Worth Stapleton has hit rock bottom. Though his mother’s remains have been found and laid to rest, and the true culprit has confessed, Worth’s life is still imploding. With nothing left, he ends up back in Safe Harbor, under his tree where he used to think as a child, with no hope of a future. But Sam Bookman lives in his old house now, and Sam recognizes just how dark Worth’s thoughts are.
Sam has done his best to reach out to Worth over the past few years, but when Worth stopped responding, he thought that was it. Finding Worth under the tree is a second chance, and he’s bound and determined to get Worth the help he needs. With Worth admitting he doesn’t feel like he deserves care and attention, Sam gives him purpose and a safe place to heal.
Sam is good at giving everyone else what they need, and Worth is no exception. Worth, particularly, deserves Sam’s time and love. Sam has always had a crush on Worth, though he pushes those feelings down. Worth is more important than Sam’s feelings.
But the attraction between them only grows and, when Sam figures out that Worth needs control and that he likes to serve his partner, a new dynamic opens up for them. Though Sam isn’t a traditional Dom, he steps into the role easily and it gives them a place to start. For Worth, it gives him a chance to shut off his brain and to try and accept it when Sam says he’s worth it. But Worth has a lot of healing to do and it will take time, meds, therapy, and talking to get there. The road isn’t linear and things aren’t perfect, but the love these two men find are what will see them through.
This is the third and final book in the Safe Harbor series and it is filled with grief, anger, and despair. But surprisingly, the story isn’t that heavy. It has moments that are dark, for sure. Moments where Worth can’t see a future for himself and would prefer things to end. But there’s so much hope and love throughout this book that it never got too heavy. Worth needs to find his worth—and there are plenty of lovely puns sprinkled throughout regarding his name—and that is not an easy road.
The first two books in the series have been leading up to this. Sam has been a prominent secondary character, but Worth has been mentioned and in the background as well. The case that brought Monroe home and Cal to Safe Harbor centers around Worth’s mother. But that too has been a background to the men in this series, both finding unlikely roommates and then love. Seeing Worth on his healing journey was great, and one of things I particularly liked in this book is how Sam’s love and attention helped Worth a great deal, but it wasn’t the magical fix to his problems.
The chemistry between the MCs was great, and while it could have felt too easy, considering Sam’s childhood crush, it didn’t. It was believable and palpable, and though the love came fast for them, it was clear how well the MCs work together. Worth needed new dreams, and he was able to find that with Sam. That being said, I will say that my only small quibble with the book was how easily Worth shared his pain in the beginning and how far he came in his healing journey in such a short time. But I say small because Albert made it work, and the hope of that added an extra layer to the book.
All in all, this was a nice conclusion to the series, with an epilogue that shows a truly happy future for everyone. This book has a lot of heavy themes, but the pervasive love and care lighten the tone. The characterization really drove this story for me, as well as the whole series, and I enjoyed spending time in Safe Harbor with these characters.