All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

In Safe Arms – Lee Christine

on January 1, 2014

In Safe ArmsIn Safe Arms
Lee Christine
Harlequin Escape
2013, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Legal secretary Josephine Valenti is home alone when a notorious bikie figure in Sydney contacts her on Skype. Before he can say whatever message it is that he has for her, Josephine watches in horror as he is attacked by two men and murdered in front of her eyes. She kills the connection as quickly as she can but she’s pretty sure that one of the men saw her…and that he knows her.

Two years ago Josephine made a bit of a fool of herself by attempting to seduce Nate Hunter (a friend of her bosses husband) and she hasn’t seen him since. When she flees her parents house to go to the police with what she has seen, it is Nate that intercepts her and he is a lot…different these days. He’s dressed like a biker with long hair, driving a muscle Ute and it’s pretty clear as he manhandles her out of her car, ties her up and forces her into his that he’s not going to be helping her get to the cops. He’s been ordered by the head of a Sydney bikie gang to kill her for what she knows.

Nate has been deep undercover with the Altar Boys for two years, trying to get close enough into the circle to be included in the drop offs for the money laundering so that he can bust it wide open and make the arrests from the top of the chain down. When he agreed to go with the leader to the tattoo parlour of a rival club, he didn’t expect anyone to be there. Nor did he expect to watch as the leader of the Altar Boys murdered the leader of the rival club. Thankfully though it was Nate who saw Josie on the computer screen and knew who she was and where he could find her.

Now Nate and Josie are hiding from everyone. The world believes Josie kidnapped and probably murdered. The bikies believe Nate is a loyal member who has taken care of business and is now ready to step up to be granted full member status. Little do they know he’s looking to take them apart and when he does, it’s going to impact on Josie in ways that she could never have imagined, endangering the fledgling romance they’ve managed to build during their time together.

In Safe Arms is somewhere between a sequel and a companion novel to In Safe Hands. It features a different couple but Luke and Allegra are a part of this story too and make a couple of appearances. Josie works as Allegra’s assistant and given Allegra often defends bikies, she’s more than familiar with some of the faces but she’s unsure why the leader of one of the gangs would want to contact her instead of Allegra. It’s a bad night for Josie and it gets a lot worse when she’s kidnapped by the man she used to crush heavily on…but then it gets a lot better.

Josephine is only twenty and Nick is in his early thirties so at times the age gap between them in terms of life experience is quite significant. Josephine has been brought up in a wealthy, privileged lifestyle and although she regrets the slightly distant relationship she has with her mother, until she sees a bikie murdered on her computer screen, she hasn’t had to deal with much in the way of tragedy although she does cope remarkably well with being kidnapped, especially as she doesn’t know for a while that Nate is working undercover. By contrast, Nate has worked a difficult job for a long time and has been immersed in the bikies operation for two years, living as they do and witnessing things that he would’ve no doubt loved to stop (the murder for example) but couldn’t because it would blow his cover and the operation wasn’t finished yet. He knew there was a big man behind the scenes and he wanted to get him as well and for that he had to be patient, earn the trust of the Altar Boys and act just the way they did. Obviously he couldn’t “take care” of Josie the way that the bikies wanted him to and if they discovered that he hadn’t, it would be the end of both of them so he has to be very careful where he chooses to hide her. He takes a big risk for both of them.

I really loved In Safe Hands when I read it last year and I have been eagerly awaiting this novel ever since. And whilst I did enjoy this one too, I don’t think that Nate and Josephine had the same impact on me that Luke and Allegra did. The story is very good and unfolds nicely with clever pacing and plenty of action. I don’t know much about bikies but I’ve read a few stories revolving around them (and seen more than a couple of eps of Sons of Anarchy) and it’s such an environment that is ripe for so many different types of characters and stories. However I think I just didn’t warm much to Nate, especially his tendency to call Josephine “princess” all the time which got on my nerves a little bit. They did have some interesting chemistry and they were also quite an interesting match but I didn’t really find myself truly invested in them until right at the end and the final scenes between them made up a lot for not quite getting Nate earlier on.

I liked the character of Nate’s undercover handler….I hope he might crop up in a book soon (hint hint Lee Christine?!)

8/10

Book #324 of 2013

AWW2013

In Safe Arms is book #111 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013

 

 

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One response to “In Safe Arms – Lee Christine

  1. Happy New Year Bree and thank you for the review! I do have Dickson’s story planned out for book four.

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