Aussie Book Review: Safe Harbour by Helene Young

My Rating:              5 / 5
Format:                   ARC courtesy of The Reading Room
Publication Date:    26 March 2014
Category:               Modern and Contemporary Fiction
ISBN:                      9781921901836
Publisher:               Penguin Australia
Imprint:                   Michael Joseph
RRP:                      AU$29.99

From the Cover

When Darcy Fletcher drags a handsome sailor from a stricken yacht, she finds herself drawn into his mysterious world.  Having saved his life, can she now rescue him from his dark past? Or will that endanger all she holds most dear?

Noah, keeper of the peace and guardian of the Banksia Cove secrets, can't tell Darcy the real reason this man has washed up on their shores.  If she understood the links between him and her own dysfunctional family, he'd lose her love for good.

As they take refuge in an old whaling station, only one thing is certain – by morning, no one will be the same again. Lies will surface. Hearts will break, and not all will find safe harbour.

A heart-stopping novel of high drama and desire by Australia's award-winning master of romantic suspense.

Summary and Thoughts

Up and coming Chef, Darcy Fletcher, is back home in Banksia Cove.  Recovering from the closure of her once successful Sydney restaurant as well as a broken relationship, she is also trying to offer support to her ailing mother whilst having to deal with an estranged father that she’s never forgiven for abandoning her and still get her new venture, Whale Song, up and running.

A volunteer with their local marine rescue team, when she is called out in the middle of the night to assist a yacht in distress and rescue the single occupant on board, she doesn’t hesitate to rush out and aid the rescue boat’s captain and Noah Moreton, her childhood friend and the Cove’s local policeman, little knowing that her world, like the stricken yacht, is about to turn upside down.

Both Darcy and Noah are more familiar than they want to be with a rescue of this kind and for both of them, it dredges up a lot of painful memories of another rescue ten years earlier that went horribly wrong – one which saw both of them leave their little home town to escape the pain. 

Offering to shelter Tyrone while he recovers from amnesia, neither Darcy nor Noah realise the consequences that this one selfless act will have on their lives, until Noah begins to dig deeper and the discovery of Tyrone’s true identity sees both Darcy and him on the run with a truly threatening presence on their tail and something far more sinister than the little town of Banksia Cove had ever have dreamed would darken their shores.

When unsavoury truths, familial lies and deception are uncovered, everyone’s safe harbour will be threatened.

Helene Young has done it again and, like a fine wine, she just gets better and better.

Renowned for her well-written and carefully constructed romantic suspense novels, Helene has a rare talent for writing without the stereo-typical male broodiness of most mainline novels in this sub-genre, and gives her stories a fresh and distinctly Australian feel to them.

Having been a fan of hers for a long while now, I waited on pins and needles for this latest offering which, needless to say, didn't disappoint.  Right from page one I was immersed as she assaulted me with a relentless battering of suspense, keeping the tension high as she moved towards the exciting climax, resulting in a journey with many twists.

As always, Helene’s deft hand has created a strong likeable heroine who I was immediately drawn to, and empathised with, as she battled her confronting memories and dealt with her dysfunctional family, at the same time being caught in the midst of a love triangle and suffering the most devastating blow of all.

Her sub-characters are just as skilfully drawn, with Stirling proving to be so cold-hearted he could freeze hell over, while Noah’s somewhat quiet presence remains her rock, and her relationship with Rosie renders a true portrait of unconditional love.

While the simmering romance is somewhat understated, the heart-pounding action coupled with the mystery surrounding the stranded sailor, and an underlying theme of drugs in sport which highlights some of the challenges that our young people living in rural and remote areas face every day, is sure to delight all her fans and keep them turning the pages well into the wintry nights.

I wish to thank both the Reading Room and Penguin Books for providing me with a hard copy of this novel.

A Little about the Author

Multi-award-winning author and airline pilot, Helene Young is a check captain with Australia's largest regional airline.  Her job is to ensure aircrew can handle all in-flight emergencies, which comes in handy for writing fast-paced suspense novels starring feisty women and sexy men.
When she's not writing or flying you can find Helene sailing the high seas with her partner, Capt G, and Zeus the salty sea dog, aboard their catamaran Roo Bin Esque.

Helene won the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012 and was shortlisted in 2013.  She was also voted most popular romantic suspense author by the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) in 2010 and 2011, and was shortlisted for the same award in 2012.

Burning Lies was shortlisted for the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award Mystery/Suspense in America and, just recently, Halfmoon Bay was voted favourite romantic suspense novel by ARRA.

Safe Harbour is her fifth novel.


  1. I will be settling into this book of Helene's very soon (post my edits). I know I will love it. That is a the wonderful thing about her books.


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