In His Hands by Adriana Anders (Blank Canvas #3)

Available: August 1, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

He is Her Salvation

Abby Merkley has been a member of the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith since she was a child, and there’s no way out―except death. She will fight the odds to survive, but there’s no one in the world she can trust, nowhere she can run that the cult can’t find her…until her handsome, brooding neighbor takes her into the safety of his arms.

Luc Stanek craves a quiet life. But he doesn’t hesitate when a desperate woman lands, bloodied and branded on his doorstep. Soon he finds himself drawn into her chaotic world, caught in the center of an apocalyptic war…and determined to save the fierce beauty no matter the cost.

I don’t even know how to begin writing a review for this book. It was amazing and unusual and emotional and surprising and downright beautiful. This is the third book I’ve read (and reviewed) by Adriana Anders and she can’t write fast enough for me. In His Hands is book three in the Blank Canvas series, and while some of the characters from the other books make appearances, this can definitely be read as a standalone. In fact, for the first third of the book I was wondering if it was even part of that same series.

In His Hands is the story of Abby Merkley. Yes, it is a romance, and yes there is a lovely hero (Luc)…. but this is really Abby’s story. Down on her luck with nowhere to go, Abby’s mother eventually found a home with the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith. The simple life, religious routines and members they call family are all Abby has known since she was seven years old. As she has grown older and matured, Abby begins to wonder if their way of life isn’t the only way. The pieces of the outside world she has experienced – working at the market, or watching her grape-growing neighbor – have fueled a curiosity she can no longer ignore. When Sammy, a teenage Church member she is close to, is denied medical assistance (modern medicine is against their beliefs) and Abby is punished for pushing the issue, she knows the only answer for both of them is to get away.

Luc Stanek lives a quiet live. Estranged from his wealthy vintner family in France, all he wants to do is grow his grapes and tinker with making his own wine. He keeps to himself on his mountain, venturing into town only when necessary. His day to day routine is disturbed when a woman from the neighboring church shows up asking for work. He doesn’t want help, or company, and he doesn’t want anything to do with the freaky cult church people next door. There is something about the young woman that draws him in, though, and Luc is unable to turn her away.

Over time, Luc learns that there is more to Abby than the innocent, naïve girl he expected her to be. She is strong and resilient, inexperienced but mature, and soon he forgets that he wanted to be left alone.

The night Abby shows up, beaten and bloody at the hands of her church “family”, Luc knows his peaceful existence has been shattered forever. This woman has worked her way into his heart and he will do whatever he can to help her. Abby has watched Luc from her side of the fence for years. For her, he represents freedom and a new life. In her mind, he has been her savior – the strong, capable, silent man who will offer her an opportunity for a new life. She has pinned all of her hopes on him as a way out, but she never counted on losing her heart in the process.

I don’t know how Adriana Anders did it, but she captured the essence of these two characters so perfectly. I could almost believe that she herself had grown up in a cult-like church and then broke free, her depiction of Abby was that amazing. She was remarkable in her innocence, with a thirst for knowledge and experience, and she was not afraid to stand up for what was right. Luc was an amazing hero. Not perfect, but none of this author’s heroes are. He was lonely and alone, brooding and scarred, but to Abby he was everything she could ever want. This romance was unlike anything I’d ever read before and I did not want it to end.

I give In His Hands by Adriana Anders 5 stars!

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