Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer is unusual in that the bad guy isn’t the cookie-cutter version you so often read in romantic novels.
Dr. Micah Hatcher is called to Boston by an angry father, demanding Dr. Hatcher take responsibility for a child he supposedly fathered with nurse, Lydia Elredge. Micah surprises Lydia at the door, but what appears to be a lie concocted by Lydia becomes simply a caring father’s wrong-headed justification to try to save Lydia’s child, Nicky.
But Nicky isn’t Lydia’s blood child. Eleanor, a friend of Lydia’s, died giving birth to Nicky. She was on the run from her drug-addicted husband, Nic Pankin. Dr. Micah Hatcher is reluctantly drawn into their precarious situation, and in a trial to test their faiths, Lydia and her father decide to follow the letter of the law and gain custody of Nicky. But it’s too late. Nic finds them and takes the child and there is nothing Lydia or Micah can do to stop it. Law enforcement can’t take the child away until Nic does something illegal. Nic is the bad guy in the story, but he becomes a good guy towards the end. This is the main story.
On the back cover of the novel it talks about Dr. Micah’s “secret mission.” The secret mission takes very little paper as most of the focus is on Micah, Lydia, and Nicky. The secret mission has very little to do with the rest of the novel, except in a very small way. It is not the secret mission that keeps Micah away from coming to Lydia’s rescue, but stubbornness and miscommunication that, in the end, is resolved.
Sweet Sanctuary is a page-turner. I wish the back cover copy focused on the main plot, more than the secret mission. Secret mission suggested danger towards Micah and that always draws readers into a story. This is less a suspense story and more a story of the heart. I gave this novel four stars.
*Book given by the publisher to review.