Sanctum by Hannah McBride
Backwater Pack Series #1
Release Date: August 21st, 2020
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Format Read: ARC, ebook
A survivor on the run
After refusing the laws of her sadistic pack, Skye Markham barely escapes with her life, seeking sanctuary with the feared Blackwater pack. Hunted by her former Alpha and his soldiers, she’s determined to create a life even though she knows they will come for her.
An alpha with a pack to protect
As the next alpha in line, Remy Holt has spent years guarding the Blackwater pack and his family from those who seek to seize control and destroy them. The last thing he needs or wants is Skye Markham and the dangers she brings with her adding to the stress on his pack, but his wolf has a different opinion. He wants her, and after one moment that shouldn’t have been possible, he knows he’ll never be able to let her go.
A bond unlike any other
Skye thought she was finally safe, but as her bond with Remy strengthens, the shifter world starts to break apart at the seams. Missing shifters, a dying population, and pack wars are all causing their sanctuary to crumble around them, and Skye is trapped in the middle of it all. Someone is out to destroy the pack and if they succeed, there will bring down everything Remy has sought to protect and for Skye… maybe there is no such thing as a sanctuary.
*SANCTUM is the first book in the Blackwater Pack series. Possible trigger warnings: abuse, violence, language, and bullying.
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I feel so lucky to say that I read an early version of this book. And then I got to read the ARC. And now I can tell everyone that this book is for sure making it to my top favorites of 2020 and I am never shutting up about it.
The characters were incredible. They all have a great backstory, and each has its own personality that completely flies out of the pages. They have their own path to follow and they all grow SO MUCH.
Skye is one of those female leads that inspires anyone who reads her journey -we feel for her, we hurt with her, and we heal with her.
And what can I say about Remy? He has quickly risen to the top on my favorite-book-boyfriends list and that is not an easy feat to accomplish.
I have not read a lot of shifter romances, but in the ones I’ve read, I usually had problems with the blatant sexism and toxicity of the male lead, of his relationship with the heroine and the overall world they’re in. Even if it tried to disguise it under a “strong female lead”, it didn’t disguise it enough for me.
But that is just my personal experience and opinion.
Anyway, imagine my surprise when I read this book and discovered that everything I yearned for in a shifter romance was right here on every single one of these pages… that there was finally a book where I didn’t have to deal with everything I hated about shifter alphas, and yet managed to somehow deliver one perfectly even without those things I hated about them.
Because have no doubts: Remy IS an alpha.
He is absolutely everything you love about alpha men, it’s just improved to a thousand. He is protective, powerful, strong, arrogant, and very possessive. But he is also absolutely nice, loving, funny, kind, and caring. He never tries to control Skye -he respects her, he helps her, and he is the best leader his pack or anyone could ask for. He earns people’s respect by being good and smart, not by bullying everyone with his strength. No matter what kind of men you like to read about in books, I am sure you will fall for Remy. Because he is the perfect mix of everything you could ever want in a guy.
The relationship Remy and Skye have is completely heartwarming. They both look out for each other and have each other’s backs. Their chemistry and the trust they develop in one another are some of my favorite things. Seeing them become a team, friends, and fall head over heels in love was a journey I want to read and reread a million times over.
The creatures and the world are so interesting that it even took me by surprise. The building and development the author put into her world and her shifters both as individuals and as communities can be felt in the novel, and it just makes the book grip you and pull you into it so much more.
As for the secondary characters? We meet a huge cast of people that are very unique, diverse, and different. Their relationships shine as much as the main love story.
The themes that this story dealt with at times could be very hard ones to read, and the author handled them all beautifully. It was all done with the utmost respect and care, as well as incredible realism even in a paranormal setting.
The story was fast-paced and addictive, I couldn’t stop reading if I tried. Each subplot was constructed perfectly, and added complexity as well as overall awesomeness to the novel. Hannah’s writing gripped me from the start and it didn’t let me go, her magical pen brought all of these words to life in my head and blew me away.
Sanctum was a debut novel that surprised me and left me with the biggest book-hangover I’ve had lately. It is a book that completely redefined Alphas and Shifters for me, and a romance that gave me everything I didn’t know I wanted. If you like romance, shifters, or just amazing good NA stories, this is a book that you absolutely cannot miss.