a story is a ménage romance, I also really dislike it when a third gets too close to one of the MC's... and at about 50% in a love story the connection between the MC's should be strong enough that something like that is just unthinkable. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]
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  • Joyfully Jay
    January 1, 1970
    A Joyfully Jay review. 4 starsIn this second installment of the Rainbow Place series, I was pleased to get Cam and Alex’s story. At the end of Rainbow Place, the two young men meet and there’s clear chemistry between them. And especially knowing Alex’s backstory, it was particularly satisfying to see him get his HEA. Though I don’t think it’s necessary to read the books in order—the author does a great job of filling in any would-be blanks—it does have a greater impact having read the first book A Joyfully Jay review. 4 starsIn this second installment of the Rainbow Place series, I was pleased to get Cam and Alex’s story. At the end of Rainbow Place, the two young men meet and there’s clear chemistry between them. And especially knowing Alex’s backstory, it was particularly satisfying to see him get his HEA. Though I don’t think it’s necessary to read the books in order—the author does a great job of filling in any would-be blanks—it does have a greater impact having read the first book.Alex is in a terrible spot. His father is a truly homophobic and bigoted, and his home life is not good. He’s miserable and placing all his hope on being able to get out. Someday he’ll be able to live his life out and proud and as himself. Pinning his hope on that is all he has. Cam may be comfortable in who he is, but he understands Alex’s need for secrecy. The only reason he pulls back is that he can see everything Alex is going through. At least that’s what he tells himself.Read Kris’ review in its entirety here.
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  • booklover
    January 1, 1970
    So, this is Alex and Cam's story.We met both of these characters in the first book of the series so know a little about them. We know that Cam's part of the local rugby team and that Alex, due to who his father is, has to hide his sexuality. In this we find out more about both of the guys.So much happens, mostly in regards to Alex. He hates having to hide his feelings but plans on telling his parents the truth once he's gone to uni. But, like with all good plans, there usually ends up being a sp So, this is Alex and Cam's story.We met both of these characters in the first book of the series so know a little about them. We know that Cam's part of the local rugby team and that Alex, due to who his father is, has to hide his sexuality. In this we find out more about both of the guys.So much happens, mostly in regards to Alex. He hates having to hide his feelings but plans on telling his parents the truth once he's gone to uni. But, like with all good plans, there usually ends up being a spanner thrown into the works.............What follows is quite an emotional read as we see Cam trying to do the right thing, hoping that history doesn't repeat itself and Alex having to come to terms with vents in his own life not going to plan.Just like with book one, a lot of this story takes place in or around "Rainbow Place", the one place that Alex truly feels like he can be himself and stay safe while doing so. Also, just like with book one, this was a beautifully written story which I was able to get lost in with ease, especially with the way the author, Jay, described the surroundings, I felt like I was actually their with the characters!!Absolutely loved it!!!
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Jay has killed it with the new book in the Rainbow Place series. Safe Place is Alex and Cam’s story and once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. Cam and Alex are obviously attracted to each other but after one night Cam realizes that Alex needs his friendship more than someone to fool around with. This book is about how sometimes family is toxic and friendships are your safety net. Seeing Alex find himself in his friendships and his relationship with Cam getting stronger is refreshing but al Jay has killed it with the new book in the Rainbow Place series. Safe Place is Alex and Cam’s story and once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. Cam and Alex are obviously attracted to each other but after one night Cam realizes that Alex needs his friendship more than someone to fool around with. This book is about how sometimes family is toxic and friendships are your safety net. Seeing Alex find himself in his friendships and his relationship with Cam getting stronger is refreshing but also heartbreaking because Alex wants so much more with Cam and he tries to push that down to keep Cam in his life. There’s a small age gap and I just love that in a story! The sexual tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife and when it finally boils over, it’s hot hot hot!! I absolutely adored these boys and I’m loving this whole series!!!
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  • Elle
    January 1, 1970
    Safe Place is a sweet love story, which touches on some serious issues, but never loses sight of the relationship between the MCs.The chemistry between Alex and Cam is instant, and although I sort of understood Cam's reticence at first, Alex is so young, later I just wanted to smack him upside of the head! As for Alex, I just wanted to climb into the book and give him a great big hug. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, so I'm not going to go into detail about what happens, but all the gu Safe Place is a sweet love story, which touches on some serious issues, but never loses sight of the relationship between the MCs.The chemistry between Alex and Cam is instant, and although I sort of understood Cam's reticence at first, Alex is so young, later I just wanted to smack him upside of the head! As for Alex, I just wanted to climb into the book and give him a great big hug. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, so I'm not going to go into detail about what happens, but all the guys from the previous book are here, giving so much support to Alex. A good addition to the series, very British, as always, well written, with good character development. Already looking forward to the next book.
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  • Annie Maus
    January 1, 1970
    Safe Place is vintage Jay Northcote, slow, sweet, and pure, like sap, straight from a maple tree! The second in his Rainbow Place series, this edition works well as a standalone read.Alex is about to turn eighteen and can’t wait to get away to university. Sure, he’ll do his domineering dad’s bidding and study business, but at least he can come out there. His dad, a homophobic politician, is angry when Alex’ tests don’t qualify, and apoplectic when he discovers Alex in the act with another bloke. Safe Place is vintage Jay Northcote, slow, sweet, and pure, like sap, straight from a maple tree! The second in his Rainbow Place series, this edition works well as a standalone read.Alex is about to turn eighteen and can’t wait to get away to university. Sure, he’ll do his domineering dad’s bidding and study business, but at least he can come out there. His dad, a homophobic politician, is angry when Alex’ tests don’t qualify, and apoplectic when he discovers Alex in the act with another bloke. After a punch to the face and a black eye, Alex is fired from the summer job he held in his dad’s company.Wisely, Alex runs to friends, rather than risk a violent show-down at his home. Luckily Cam, a local landscaper/rugby player, six years older, has taken an interest in him. Cam offers Alex his couch.Much to Alex’ chagrin, however, Cam, has tamped their mutual attraction, supposedly because Cam doesn’t want to ruin their close friendship. It proves challenging for the two to live together platonically. Meanwhile, Alex finds work at Rainbow Place, the local gay café/restaurant. Once he feels more independent, Alex gains perspective.As the two men dance around one another, readers begin to wonder who is more mature. It may well be Alex, now eighteen, who can admit how he feels. Why is Cam so love-shy? Northcote specializes in slow burn, in real intimacy before physical intimacy. He paints partners who mesh and truly complement one another, situations where people can revel in their developing trust. When there is conflict, it too, is a source of growth.Perhaps because I’m American, I always find myself entertained with Northcote’s delightful English phrasing. As when Cam says Alex has a “’homophobic tosser of a dad.’” And Alex refers to his erotic daydreams, as his “Cam rabbit hole.” Yeah, we’ve all been in that hole.“Friends-to-lovers” is a sufficiently common theme to merit its own romance sub-genre. While Northcote’s version isn’t unique, it is far more realistic, because he comprehends people’s needs and fears with deep insight. And he conveys these through ordinary events.Safe Place starts with huge changes and then quickly settles into the routines and tempo of average existence. This is where Northcote excels. Most of us experience revelations within the minutiae of everyday life, like when chopping veggies, or in recognizing how our loved one has grown.If you’ve forgotten how to see miracles in the mundane, or to recognize the power of love in ordinary people, Safe Place is for you. It made me take a moment to look around and feel grateful for all my simple joys.
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  • Jenny Wood
    January 1, 1970
    So, I loved Seb and Jason in book one, though I did want to strangle Jason a time or two. I was glad to see things had worked out so well with them. Not only that, but remembering Alex from their story had me really hoping for his own story.Alex is young, only seventeen with a very influential father in town; he’s kept his sexuality a secret from everyone apart from the people at Rainbow Place. It’s his sanctuary of sorts, the only place he can really be free to be himself. If you’ve read the fi So, I loved Seb and Jason in book one, though I did want to strangle Jason a time or two. I was glad to see things had worked out so well with them. Not only that, but remembering Alex from their story had me really hoping for his own story.Alex is young, only seventeen with a very influential father in town; he’s kept his sexuality a secret from everyone apart from the people at Rainbow Place. It’s his sanctuary of sorts, the only place he can really be free to be himself. If you’ve read the first one, you know that Rainbow Place is a place coffee shop for both the LGBT+ community AND their allies. I love the concept, I so badly wish every place had someplace like that. Especially smaller towns where it could be dangerous for people to be themselves. Alex and his friends though, they fit right in thanks to Seb….. And then there’s Cam, a part of the rugby team that helped Seb when the shop was vandalized. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that they were taken with each other… However, just when Alex gets the nerve to acknowledge Cam and Cam makes a move.. he discovers who Alex’s father is. A tib bit about Alex’s dad… not only is he a terrible father, he’s also a bigoted, hateful and controlling man. He wrote the letter in the paper that no doubt had everything to do with Seb’s café being vandalized, if he wasn’t behind it altogether, I’m still not sure; but the things that come out of his mouth…. He’s just an ugly person. My heart broke for Alex having to grow up around that…His mother too, but I felt that maybe she just more uneducated….stupid to what she didn’t understand, and she got there in the end, and I was glad for that for Alex’s sake.When Alex’s dad finds out his secret, he not only tells him how much he does not approve but he also physically hurts him… Alex knows he can’t go back to living under his dads roof and working under his thumb, luckily, he’s got lots of friends and of course Cam. Cam tries to keep things platonic, he doesn’t want to lose the friendship he’s built with Alex, but the attraction to each other goes deeper than either of them expected. It’s nice seeing Alex stand up for himself and learn to depend on himself. I love Seb for his help and the way Cam and his roommate step up for Alex. Overall, it was a great addition and I’m curious to see who’s next. 4 stars from me!
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