Rudy really wants to be a respected journalist. He works for a magazine in Boston and he’s tired of not getting the assignments that he wants. When he is given yet another assignment he feels is beneath him to find former child star “Baby James” Waterman, Rudy’s groan of frustration cannot be contained.
Rudy’s search takes him to a small community in the mountains of New York called Singing Bear Village. The residents there are close and have each other’s backs and when Rudy starts asking questions, the locals get restless. Yet, James, or JT as he goes by these days, is nothing like Rudy thought he would be. To say JT is reluctant to be interviewed is an understatement and the guys strike a deal, one that will give Rudy some of what he needs and that will still keep JT’s privacy intact.
JT wants nothing more than to be rid of the nosy reporter, but there is an almost reluctant and instant attraction between the men. But not everything is as it seems in Singing Bear Village as Rudy sees bright lights and shadows in the woods and his attraction to JT may not be the only thing simmering beneath the surface.
Safe in Your Fire was released a little over a year ago and while it has been on my list to read since then, I hadn’t had the opportunity until now and it was certainly worth the wait. This book had a little bit of everything, from chemistry between the main characters to a perfectly paced story that kept me turning one page after the next.
Rudy opens the story and he is not long out of college and in his first professional job in his aspiring career as a writer. He thought he was going to get the job of his dreams directly out of college and has put a lot of pressure on himself. He likes his job, it’s just that he’s not getting the challenging assignments that he wants. And this latest assignment has him wondering just who really cares about whatever happened to Baby James Waterman.
From the moment Rudy arrives in Singing Bear Village, he knows something is up but he couldn’t be prepared for exactly what he would find. Well, first he finds JT and he finds him irresistible. But JT left the public eye ten years ago and has no interest in being found or being interviewed and Rudy thinks that a little friendly blackmail will get him what he wants, although JT reluctantly lays down the ground rules.
The pull here is first the attraction between Rudy and JT. Rudy is immediately drawn to JT who he feels was made just for him and JT doesn’t think that Rudy is gay or even interested. Rudy puts an end to that line of thinking quickly and JT becomes completely undone by the dirty talk that flies out of Rudy’s mouth. The next draw is what exactly is going on in the village, what are JT and his friends doing, and why do they need to hike up into the mountains to do it.
I did not find the book spooky but intriguing and the author perfectly balanced the sci-fi aspect with the relationship while also bringing in an interesting ensemble cast of characters. The book is told from both Rudy and JT’s points of view and the shift between the two was written effortlessly. The pacing deserves a second mention here because that, as well as the atmosphere and tension, kept this book a true page turner.
The ending isn’t exactly complete as JT and Rudy are solid but just starting out and the larger arc will continue on throughout the series. The remaining books are now high up on my list of books to be read. This book offered a little bit of everything as it featured romance as well as things that go bump in the night and I would recommend you check it out.