Set in idyllic Southport, North Carolina, Safe Haven centers on the budding relationship between Alex Wheatley, a widowed grocery store owner with kids, and Katie, a timid young woman with a secret. What starts as a friendship naturally develops into mutual attraction. Just as Katie thinks she’s safe from her past, however, it comes rushing back in the form of Kevin, her violently jealous husband.
To be honest, I found the characters to be unremarkable and a little bland. Alex is nothing more than a nice guy, and Kevin is a garden-variety psychopath who harkens back to Biblical scripture whenever faced with a moral dilemma. What really worked for me were the harrowing flashbacks to Katie’s past, which allow us to see exactly what horrors she’s running from. These alone possess enough dramatic tension that made it hard to put the book down. The ending is a bit predictable, though it does contain a sweet twist (I myself don’t care for sentimentalism, but I still found myself going, “Awwww.”) Recommended for the deeply sentimental who are looking for a nice, safe read.
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