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Safe Harbor

Pine Cove, Book 1
By: HJ Welch
Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Series: Pine Cove Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Robin Coal wonders if asking his straight housemate Dair to be his fake boyfriend for his high school reunion will be the worst thing he’s ever done…or the best. But there’s no way he’s going home to face his abusive ex alone, and former Marine Dair is just the protection he needs. So long as he doesn’t find out about Robin’s secret crush, everything will be fine. 

Mechanic Dair Epping never expected to spend a week sharing a bed with his adorkable friend; however, pretending to be bi is easier than he imagined. He knows he’ll do anything to keep Robin safe from his ex-boyfriend, but as the chemistry between them grows, the line between fake and reality begins to blur. 

Could Dair actually be bi? Even if he was, would an ex-Marine really be interested in a computer geek like Robin? When his ex’s intentions turn dangerous, how far will Dair go to protect the man he’s falling for? 

Safe Harbor is a steamy, standalone MM romance novel with a guaranteed HEA and absolutely no cliffhanger.

©2019 HJ Welch (P)2019 HJ Welch

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Profile Image for Venrab
  • Venrab
  • 12-09-2019

Love love love!

This book has everything. I just can't. Serious book hangover right now.
Fake boyfriends, bisexual awakening, an asshole of an ex, a support network and family and cute puppies. A must read

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Profile Image for Wayne Johnson
  • Wayne Johnson
  • 20-08-2019

Restores faith in love

Absolutely couldn’t stop listening to this. The author really pulls you in to the story. It’s so sensual without being overtly corny.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Danielle Allan
  • Danielle Allan
  • 17-08-2019

meh

your average story, mistakes are made and people dont communicate properly so feelings are left unsaid and misunderstandings lead to conflict. very cliche. Robin is also stupid, what a moron and he does keep going back to mac so he shouldn't have been so surprised

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Profile Image for Donna Hirsch
  • Donna Hirsch
  • 12-08-2019

Wonderful

Loved this book HJ Welch has done a great job with GFY. Can't wait to continue this journey. Loved how the kids are all named after birds. Nick's narration topped this off.

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Profile Image for Debbie Attenborough
  • Debbie Attenborough
  • 06-08-2019

excellent narration of a sneaky little book!

I was gifted my copy of this book direct from the author, that I write a review was NOT required.

This book landed right on my kindle when I was between bigger, heavier, darker books and it proper hit THAT spot, you know? The one that lets you fall into this book, and just read, and wile away a few hours while you recover from minor surgery. It landed, I read.

And I bloody LOVED it!

Robin has immediate attraction to Dair, right from the very first meeting but he doesn’t act on it, at all, cos Dair is straight. When Robin’s high school reunion comes up, he doesn’t really want to go, because it means he will come face to face with his abusive ex. When Robin’s best friend, Peyton, suggest he takes Dair as his plus one, Robin is not convinced it’s a good idea, but Dair does. It means Dair can get to know Robin better. THEN the suggestion is made for Dair to be Robin’s pretend boyfriend and things spiral out of control. Is Dair straight, or could he be bi? When Robin’s ex gets nasty, Dair knows what and WHO it is he wants, he just has to get there in time.

LOVED this, I really did!

It creeps up on you, and it’s sneaky the way it does.

The attraction that Robin has to Dair is powerful, right from the beginning, but Dair’s attraction to Robin sneaks up on him. It creeps and crawls when they go to Pine Cove, and to Robin’s family home. It sneaks up on him when he’s “pretending” and then it becomes a case of NOT pretending. He wants to touch Robin, hold his hand, kiss him. He WANTS more than those fleeting moments.
The thing with Robin’s ex, that sneaks up on you too! I did NOT see that coming out the way it was going, I really didn’t. I really thought he was trying to make amends! I did not think he was going to go as far as he did!
There is a sneaky thing going on with Peyton, Robin’s best friend, and his sister, Ava. Wonder how that will play out! There were lots of hints and clues and maybe I’m totally reading it all wrong but again, it’s a sneaky book!

It’s not overly explicit, but the physical relationship between Dair and Robin grows over time, so it doesn’t need to be. It’s got a bit of drama and angst with the ex, but not too much. Some danger to...well....just some danger in the book but not saying what.

It really was a thoroughly enjoyable, if sneaky, little book. But then again, its not even LITTLE! It’s just short of 300 pages, and I read it in one go.

Thank you, Ms Welch, for my copy. I hope I get to follow up with the people we met here.

Nick J Russo narrates.
I love Mr Russo’s work, and this is no exception!
His voices for Robin and Dair are PERFECT! They fit so well, they really do, to what I heard when I READ this book first. I do that a lot, know you, hear the voices and then when I find the book is being narrated, I hope my voices match the voices the narrator gives the characters and here I was no disappointed!
We get all of Robin’s instant and powerful attraction to Dair. We get Dair’s dawning realisation that he may not be as straight as he thought. We get all of Robin’s conflict with his ex and we get all of Dair’s terror when Robin is in danger.
Some of these come across when reading, but not all, and Russo nails the delivery!
His reading voice is deep and clear, and all the voices, for everyone, were different enough for me to have no trouble keeping up with multi person conversations.
I hope he gets to narrate the next books too. I need to listen to Troubled Waters, which is book two in this series.
5 stars for the narration
5 stars for the book
5 shiny, but sneaky stars overall

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

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Profile Image for Emma Burbidge
  • Emma Burbidge
  • 26-07-2019

Coming home?

Nick J. Russo is an excellent choice for bringing the guys to life. I haven't had an audio narrated by him in quite some time, but this reminded me why he is one of my favourites.
I love this room mates/fake boyfriend trope combined with Robin's high school reunion. I love how he got to go home and be with his family. I enjoyed how Dair just stays close by even when they fight and he could just as easily leave.
I hated Robin's ex as the smarmy piece of work that he is and was glad to see him get a serving of just desserts in the end.
This is a highly recommended Contemporary MM Romance.

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Profile Image for alias11
  • alias11
  • 22-07-2019

Sweet roommates to lovers romance

Very sweet, and occasionally a little angsty, roommates to friends to lovers romance. It was so terrible the way Mac made Robin feel and how long it took for him to realize how much more he was worth. I absolutely loved Robin's family and friends and how supportive they were. I hope we get to see Jay find his match, because he sounded like a fantastic person. Dair and Robin were so great for each other and filled in lots of empty spaces in their hearts.

The narration was very good. Excellent differentiation between various character voices, and a great job of matching tone and vocal level to the emotions being expressed.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from the author and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

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Profile Image for Trio
  • Trio
  • 22-07-2019

Adorable & Nick J. Russo is Perfect!

My first experience with the writing of H.J. Welch, combined with a fantastic performance by Nick J. Russo, Safe Harbor is adorable. A fake boyfriend/gay for you romance with a hefty side of playful humor and even a touch of drama, it makes a wonderful audiobook.

Fans of this genre know how hard it is to create a plausible foundation for this trope, both the story and the characters have to be believable for it to work. Both men are in their late 20’s and are relatively inexperienced in the ways of romance. The nerd and the hunky military guy are a great pairing and both of these guys are sweet as heck.

Returning home for his ten year reunion, Robin needs a fake boyfriend to distract his aggressive ex. Drawn to each other from the get-go, it’s no surprise when his (straight) room-mate Dair volunteers for the post. As the two grow even closer, Dair’s realization that he’s pansexual is a natural progression for his character and works well in the story.

Ms. Welch introduces a host of creative and engaging characters who live in Pine Cove and I’m looking forward to finding out whose story is needs. I hope more episodes in this series are on the way!

an audiobook copy of Safe Harbor (Pine Cover #1) was provided to me for the purpose of my review

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Profile Image for KR Phoenix
  • KR Phoenix
  • 22-07-2019

There is magic in this book!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 stars
🔥🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 4
🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 4.5

There is magic in this book!!

There is just something about this book that weaved its way into my heart. The characters are wonderful, the story powerful, and while this is more of an everyday story, with everyday people, these characters are so real and special that they have made their way into my heart and I fell in love with them and their stories.

The story follows Robin as he heads back to his home town for his 10-year high school reunion and must face his (somewhat abusive and manipulative) ex. He and his housemates concocted a plan that Robin and seemingly straight roommate Dair will be fake boyfriends for the week to keep Robin’s ex away and help him feel confident to face his town again. As expected lines are crossed and feelings are confused but this is done so slowly and subtly, in ways that weave magic through the story and will endear you to these characters. Robin must face some harsh truths about his past and his ex that are hard for him but thankfully his friends, family and of course Dair is there for him. The love that blossoms between Robin and Dair is magical, believable and powerful. They come out stronger than before and the story compassionately explains bisexual, pansexual and gay for you wonderfully that you can’t help but get all the feels. I truly loved this story and look forward to more from Helen and more in this series!!!

Thanks for reading!

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  • Meph666
  • 21-07-2019

Adorable couple wonderfully narrated

What a wonderful read! This is a great start to a new series. Two adorable men on a trip necessitating a fake boyfriend. Currently one of my favourite tropes and HJ Welch has given us a charming story with lovable characters.
Robin and Dair have a great connection and you can easily see them as friends. As Dair starts the story off as straight, the romantic in me is hoping as to where the story will take me but there are, as always, stumbling blocks in the way in the form of an ex boyfriend and their own thoughts fighting against them.
We have the chance to get to know both MC's as the story starts off and there are some fun people around them as well as one or two negatives that. It's very well paced and gives us a lot to keep our attention. The town of Pine Cove is written beautifully, sounding like such a lovely place to visit. I'm looking forward to the next chapter in this series.
Highly recommended, great writing from a wonderful author.
Nick J Russo does a fantastic job in narrating the characters in this story. It was really easy to fall into the story as Nick narrated and I enjoyed the way he voiced, giving each character their own personality in the way he spoke. There are several scenes that are tense and fraught with emotion but Nick gives his all and I felt right there with the characters. Definitely loved the sweeter moments the two MC's had together as well. Looking forward to Nick voicing the family and friends again in book 2.