By N.E. Julian
Published by iUniverse
ISBN: 1440133093 (isbn13: 9781440133091)
Received a review copy from the author
Product Description (from the back cover): Nineteen-year-old Lea Kostovic, a cynical and emotionally fragile former university student, has been abandoned by her family at the outset of a Balkan civil war during the late 1990’s.
Major Ed Russell is a gruff yet idealistic divorced American army officer stationed in the former Yugoslavia on a peacekeeping mission. While manning a border checkpoint, Russell learns that Lea intends to head south to find her family and must convey to the young woman that the borders will not reopen until spring. Lea realizes that as a person of Croatian descent, neither the Serbs nor the Muslims will take her in. The thought of roaming the countryside for months – freezing, starving, and alone – prods a wary Lea to accept Russell’s offer not only to work for him as an interpreter, but also to stay with him. There’s just one condition to their simple bargain – Lea must trade sex for protection and survival.
A complex relationship ensues, and as Russell and fledgling artist Lea begin a new life in America, they attempt to build a marriage from a barter that originally had nothing to do with love and respect.
The General Review: Sanctuary is a refreshing and unique modern day love story between two very unlikely people. Historically well-researched and and very engaging, readers of Sanctuary will be thinking about the story-line long after the book is finished.
Likes: I enjoyed how simple this story was. There was no antagonist, no major climax or conflicts. Just a simple love story about overcoming emotional obstacles, circumstances and preconceived notions. The book was written in such a way that kept the reader interested and was in no way boring. I found myself fascinated with how the main characters interacted with each other, especially coming from very different backgrounds.
Dislikes: I was a little disappointed with the ending of the book. I felt like the book flowed beautifully then the author abruptly ended it with a nice bow.
Closing Comments: Sanctuary is a very well written independently published novel. A must read for anyone who is a fan of romance. I look forward to reading more from N.E. Julian in the future.