Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sweet Sanctuary

Sweet Sanctuary
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Bethany House Publishers
Historical, Fiction, Romance
April 2013

A Story of Hope and Love from Bestselling Author Kim Vogel Sawyer 

Lydia Eldredge longs to provide a sanctuary for her son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him. 
Dr. Micah Hatcher serves the immigrant population in Queens, but under cover of darkness he provides another service that must not be discovered lest his and his brother's lives be in danger. 

When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Through unforeseen twists and turns, they seek a refuge of safety--for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God unexpectedly puts in their lives.

Dr. Micah Hatcher is called to Boston by Lydia's angry father, demanding Dr. Hatcher take responsibility for Lydia's child he supposedly fathered. Micah is shocked that a nurse he barely remembers would accuse him of such thing. He surprises Lydia by actually coming to Boston to confront her. What appears to be a vicious lie concocted by Lydia turns into the loving "butting in" of a father who made wrong assumptions. Lydia's father only wants to save his grandson, Nicky. 

The clincher here is that Nicky isn’t Lydia’s blood child. Eleanor, a friend of Lydia’s, died giving birth to Nicky while she was on the run from her drug-addicted husband, Nic Pankin. Soft-hearted Dr. Micah Hatcher is reluctantly drawn into the dramatic situation as Nicky's blood father tries to gain custody of Nicky.  When Nic and Nicky disappear there is nothing Micah or Lydia can do. 

Set in the backdrop of World Was II Micah has other things weighing his mind as well. Mysterious letters and "packages" have him scrambling to do his long lost brother's work. Into the dark of night he navigates Queens with people's very lives at stake. 

Micah and Lydia are drawn to each other as the drama unfolds. They find themselves spending more and more time together and it isn't long before they fall in love. But can their love survive heartache and danger? 

Sawyer is always an author I am happy to pick up a book from. She writes with beautiful clarity, detail, and love. Her characters manage to seem very realistic, a thing I appreciate about her.

 I will say however, the beginning of the book was so contrived and so ridiculously awkward I almost quit reading. Lydia pulls a random man out of her past (yes, she liked him at one time but still!) and names him as her son's (who isn't her son) father? And then Micah willingly travels to another state to see about it all? I'm not so sure. I was uncomfortable with the whole premise. It seemed awfully farfetched to build a story on. Micah's continued involvement also seemed highly contrived and convenient for the story.

The book is gripping ,in its own way, and sweet, in its own way, but it stays mediocre throughout. Micah's drama seems a bit overplayed in the advertising and seems to almost fight with the plotline rather than enhance it. Nicky is as cute as cute can be and you'll want to spend time with this little boy. Lydia remains somewhat flat and unmemorable. 

Overall, a decent book.  It's an easy light read that you can pick up and put down at will. Throw it in your purse to read when soccer goes long. It will keep you just interested enough to distract you. 

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

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