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Safe Harbor

(Pine Cove #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  698 ratings  ·  132 reviews
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.

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published May 17th 2019
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  698 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
78% dnf because here comes the misunderstanding, the no communication, and the OTT drama from a psycho ex. Before that everything was moving along just fine. I’m out of patience and I’m moving on…
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Robin and Dair's fake love story is so sweet (with a bit of angst). I loved watching them fumbling around and falling in love. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next in the series! ...more
Hey y'all!
H.J. Welch has a Halloween short about Robin and Dair on Prolific Works right now.

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 f
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it

I don’t know, folks.

So many parts of Safe Harbour were good. Some...not so much.

I LOVED Dair. Loved him. And Smudge. He was cool too.

But. Robin?! I was annoyed. He kept calling himself an idiot, and well, id have to agree with him.

I loved the town, Robins family, especially his brothers and sisters. MAC was a total effing asswipe and I’m sort of ticked off that Robin was too dumb to notice.

I feel like sometimes, HJ Welch created conflicts where ones really shouldn’t have happened,
Jul 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook
Soooo this was pretty terrible. The author should have made these characters teenagers because their behavior was not what I expect from men close to 30. And the dialog, omg. “Are we, um, boyfriends?” “Your cock is a work of art.” “The thought of being inside’s pretty all-consuming, hon.” Is this supposed to be sexy? And the sex itself was as boring as dry toast.

And then there’s the miscommunication/misunderstanding bullshit where these two grown men who are supposed to be intelligent
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet, sexy OFY story with likeable characters - apart from the scumbag ex of course. Excellent narration from Nick J. Russo.
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Safe Harbor is the first book in the new series, Pine Cove, by HJ Welch. I was instantly hooked to this story from the synopsis alone and it was just as adorable as I expected it to be.

Geeky Robin has been crushing on his hot ex- Marine roommate since he walked in the door. This crush has made him keep his distance from Dair but that hasn't stopped Dair from trying to be his friend. When he decides he needs a date to bring home for his high school
Holden Luu
May 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very sweet story, from the beginning to around 75% was great. But then that thing happened which made our MCs misunderstand each other, the typical stuff that makes the reader reeling.

But I was really reeling really really reeling because of how unnecessary and dumb it was and honestly that ruined the book for me. I am sure most people can live without that part.

And Robin, holy shit get a grip and make up your damn mind for once. Listen to everyone that truly cares about you and stop being in th
Mel Bradley
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
For the love of everything... edit your dang book! During one of the first encounters, Dair ended up "thinking about Dair." Way too many bumbles to read through especially with such a trite story/trope. ...more
Lillian Francis
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fake boyfriend trope done well.
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it

A story of a very insecure Robin, who does not believe in his self worth. He's been afraid to date and now afraid to return home for his high school reunion. This is all because of his ex - who was extremely abusive mentally and emotionally. His roommate Dair volunteers to be his fake boyfriend for the reunion festivities. The story was cute and supporting cast was funny and supportive as these two learned new things about themselves and each other.
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 Dai
Dani Elle Maas
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very sweet contemporary novel with a little angst woven into it. I liked the slow burn in the beginning as well as the friendship between Robin and Peyton and the addition of Dair.
The process of Dair figuring out what he was feeling about Robin and more was a wonderful, interesting read. As well, I enjoyed Dair trying to find out if he could be bi or pan and what to think about that.
The fake boyfriend, opposites attract tropes are worked out to their full potential with how the author
K.R. Phoenix
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 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
HEChapter -Tina J
Third Person POV

When retired, STRAIGHT Marine, Dair, applied to live with Robin and his bff, Peyton, Robin developed a bit of an insta-crush!
Robin's faced with returning home for his high school reunion, something he dreads and has avoided for 10 years due to an abusive ex-boyfriend.
There's no way Dair is going to let some a-hole from Robin's past make him miss the reunion and seeing his family, who he clearly misses.
Peyton and Dair hatch a plan. A fake-boyfriend plan.
As time passes and the
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fake-boyfriends
Okay I loved this book and I hated this book.

+ Amazing scenery.
+ Cute nerd
+ Extremely sexy hunk of an ex marine
+ Great writing
+ Sweet, funny story.

I have a huge crush on Dair. Not going to lie. And I loved reading about Pine cove and all of the amazing characters and furbabies. But, I had some problems too.

- Robins insecurites and how easily manipulated he was. It made me crazy from time to time.
- Dair being oblivious to his feelings for Robin until someone told him what he was feeling.
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bb-review
I’m a huge fan of the fake boyfriend trope. There’s something about it that just does it for me. This was a decent read in my opinion. Robin and Dair were both likeable characters. There were aspects of Robin’s personality that were unexpected, but I surprisingly liked. I’m not usually a fan of dirty talk but it worked for Robin one hundred percent. Dair was sweet, caring, and kind from start to finish. I was startled by his insight and the steps he took for Robin. What I wish there was more of ...more
Arc provided courtesy of LesCourt
All reviews are voluntary and my honest opinion.

This one is a lot of standard fake boyfriend trope. Robin hasn't been home in several years, because he's terrified of his ex boyfriend who was an abusive jerk. The school reunions is coming up, and his family really misses him, especially his twin brother, Jay. When his super hot roommate, Dair -- who is totally straight --volunteers to be his boyfriend for the week, it's enough to make him feel safe returning home
Misty M
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, arc, m-m, contemporary
This is your fairly classic fake boyfriend, with some fun twists. A light, sweet read, Dair and Robin were adorable together. I really loved Dair, such a white knight, maybe too perfect at times, but still great. Robin...would have been awesome, he has the a-dork-able vibe going, shy, and low in self esteem.

Despite being a light read, and not really my thing, this would have been a solid 4 stars if not for Robin’s final TSTL moment. I totally understand wanting to forgive, or believe the best i
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Housemates Robin and Dair agree to be fake boyfriends for Robin's 10 year high school reunion.
I really enjoyed this friends to lovers/fake boyfriend book. Both Robin and Dair were great guys. I really liked Robin's family and friends.
It was great watching grow closer as the reunion week carries on, as Dair begins to realise his feelings for Robin are growing.
A bit of angst and misunderstanding follows...
Will they both believe the lies Robins ex is telling?
Do they trust that what they have is str
Rae Percy
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Frustrating at 70%

I really enjoyed reading until about 70% through. The manipulation the Bad Guy was doing didn't bother me but I can't stand it when two main characters don't resolve some thing because they're both making assumptions.

The reactions Dair and Robin have to the manipulation of Mac do not speak of two people confident in their feelings for each other. Every time Robin justified spending time with Mac had me rolling my eyes. If I was in Dair's shoes I would have left Robin behind!
Ankita Singh
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually read books featuring gay awakenings in seemingly straight characters, but I decided to give this one a chance because the blurb sounded too good to pass up.

And I'm glad I did. Robin and Dair's story was beautiful, not cliché or unbelievable at all and I absolutely loved it. They were both such sweet characters, and despite all the problems they got through them.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
First and last

This author is new to me. I didn't look at reviews so I went in with no preconceived notions. Turns out, I probably should have. Right away, she pinged one of my reader no-no's. If you are going to clearly localize your book to say ... the U.S., but you are NOT from the same country, you must keep your phrases, lingo, slang - to the place where your book takes place. I should not be able to tell that you are European, if your characters are from Seattle.

Second ping. The book is b
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it

Everything about this was just a little over the top but it strangely worked for me and made it all that much more angsty and enjoyable. Seriously, lack of communication? Plenty. Sudden queer acceptance? For sure. Unnecessarily evil antagonist? Duh. But...I still liked it, sue me.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So so sweet. I’m so going to read the rest of the series if they are all this good.
Tammie Hill
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!

I loved Dair and his need for friends and family. Robin being shy and Peyton just being there for them. When they finally figure out what is going on between them it's really awesome. They are a great couple and really sweet together.
Super disappointing read. Everything about the story felt trite and clichéd—from the premise to the characters to the conflict to the ending, it was all predictable and, frankly, boring. It was also extremely slow-paced and, even when it did pick up, seemed to drag right back down to an excruciating snail's pace in the very next second, mostly because of Robin's crippling insecurities and Dair's nonsensical confusion over his own feelings, both of which were hammered out and explored to absolute ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Dair is very LGBT positive, having been friends with couples in the military. When he moves in with Robin and Peyton, he’s a perfect roommate.

He’s also the perfect fantasy crush for Robin. So, when Robin thinks about missing the high school reunion his twin has organized so he won’t have to face his ex, Dair decides to be his fake boyfriend and protect him.

As they touch and are affectionate, and Robin feels less self-conscious, it becomes clear that they have potential as a couple. Interferenc
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was really enjoying this book, started off strong and then nothing happened. It just dragged on and on. I was feeling the connection between the two main characters. Sorry.
Gabbi Grey
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sweet friends to lovers story (an audio review)

I love friends-to-lovers stories and this one was wonderful. Robin has a problem. Well, he has several. First he and his roommate Peyton have to find a third person to share their rental house. Not an easy task as even though they’ve advertised as a queer-friendly home, they’ve had some interesting applicants. Then arrives Dair and he’s perfect. The ex-military auto mechanic is easy-going, cleans up after himself and, best of all, cooks. Cooks well.
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HJ Welch is a contemporary MM romance author living in London with her husband and two balls of fluff that occasionally pretend to be cats. She began writing at an early age, later honing her craft online in the world of fanfiction on sites like Wattpad. Fifteen years and over a million words later, she sought out original MM novels to read. She never thought she would be any good at romance, but ...more

Other books in the series

Pine Cove (4 books)
  • Troubled Waters (Pine Cove #2)
  • Homeward Bound (Pine Cove #3)
  • Bright Horizon (Pine Cove #4)

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