Sanctuary by Beverly Barton

War with their archrival, the evil Ansara clan, is unavoidable. For Mercy Raintree, a war means she must assume her position as guardian of the Sanctuary—the sacred Raintree home place deep in the Smoky Mountains. But doing so threatens to disclose her most prized secret—one Mercy has kept to herself for six years.

As the solstice looms and the battle heats up, Dranir Judah Ansara gathers his forces, intending to wipe every Raintree from the face of the land. Including Mercy, whom he’s claimed as his to kill. Then he comes face-to-face with her—and with her daughter, Eve. Will Mercy’s closely guarded secret change not only the outcome of the battle—but also Judah’s own bitter heart?

This is the third and final book in the Raintree trilogy, and sadly my least favorite.  It also takes place at the same time as the first and second book but at the actual Raintree Sanctuary where Mercy, Dante & Gideon’s younger sister, lives with her daughter Eve.   The book starts with the Ansara’s council meeting where Cael, Judah the Ansara Dranir’s half brother, is waiting for news of his brother’s death. When Judah’s enters the council and tells of his failed assassination attempt Cael tries for damage control, speaking of warriors who grow restless on waiting for the attack on Raintree.  Judah learns of another warrior who has left for North Carolina to kill Mercy and take control of the Sanctuary.  Judah states that not only is the Raintree Dranir Dante his kill, but he also claims Mercy as his as well. 

 Mercy is a powerful healing empath who can take others pain onto herself and heal them.  While helping a couple that was is a wreck near the Sanctuary (a set-up via the Ansaras), Cael has an Ansara assassin attempt to take her life.   Judah kills one of his own clan to protect her, only to state she is his to kill.  He returns her home where Eve not so matter of factly declares that he is her father (this whole part of the book seemed farfetched).  As Judah stays at the Sanctuary he learns about their child, her powers and Mercy’s decision to keep her from him as a civil war amongst the Ansaras ensues during Cael’s battle for Dranir. 

 I was not Judah’s fan.  In fact I still don’t like him and I finished the book.  He was just too much Alpha male that he came off as a class A douche bag.  He never softened during the whole book and constantly displayed dominance in every situation.  I’m also a bit disappointed that they build up to this battle during all three books and between the end of one chapter where the fight is about the start and the beginning of the next it’s almost over.  And of course Dante and Gideon’s ladies whom they both left at home decide to come to the battle even though they cannot really assist and are just going to distract them.  I hate the helpless female thinking they are rescuing the male but in all actuality they are just going to distract him and possible get him hurt or killed.  Buh.  The ending is pretty obvious during the series but due to the set-up at the end it doesn’t seem believable.

Favorites in order:  Gideon, Dante, Mercy.

Pecans: 2.75/5

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