Safe Harbour - Helene Young

I chose to read "Safe Harbour" as part of the Aussie Readers September Spring Romance Challenge on Goodreads. I met Helene at a Romance Writers of Australia conference last year and was wowed at how friendly such a clever woman was. Plus her writing is fantastic -- so I knew this would be a good read, one I could settle down and enjoy.

 

I was right.

 

A few years back I read a lot of American romantic suspense. There were serial killers -- lots of 'em -- and I pretty much burned out on the genre. It felt like gruesomeness was piled on gruesomeness to create thrills.

 

"Safe Harbour" doesn't pile on the gruesome, but it's gritty and there are shocks and grief along the way. What I loved was the unashamedly Australian feel of the story; not just the setting, but the characters and their lives/history. It all felt real.

 

Some reviewers have commented that the plot felt almost too neat. I disagree. In fact, I'd say that too many books ramble, so tight plotting comes as a bit of a shock to us long-suffering readers. Besides, coincidence is really just interests and history colliding (and algorithms! in these days of Facebook and Google), so the plot worked for me.

 

The romance threaded through the book and added to the suspense, but it wasn't the main driver. Nonetheless, Noah is a perfect romance hero: strong, loyal, smart and clear on what and why he's acting as he is.

 

This is a great book about life, tangled relationships, Australia (we do have an obsession with sport) and the choices we make. And then how we live with them.

 

Thoroughly enjoyed "Safe Harbour".