Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Review: Sanctuary Breached

Lieutenant Sam Myerson’s latest mission goes horribly wrong when his SEAL team is betrayed and he is kidnapped. But the problem doesn’t end there—it stretches all the way to the secret witness protection town of Sanctuary…and Sam’s wife.

Beth Myerson is on a mission of her own since her parents were assassinated. Nothing feels right, and it doesn’t get better when Sam shows up determined to protect her and their unborn son. Someone has discovered her location, and they won’t stop until they get their hands on what Beth is hiding.

When the real reason Beth was sent to Sanctuary is revealed, Sam puts the pieces of the puzzle together. But the enemy is closing in.

(Side note: I'm sorry, but I really want to add something to the end of this description.  Maybe something like, "And they're running out of time" or "and the threat is closer than anyone imagined."  I don't know. Something.  It just seems like it cuts off there.  I actually thought I missed something when I copied it.  Anyway, onward and upward. :) )

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).

My Review: 4.5 stars
First thought: it’s over?! NO!!! (4.5 stars)
Caution: Words like “love” and “adore” and “awesome” and “amazing” will probably be overused in this review.

I should also note that I’m a huge fan of Lisa Phillips’ books, so that undoubtedly will make this a slightly biased review. I have adored all of her books, so of course, I jumped at the chance to review this one, as well. Her stories grab my attention from page one and don’t let go until long after the final page, and this one is no exception! I didn’t want to put it down and read late into the night more than once, trying to find a good stopping point. If you pick up this book let me make it easy for you - there are none! Every time I would start to put it down, something else would happen!

“Edge of your seat” doesn’t adequately describe the suspense in this story. It’s more like “fall out of your chair, did-that-really-just-happen?!” suspense. And I loved every minute of it! Lisa’s books always keep me guessing and I’m never quite sure what will happen next! She’s one of the few authors that can still make me gasp with surprise - then bust out laughing on the next page. I love the dialogue, because it’s so realistic and something I might actually say. The descriptions are excellent, without being overwhelming. There is a great balance of details, descriptions, and dialogue. The town of Sanctuary comes to life within each book and I love the new details she adds with every story.

Though this is the third book in a series, they don’t have to be read in order. There are pieces of the stories that carry over into the next book, but each can stand alone. Lisa fills in plenty of the blanks with little reminders of what happened in the last one so that it isn’t confusing. Though, I would highly recommend reading the other ones, because they were great too!

I adored the characters, too! Well, except the villain. I really just wanted someone to shoot him. But they are all so realistic and I could easily relate to them! We go through several view points throughout the book and I did find it a little difficult to keep up with at times, but on the other hand, I really enjoyed getting the story from several places and opinions. It would just take me a moment or two to switch over to the new position. I appreciated the extra information this allowed the author to incorporate and it kept me up to date with everything going on without adding umpteen conversations about it.

I was a bit surprised that Beth Myerson became a little more of a minor character toward the end of the book, but looking back over it, I understand. There are so many things going on and so many details to cover, that focusing on her would have taken away from the rest of the story. Especially since she isn’t in the middle of the action constantly, like the other characters. I did enjoy getting to know her and seeing the world through her eyes. Her thoughts add a depth to the rest of the story and give clarity to several things. We also get to see Sam through her eyes, which was great. I loved Sam. If he wasn’t fictional and already spoken for . . . . *sigh*

As already noted, I loved Sam Myerson! He is an awesome hero! He is strong and brave, but there is also a crack in his armor. His faith. He struggles to make sense of everything, on top of figuring what he believes and where to go from there. He kind of has the wounded warrior thing, but I loved how he kept chasing after Beth and striving to make their marriage work. I also appreciated his commitment to taking care of the residents of Sanctuary, as well as finishing the mission for his team.

The romance is pretty low-key, which actually works great for this book. If there had been more, I think it would have been overdone and would have taken away from the rest of the storyline. I have to give Lisa major credit for knowing where to draw the line and not following the set pattern for romantic suspense novels. Her books are always so unique in how she chooses to handle each situation with her characters. I appreciated that she stepped away from the mold to do what would be best for this particular story.

Lisa does something unique with the spiritual side of the story (big surprise there, right?), which I found I really enjoyed. Sam struggles with how to trust God in a position where he has no control, while John Mason prays almost continually because he knows only God can truly handle the situation. I loved this contrast of opinions and faith. It was interesting, seeing how each man dealt with the circumstances. Honestly, I could see myself in both of them, which was probably intentional. I want to be like John, who relies on God, while doing everything he can. But I tend to be more like Sam, who doubts and tries to do it all on his own, and when he’s at wit’s end, turns to God. While there are some other important questions of faith, this is definitely the largest part of the spiritual aspect of the story that stuck with me. It definitely made me think, which is always something I look for in a book.

Though I’ve nitpicked here and there, I have to end with saying that I did love this story, which is why the rating is up to five stars. The things that bothered me were seriously just me being picky and wanting things a smidge different. But, that’s the wonderful part of reading - authors allow you the privilege of getting to meet the amazing characters they have created. They open themselves up to criticism from readers who don’t always see things quite they do. So, while I may have changed a thing or two, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be that brave, so ignore my nitpicking and I hope you love this book as much, if not more than I did.

I received an advanced 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.

Once again, sorry for the long winded review!  I hope you enjoyed it anyway!  Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read my ramblings!  As usual, purchase links are below.  :)


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