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After losing everything in a tragic accident, district attorney Mitchell Sanderson is running for re-election. Refugee Magdalena Serida found freedom from the terrors of a government-quelled revolution in Chechnya, but doesn't know who is safe to trust. Is Mitch ready to open his heart again? And can Lena love a man of law and order without fearing his work?
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Franciscan Media
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Magdalena Serida fought her way out of the terrors of a government-quelled insurgent uprising in Chechnya. The church-sponsored refugee knows the horrors of war first-hand. Now in America with her five-year-old sister, Lena is uncertain who to trust. Her Christian faith has maintained her through the loss of her family, but when Mitch Sanderson shows interest, Lena longs to take a chance. Should she open herself up to this man of law and order, a man who imprisons women like her? Or slip quietly back into the shadowed fringe of anonymity?
But choices slip away when Mitchs friend spews half-truths about Lena, rumors that cost Mitch his new love and possibly the election. Can he find his way to a faith deep enough to love again, and to offer Lena the refuge of his heart?
Heart2HeartVictorville, CAAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Love may be the greatest gift of all!October 12, 2015Heart2HeartVictorville, CAAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Looking for an exceptional romance novel with a Christmas theme that is a bit extraordinary? I would suggest you pick up Refuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne. This is a heartwarming story of a Chechnian refugee that has escaped her war torn country and is seeking to find a fresh start for herself and her sister Anna here in America thanks to the goodwill of a local church as her sponsor. Even though it is difficult, Magdelena Serida knows that in time, she will earn her doctor's degree and find a new life in a better neighborhood and will be able to afford better clothes than they have now. She knows that most people wouldn't understand her past and how difficult it was to watch her entire family taken by Russian militants while the women were sold into slavery. That is the life Lena has left behind and one she hopes she can leave in the past.
Yet God is about to intervene in their lives in a most profound way all thanks to a flat tire, a snow covered night and an encounter with Mitch Sanderson, the district attorney. Mitch had hoped that the woman and child he had seen walking in the cold and snow were not the same people who would soon see the flat tire on the run down car, but they were. As a caring and compassionate man, he knew that he could not drive home without seeing to their safety and getting their flat tire changed. But God didn't want it to be simply that easy for any of them, and when the spare tire turned out to be bad as well, Anna, Lena and Mitch would have to spend time together waiting out the purchase of new tires while they grabbed a bite to eat. It is through Lena's eyes that Mitch sees life in a truly remarkable way as the Christmas season approaches. One full of gratitude and appreciation instead of expectation and it is just the change he needs in his own life after losing his wife and unborn son in a car accident. Perhaps perspective is a better choice in what he needs.
I received Refuge of The Heart by Ruth Logan Herne compliments of Franciscan Media for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a free copy of the book, for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. This is such an incredible feel good story of love, forgiveness, redemption and gratitude and thus the reason for it being an exceptional choice for those looking for more than simply another Christmas romance. It's a perfect reminder of what many of us in the United States never consider as we watch many war refugees fleeing from their country without knowing all the why's of what has happened to them, yet we judge them based on what we hear instead. For me this one, easily garners a 5 out of 5 in my opinion and one that will be added to my permanent library to be read each time at Christmas.
BonTonMt. Washington, Ky.Age: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5AN INSPIRING STORY THAT WILL TOUCH THE READER'S HEART AND SOUL!!!!September 20, 2015BonTonMt. Washington, Ky.Age: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When District Attorney Mitchell (Mitch) Sanderson rescues Magdalena (Lena) Serida, and her 5 year-old sister, Anna, from the peril of a flat tire in a store parking lot - little does he realize she could be the rescuer of his heart. Shielding it against loving again, since the loss of his wife and unborn son in a drunk-driving accident, 5 years prior- he still blames God for their deaths.
Lena, a church-sponsored refugee from war-torn Chechnya, Russia, had witnessed the horrors of war firsthand - her strong Christian faith having led her through the loss of the rest of her family. However, Lena is hiding a dark secret - one which causes her nightmares, anxiety attacks, a fear and distrust of law enforcement, and a reluctance to testify on war crimes before the U.S. Senate. Once a near-affluent doctor, she is now being schooled to become a nurse - while working part-time in a nursing home, raising her sister, and living in a poverty-stricken, crime-infested neighborhood.
Mitch, a caring man from an affluent family, and a relentless worker who has strived for 3 years to remove problems in the justice system that allows criminals to escape incarceration - has earned respect and trust for his conviction rate. Drawn to Lena through her strength, courage, and faith - their relationship is challenged when Mitch's friend spreads rumors about Lena to him, causing a possible obstacle to his re-election, and his doubt of Lena's integrity.
'Refuge of the Heart' is a novel that touched me deeply with it's touching, heart-warming message of faith, trust, courage, redemption, hope, and strength. I read most of it in one sitting - through the night - unable to put it down. It expanded my knowledge of, and compassion for, the plight of refugees from war-torn countries, and aroused sympathy for Lena in her courageous battle to better life for she and her sister. Enduring the poverty of less than enough food, a lack of warm clothing and bedding, the struggle for money to put gas in her car. Things many of us take for granted. Lena's misinterpretation of the English language made me smile, as did the sweetness and conversations of Anna. The novel didn't overwhelm me with scenes from Anna and Mitch's pasts or jobs - thus allowing me to become totally engrossed in the story of Mitch and Lena: their romance, faith, lessons to be learned. Lena's resilience, practicality, dreams, and faith through such adversity was truly inspiring.
I loved this longer novel from Ruth Logan Herne, her first for publisher Franciscan Media. I consider it a "work of art", her best writing to date, deserving of more than a 5-star rating. I became invested in the characters, felt their pain and joy, thought of them long after I finished reading the novel. I hope Ruth has plans for a series, a continuation of the story of Mitch and Lena.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Amazing!September 15, 2015KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Herne ripped my heart out and stomped all over it during this read. It's back in place now, but still tender and fuller somehow, like the Grinch's heart that grew three sizes too big. Because that's the kind of read this is -- transforming. Opens your eyes and your heart, fills you with compassion. Urges you to walk a little taller, be a whole lot kinder and leave judgements up to God.
As a priest tells Magdalena: "But Lena, child, we're never alone...Our actions and those of others entwine. Each candle that's lit, each ripple in the sea, changes the world around us." (p.262) Refuge of the Heart changed my world and I'm sure its ripple effect will be felt for some time to come.
Lena is easy to love, to worry about, to hurt for. She bears herself with a quiet dignity that masks the agony of a dark past. Tenacious, determined, devoted to her little sister, she's trying to look ahead to a better future. One that doesn't include a man -- especially a District Attorney.
Mitch is a complicated and sometimes contradictory hero. Set the swoon meter to overload because his measured pursuit of Lena is a toe-curling delight. But, as in all her books, Herne doesn't shy away from the grit of realism. Characters lives are messy, they are honest products of their upbringing and life experience. That makes them act in ways that will test a gentle reader's heart. I actually closed the book and set it aside at one point. Washed my floors and cleaned the bathroom so I could avoid picking it up again and all the while my throat burned and my chest felt like it was in a vice-grip.
I alternately wept copious tears and cheered myself hoarse over the course of this novel. Stunning and compelling and definitely unforgettable.
VeraGender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5wonderful storyAugust 30, 2015VeraGender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is a wonderful story of courage, survival, the undefeated human spirit, terror, relationships, faith in God and redeeming love. I loved this story and couldnt read it fast enough. Ms. Herne did a wonderful job of instilling emotion into this story; I could feel all the Lenas emotions, the cultural differences, the language, having to start her education over here, I thank God I live in America. Lena, the main character of this story has suffered as no human being should have to suffer, and came to America with the help of the Catholic Church for a new life. Grozny, Chechnya was a battleground of fighting and evil men with evil intentions.
Lena and her 5-year-old sister, Anna, live in an apartment skirting a crime-ridden neighbor but a good school for Anna. Mitchell Sanderson is the county DA up for re-election. God has plans in store for Mitch, Lena, and Anna; God orchestras a meeting between them. Lena and Anna are very solid in their faith in God and Church; Mitch not so much, he lost his wife and unborn son to a drunk driver which made a huge impact on his life and religious convictions. Mitch, Lena, and Anna meet on a cold snowy day over a flat tire. Mitch is a good man who could not leave Lena and Anna to fend for themselves. He takes them carefully under his wing, seeing the conditions they live in and how little money is available for their upkeep. Lena has so little money that putting $7.00 gas in her car is a cause for celebration. Lena was in doctor training in Chechnya, but her degrees mean nothing here, she is studying to be a nurse and working part-time in a nursing home. Lena is compassionate and understanding, with her geriatric patients. I could feel Lena's terror of the police and any law enforcement as in Chechnya they are the terror at the door in the middle of night, family members disappear, and they are never seen again. I felt such compassion for her and the horror she had faced.
But Lena also has secrets, and Mitch can feel something is off. The groundwork of Lenas past was well executed and played an intricate part in the story. Mitch and Lena come to care for each other, but the secrets from Lenas prior life will be revealed. Can Mitch accept what happened and go forward in Gods Grace and love? You will have to read this lovely story to find out. I loved watching Mitch and Lena find their way to what God had planned for them and realize the love they felt through all the adversity of life, and I loved watching Lena find her courage that had served her so well.
I would highly recommend this book, it is full of emotions that are so pungent that I cried at times and felt wonderful at others. A great Christian love story.
I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest review.
AJTAge: 35-44Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Refuge of the HeartAugust 24, 2015AJTAge: 35-44Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Absolutely delightful! Rich, complex characters that I fell in love with. Amazing job weaving many facets and events together to create a solid story that I couldn't stop reading. Cancel all your evening plans as you will not want to put it down once you start!