Hiding in Plain Sight
by Cassandra Carr

Series: Safe Harbor #2
Published by Loose Id Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Lisa

Vladimir Gusev exists in a living hell. A year ago in the Olympics he was forced to use a homophobic slur during a game, and guilt is eating him from the inside out. Not only is Vladimir not a homophobe, but in the aftermath of the Olympics, he was finally able to admit his true nature to himself. Yet he's been taught homosexuality is a sin, so he tries to push away his feelings, but to no avail. Joe Bufford is an out gay man and an ex-Delta Force member who was medically discharged after an injury to his hand leaves him no longer able to perform his duties. His job as a mechanic at the airport is hardly a long-term career choice, but Joe has no idea where he can utilize the skills he learned in the Army. Vladimir and Joe meet, and Joe instantly recognizes Vladimir as a terrified closet case. Before he knows it, Joe is offering to help Vladimir figure out what he is and what he wants. As time goes on, Joe begins to hope more and more that the answers to those questions lie with him.

A serious injury during a mission sidelines Joe Bufford from continuing his career as a Delta Force operative.  With his military life over Joe takes a civilian job while he considers his future options.  Joe managed to keep his orientation a secret in the military.  These days he doesn’t make a big deal about it though he refuses to hide in the closet any longer.


Hockey player Vladimir Gusev was literally forced to say a homophobic slur at the Olympic Games which booted him off the team.  Luckily, it didn’t stop the Pittsburgh Phantoms from signing Vlad to play for them.


Ironically, the young Russian has been grappling with his sexuality for years. Attempting to accept what he is Vlad goes into a gay bar where his welcome is decidedly frosty.  Sitting at the bar Joe takes pity on the guy and strikes up a conversation.  One thing leads to another, one day together leads to another, and there’s no more doubt as to where Vlad belongs.  Trouble is Joey is out and the hockey player is afraid to leave the closet for fear of his career.  And apparently the Russians want Vlad, again.


The second installment in the Safe Harbor series features a powerful theme and an unlikely romance.  Professional and personal lives are examined in Hiding in Plain Sight as passions are awakened and accepted.  Joe could’ve been bitter, likewise Vlad, yet both deal and move on.  Hiding in Plain Sight focuses on a realistic attraction and the ensuing chaos when sexuality and careers collide.  Genuine and intense, cheer for Vlad and Joey, they deserve it.

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