REVIEW: ‘In Safe Arms’ By Lee Christine

Published: January 1st 2014

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Pages: 220 Pages

Format Read: Ebook courtesy of the Publisher and Netgalley

RRP: $4.99

5/5 Stars

Smooth, seductive and savage: Lee Christine returns to the dark, criminal underbelly of Sydney with her follow-up to In Safe Hands.

Legal secretary Josephine Valenti has no idea why a notorious bikie president would be contacting her, but when he is murdered in front of her eyes, she knows that she is in very deep trouble. Fleeing to her home, she’s intercepted by Nate Hunter, a man she used to know and lust after…a man she used to care about.

However, Nate has changed. His leathers and his bike tell of a lifestyle that Josie can’t begin to accept or understand. His is a life of drugs, money laundering and prostitution.

Though, all is not what it seems, and Josie must fight harder than she ever has before — for the truth, for what’s right, and, ultimately for the man who still has a hold of her heart.

Everyone knows that I loved Lee Christine’s first novel, In Safe Hands, which was released in late 2012. But if I loved the first book, then this novel is indescribable. Words just can’t do it justice; but for the sake of this review, I’ll try my best. Though I should warn you here that I read this entire novel in one sitting, in the middle of a heat wave (without air conditioning), I simply just couldn’t put it down, that’s just how great it is.

In Safe Arms is the follow up narrative to Lee’s successful début novel In Safe Hands. Featuring many of the same characters, and a bunch of new ones as well, it’s a fast paced high action criminal suspense narrative, with an unlikely romance thrown in as well. Beautifully written and extremely well crafted, this novel is sure to place Lee Christine on many readers MUST watch list, and for good reason too.

Having witnessed a murder via Skype, Josie’s life is in danger. Even more so when the man she thought she recognised on screen, runs her off the road and takes her captive. Naturally freaked out, she tries to battle her way away from her would be attacker, but Nate Jordan’s arms are stronger and his hold more precise. He also just happens to be an undercover cop investigating drugs and money laundering within the Bikie Gangs in Sydney. While being with Nate might be the only thing keeping her alive, is it the right thing for Josie’s heart and her emotions? This is after all a man who once turned her down because of her age. A man she still has feelings for despite her current predicament and his bad ass demeanour.

In Safe Arms is one hell of a ride from start to finish. It’s a quick and highly entertaining read that is sure to leave you wanting more. Lee Christine has gone to great lengths to create a believable and honest narrative that leaps of the page. So much so, that whilst reading I often forgot what I was doing, for the imagery  is so clear and the characters larger than life that is was though I was watching the drama played out before me on the big screen. In many ways I was.

If there is once thing that Lee Christine excels at, it is creating strong minded, individualist characters who drive the plot through their motives and emotions. It was this aspect of Lee Christine’s writing that so endeared me to her characterisation of Allegra and Luke in her first novel, and once again with Josie and Nate in this narrative. With characters larger than life and tangible emotions, it seems almost too easy for Lee Christine to create the novel around the pair of characters, who then predict and drive the narrative at their own pace. All of which creates a seamless narrative flow and produces larger than life characters. What’s more, it was great to see the inclusion of the much loved characters of Allegra and Luke within this story, so that past readers get to see how their happily ever after is working out for them. In many ways these two characters help to create an extra level and dimension to the story, expanding upon Nate’s exclusive hide away and his ugly underworld persona and livelihood.

My biggest issue with this story perhaps stemmed from the romance element of the narrative between naive twenty year old Josie, and worldly, undercover, bad boy Nate who just happens to be in this thirties. With something like a twelve year gap between the two, I found this side of the story harder to grasp initially and often wondered what the two possibly saw in each other.And then in dawned on me, that like real life, love doesn’t come with an a specific age bracket in mind, and we simply love who we love. Helping me to get over this small road bump, was the way in which Lee Christine, balanced out the characters responses, with both characters having issues with their feelings towards each other. Nate knew it was wrong to love someone that little bit too young for him, and he tried to stop himself from hurting her, from being the older man, but in the end love just is. And that’s just how life is. So I got over that.What I couldn’t fault in this area however was the chemistry between the two leading characters. Their witty banter, and cunning remarks made the story all that more enjoyable, whilst also bringing the pair closer and heightening the story’ tensions and suspense. Tension, I might add, that is cleverly created and sustained throughout the novel and ultimately brought to a satisfying crescendo in all aspects of the story.

In short, In Safe Arms is a gripping, fast paced and highly entertaining story that is bound to leave you wanting more.

In Safe Arms firmly cements Lee Christine as a force to be reckoned with. I’m sure we will see big things from her in the future.

And on a side note, look at that cover! I may have fallen in love with that guy’s smile and bad boy appearance. Josie’s not the only one who can dream :)For more information on Lee Christine and either of her novels, head on over to Goodreads and her website. To purchase a copy head on over to her Publishers website or Amazon (sorry I couldn’t link the itunes link!).

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