Sanctuary :: Brenda Novak | New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author
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cover_sanctuaryBook #2 in the Harlequin Birth Place Series*

Ten years ago, Hope Tanner escaped from the polygamist colony where she was born and raised. She was only sixteen at the time, and pregnant, but she managed to find refuge in Enchantment, New Mexico, where Lydia Kane, owner of The Birth Place, took her in.

Hope had her baby in Enchantment, and put the child up for adoption, then spent the next several, difficult years getting an education, learning to appreciate her new freedom, and finally working as an obstetrics nurse. At twenty-seven, the last thing she wants is go back to Superior and face down the people from her past, especially her father and the man she refused to marry – her own uncle. But she has a sister who wants out, and she’s determined to help her…

*For more information on the authors who wrote the other books in the series (books 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 – which were released beginning September 2003, at one title per month) visit the following author’s websites:


Her mother’s hand dropped, and dread settled in the pit of Hope’s stomach as she looked up to see her father entering the park. A scowl generally served as his customary expression–anything less would have been too frivolous–but his face darkened considerably when a little girl ran up to him and brightly announced, “Her name’s Hope, Daddy. I heard her say it. Ain’t she pretty? Ain’t that a pretty name? Daddy?”

Her father passed the child without acknowledging her. Tall and imposing in an Abraham Lincoln sort of way, he still wore his beard untrimmed. Two gray streaks broke the black of it at each corner of his mouth, accentuating his frown. He’d lost a good deal of his hair; his face, on the other hand, hadn’t aged a bit. Time couldn’t soften his granite-like features any more than it could soften his granite-like heart.

“What is this? What’s going on here?” he cried, his long legs churning up the distance between them. Next to him hurried her two uncles, Rulon, a taller version of her father, who had eight wives at last count, and Arvin, the runt of the family–and the man she’d refused to marry. Almost skeletal in appearance, the bones of Arvin’s hips jutted out beneath a tightly cinched belt and his chest looked almost concave beneath his wrinkled white shirt. But at fifty-something, he still had his hair. Black and stringy, it fell almost to his shoulders. He was older than her father by a year, yet she would have been his tenth wife.

Hope’s grip on the flowers instinctively tightened until the prick of a tiny thorn she’d missed removing reminded her to ease off. She wanted to leave, but her feet wouldn’t carry her. Not while Charity was standing in front of her looking so haggard and careworn at twenty-three. Who had her father arranged for the sister closest to her in age to marry?

“Hope’s back,” her mother volunteered in a placating tone as Jed came upon them.

Her father’s eyes climbed Hope’s thin frame, the frame she had inherited from him. She knew he was taking stock of the changes in her, making special note of her khaki shorts and white cotton blouse. She was dressed like a Gentile, an outsider, and he wouldn’t like that, no more than he’d appreciate the fact that her apparel showed some leg. When she was in St. George, she’d considered wearing a dress, but putting on one he’d consider suitable seemed like too great a concession. She was one of these people, and yet she wasn’t. She was an outcast. As much as she missed her sisters and her mother, the years she’d spent here seemed like another lifetime. She now knew the freedom of making her own decisions, the power of education, the joy of being able to support herself. She lived in a world where women were equal to men. She could speak and be heard and have half a chance of making a difference.

That was what she wanted to give her sisters. A chance to know what she knew–that there were others in the world who believed differently than their father and that didn’t make them heathens. A chance to get more out of life.

“Father,” Hope murmured, but the old resentment came tumbling back, making the word taste bitter in her mouth. If not for his final betrayal, if not for his support of Arvin’s salacious interest over her own happiness, maybe she wouldn’t have done what she’d done in the barn. Maybe she wouldn’t have had to pay the terrible price she’d paid…


Powerful and poignant…Novak’s carefully crafted tale of heartbreak and triumph becomes one of those powerful reads that is impossible to put down.
~Cynthia Penn, Senior Editor

Writer’s Unlimited
SANCTUARY is a fast-paced, emotion filled romance sure to hold readers spellbound from the moment they crack open its spine and start reading the first couple of sentences…SANCTUARY is supposed to be just a romance, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a great lesson in acceptance…and forgiveness. Ms. Novak knows how to keep her readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.”
–Diana Tidlund

A Romance
A fascinating look into polygamist communities, Sanctuary will have the reader spell bound from the beginning… Sanctuary didn’t skimp a bit on characterization or plot lines and while there is plenty of sensuality and romance in the pages, it didn’t take over the entire story. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Sanctuary and when you’re done, you might want to clear some space on those keeper shelves because you will soon have a new addition with this one!
–Katy,5 roses

“Get out the hankie box and settle down for a compelling read!”
–Suzanne Coleburn, 4-1/2 Stars
SANCTUARY is a very fast-paced romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat and turning pages…. I recommend it to anyone seeking an emotional story of second chances and hope for a brighter tomorrow. –Sherri

Old Book Barn Gazette “Ms. Novak writes an evocative and emotional story that will stay with you long after the last page is read.”
Allyn Pogue, Reviewer

Romantic Times Book Club 4-1/2 Star Review
Reading Brenda Novak is like eating chocolate. Rich in texture. Smooth and fulfilling. And you never get enough.

Contemporary Romance Writers
…a compelling, intense, and beautiful story about love, second chances, and emotional recovery. Novak beautifully describes how Hope comes to face her past and grows into a stable, loving, and strong woman. Parker, who must face his own ghosts, is also a very interesting and well developed character. Parker’s relationship with his son is touching and some of their dialogs really made me smile. This was my first book by Novak, but it will not be my last.
Sanctuary written by Brenda Novak is well researched book about Polygamy and the effects of Polygamy on it’s followers both in the sect and those who have left the sect. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. Her characters are all very believable and you can actually see the various characters in these real life situations. I find the subject of Polygamy to be a timely subject in the era of Big Love the new HBO series. Being a Mormon it strikes a familiar cord with me even though the main church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints discontinued the use of Polygamy amongst it followers in 1890 when the US Government outlawed it so Utah could become a state. Brenda tastefully treats any intimacy between her characters in a discreet and tasteful way. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a good entertaining and educational read. Brenda is an awesome writer.
~ Monique R. Winkel
President of


logl_rt_topPickWinner of RT BOOKclub Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Superromance of 2003!

Finalist in the Golden Quill
Finalist in the Writer Touch Reader’s Award
Finalist in the Smoky Mountain Laurie