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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

REVIEW: LOVE'S REFUGE [audiobook] by Sandra Leesmith

Skye Larsen loves her peaceful life on Leeza Island in Puget Sound – the tranquility, the friendly neighbors, and especially the safety from big-city dangers. So when cruel pranks start to escalate and changes threaten to overtake the island, Skye is determined to fight for her haven. The presence of a handsome vacationer and the unexpected feelings he awakens can’t distract her from her goal.

Danny Fraser doesn’t realize how desperately he needs a rest until he meets Skye. By allowing him to glimpse her simple way of life, she helps him reorient his priorities – and steals his heart in the process. But his work and home in Seattle keep Skye at bay. 

An isolated island girl with painful memories. A dedicated city boy with a wild past. 

What will it cost for them both to find a refuge from their storms?                                      


Kindle Edition: 321 pages Published: November 9th 2013
PB Edition: 300 pages
Published: December 10th 2013
Audible Audio Edition: 9 hrs 10 min Unabridged
Narrator: Rachel Fulginiti
Published:  January 20th 2014
Publisher: Amber Press


My Thoughts?
A unique story on many levels.
Island life, reclusive living, living without conveniences, all intriguing approaches
to life in our contemporary society of full on convenience.
Leesmith gives us a taste of a different world.  
Add living with loss in the aftermath of violence and you have the full picture
of our main character's reasons for choosing this unconventional life.

A fascinating tale of two worlds colliding with the arrival of an outsider
come to take a rest at the insistence of his employer
at the same time a development company sets its sights on the value of this pristine
Add the suspense of intrusive actions by parties unknown and you have more than a few mysteries to solve.
This was my favourite part of the story as it challenged me.  I appreciated the romantic
relational development between our main characters that didn't overpower the story
neither  push the boundaries of appropriate physical attraction.
Yet whilst enjoying the story I never did develop enough of a personal connection with Skye.
She remained aloof to me as did the romance between her and Danny.  Skye's sister was
annoying and I never did reconcile her spiritual talk with her reality as a person.
The airstrip manager and his wife were the most authentic characters,
care and concern in both speech and action.
Definitely good variety in characterization that will meet different readers and
listeners at different levels of involvement.

Leesmith builds tension with the concluding scene of each chapter,
keeping attention and increasing curiosity of the listener.

The narrator, Rachel Fulginiti, has a unique voice and I'm not sure if she was chosen specifically for a west coast personalization of characters or other story based reason.  
The narration was steady and well paced.
Personalization of characters was achieved by emphasis on words, tone, and tempo.
The difficulty for me in listening to this narrator was the perceived age difference
with the more youthful main characters.  In my opinion, Fulginiti, though professionally
adept, would have been better suited for older characters than  the cast of Love's Refuge.
The story itself would  have benefited from a lighter voice more appropriate for 
listener age and novel content.
Production was clear providing technically uninterrupted listening without flaws
keeping listener interest in Love's Refuge .

Author Bio: Retired from teaching, Sandra Leesmith is pursuing a career in writing.  Sandra began writing in the eighties and was multi-published in category romance, contemporary fiction, and teenage self-help books.  She adores a good romantic tale and strives to tell them as well.  During the hot summers, she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome. Her favorite travel experiences are to see and enjoy God's beautiful creation. She loves the national parks and monuments where nature is preserved for all to see and enjoy.

Find Sandra online at Sandra Leesmith and on twitter @SLeesmithAuthor 


*Appreciation to Amber Press for an audiobook copy to review
without obligation or compensation.
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