Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: Safe Harbor by Christine Feehan

Title: Safe Harbor
Series: Drake Sisters
Author: Christine Feehan
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: June 26, 2007
Publisher: Jove
ISBN: 0515143189
ISBN-13: 9780515143188

One of seven daughters in a line of extraordinary women, Hannah Drake has been the elusive object of affection for Jonas Harrington for as long at the young man can remember. If only the stunning super-model was driven by a passion other than her career. But Jonas isn t the only one with desires for Hannah.

From the shadows has emerged a vengeful figure who stalks the beauty with one terrifying purpose: to strip her of all she is and destroy her. Only one man was destined as her protection. Now, out of a storm of danger, Jonas must guide the woman he loves from a sinister darkness that threatens not only Hannah, but the entire Drake family.

My rating:

Hannah Drake’s been in love with Jonas Harrington since...forever. But since the tall, dark and handsome sheriff can’t seem to lay off the insults and his overbearing attitude, she prefers to keep her mouth shut and continue loving him from afar.

Jonas Harrington’s been a part of the Drake family since he was little. And that’s how long he’s known Hannah Drake was the one. But first her elusiveness and then his dangerous lifestyle kept him away...Until now.
After barely escaping the Grim Reaper for the second time in weeks, Jonas can no longer keep his heart shut off, he’s decided to leave the moonlighting crime-fighting job behind and win Hannah’s heart forever... And she doesn't seem to object to the plan.

But both their lives are shattered by a brutal attack that leaves Hannah at death’s door. She slowly starts gluing the pieces of her life and heart back together, trying to keep Jonas at arm’s length, but he isn’t budging. They’ve shared their bodies, minds and souls, and he’ll be damned if he lets her get away again. But a dark and deadly enemy has different plans...

Although the pacing dragged slightly somewhere in the middle and the plot didn’t make much sense until the end (who would hate Hannah so much to want to destroy her completely?)—which was probably the point—this was a great read. Even better than the first time around.

We finally got the resolution to the “slow-burn” romance between Hannah and Jonas that’s been building since the beginning of the series (although Hannah has been a bit bratty at the start), and Hannah and Jonas are my second favorite couple in this series. The perfect example of “kindergarten love”, if you ask me. Boy likes girl, but doesn’t want to show it, so he teases her. Girl likes boy right back, but he’s mean to her, so she retaliates.

I loved Jonas with all his gruffness, over-protectiveness, arrogance and chest-thumping. He was who he was, didn’t offer any apologies, determined to protect everybody from everything (in Hannah’s case even from himself). But behind all the rage, pain, and torment, there was this deep, endless well of love for those he called family and friends, and for the one woman who could bring him peace. The one woman who could soothe him.
Hannah took a little time to understand, because of how her character was written...Beautiful yet insecure with her body image, low on self-esteem with panic attacks always imminent. It was tough understanding her and her reasons and motivations for wanting to do anything, even go against herself and her nature, to please others, but once she started growing into her true self (thanks to the attack and Jonas’s help after it), I finally got to know her and love her. In the end, I got the impression, her character was written the way it was, so the reader couldn’t really understand and relate to her at the beginning because that wasn’t who Hannah Drake truly was. Only Jonas understood her, only Jonas saw the true her, and only Jonas could help her understand herself, help the reader understand her.

They were cute and sweet and funny, and so in love at the beginning, I wanted to clap my hands in glee. Then, with all that happened to Hannah, that love could’ve shattered, but instead simply grew stronger (as they both did throughout the series and their own book), and I couldn’t help but cheer every time Jonas refused to be pushed away, and every time Hannah got a bit of her life, strength and resilience back...And every time either of them refused to back down and be bullied by her sisters.

The sisters were the major problem for me in this story. They were supposed to know everything about each other, read each other at will, and yet it took Jonas to open their eyes about Hannah, her nature, her problems and their own mistakes with her, how it was Jonas the one who knew Hannah best.
I hated how her sisters pitied her...I know they felt sorry for her, who wouldn’t, but instead of protecting her, offering her solace, being there for her, they merely drowned her in their own emotions, as if it was all about them, and never about Hannah. This “selfishness” was rectified somewhere in the middle, but still, the bitter aftertaste remained.

And now, to my favorite couple in this series...

“Perhaps it is as simple as Hannah’s sister is marrying one of the few men in the world I call friend.” His gaze strayed to where Joley stood rigid against the wall. “Or perhaps I wanted to see, one more time, whether the reason I can no longer sleep at night is worth it.”

I loved the small interlude (okay, there were two, but the first was the best) with Ilya Prakenskii in the middle of this story. That first scene finally gave us the first tangible proof as to what Ilya’s role in the series was, what the connection with Joley was.
The incident was a leftover from the previous book, Dangerous Tides, and it gave us a huge insight into the psyche (and heart) of the presumed hit-man (although the men already suspect what his involvement with the Russian mobster might truly entail). This short, intense, extremely revealing scene was a great preview of what his (and Joley’s) book will bring.

Back to the book at hand...Even with some seriously thrilling suspense and a few wonderfully gripping action scenes, this book was all about self-discovery and self-appreciation. It took an attack on her life to shake Hannah into reevaluating her life and priorities and make her see who she really is and what she wants from life.


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