Author: Lee Christine

A Daughter’s Choice by Lee Christine

A Daughter’s Choice by Lee ChristineA Daughter's Choice by Lee Christine
Series: A Mindalby Outback Romance Series #4
Published by Escape Publishing on 31st July 2018
Pages: 190
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two-half-stars

Mindalby, a small town, a community, a home. But when the mill that supports the local cotton farmers and employs many of the town's residents closes unexpectedly, old tensions are exposed and new rifts develop. Everyone is affected and some react better than others, but one thing is certain: living on the edge of the outback means they have to survive together, or let their town die.

Lynsey Carter's relationship with her father is fraught, so when she hears that the cotton mill that is her birthright has closed down (and her father is lying low), she returns to Mindalby to support her mother and seek out answers. She hasn't been back since high school, since she left her heart behind with Julian Stone. But Julian didn't want it, or her; he wanted a life in Mindalby.

Torn between family loyalty and duty to the community, between the life she's built for herself and the passion for Julian she just can't seem to shake, Lynsey needs to decide if her home–coming is for a visit – or for real.

I’ve always like Lee Christine’s writing and ‘A Daughter’s Choice’ is no different. The context and the circumstances in which this story are unusual to say the least, though distilled, it’s one of a girl returning home to the Australian Outback to take care of affairs that have gone awry (thanks to a corrupt, deadbeat father), then meeting an old flame who’d broke her heart. With a narrative built around the failure of a mill on which the livelihood of a small community depends, Lynsey and Julian reunite out of necessity—returning home does that in a small town—and it takes only just a few days together to remind them how good they could be and have been.

But more on that later.

Pacing-wise, I thought the story did drag on a bit when it became slower going than I expected (Christine is an author I read for romantic suspense after all) and the slower pace did throw me off a bit. That translated to me put this down and taking it up numerous times, and when I took it up, there were parts I trudged through just trying to stay interested in the subject matter.

Apart from following the developments and the slight suspense written into this (which perked me up), I was baffled how Lynsey and Julian fell into bed when nothing between them was resolved, all within a few days after a separation of 9 years. Julian’s supposed friends-with-benefits situation with another woman seemed to become a non-issue when I’d actually hoped for that particular casual relationship to be dissolved even before Lynsey/Julian got together again. Admittedly, second-chance romances don’t necessarily sit all too well with me when the slightest thing give me cause to question the validity of the reunion. Essentially, I thought there were relationship issues which needed ironing out but felt glossed over in favour of the suspense despite both protagonists trying to be mature about themselves.

In all, the dive into the Australian Outback is always a cultural shift that I love to read about after all because such writers—and I’ve gone through quite a few of them—offer such different perspectives especially in the romance genre, I think I surprised myself most of all by not really feeling this story at all.

two-half-stars

Shadows of the Heart by Lee Christine

Shadows of the Heart by Lee ChristineShadows of the Heart by Lee Christine
Series: A Bindarra Creek Romance #2
Published by Inc. on August 26th 2015
Pages: 160
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four-stars

When Cameron Reid returns home from Iraq his sole intention is to help his ailing father restore the family cattle station, Bindarra Downs, to its former glory. But when Rhiannon Scott, a girl he hasn’t seen in fifteen years comes knocking at his father’s door, Cameron’s wish for a return to the quiet, country life is turned upside down.

Rhiannon has a secret. A city girl lying low in the country town she first visited as a billet, she’s yearning to take back the life she’s been forced to put on hold. Getting involved with the irresistible, former army commander, a pillar of the community, would only invite the kind of unwanted attention she’s been advised to avoid.

Can the power of their attraction compel Rhiannon to sacrifice everything she’s trying to achieve? Or will Cameron be forced to choose between the girl he’s come to love and the family he vowed never to leave again?

Sweet, fun and low-angst read, of a small-town romance that re-ignites when serendipity brings two teenage sweethearts back together again. There’s a touch of suspense and little twists of surprises (the tick incident made me cringe and laugh at the same time) in the story that keeps it all very entertaining, but it’s nothing less than what I’ve come to expect from Lee Christine, whom I can safely associate with unusual plot developments and sensible characters who thankfully don’t do stupid things to make me hate them.

four-stars

A Dangerous Arrangement by Lee Christine

A Dangerous Arrangement by Lee ChristineA Dangerous Arrangement by Lee Christine
on June 8th 2015
Pages: 240
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four-stars

When violinist Marina Wentworth arrives in Venice en route to a cruise ship for a short working holiday, the last thing she expects is to be confronted by a handsome stranger demanding answers. After going to great lengths to keep her real reasons for the trip a secret, Marina refuses to let her immediate attraction to Dean Logan derail her plans.
Desperate to recover his latest superyacht designs, Dean doesn’t want to believe the lovely violinist is involved in the devastating cyber-attack that threatens to destroy his yacht-building empire. However his growing feelings for Marina fail to extinguish the nagging suspicion that she is hiding something.
Set against the backdrop of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Dean and Marina must navigate the dangerous waters of secrecy, attraction and the fusion of two very different worlds. Will their lives remain discordant, or will they take the chance at true harmony?

A very unusual and memorable read, and a standout in terms of plot and locale in its refusal to adhere to the usual narratives of romantic suspense, as I’ve come to expect from Lee Christine.

four-stars

In Safe Arms by Lee Christine

In Safe Arms by Lee ChristineIn Safe Arms by Lee Christine
Series: Grace & Poole #2
Published by Escape Publishing on January 1st 2014
Pages: 220
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five-stars

Legal secretary Josephine Valenti has no idea why a notorious bikie president would be contacting her, but when he is murdered in front of her eyes, she knows that she is in very deep trouble. Fleeing to her home, she's intercepted by Nate Hunter, a man she used to know and lust after…a man she used to care about.
However, Nate has changed. His leathers and his bike tell of a lifestyle that Josie can't begin to accept or understand. His is a life of drugs, money laundering and prostitution.
Though, all is not what it seems, and Josie must fight harder than she ever has before — for the truth, for what's right, and, ultimately for the man who still has a hold of her heart.


Such a superlative read from Lee Christine. Incredibly likeable H/h (I loved every minute of their interaction despite the age difference), suspenseful with great details on Sydney’s underbelly and undercover operations and an emotional, fitting ending. Josie Valenti is an alluring mix of youthfulness, wisdom (with a penchant for swearing) and no too-stupid-to-live moments that endeared me to her immediately…and Nate Hunter is everything I could hope for in a romantic hero – seductive, brooding yet direct, questioning of his life’s choices and his growing feelings for a woman whom he’d once rejected.

Above all, I loved how they subtly influence each other, finally coming together in a way that Christine has written very believably. I just wished there’d been a deeper exploration of their depth of feeling for each other (in particular Nate’s) during the painful separation towards the end of the book, because that seemed glossed over. I wasn’t too pulled in by Luke and Allegra as a couple but there was something so poignant, so compelling about the dynamic chemistry, emotions and the conflict between Nate and Josie that I can’t forget even now – months after I devoured this novel.

But just like Luke and Allegra from ‘In Safe Hands’, I’m more than eager to revisit Nate and Josie again in Lee Christine’s future books to see how they’re been getting on after riding into a sunset (or Shangri-la) that they wholly deserve. Until then, I’ll be re-reading this over and over like a delectable piece of chocolate to savour.

five-stars