Adriana Anders returns to the blog today with the third in her Blank Canvas Series. Please read on for my review and excerpt, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win an Adriana Anders Print Bundle. But first
In His Hands
Adriana Anders is on my must watch list: an author who carefully brings serious and topical elements into her stories, while making readers long for more: more for her characters, more story, more moments. In the third book from her blank canvas series, she brings us yet another set of characters who have tried to move past their insecurities and make new paths for themselves. Easily read in any order: the series name of Blank Canvas truly defines the connections and romance for the characters – they have to choose what to cover those canvases with, and they do so in ways that are gripping, compelling and engaging.
Abby has been raised in a cult: with a leader who alternates between compelling and cruel, she’s finding that the world beyond the relative security and support within the life she has always known may be little more than an illusion. Innocent in all the ways of the world, she harnesses her fear of the unknown in an effort to escape and find a way to pay for treatment, denied by the cult, for a young boy in desperate need. The uniqueness of Abby: her innocence despite the horrific abuse she suffered during her time in the cult, the religious overtones where the word becomes a hammer, twisted and forged for control, and her actual unfamiliarity with many everyday situations. In the company of anyone other than Luc, an honorable man who won’t allow himself to ‘need’ another, even though he’s adopted a dog (Le Dog), and claims to avoid people. There’s just something about Abby – not just her willingness and need to work, her curiosity and the hints of sadness he sees, that allows him to gently guide her through the many pitfalls that her new existence brings.
This did start slowly: there is plenty of set-up as we get a feel for each character: Abby so open and guileless in her sharing, and Luc, a bit more reserved with his quiet moments spent with old recordings that were his grandfather’s favorites. His every waking moment is spent gently tending his vines as a seller of wine grapes with a sense that the grape lives in his soul as a native of Bourdeaux. But soon, with Abby’s sharing and the pressure from the cult to bring her back, the revelations as she understands the repercussions of her own treatment and deciding how to feel, as well as her growing affections for Luc, bring us a slow-growing story where both Luc and Abby find themselves meandering down the path of love. At the same time, the pressures from the outside increase, and the story starts to build tension and keeping readers wondering just what is next. With Abby and Luc, their relationship is decidedly as friends that grows into more: less from Abby’s reticence and more, it seems, for Luc giving her the opportunity to grow, learn and make a choice. As choice seems to be a new-ish concept for Abby, you have to love Luc’s willingness and understanding: even as he guards and guides her forward in this new world. Incredibly emotional and sensual, Anders allows those moments of discovery, growth and sharing come organically and doesn’t rush; you can actually see that these two are well-suited, and the slower development of the relationship gives them a solidity that wouldn’t have appeared had they jumped into the ‘couplehood’ any sooner. Perfectly suited as an installment in this series, keeping it on my favorite series list for characters, writing and unique elements that aren’t common to romance.
Title: In His Hands
Author: Adriana Anders
Series: Blank Canvas #3
Also in this series: By Her Touch
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published on: 1 August, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
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.
See the Blank Canvas series at Goodreads
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.