Cover Image: A Safe Place

A Safe Place

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Member Reviews

Tough, tender-hearted Frankie Devereux doesn't have time to babysit a smooth-talking football player who's supposed to be doing community service at her after-school center for troubled teens. She's dealing with serious stuff – gang problems, a homeless pregnant girl and scraping together enough money to keep her center open. But when a dark secret from her past threatens Frankie and the existence of her program, Cal tries to step up and help. But with his career on the line, which will he choose? Football? Or Frankie and her vulnerable kids?
This was a really good story. Contemporaries and egotistical main characters are hit and miss for me but I really liked this one. The author did a great job with Cal (and of course Frankie). The overall story and underlying plot were well written. I highly recommend.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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So let's start with the positives. I have read quite a few stories like this and many of them are poorly written with typos and story issues all over the place. This story does not, it is well written, it moves like an actual story, has no major grammatical issues or structure challenges. 

The story is fairly predictable, QB has to do community service at an at risk youth center, meets Frankie, and what you expect to happen does in fact happen. But in this story the characters feel real, with actual emotions, vs just having a libido that has to be satiated with that of the audience. I thought the characters progressed well and the story was decently told. 

What I didn't like was, it wasn't anything more. Nothing here was especially great, it was all well done but nothing stood out. Nothing was exceptional. The author did a good job and the cover is definitely eye catching (which is a step up from many of these) and the characters real but the story is one I've read and seen many times and as this isn't necessarily better than the best of them (it's just not worse), I cant give it a full recommendation. But if you're into these types of books, this one will scratch your itch decently enough.
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Frankie Devereux is running an after school program on her own and is fighting anyone who tries to come in to here territory. Giving back to the children of the neighborhood is what is has always wanted to do. When in walks Cal Stewart football player and in her place doing community service. She normally does not like anyone new in her place and having some hot shot football player is not going to help her at all. He immediately knocks her down when he sees some gang members talking to one of the boys coming in. he then gets into it with them, of course not thinking the cameras are still outside and catch the whole thing and once again he is in the news until she finally comes around him and comes up with the right words. Realizing that he is out of his element, not, he thinks he saved her when in fact she lives in this very same neighborhood not clear across Chicago in some high rise penthouse. The first over she tries to get rid of him like all of the other ones, but alas she is stuck with the football player. On top of that, he passed from when she went to the juvenile hall is now the head of DCPS, and he would later cause her many problems. She has to tell her brothers what happened from when she went to juvenile hall all of it, she later tells Call. She and Cal begin to work together great with the kids and the story really takes off when a teen shows up pregnant and she is helping her, plus keeping one of the boys from going back into the gang. The problem really comes when she opens her heart up to Cal and he walks away and you begin to wonder if this story will change. The last part of the book is fantastic and makes everything come together. The characters are all good and this is a very good book.
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This is a well written story that draws yo in and keeps you engaged Yes there is a romance a cocky sports jock and a women trying to help under privileged youth but there is also the stories of those youths as they try to find a way to better themselves

Frankie Devereux runs  Freezone a centre to help underprivileged kids in a hard part of town. She had problems herself as a teen and sees this has her redemption So she works in a bakery to help support Freezone ans is in fact burning herself out. Caleb “Cal” Stewart is a football star who has been given the choice of jail or community service something he doesn't think he deserves because after all he was trying to help a woman ad he doesn't have time for this after all he needs to work on recovering full movement in his knee before the next season. Cal is determined to weasel his way out of the community service but even though she doesn't want him there Frankie isn't going to let him get out of it. Yes he is a jerk but as he spends more time with the kids and with Frankie he actually grows up and becomes the man he is meant to be. Do they have a future together you will have to read to see
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This is Frankie and Cal book, Cal is a smooth talking football player who has to do community service at an afterschool center for troubled teens. He gets in trouble for beating up a guy that’s being a jerk to a girl but the police don’t care about that they just want to put him away! Frankie runs a afterschool center for troubled teens she doesn’t have time to babysit the smooth talking football player she’s dealing with serious stuff, gang problems, a homeless pregnant girl, and trying to scrape together enough money to keep her center open! But when a dark secret from her past threatens Frankie and the existence of her program Cal tries to step in and help but with his career on the line he’s not sure what to choose? Football? Or Frankie and her kids from the program? This book was really good I was pleasantly surprised it was better than I thought it was going to be. It touched on some serious subjects but didn’t harp on it so it was so depressing. It’s definitely worth reading I highly recommend reading it! Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for sharing this book with me!
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A Safe Place by Margaret Watson
The Devereux Family #1

Frankie Devereux has set up a safe place for at-risk youth to go after school. This place is in a bad part of town and much needed in the community. She has some donors to assist a bit with finances but provides most of the funds to keep the place going by working in a bakery – she is often tired and stressed and seems to be burning her candle at both ends. When Frankie finds out that super-jock Cal Stewart has been assigned to work with her in the youth program as his community service punishment instead of going to jail she is less than thrilled. She doesn’t need a selfish guy hanging out bringing newshounds around to stir up trouble. Cal has a bum knee that he is sure will get better in time for another year of playing football. He is rather self absorbed and selfish until he spends a bit of time working with the youth at Frankie’s center and then he becomes a much more well rounded person or perhaps lets others see his true self. Of course there will be a romance and it is a good one BUT this story also provides side stories of youth in the program and what they are facing, big life decisions for Cal and Frankie to make and also a scuzzy guy who really needs to be taken down before he hurts others. Within the first few pages of this book I was hooked and could not put it down till the story ended. I am eager to read more in this series and wonder who will have his story told next.
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