Grade : B+

Claire Kent’s Sanctuary is the sixth book in her dystopian erotic romance series Kindled and follows the events of Citadel. While previous books in the series have been loosely connected and easily read as standalones, it’s recommended that these two be read in publication order for continuity.

Eight years after a meteorite destroyed civilization as we know it, small pockets of survivors continue to adapt and thrive. Sisters Del and Breanna have joined a community where they live together in a house with Del’s partner Cole. Breanna isn’t really happy being a third wheel and spends more and more time out of the community as a courier. Her work brings her directly into the path of Aidan, a loner who has an established territory. Breanna thinks there’s no reason they can’t share the area and benefit each other, but Aidan disagrees and the two become bitter competitors. One of their clients proposes a task to both of them with a reward for the person who completes the task first and they both jump at the opportunity to best the other. When a snowstorm and an injury trap them in an isolated mountain church for several days, Aidan and Breanna come to know each other much better and their feelings about each other change. But when they make it back to their respective homes, will it be the end of the fledgling relationship they’ve built?

This book deals with some tough subjects, though they have happened in the past and not on page. Breanna is a sexual abuse survivor. She’d willingly offered up her body to men in order to protect her sister and prevent herself from being raped, but though she tries to make herself believe that it was her choice, she knows deep down that it really wasn’t. When she shares this information with Aidan he makes it clear to Breanna that he will never make any move toward her without her consent. This allows them to let their attraction take a natural course that Breanna can handle. In return for her honesty, Aidan tells her about his personal situation and how he ended up not caring about anyone but himself. He had a wife and children, but when the meteor hit, his wife couldn’t handle the stress and uncertainty and tragedy ensued. This left Aidan on his own and determined not to care for anyone. His trading has been only to his benefit, not caring whether the people he worked for were good or bad, as long as he got paid. The time spent with Breanna makes him think he might be able to start caring again.

While Aidan and Breanna form a fragile truce, other events are in play. The stronghold of the group of men who kidnapped Breanna in Citadel and where Cole’s brother lives is becoming even more of a threat to the lives of more and more people in the area. Plans begin to take shape to combat that threat, and Aidan is going to have to decide if he will stand with Breanna and her friends and family or go back to his loner lifestyle. I really enjoyed how this enemies-to-lovers/ forced proximity romance played out and the action-packed finale. It’s a satisfying happy ending for Aidan and Breanna and a conclusion to one part of the story arc, with more to come in the last book of the series.

Reviewed by Maria Rose
Grade : B+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : February 1, 2024

Publication Date: 12/2023

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Maria Rose

I'm a biochemist and a married mother of two. Reading has been my hobby since grade school, and I've been a fan of the romance genre since I was a teenager. Sharing my love of good books by writing reviews is a recent passion of mine, but one which is richly rewarding.
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