by Merry K. Stahel
Published by White Rose Publishing
Publication Date November 29th 2011
Genres: Christian Fiction, Christmas, Clean Romance, Suspense
Setting: Oklahoma Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-35
Written for: Adult
Dea Lacey is on the run. Scared and alone, she has to protect her endangered nephew. If she can find Garrett's father, perhaps he'll keep the boy safe and learn to love the child she'd trade her life to keep.
Jesse McTavish has lost his family. Abandoning his faith, the seeds of destruction are sown. As he struggles with grief, the last thing he needs is a woman showing up with a child who's the mirror image of his dead son. But he can neither ignore nor reject the woman and child who threaten to break through the protective shield he's built around his heart.
Through the ensuing storm of pain and loss, Christmas teaches Dea and Jesse about faith and forgiveness.
Sanctuary may be what we ask for, but God gives us so much more.
I would like to thank Pelican Book Group for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Christmas Sanctuary was a very touching story. It was a story about brokenness, grief, forgiveness, and faith. Though the topics are ones that are generally heavy, the author handled them in a very hopeful and encouraging manner.
I loved the way that Dea had such a tender heart towards others. In addition to taking Garrett, her cousin’s son, as her own, she ignored her own almost penniless state and took in Heidi, an almost 18 year old pregnant girl, Joe, an ex-Marine who was out of work, Hope, a German Shepherd mommy and her babies, and still desired to do more for those in need and to offer them sanctuary.
I also loved the way that Dea loved Garrett so much and was truly a mother to him. There were places in the story that I had to remind myself that she wasn’t the one who bore him. And despite the things that made her seem “perfect”, she had fears and had to learn how to trust God again after turning her back on Him, so she was also perfectly flawed.
The author did a great job in writing the character of Garrett. He was one of the most age-appropriate kids I’ve seen in a story. I loved the conversation he had with him mom about how girls like to play house:
“Girls want to play house all the time.” Garrett said scornfully, oblivious to Dea’s slight amusement. “They send us boys to work, while they play house, only they don’t tell us what to do at work. So we stand there until they say it’s time to come home.”
The timing on a few things was a little off, especially the age of Garrett based on the time-line of Jesse’s life, but it was easy to ignore that fact in the enjoyment of the story.
I see on Goodreads that there are more books by the author and so I plan to add them to my “to be read” list.