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Summary

Where do you go when your home is no longer a safe place?  

Alex is about to turn 18 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 stand-alone.

©2018 Jay Northcote (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Safe Place

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love Alex and Cam. There, I said it.

We met Alex and Cam briefly in the first book and this is their story. Cam is an out bi guy who lives for playing rugby and drinking with his mates, when he meets Alex the attraction is instant, however there are two issues for Cam to deal with. The age gap, Cam is in his early twenties and Alex is eighteen and at school. Also, there’s Alex’s father, a prominent businessman in the local area and a former UKIP candidate, which should tell you all you need to know about the man.

Alex is out to his close knit group of friends, but fears coming out to the wider world as he knows what his father’s reaction would be. Alex has tried to live up to his father’s expectations for all his life, including studying subjects in school that he is not interested in. He sees his only way out is to get into university far from home so that he can live his real life. That dream comes crashing down when he fails to get the a’levels results that he needs and a series of events ensue that lead to the lad becoming homeless.

Above all, you can really start to see how Rainbow Place, an LGBT friendly cafe in a small coastal town, becomes more than just a place for a coffee, a beer or a meal. It brings people together and changes lives.

Having listened to four out of the five book in this series (so far) this story is my favourite. I instantly took to both characters and they were read so well by Hamish Long, who is fast becoming one of my favourite narrators. He has such a range of voices, with authentic sounding regional accents, and his story telling is so engaging.

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Beautifully written, expertly narrated romance.

I loved this book and I have no hesitation in recommending it.
This tells the story of Alex and Cam,who we meet briefly in Rainbow Place.
As always Hamish Long has done a brilliant job of bringing these characters and their story to life.
Jay Northcote's writing is superb and the story had my attention straight off the bat.
Alex,on the verge of turning eighteen and firmly closeted,is bidding his time. Waiting to escape from his homophobic father by going to university and finally coming out. But,his plans are shattered when he flunks his exams, leaving him stuck in his small town and working for his father. Cam is his only shinning light.
Cam,comfortable with who he is, thought he doesn't broadcast it,is young,free single. With his life revolving around playing rugby and hanging out with his mates he's happy. His attraction to Alex is instant,but,with a six year age gap and a bad relationship in his past,he is reluctant to be anything more than friends.
I don't want to give spoilers for this story. That being said I would like to recommend you dive in to find out if Alex and Cam come together and gain their happily ever after.

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Real

It is good to see younger main characters this time. They highlight the versatility of both author and narrator. Hamish Long nails the younger, lighter tones of Alex and Cam perfectly, while making them very different too.

The attraction between Alex and Cam was immediate and obvious in Book One, but Cam was wary because of Alex's age. When this is no longer a problem, the next stumbling block is who Alex's father is. I love how Alex responds in a quite immature fashion, which then sets of a domino effect that leaves him homeless. It is all just so real. Once again, strong emotions are invoked by a character...Cam this time...but he eventually redeems himself. Between the author and narrator, I live these books, which is just as it should be.

The next book, Better Place, is already downloaded.

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Adorable coming of age story

This is as much Alex's story as it is a romance. We meet Alex toward the end of the first book when we discover that Alex's dad is the homophobic letter writer who whips up hate for Rainbow Place, so we know that Alex isn't going to have an easy coming out story. What makes things easier for him is his friendship with Cam, Cam who he's attracted to, and who is attracted to him. But they don't act on this attraction since Alex needs a friend and Cam is commitment shy.
And therein lies the deliciousness of this story: the yearning looks, the slow build UST. All helped along by two engaging MCs. Alex is all young and earnest, Can is older (by 5 years) and scared of losing Alex's friendship if they start something.
I love Rainbow Place, the sense of found family, and all the amazing characters.
And the narrator does an excellent job, instilling the story with a sense of newness and wonder.
Lovely.

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Jay's second in the series

Number two with a good ending after a few hiccups along the way and enough spice to keep you happy a good listen hope you enjoy.

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Brilliant Audio Book

I started and finished this audio in one night, but it was 4am when it concluded.
Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Alex and Can and Rainbow Place.
Their romance was a slow burn and I actually thought a couple of times that it wouldn't go anywhere but preserver for the HEA.
Lots of characters in this book and twist and I have to say that Hamish once again does this book justice as the Narrator.
I do need to ask though did Jay watch East Enders about 20 years ago, might have to email him and ask....
Once you read or listen you may also ask the question.
Would happily read again and recommend.

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Profile Image for ❤️Cyndi Marie❤️🎧Audiobook Addicts🎧
  • ❤️Cyndi Marie❤️🎧Audiobook Addicts🎧
  • 09-12-19

✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫

I knew when I finished book 1 that I was going to end up loving this series. Alex & Cam's love story is perfect. This is a sort of friends to lovers story with such a hard story line too. I loved that most of this book these two are friends, for me this really helped build the connection and made me really anticipate them coming together. The chemistry & attraction is there from the beginning but I felt like these two really needed to find themselves before they could be together and that made their HEA perfect. This book deals with hard situations, especially for a closeted gay teen with parents who are not open minded at all. The best part about this story for me was the character growth and the build up. Seriously when these two finally come together it was hot & sweet. Now the only bad part is having to wait for books 3 & 4 on Audio, thankfully the wait is very short.

I enjoyed Hamish Long again in this book and can't wait to listen to him narrate the rest of this series.

12 people found this helpful

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  • whatcha.listening.to
  • 09-01-20

Safe Place

It was a given I was going to listen to the next book because I enjoyed the first one so much. I think I loved these characters more if that is even possible. Alex is so authentically himself but for when it comes to being himself at home. You can’t really blame him though, growing up with knowing you would never be accepted. I can’t even think of such a thing, breaks my heart frankly.

Cam, oh Cam, I get why he puts up all the barriers he is afraid to love and lose something that to him is so precious. He stole my heart too I can’t help it these book make me have all the feels.

Alex’s family ohh this was hard for me. I think because I have a Bi daughter and always knew no matter who my children grew up to be I would love them no matter what. This was especially hard to listen to, the hate for your own child. I can’t fathom it. I wish this didn’t happen in real life or in fiction but sadly it does, my hope for our future is for people to educate themselves and put yourself in your child’s place for 1 second.

Again the narration is dreamy, I can’t explain it better than that his voice, his accent yes please, more, please.

4 people found this helpful

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  • AlexTweetsBooks
  • 07-12-19

Simply Amazing

I loved this book! I needed some time to get used to Alex's voice but once I did, it was perfect. This was probably my favourite, or second favourite in the series and the audio is just...awesome! I am so glad these books are in audio, because it is way more convenient for my commute, and that the narrator managed to get the characters very well!

I can't wait for book 3 next week!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Katy Beth
  • 15-07-21

Being Yourself

I love the fact that Cam is patient and is thinking not just about himself but what impact it would have on Alex. There are some strong scenes regarding Alex which I don't want to do any spoilers but again how Cam reacts is really great to see. This story while having the fun Rainbow Place vibe it seems a little more intense.

I listened to the audio version and really enjoyed it. I love the fact that Cam is patient and is thinking not just about himself but what impact it would have on Alex. There are some strong scenes regarding Alex which I don't want to do any spoilers but again how Cam reacts is really great to see. This story while having the fun Rainbow Place vibe it seems a little more intense.

I listened to the audio version and really enjoyed it.

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  • Jill
  • 02-03-21

3.5 Stars

Safe Place is book 2 in the Rainbow Place series but it can be read as standalone since each book in the series is about a different couple. This is a YA, friends to lovers, MM romance book focusing on 17/18 year old Alex and Cam who is 6 years older. It is based in the UK and at 17, Alex is age of consent even though nothing more than kissing happens prior to his 18th birthday.

We met Alex in the first book and saw that his dad is a horrible human and very toxic and close minded. Unfortunately that carried over into this book. The scene where Alex's father found out Alex was gay broke my heart. I cried because it is such a real moment and something so many people experience.

The big problem in this book was how Alex and Cam were going to navigate their relationship when Alex wanted to be with Cam romantically and although Cam wanted the exact same, he was really scared to ruin their friendship so he didn't want to take anything beyond a friend level.

I enjoyed this book and am interested in continuing the series to see more of the people in this town and at the Cafe. The narration is okay. The narrator is fine to listen to.

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  • Christina Wade
  • 14-06-20

Another good story in the series

This is a sort of continuation from book one, but I really think it could be read/listened to as a standalone. Seb and Jason from book one are in this book and Cam and Alex met in book one but this book stands on its own just fine. I love that Rainbow Place is the ‘center of the universe’ for this series and Alex’s safe place when he needs one in this story.

I liked this story and Cam and Alex’s chemistry. At first, I understood Cam’s reluctance to be in a relationship with Alex but when that reason is eliminated, I didn’t fully get why he wouldn’t give in to his feelings.

When everything is stripped away and it’s the two of them, I like them together. Being friends first strengthened their relationship.

Mr. Long’s vocal performance is fantastic again. My first experience with this performer was the first book in this series, and I was impressed. He has distinctive voices for every character and his voices for the women were outstanding! I can honestly say I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed this story as much had I just read the book instead of listening.

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  • Zara
  • 04-06-20

Good.

Good and sweet but still realistic. If though a bit predictable.
Good narrator, enjoyable experience.

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  • M. Womochil
  • 30-05-20

A Tale of Friendship and Love

Jay has killed it with this 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!!!

I read this book when it first came out and listened to it just now and the narration adds so much depth to the story! It makes you feel the emotions even more deeply and the sexy scenes even hotter! Hamish Long is probably one of my new favorite narrators! Loving his work!!

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  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 29-02-20

Fantastic narration, a good HFN

It's happened again… I enjoyed this book very much when I read it last year and it got 4 stars from me. After listening to the fantastic performance by Hamish Long I'm upping that rating to 5 stars across the board.

Rainbow Place was the first book I listened to performed by him and I immediately became a fan. His performance of Safe Place didn't change my opinion. 😊 His British accent is very pleasing and easy for this American listener to understand. The various voices he uses for the characters are perfect and his pacing and vocal inflections are great.

I was particularly happy to learn the correct pronunciation of several words that I had pronounced differently in my head while I read the book. I just can't say enough good things about this new-to-me narrator and this story by Jay Northcote.

* * * * * * * *
Below is my original review when I read the book last year:

Safe Place is book two in the Rainbow Place series but it can be read as a standalone with no problem. Book one, Rainbow Place, sets up the location of the Rainbow Place series and how the cafe got started. It's a good story but don't be afraid to read Safe Place if you haven't read book one.

The blurb perfectly describes the story so I won't go over it again. Cam and Alex's friendship is important to both of them but Cam is afraid to jeopardize their budding friendship to act on his more-than-friends urges. Alex agrees to stay just friends because he doesn't want to lose Cam.

The pacing of the book was just a bit slow for me. The main conflict for the story, when Alex's dad learns he's gay, didn't happen until about 58% of the way through the book. It was good that we got a lot of background on Alex and Cam so I didn't really mind this as I enjoy a good slow burn romance. What bothered me just a bit was that things escalated fairly quickly for Alex and Cam from that point on and I would have preferred that this part of the story was at the same pace as the beginning and perhaps just a bit longer.

We learn something about Alex's mom near the end of the book and I felt like I wanted to know more about her situation. I know that this book was about Alex and not his mom, but I still wanted more about her. I'm one of those readers who always wants more. 😊

In any case, this was a very good story and I hope to see a bit more of Alex and Cam as the series continues. I know they probably won't be main characters again but perhaps we'll get a glimpse of them at some point.

This may sound funny but I'd also like to say I love how "British" this book is. I like reading stories that are written differently from the way we speak in the U.S. and I'm enjoying getting an education in British English by reading Jay's books.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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  • JennDonald
  • 28-02-20

Very enjoyable story

Safe Place is the second book in this series, but it can be read as a stand alone, although the first book is a great read as well. This book is a slow burn, friends to lovers story featuring Cam and Alex and I really enjoyed their story!

When we first meet Alex he is 17 and trying to finish school and prepare for university. He is gay but still in the closet because his father is severely homophobic. He can’t wait to escape to university where he plans to come out and live the life he has always wanted to. He hangs out at Rainbow Place for a safe place to be, and that is where he meets Cam, a rugby player that just totally catches his attention. The two hit it off right from the start but when Cam learns who is father is, he puts the breaks on things, wanting to be friends to protect Alex. When Alex’s dreams of heading off to school don’t come true he is faced with new choices, and when his father accidentally finds out about his sexuality he can’t go home and ends up staying with Cam. The two try to be friends but their chemistry and real feelings hover just beneath the surface.

Jay Northcote does a great job creating that just there sexual tension and more between these two! It’s clear that both of these men want more, but as their journey goes on, it’s not just more in the bedroom they are both really looking for. I really enjoyed Hamish Long's narration, he does a great job of bringing these characters and this story to life. Yes, this is a romance but it also really felt like a journey of self discovery for both of these guys. It is about coming to terms with, and welcoming, what it is that they really want in life. I really liked both of these guys and felt for what they went through. Yes, their mixed signals can be a bit frustrating but it’s a part of their story. There are also great secondary characters that really make this story fun. I loved the bits of Seb in there and I’m really curious to see if we will get more about Dylan! A great addition to this series, one that will make your heart happy!