Jacqueline Barbary – Savage Sanctuary

A seductive and imaginative tale of bravery, strength and love.

I was not expecting a strong story of love and bravery when I set to read this short novella. I expected a bit of kink, maybe some over dramatic fighting but not the beautiful story I found myself reading. It wasn’t the best book I have ever read but I greatly enjoyed it.

Sexy bad boy shapeshifter Michael O’Dare grew up on the streets. When government soldiers finally captured and imprisoned him, he became a lab rat and a collared slave, never again allowed to be human. His escape allowed him to return to human form and head for freedom in the Western Territories.

Robert Hamilton-Scott had lived by the code “You’re careful, or you’re caught” for too long to take chances now. The one risk he takes in his carefully controlled life is offering temporary shelter to shifters on the run like Michael.

Robert knows it’s definitely not safe to want the sexy renegade he’s giving sanctuary to—passion is dangerous for a shapeshifter. As the soldiers close in he must choose between the careful life he’s built or life on the run with the man who has captured his heart.

Michael and Robert are both shape shifters caught in a world where acceptance might be the majority in the populous but where the government seeks control and dominance over creatures of their kind. Michael, battered and broken, arrives on Robert’s door step badly in need of help. But the help he needs is not to heal his body but his mind and heart.

As the story progresses, the two form a bond that allows them to grow as lovers as well as shifters. The cover copy that describes this novella is slightly misleading as it doesn’t even touch on the complexity of the plot or the true theme of the book.

The story line might encompass only 75 pages but the tale is deep and moving. The unique plot of human and shifters who battle the government for freedom adds a dimension to a love story that started out a little fast for me. But you come to recognize how badly Robert and Michael need each other and suddenly the quick tumble into love is not so bad after all.

The love scenes are m/m and definitely intimate and heated. I would give it a 9.5 out of 10 on my Sexy Scale. (10 being very graphic in sexy content – 1 being so tame there isn’t even a real kiss… ok, well maybe a chaste one)

Overall, the writing is good, the plot solid, the characters appealing… a good read in general. I give this book an 8 out of 10 overall.


– My reviews can also be found on The Season for Romance. Check out the website, blog, and forum for great reviews, covers, announcements and more!


This book was received through NetGalley.com and Published by Carina Press.

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