Book Review: Sanctuary Cove by Kate James

Posted March 7, 2017 by meezcarrie in contemporary, Kate James, mystery/suspense, romance / 9 Comments

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about the book

Can his safe haven be enough for her? 

Emma Meadows never imagined that sticking to her principles against an act of corruption by a New York senator would cost her job as VP of communications.

Heartbroken, she retreats to her cottage in the Adirondacks and, in the process, rescues an injured dog that only Josh Whitmore can save.

The veterinarian works diligently to bring dog and woman back to full fighting form, until allegations against the senator become more serious.

Seeing Emma’s reaction to the increasing pressure, Josh realizes that inevitably she’ll find a way back to the top…and he’ll likely lose her for good.

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Heartwarming
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2017
PAGES: 287

There are two three some things Zuzu and I can always count on when reading a Kate James book – great canine characters, great human characters, nail-biting action/suspense, and sweet romance with just the right amount of heat.

Zuzu: I actually only care about the dogs. The rest of that list is all Mom.

In Sanctuary Cove, we are treated to all of the above. Great canine characters? Check! There’s three of them, as a matter of fact. Max, Theo, and Winston. Kate James gives each dog their own individual personality along with a collective personality as the pack they become.

Zuzu: A word of advice. Have a friend’s paw to hold while reading the first chapter … and a couple of other parts of Sanctuary Cove. 

My dog speaks truth, y’all. Kate James starts you off with an emotional first chapter, especially if you’re a dog lover. But trust me when I say that it’s safe to trust this author with the animals in her books. Not only are they loved, but they are also respected and treated as valuable members of each book’s cast.

Great human characters? Sweet romance? Check and check! Emma and Josh have perhaps not instant attraction (considering both make some inaccurate assumptions about the other at first meeting) but they do have instant chemistry. Even rain-soaked on the side of the road with a dog neither of them knows. Their mutual love for animals draws them together initially but it builds from their. Emma has such a kind heart – for animals and for people – and a strong spirit. Josh is steady and patient, not to mention good looking and swoony. You will wish they were real people for the simple reason of wanting a friendship with them by the time the book is over!

Zuzu: I would totally be friends with Emma and Josh. Even if Josh IS a veterinarian. Maybe I should put some disclaimers on this friendship…. *writing* “No thermometers stuck anywhere! No shots. Lots of treats.”

Nail biting suspense? Check! There’s a lot at play here in Sanctuary Cove, considering how idyllic and peaceful it is. Emma fears she’s brought it all with her, but some of it preceded her (i.e. Josh’s crazy ex girlfriend).  Danger does seem to have tracked her down, though, and I spent a good deal of the book trying to figure out the source. Is it the senator in whose criminal case Emma is unwittingly embroiled? Is it Josh’s crazy ex, upset that someone else is staking a claim? And speaking of claims, maybe it’s poachers who want to keep hunting on Emma’s land without restriction. Kate James easily captures readers’ attention right from the beginning and keeps us on the edge of our seats throughout the novel.

Bottom Line: Once again, Kate James brings us a story rich with great characters (of both the two and four legged variety), vivid Adirondacks setting, nail-biting suspense, and tender romance. The chemistry between Josh and Emma is instantly palpable, and their romance is exquisitely sweet without straying into “sappy” or away from “sizzling”. This may be my favorite Kate James book yet! I’m looking forward to a return to Sanctuary Cove to catch up with these characters who already feel like friends.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Excellent
Zuzu’s Rating: 4 paws and a tail wag!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Kate’s goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.

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Other Books by Kate James



What about you? Emma escapes to the Adirondacks. Where’s your favorite “escape-to” destination?

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9 responses to “Book Review: Sanctuary Cove by Kate James

  1. Kay Garrett

    My escape place is soon to be our new home – the Ozarks! To say I’m super excited after all these years to have found just the right place and designed our dream home and it coming all together is an understatement.

  2. Winnie Thomas

    Probably our cabin in Idaho. It’s only an hour away and there’s a stream (with trout) running through it. Although, our house is fairly big and usually quiet (unless the grandkiddies are visiting), so there are plenty of places to escape to right in our house.

  3. Terrill Rosado

    I just purchased the paperback yesterday on Harlequin during their BOGO. Great review, Carrie. Yet, I would have purchased it either way. 🙂

    • Terrill, thank you for purchasing Sanctuary Cove. I hope you enjoy it, and I would love to hear from you, once you’ve had a chance to read it.

      Happy reading!


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