Series : Beards and Bondage #2
Publisher : Self-published
Genre : New Adult | Romance – Erotica
Page Count : 256
Synopsis : When she needs a sanctuary…
Targeted by a sadistic former client, attorney Liz Lewis needs a place to lay low. When a friend offers her his family farm as a safe house, she eagerly accepts, unaware that she’ll have to share the farm with her friend’s brawny, beautiful brother, Silas McInroy.
…she invades his…
Weary of a world that doesn’t understand him, Silas just wants to be left alone to grow the best produce upstate New York has to offer. Still, he’s not going to toss a woman out when her safety is on the line. But the only way to explain her presence on his farm is to claim that they fell in love online…and the last thing he needs is a fake relationship that threatens to become more and more real every day.
With her world turned upside down and danger on her trail, Liz knows that this temporary refuge can’t last forever…but leaving the comfort and ease of Silas’s arms and farm to face the reality of her life may be the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.
Content Warning: Physical assault, attempted Murder, death, blood, BDSM.
*I got a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review*
(Spoilers are hidden)
Considering how much I loved Haven, the first book in the series, my excitement for this one was surreal, even more when I learnt that the hero has dogs, AND FIVE OF THEM. So, when I got the earc, I might’ve lost my chill and squilled a bit, I also read it as soon as I actually could. I’ll have to say that although the first remains my favorite, I really liked this one as well, especially the heroine. And did I mention the dogs? I loved those too.
The writing is just like in the first book, straight to the point but still agreable to read, the sex scenes are graphic and very detailed, I also loved how drastically it changed to match the tone when the book switches POVs. Speaking of which, it’s written from both MCs’ POVs but it’s predominantly from Liz’s, the heroine, which was definitely interesting since I’m used to both MCs getting the same amount of attention and that’s what the author did in the first book but I definitely did not mind it. What I did mind, is the use of words like insane, crazy and stupid.
Following the same outline as the previous book, Sanctuary starts with a thrilling, action-packed sequence where the heroine is assaulted by someone payed to kill her, which is pretty graphic so I’d say be careful if that type of thing might be triggering to you. Then it’s her dealing with the conséquences of that as well as her going to a farm, meeting its owner who is exceptionally bad with women and them eventually falling in love.
Listen, the romance starts with fake dating, IT’S NOT A DRILL, they fake date for a little while before turning things into a reality and I loved that. Their relationship is full of angst and conflict at first but then as they get to know each other and ease into a comfortable routine, things flow much more nicely, their banter is cute and there’s so much sexual tension between them, I loved it. I also loved how the whole Dom/sub dynamic was handled. Liz is a dom but Shep isn’t really used to being a sub, so the whole communication around it and compromising to find a middle ground where they can both enjoy themselves was awesome to read.
The only thing I didn’t like about the sex in this is one particular scene <Spoiler> So, Liz wakes up in the middle of the night to Silas humping her and her reaction to that -she turns around and starts kissing and touching him- made me… uncomfortable. Like, I get that she wanted him but waking up to a man doing that to me without my expressed consent would send me into overdrive no matter how much I want it so I didn’t really get her reaction. Turns out he was sleeping and dreaming, he wasn’t conscious of his actions and that’s understandable, but her reaction is what I couldn’t get even after the whole issue was addressed and explained. But that might just be me and my own sensitivity to the issue.<End of Spoiler>
Now back to things I loved, three in particular I wanna talk about:
- How the author used the opportunity of Liz having to deal with the whole justice system to talk about the dispparities between how she was treated and how a white woman would’ve been treated if the exact same thing had happened to her and seeing her navigate that was definitely interesting.
- How well the author deals with trauma. Between this book and the first, she shows how different people react and deal differently, eventhough Claudia and Liz’s ways are parrallel in some things, they are completely different in others.
- The author also dismantles some of societal sexism and misogyny through sex and discussing what being a dominatrix means to Liz.
Now to the characters. They’re both all tough, rough and what not but so endearing and adorable. Liz is such a freaking strong woman. She’s a lawyer and was a sex worker in her past life. I really adored and admired her, I even related to her in some ways (see quote above ahah). She’s funny and takes no shit from anyone, she never hesitates to but Silas back in his place (which he needs quite often) and tell him when enough is enough.
Silas is so grumpy it’s actually funny. At first, he comes off as rude and snaps at her a lot, then as time passes he starts showing a softer side of him. He’s actually super attentionate, romantic and just all around swoony. He has these little gestures that make my heart melt. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s autistic. He has no official diagnosis but does say “I’m pretty sure I’m on the spectrum” at some point and proceeds to talk about why he feels that way. The actual word “autistic” isn’t used but I can’t speak about that rep. So if any autistic people have read and reviewed the book I’d love to link to their reviews.
Special mention to Liz’s sister and group of friends. They’re all so amazing, they let her know that they’re there for her whatever she needs but still give her the space to deal with things the way she sees fit for herself.
The book ends in a way that made my heart burst into confetti. It was so perfect and cute, I loved how comfortable with each other they got and how all those walls that were built between then through the story came down.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Sanctuary? If so, what did you think?
Which pairing did you like better Claudia/Shep or Liz/Silas?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.