Review: Sloan Parker – How to Heal A Life (The Haven #2)

Author: Sloan Parker
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: Sloan Parker Press
Genre: MM

Rating: ★★★★½ 


Summary: Seth Fisher has been to hell and back, but he has no intention of letting the torment of his past destroy his future. He thinks he’s doing good. He’s working again, talking, laughing, living. But everyone else still sees him as broken.

Except for one man. Raymond Vargas.

If only Seth could leave his apartment alone without a panic attack, then he could prove to everyone he’s going to be okay. And he could tell the one man who has never let him down that he wants him.

Raymond Vargas has spent the past two years trying to make up for what happened to six young men who were tortured at the hands of a member of his club. He’d do anything to keep them safe, to help them heal and move on, to help them forget they ever set foot inside the Haven.

If only he hadn’t fallen in love with one of them.

If only Seth wasn’t still in danger.

Review: It’s been a while since “How to Save A Life” came out and I was so pleased to see this sequel! This is Seth and Vargas’ story, two years past the horrors of the events at The Haven, Vargas’s club. Seth has almost fully recovered from his physical injuries and still works to overcome some of his mental obstacles. Vargas has been helping him the entire time, some of it in ways Seth and the other men don’t even know about. Feelings have developed between the two but are unspoken at first, due to understandable doubts and fears. The first half of the book is devoted to some fine character and plot development, with alternating POV’s. It makes for some great buildup, but slowed the pace of the book, and I also missed getting any strong sense of UST from the narrative. There was so much fear, guilt, feelings of inadequacy, etc. from both Vargas and Seth that kept the tone too gloomy. Both Seth and Vargas have too many internal monologues, and stops and starts, over whether to voice their feelings, until I wanted to smack them.
After the first half, the pace picks up quite a bit, Seth and Vargas have more in-depth dialogue and discussions, so the romance heats up nicely. The suspense offered lots of tension, with Prescott’s POV adding major creepy factor. A few plot twists were added making it hard to guess who’s manipulating things behind the scenes. I always enjoy it more when the author doesn’t make it too easy. The ending has satisfying resolution and retribution, and an excellent epilogue. Dylan, one of the other survivors of Prescott’s evil, gets his own book next, at least that’s the hint that’s given! This could probably be read as a stand alone but I’d also recommend reading book one first for the background and additional characters mentioned here. While I didn’t enjoy this sequel quite as much as book one, I would still recommend this strongly.

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