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 as 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.
This is one where the US cover wins. This woman is supposed to be the most striking, beautiful woman in the world – a supermodel, not a service station clerk! Although, why the hero is on a boat on the US cover… Sure, “Harbour” is in the tile, but there aren’t any boats in this book!
In an attempt to stop myself reading the same genre over and over, and to pull myself out of a little bit of a slump, I’ve been doing some rereading.
This is the fifth of seven books in Christine Feehan’s series about seven sisters with magical powers. I get the impression you’d be better off reading them in order, especially this one, as the two stars, Hannah Drake and Jonas Harrington, feature heavily in all the earlier books.
I enjoy this book despite its gazillion faults.
Feehan’s writing is an acquired taste. I remember the first time I sat down to one of her books, and the surprise and difficulty of dealing with the lengthy, LENGTHY scenes and the different style. She wrote vampire romances before the whole world did, and everything she writes has a paranormal twist (she said in an interview it’s the only way she can create politically incorrect men – not sure how I feel about that!).
I love the concept of this story, because Hannah and Jonas grew up in the same small town, and Jonas has essentially been part of Hannah’s family for years. Only, they have never been together, despite both wanting just that.
However, they’re a little wishy-washy and childish about it. In every chapter you’ll see them switch back and forth multiple times: I can’t be with you, I’m going to be with you forever, you’re always just out of my reach, we’re together now, no we’re not, yes we are. It’s a little tiring, and some chapters, such as the one devoted entirely to a plane flight Hannah isn’t even on, could do with some heavy editing.
I really hate the recent, Twilight-inspired trend to take the plainest, most boring, least friendly female in town, make her the romance heroine, and then have every billionaire in the world lust after her for no good reason. I like books where a heroine might still have some insecurities, but she’s not the most forgettable thing on the planet.
Safe Harbour’s heroine, Hannah Drake, is a very successful model who also can’t speak in public because she has panic attacks. While Christine Feehan has many writing tics that will drive you insane if you read too many of her books in a row (why do all her heroines scream like banshees during sex?!), and while she exaggerates her characters too much for my liking (all those tiny teeth and full lower lips!), sometimes it’s nice to spend some time with characters who actually seem to be equals.
With this book, Feehan was accused of starting a new trend of violence and brutality against her heroines, and I suppose that could be true. In the context of later books, it certainly is – it’s no longer a sweet series about a family of witches from this point on!
In this one, Hannah is attacked live on television, slashed with a knife many, many times, all over her body and her face.
The thing that troubles me about this is that the author chose the beautiful supermodel to mutilate, and then follows it up with one of my most hated tropes: the moving on with life by cutting off her hair. I don’t like this idea beautiful women can only learn about themselves by having their beauty damaged. I notice nothing like this happened to the sister who is a doctor, nor the author, nor any of the others.
Feehan’s writing hovers somewhere between the older bodice ripper style and the more modern romance writing, which is good in some ways and not so good in others. Things like the total absence of condoms or discussions of anything like that bother this modern reader, as does Feehan’s (real life-inspired) obsession with fertility. She writes women who are destined to have many, many children, and who can’t do anything about it. Quite clearly (the author is from a family of fourteen siblings and has eleven of her own) it’s her thing, but there are not many women in the world who feel that way, and it’s an excellent way to kill the romance for me.
As for the magical aspects? I sort of try to ignore them. Some of it is fine, but when the sisters are floating trays of tea and cakes around the room for no reason, it all seems a little childish and silly.
However, it is nice to see something different in the paranormal genre, a genre I barely read anymore.
You might read this book and love it, or you might read it and hate it. Both are valid opinions as far as I’m concerned.