Rating: 4.5 Stars

Publisher: Annabeth Albert

Genre: Gay Romance

Tags: Contemporary, Age Gap (18 Years), Best Friend’s Son, Grumpy/Sunshine, Opposites Attract, Romance, Series, Small Town

Length: 304 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: Amazon

Blurb –

*Note that this review is slightly spoilerish in a couple of places.*


I’ve inherited my aunt’s historic house in small-town Oregon, and I need to fix it up and sell it fast before I move on to my big-city dreams. I’m one of the navy’s best investigators, but twenty years of living in base housing means DIY isn’t part of my extensive skill set.

Luckily, my best friend has the solution: his twenty-three-year-old son. Knox recently graduated from college, needs a room for the summer, and comes with a giant cat and years of remodeling experience.

Not only is Knox all grown up and hot as sin, but I recognize him. He’s the bossy, bearded guy I shared the hottest kiss of my life with. No way can my buddy find out I’ve got it bad for his son. But with all the stripping, hammering, and drilling, my defenses crumble one dance break at a time.

As our sexy secret summer fling continues, Knox also proves himself handy at fixing my grumpy mood and wounded heart. Now I can’t imagine a future without him. I can solve any problem the navy throws at me, but I have no clue what to do about loving Knox or the damage this could do to my decades-long friendship.

Can we build a forever together, or are we destined to go our separate ways?

BRING ME HOME is a small-town Dad’s-best-friend MM romance. It features a forty-something grumpy former naval investigator, a much younger ray of sunshine, a matchmaking cat, sexy times in unusual locations, enough heat to burn the neighborhood, and a warm fuzzy hug’s worth of found-family feels. Dual point-of-view and big fluffy HEA guaranteed!

BRING ME HOME launches the brand-new Safe Harbor series from acclaimed author Annabeth Albert. Knox, Monroe, and the rest of Safe Harbor, Oregon, welcome readers to a historic town with a tight friend group, memorable secondary characters, quirky businesses, and long-held secrets. Each book stands alone with a fresh couple, but the background mystery of the town’s secrets ties the series together.

Review –

The first thing I’m going to say is that I love a good age gap romance. There are 18 years between Knox, who is 23, and Monroe, 41. Granted, 23 is still quite young, and I’ve read more than enough books where the author made sure the reader knew how young that is compared to the other main character. It wasn’t like that here. Knox is every bit as mature as Monroe; more so in some instances.

Monroe has recently inherited his Aunt Henri’s historic house in Safe Harbor. He lived there for a bit when he was young but had the same goal a lot of folks who grow up in a small town have – to get the heck out of Dodge as soon as he was able. He went into the military because it was expected of him because of all the lawmen and military people in his extended family. He’s just retired as a naval investigator. He’s only in Safe Harbor long enough to get his Aunt Henri’s house ready to be sold, and then he’s headed to an investigative job in San Francisco. He has no desire to stay even if his closest friends – Rob, Holden, Sam – live there. Unfortunately, he knows next to nothing about remodeling.

This is where Knox comes in. Knox is Rob’s 23-year-old son. Rob is the chief of police for Safe Harbor. Rob and his wife Jessica have triplet girls and another baby on the way. I throw the family out there because they play a big part in a lot of things. Rob suggests Knox help Monroe with the remodeling. He’ll be home for the summer before going off to an Ivy League grad school, and will need a place to stay. Knox is also very experienced in handywork and remodeling, having worked for a business in town on and off over the years. Monroe agrees, though he doesn’t know Knox. He’d been away for two decades.

A few days before Knox is supposed to arrive at Monroe’s home for the summer, they’re both at a bar celebrating the upcoming nuptials of some friends – the weddings and friends are not connected. One thing leads to another, Monroe and Knox are making out in a corner of the bar and moments from leaving to take things further. Unfortunately, friends from both sides show up and the moment’s gone. Of course, neither knew who the other was at the time. Imagine their surprise when Monroe shows up at his friend’s home for a barbecue, and who should answer the door but the young man he’s not been able to stop thinking about?

That meeting doesn’t go as well as Knox would’ve liked. Even so, they still agree to live together as they work on the old house. It just goes without saying that nothing about their hot kiss in the bar will ever get back to Rob. Monroe is also very adamant about nothing happening between them over the summer.

Yeah, that didn’t last long. Let’s just say that Knox has a way of being persuasive. 😉

What starts out as the best sex either man has ever had quickly turns into a whole lot more. Not only are they beyond compatible sexually, they also just click. Knox is very mature for his years, as I said above. He’s been pulled back and forth between his mother’s home with her wife, and his father’s home with Jessica and all the kids. He’s never felt like he’s really belonged anywhere. With Monroe, he feels at home, he is home. Monroe, who’d been all over the world with his Navy career, feels the same way with Knox. The age difference be damned, they’re right for each other.

Which brings me back to Rob, Knox’s father and Monroe’s best friend. To be blunt, I hated him. That didn’t change as the story played out, nor did it change when he decided to be decent. My hate for him had nothing to do with Knox and Monroe together. Not in the beginning anyway. No, Rob was all about treating Knox like a three-year-old instead of a twenty-three-year-old man. And Rob used the hell out of Knox. He was always tasked to watch the triplets, change a lightbulb, make a repair or two, or run errands anytime Rob or Jessica (Rob’s wife) called. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Jessica. She wasn’t the typical bitchy stepmother you see so much in books and real life. She was actually quite amazing, though she also used Knox even if she didn’t realize she was doing it. Knox was always on the outside looking in, again not belonging anywhere, at least until he and Monroe got together. It was also pretty obvious early on – when Knox was pushed out of his own room at their house – that he was an afterthought as far as where he’d be staying. Oh, there was an unfinished basement that was the size of a closet, but it was made clear by Jessica’s visiting mother, her sister, and even Rob, that Knox and his cat weren’t welcome. Not Jessica. She seemed to be the only welcoming one in the bunch.

I’m ready for Monroe to sell that damn house. Get Knox off to school. Monroe to the Bay. Everything back to normal.”

Dad sounded exhausted himself, but my chest still pinched. Was he that eager to be rid of me?

There’s a lot of secrecy with Monroe and Knox, but that doesn’t take away from the very real feelings on both sides. That’s something I really loved about the book. Once they had sex the first time, there was no turning back on what was happening in their relationship. I’m not just talking about the sex. I’m talking about them as a couple. When Monroe realized what he felt, he was quick to tell Knox, even if it was a little awkward at first.

There’s also a mystery in Safe Harbor that Rob, Holden, and Monroe are working to solve. Worth, one of their former classmates and friends, had his mother disappear without a trace years ago. Worth’s dad was always the suspect but nobody could prove one way or another. Monroe’s been helping with cold cases since he got back into town, and this is the main one he’s working on. Knox is also helping but as a roomie/friend as far as the others are concerned.

As another reviewer or two stated, as I read this I felt like I had been dropped into an already-established world I knew nothing about. This is the main reason the book is getting 4.5 instead of 5 stars. With Holden’s story coming up next, no doubt I’ll have to go back and check out another series because of who his MC will be. This can be read as a standalone, but it’s like there was this inside thing going with all the characters, and I was on the outside looking in. I didn’t like that.

What I did like were Monroe and Knox together. They were so perfect together, and oh how they loved each other. But everything came down to what would happen at the end of the summer. Would Monroe sell the house and move to San Fran as planned? And what about Knox? Will he go to graduate school even though he wants to stay home in Safe Harbor? And worse, how will Rob take it if and when he finds out that his son and best friend are in love with each other.

Spoiler alert…

He doesn’t handle it well, which added to my total hate for the bastard. Rob didn’t care what Knox wanted. It was all about his goals for his son, and what he thought Knox should do.. There are some things you can’t come back from. Knox was too damn forgiving. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Parent the kid you are given, not the kid you might wish they were.”

Overall, this is a really good book. There was a lot of waiting for the other shoe to drop as far as Rob finding out about the relationship, but it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. Knox was absolutely perfect. As for Monroe, he was a little stiff in the beginning, but he had his reasons. I ended up loving him as well. I’m really looking forward to Holden and Sam’s stories, though Holden’s a bit of a grump from what I’ve seen so far.