Book Reviews

Sanctuary (A Tale from the Mercy Hills Universe) by Ann-Katrin Byrde

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / MPreg / Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 23-April-2018

Book Blurb

“Omegas for alphas and betas for betas…”

Ori and Patton have been best friends since they were pups. But growing up changes everything—Ori must settle on an alpha to mate, while Patton takes on the beta's work of maintaining the walled enclave their pack lives within. They try to make the best of it, until a wealthy suitor comes calling for Ori, and they realize neither of them can face a future without the other. And on a moonless night, Ori and Patton escape over the enclave walls, breaking both shifter and human law in their determination to reach the sanctuary of Mercy Hills. 

Hunted by their own people and forced into a dangerous masquerade among the humans, their original plan--so simple and direct—turns into a twisted path toward a promise of freedom that might not even exist. Because Mercy Hills doesn't know they're coming, and the trouble they're bringing to the enclave's doorstep may be more than those already beset shifters are willing to bear.

Finding out Ori is pregnant makes their mission that much more urgent. Omegas never mate with betas, let alone have pups with them. If their pack finds the two lovers, they'll be separated forever. 

But the pack never reckoned with the determination of a beta in love, or the stubbornness of an omega determined to keep his mate and his baby.


Book Review

I was delighted to discover Ann-Katrin Byrde had done a spin-off of her amazing ‘Mercy Hills Pack’ series, and I was eager to read ‘Sanctuary’. I was looking forward to getting a view of something different and a beta and omega pairing is certainly different. Granted, I do believe Mercy Hills is the only relatively “liberal” – and I use that term loosely – wolf pack to be found in this world. All the rest of the packs seem quite content to continue with their medieval ways even though the leaders at Mercy Hills are trying so hard to improve human and shifter relations for all the packs. Hell, they even met with the President in the last installment! I was also very excited (and had my heart in my throat) at the idea of Ori and Patton escaping from their enclave and heading to Mercy Hills where no one knows they’re coming, and they’re running not only from their own wolf pack, but also from the human authorities. I strongly urge that the 'Mercy Hills Pack’ books be read in order because there’s a TON of backstory and history, and without it this world might be difficult to understand. Although, I simply visualize the years leading up to World War II for the Jews in Germany and anyone who was different than the Aryan race, and that pretty much explains this world for me.

My heart was, in equal parts, filled with joy and then with heartache, watching the friendship Ori and Patton have from a young age. They are each other’s best friend but when Ori turns thirteen everything changes. He has to go to special omega-only classes where he learns how to cook, care for a home, and take care of his future pups. His parents and the chaperones surrounding him at all times actively work on keeping him apart from Patton. Ori is frustrated by what he is “supposed” to be, instead feeling that as an unmated omega he is simply a drain on the pack and why shouldn’t he be allowed to try something else he might be interested in. Patton is equally perturbed as he has no interest in a beta, he just wants his best friend. His best omega friend.

"Look, Maw says I'm not allowed to see you again, or talk to you, or anything. But, do you mind--if I can sneak out of the house? Can I come over?"
"Of course!" Patton reached through the window and took Ori's hand. "You're my best friend. I don't care if they say we can't be friends because you can have babies."
Ori grinned and squeezed his hand. "Good. I don't want to lose my best friend."

Ori and Patton belong to the Perigault pack which, funnily enough, is the pack where Holland was mated to the alpha’s son and for a time Holland was the alpha mate. Well, until Hunter decided Holland was barren and threw him away, which is how Holland came to be at Mercy Hills and eventually mated Quin. Ori and Holland had grown fairly close and seeing this happen really affected Ori and had him sobbing quietly on Patton’s shoulder when they snuck out to meet at their tree. Then the day comes when Ori’s parents sign a mating contract with an alpha old enough to be Ori’s dad, and Ori and Patton plan their escape to Mercy Hills. It’s going to be a very long journey on foot from Arizona to Tennessee, especially for two young men who only know about the human world from watching movies.

‘Sanctuary’ is just as beautiful of a story as the ones in the ‘Mercy Hills Pack’ series, but in a very different way. Watching Ori and Patton negotiate being friends to lovers to mates, without their parents at their sides for advice and having no clue whether they’re doing it right, to seeing them struggle together through hiding in plain sight, navigating an unfamiliar world, and having a baby, was heartbreaking. And yet, at the same time, it was a reaffirmation that love is the strongest force in the universe. The strength of these two new adults is astonishing and their perseverance through everything life throws at them was stunning to see.

I loved this book! The ending at Mercy Hills was fantastic although I would have loved a little more showing Ori and Patton settling into their new enclave. I hope to see more of these two young men in future books and, of course, I’m always looking for more books in this world so I sure hope the author is planning on providing them.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel
Heat Level
Publication Date 11-October-2017
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link