Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman – Likable relatable characters, suspense, intrigue

Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman is the third book in the Love and Honor series.  It’s the second book I’ve read by this author.  I wanted to read it because the author makes the characters come to life.

Honor’s Refuge continues the story of Phil Osbourne, who was introduced in the first book of the series Honor Bound.  In that book, Phil had lost his leg due to an injury he sustained on a mission with the special forces team.  Phil’s been home for two years and developed a friendship Melissa Braxton who runs a shelter for women who suffer from physical abuse.  Truth be told, Phil and Melissa have fallen in love.  But Phil doesn’t feel like a man who is whole, or that he can’t be the man Melissa deserves. 

Phil and some of his former teammates researched and found Melissa’s long-lost sister Lola.  They were separated when they were very young following their mother’s death.  Phil would do anything, including putting himself at risk, to reunite this family. 

I appreciate how Hallee Bridgeman develops the characters in her book.  The main characters are very likeable, as well as Phil and Melissa’s friends, family, and co-workers.  There is a depth to the characters that makes them seem real.  Honor’s Refuge is suspenseful.  Mysteries are unveiled as the characters work through their weaknesses, understand their feelings and try to strengthen their faith. 

Faith is part of the character’s lives.  I appreciated that Phil and Melissa prayed and talked about the Lord.  I would like to have seen the Gospel more accurately presented.  Melissa’s sister Lola is comforted by the community that has taken her in, she is curious about their faith.  It was explained to her that “It’s less about religion and more about community.”  Repentance of sin and belief in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin was not explained. 

Phil was one of my favorite characters.  He used his experience and training to help protect Melissa, Lola, and her children.  His personal mission was to protect them threats from very evil people entrenched in drug trafficking. 

I had some problems with the ending of the book.  Phil’s background and training was special forces, and since he was dealing with men who were downright evil.  I’m not sure it was realistic that he would respond to the bad guys by subduing them and using zip ties and sheets to restrain them.  I didn’t understand why Phil struggled with remorse over the violence he employed to protect innocent women and children from a drug lord and his minions who intended to harm them.

I liked Honor’s Refuge because of the characters.  It’s an interesting story with suspense, intrigue, bravery, good vs. evil, and developing relationships.  I did struggle some with the ending.  Even so, I recommend Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman.  I would give this book a 3.5-star rating. 

I thank Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review. 

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