Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Haven’s Creed by Parker Williams

Safe Haven #1
328 pages
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


An act of violence destroys his family and ends the life he knows. To escape his haunted past, he joins the military, where, as a sniper, he is trained to kill with precision and detachment. When a covert organization offers him a new purpose, he becomes Haven, an operative devoted to protecting the innocent when he can and avenging them when he cannot.

After ten years of battling the evil in the world, the life no longer holds the attraction or meaning it once had, and he’s ready to walk away. Then he meets Samuel, a young man forced from the age of twelve to work as a sex slave. If ever a man had a need for Haven, it is this one.

Yet nothing about this growing relationship is one-sided. Sammy gives Haven a stability he’s never known, and Haven becomes the rock upon which Sammy knows he can depend.

When Sammy reveals something about the enemy Haven has been hunting for months, Sammy fears it will destroy what they’ve built and he’ll lose his home in Haven’s heart.


Well now. You know how I always say that I like books that surprise me? How I prefer books that are not like so many other books out there but bring something unique to my reading life? That’s exactly what happened when I opened Haven’s Creed. Sure, if you strip the story down to its barest parts it is a love story telling the tale of how Haven and Sammy got together and how they managed to make what should have been an impossible relationship work. But, it is so very much more than that.

I’m not quite sure how to describe what I’ve just finished reading but the closest I can get is to say this story gives us a study in humanity. It shows us both the worst and the best people can be. And it gives us characters who are so much more than they appear to be at first glance. Allow me to go back to the beginning, so to speak.

Haven. Poor Haven. Forced into an unthinkable act of violence to protect his mother and sister at far too young an age, he is trained, first by the army and then by the organisation that recruits him, to use that violence as a force for good. His acts may be extremely violent, bordering on sadistic at times, but his reasons for hurting and killing his targets are the best; he needs to protect the innocent victims to atone for the fact that he couldn’t prevent the horror that befell his sister. At first glance it would be easy to write him off as some sort of a psychopath, only prevented from being evil by the fact he’s working for ‘the good guys’, but even early on in the story, before he ever sets eyes on Sammy, there are clues that Haven’s deeds are not the result of some inherent blood lust, that there is a softer, needier side to him, even if he refuses to acknowledge that.

Sammy. *Sighs* Sammy tore at my heartstrings from the moment he was introduced. Everything he’s been through should have killed his spirit, turned him into an unredeemable mess, but it didn’t. At least, not entirely. He may be afraid of virtually all people. He may be borderline agoraphobic. He isn’t weak. And despite what I thought at first, he’s also not fixated on Haven like a baby goose who will view whoever they see first when they come out of the egg (or in Sammy’s case, captivity) as their parent or guide. Somehow Sammy managed to hang on to his inner core despite the horrors he was subjected to. And that gives him a stunning form a fragile strength. And, just as Sammy is exactly what Haven needs to allow his full personality to shine, Haven is what Sammy needs in order to find himself again.

And that, what I’ve described in the previous two paragraphs, is what made this book so very special for me. These characters are multi layered. Haven is not ‘just’ a killing machine, and Sammy is so much more than ‘just’ a victim. Like ‘real’ people they have their strengths and their weaknesses. And just as so often happens in ‘real’ relationships, their coming together allows them to grow into their full potential, to allow sides of themselves they weren’t even aware of, to come to the fore and shine.

Haven’s Creed has been added to my extra special list because the story was captivating and the characters fascinating. It deserves its place because Haven and Sammy as well as Kelly and Rook were allowed to develop and grow as characters and show me their full potential. There’s nothing superficial or easy about this story or the characters in it, and that’s what makes it a fabulous book. Bring on Haven’s War, and thank goodness it won’t be a long wait.

Coming June 26, 2017

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