Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Review: Sanctuary Buried

Eight years ago Francesca Canetti testified against her father—the head of a mafia crime family. Now she’s Frannie Peters, running a bakery in the witness protection town of Sanctuary. Her former-starlet mom and her younger sister mooch off all her hard work, her best employee has terminal cancer, the town’s mafia crew insists she’s one of them and her love life is so non-existent it isn’t even funny. Dare she try and unearth a better life? Matthias Hernandez is a ranch hand with his own bundle of secrets. His feelings for Frannie have lain undiscovered for a long time, until he realizes his family won’t fix itself. It’s time to dig up the future he’s always dreamed of. When Frannie stumbles on a killer at work, the culprit turns his attention to her — and with the attention comes deadly consequences. Can they figure out the identity of the “dark angel” before it’s too late for all of them?

About the Author:
A British ex-pat who grew up an hour outside of London, Lisa attended Calvary Chapel Bible College where she met her husband. He's from California, but nobody's perfect. It wasn't until her Bible College graduation that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her).
Since then she's taken the Apprentice and Journeyman writing courses with the Christian Writers Guild, and discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.

Lisa can be found in Idaho wearing either flip-flops or cowgirl boots, depending on the season. She leads worship with her husband at their local church. Together they have two children--a sparkly Little Princess and a Mini Daddy--and there's only one bunny rabbit now (sad face).
(Description, author bio, and cover photo copied from the author's website No infringement intended.)
My Review: 4.5 stars
Even better than the first!
Sanctuary Buried is the second book in Lisa Phillips’ WITSEC Town series. It picks up shortly after Sanctuary Lost left off. I had really enjoyed the first book and had high expectations for this one. I can happily say that it surpassed them all!
Lisa once again does an excellent job of bringing her fictional town and all of the characters who live there to life. I loved the descriptions and getting to “visit” old friends again. There are a few new players in this book and I really enjoyed getting to meet them, as well. I loved how realistic everything is and that I could easily imagine being there with them. I also really appreciated the attention to detail and all of the technical research Lisa obviously put into this story.
Though this is book two in the series, you don’t have to read them in order. Lisa includes enough background and extra details that you won’t feel lost. There may be a couple things that don’t make complete sense at first, but the books don’t tie tightly together.
Francine “Frannie” Peters witnessed a murder at the age of sixteen and agrees to testify and enters witness protection, much to the dismay of her spoiled mother and younger sister. I honestly loved Frannie from the start. She is sweet and kind, but also strong and stubborn. She has a lot of questions about God and all that she was taught as a child. She also struggles with her feeling toward her mother and sister, who do their best to make her miserable. She tries very hard to love them and be kind to them, while also removing herself from their abuse. I found her to be very realistic and was sad to see her story end. I hope she makes an appearance in a future story.
Matthias Hernandez is the hero of the story and I loved him too! He is strong, kind, loving, but he also carries a weight on his shoulders. I loved how protective he is of Frannie and how he works to take care of her. He truly wants what is best for her, even though he is concerned it isn’t him. I enjoyed watching him grow in faith as he spent more time with Godly influences and learned who He is. He is the kind of character that you cheer for when he wins, and mourn for when he fails. He pulled on my heart from the beginning, and I have to confess to being just a little envious of Frannie.
Their romance was very sweet and I enjoyed following them through their story. I loved how they started out as barely acquaintances, but slowly became friends, then more. While their relationship wasn’t the driving force behind the story, it still flowed throughout and was never dropped, or lost, which I really appreciated. 
I absolutely loved the mystery and suspense! It kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t even guess what would happen next. I was also very surprised by who the villain was, which I thought was great! The story took so many twists and turns, that I honestly still have no idea how Lisa managed to keep them all straight, but she did! Most of it was tied up in the end, with a couple threads to tie into the next book, which I am anxiously anticipating. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
My only “complaint” is that I had really been hoping something awful would happen to Mimi and Izabella, but unfortunately for me, it didn’t. So I was slightly disappointed there, but I’ve been consoled with the knowledge they will get their just rewards later on.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great mystery with a lot of suspense!
I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from the author for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Thank you for stopping by and reading my review!  I hope you enjoyed it!
If you're interested in checking it out, or maybe purchasing a copy, here are a couple links to get you started!
I hope you have a lovely day and a merry Christmas!

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