Sunset Bay Sanctuary

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

I have read a few other books by Roxanne Snopek before but after reading SUNSET BAY SANCTUARY I will read every book she has written. I instantly felt like I was on the beach in Oregon dodging seagulls and feeling the sand between my toes. SUNSET BAY SANCTUARY is the first book in the Sunset Bay series. It's all about family and even though you might not share DNA with these family members, you are still family no matter what. Haylee has had a painful past and works on her aunt's ranch taking care of the animals and the troubled youths who come to the ranch for a second chance. It's almost like a halfway house. Hold on people, it's going to be a crazy ride!


SUNSET BAY SANCTUARY is filled with family and second chances and once you start reading, it is impossible to put down. Keep the tissues close by because this will be one heck of an emotional journey. When Haylee meets the new doctor in town, Aiden McCall who is looking for a peaceful and anxiety free life, neither of their lives will ever be the same. Will Haylee be able to help Aiden heal from his past? Once I started reading SUNSET BAY SANCTUARY I found myself cheering for all of these people and praying they could find their happily ever after. Sometimes, it just doesn't happen but I still had hope the whole time.


Roxanne Snopek really knows how to write about family drama, heartbreak, and forgiveness. I can not wait to read more by this wonderful and heart tugging author. I have many of her older books to read and that makes me so happy. SUNSET BAY SANCTUARY is all about letting go of the past and learning how to move on. It is filled with likable and relatable characters that will find their way into the readers heart. If you are looking for a book about a less than perfect family, SUNSET BAY SANCTUARY is the story for you. Spend the afternoon on your beach chair or on your couch devouring this beautiful story. You will love every minute of it!
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I received a copy from NetGalley; this is my honest review. #SunsetBaySanctuary #NetGalley
-I loved the way the relationship between Dr. Mac and Haylee grew; no insta-love, not lust, but a twinge of interest and a planted seed by friends and family.
-They both have baggage, working through them slowly but surely. It's not that easy.
-There are many people in this book but I could differentiate them: ranch, hospital, etc.; then the workers, the fosters, and the customers (we didn't much of those).
-The book talks about breastfeeding (I breastfed during pregnancy, non-twins, toddlers), help dogs, such as dogs that alerted deaf owners to sounds - my father had such a dog, and a bit in passing about planting according to the moon cycle (my DH and I had a 30'x80' garden and followed the moon's cycles).
-Too much graphic info on an actual car accident (spinal cord twist and snap, ...). It was a bit too vivid for me. Yes, it's a medical romance so I expected the ER scenes but they were not graphic. The remembrance of a simulation, on the other hand...
-Funny: "looking for familiar taillights" - I don't even know how mine look like.
-"He didn't need to be told twice. With a groan, Aiden buried himself in her moist heat". I cannot believe they didn't use a condom considering where she comes from and that they knew it was going to happen sooner or later. * One star off.
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Dear Aiden,
Your world has fallen apart, and you’re a broken man. But even as you run away from your fears, Fate has given you a second chance.

There are places of healing in this world… 
Places where all your broken pieces can rest where they are-- while you wrestle through the puzzle of putting yourself back together. 

Sunset Bay Sanctuary is such a place.
There is peace in the roar of the ocean and the sting of the salt-wind.
There is support when you need it-- but no coddling here… 
There is no one here to tell you to suck it up and move on. There is no judgement. The expectations go from moment to moment, day to day. 
There are therapy dogs… and horses… 
And people to tend… the chores of ranch life.
The hard work of your body and hands can earn the space you need for the hard work in your soul. 
And there is friendship and love.

Bottom line: I wanted to linger in Sunset Bay Sanctuary... In fact, I did. The book stayed with me for several days after I finished it, while I pondered  the words for my review. 5 stars.
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I've read other books by this author and I can honestly say there hasn't been a disappointing one amongst them. This story will gently pull at your heartstrings from the heartbreak that has been felt throughout the story. Each character has a story to tell, no heartbreak supersedes the other yet when written in Ms Snopek's genuine style, it is felt deeply. The HEA at the end isn't just for Aiden and Haylee, but for every character in the story...A truly unique and rewarding ending. 

This ARC book was complimentary, provided by the Publisher and NetGalley. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
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Sanctuary Ranch is part dude ranch, part therapy-dog training center, and part refuge for those, regardless of age, who need a second chance at life. Haylee Hansen, who trains the therapy dogs, was her aunt’s first rescue. After losing everything that mattered to her, she almost self-destructed, but her aunt’s love for her never wavered. She has created a useful, satisfying life for herself and found family in her aunt and the regulars at Sanctuary Ranch, but the wounds from her past have never fully healed. She has no idea a part of that past is about to become part of Sanctuary Ranch.

For thirteen years, Aiden McCall ran a Level 1 emergency room at a large hospital, but he has been forced to take a leave of absence. After the death of his young son in a horrific automobile accident and a shattered marriage, Aiden experiences severe PTSD with tormenting nightmares and panic attacks that render him dysfunctional at work. Serving as the ER physician in small-town Sunset Bay, Oregon, offers lower stress and an opportunity to deal with his problem.

Haylee’s dog Jewel introduces Haylee and Aiden, and his decision, on doctor’s advice, to try a therapy dog to help with his PTSD extends their connection. Aiden is reluctant to answer the questions Haylee poses as a preliminary in agreeing to his having one of her therapy dogs, but she is as protective of her secrets as Aiden is of his. The emotional link between these damaged people is strong, but finding a future together will require them to confront the demons they have been unable to escape.

This novel introduces the Sunset Bay series with a powerful, emotional tale. The romance will touch the reader’s heart and activate her tear ducts, but the book is larger than the romance. Haylee and Aiden individually have compelling stories, and the supporting characters are interesting, dimensional people as well. This was my first book by Snopek, but it will not be my last. I have added Driftwood Creek (June 26, 2018), the second Sunset Bay book to my book calendar, and I will be checking out her backlist too.
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A sweet, wrenching love story about family and healing. I liked that the leads, Haylee and Aidan were in their 30s instead of the ubiquitous 20s so popular currently. And there's an older couple and they happen to be a lesbian couple. Their relationship wasn't the focus though they played important roles in the story. Snopek wrote a lovely story of the family we're born into, the family you make, the choices you make, and the pain that comes to everyone. With insight, hope, and quiet tugs at the heart, "Sunset Bay Sanctuary" is a wonderful love story encompassing both familial love and romantic love.
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Sunset Bay Sanctuary is a place of healing.  Both people and animals are welcome.  Haylee Hansen has lived with her Aunt ever since she lost her family and needed the sanctuary to heal, but an unexpected guest will bring her past into the present. Aiden McCall needs a change.  He is a trauma unit Emergency Room Doctor who is broken.  The small town hospital is what he needs yet he still has issues that threaten his new job.  Haylee is working hard to find the perfect dog for Aiden.  Together they will learn that love hurts and heals!  Ms. Snopek is a wonderful writer.  This is a must read if you love to get caught up love and romance.  The story is strong with characters and dogs that pull at your heart.  Enjoy!
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An enjoyable story with interesting main and secondary characters, a plot full of surprises and a beautiful setting.
The depiction of the burned out doctor still hurting from the cruelest tragedy is powerful in the beginning of the book, but somehow the allure of the broken/tortured hero is lost throughout the narrative as the character’s voice becomes a bit too corny or even conceited (his assumptions about why some women go into nursing because of their attraction to medical men…) and other elements are added into the story flow.
This is my first Roxanne Snopek book and I’ll be reading more of her stories.
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Sunset Bay Sanctuary is a terrific book.  The book is well written and has a great plot.  I highly recommend this book.
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I really enjoyed this book.  Loved the setting and what the ranch stood for.  Characters were all interesting and especially enjoyed the rescue dogs.  Great plot of loss and healing and new beginnings.
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Horses! Dogs! Caring people!  What's not to love?  Throw in some obedience training, a doctor with PTSD a pregnant teen runaway and you have the m a kings of a marvelous story.  Too bad Sunset Bay Sanctuary only exists between the covers of a book.
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I’m no stranger to Roxanne Snopek’s work—her Three River Ranch series is one of my favourites of all time—and Sunset Bay Sanctuary definitely had a similar vibe for me, with a strong message that DNA isn’t a necessary requirement in calling people family. And once I’d wrapped my head around the who’s who of characters—because we do have a few, human and hound—it was an enjoyable, promising start to the series.

“We’re called Sanctuary Ranch for a reason.” 

Harbouring painful pasts, both dog whisperer, Haylee and ER doc, Aiden have focused on their careers as a coping mechanism and. fittingly, the romance is slower burn, with it almost playing second fiddle to getting to know all the characters the first half. Because this isn’t just Haylee and Aiden’s journey—granted they’re at the very centre—but they’re surrounded by a cast of secondary characters who are integral and each have their own stories to tell. And whilst the narrative shifting between the characters did initially take some getting used to, as things began to fall into place and Aiden and Haylee give into their growing feelings, we’re brought everything from tenderness to frustration, and moments to make you smile.

“Maybe I’m planning to compromise your virtue. The two of us, alone, at night, in a barn.”

I loved Aidan: from his ability to take charge in difficult situations to his gentler side and determination in fighting the inner torment of his past, he was lovely, but I can’t deny there were times when I struggled with Haylee because irrespective of how amazing she is with animals, when it comes to humans she can be thoughtless and harder-hearted. However she has her reasons for protecting herself and as the story develops and Aiden works his way through her steel reinforced exterior, I admit I did warm to her hugely and felt I’d been a bit judgemental.

“We have sunrise, sunset, and the time in between. A new world, each day.”

Some aspects felt a little unfinished, mainly surrounding Sage, but that didn’t detract from a sound opener to a series which brings the small town family feel in spades and leaves scope for more. Driftwood Creek is due for release mid 2018 and I’ll definitely be checking out Jamie and Gideon’s story.
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I voluntarily read this advanced readers copy of this book.  Strong characters and a great story line.  I so can't wait to read more of Roxanne's work either.  I just couldn't put this book down once I started reading it either.  I can't wait to read the next installment of this book.
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4.5 Stars

Sunset Bay Sanctuary was not what I expected.  I thought it was going to be a romance with people who were broken or damaged, healing themselves, and falling in love.  It’s that and so much more.  I read the blurb several times.  Nowhere in the blurb did I get a sense that this was going to be a story that would almost bring me to tears.  A story that would have me hating, yes, hating the characters.  Sunset Bay Sanctuary is a story full of love, friendship, family, and angst.  I can’t forget about the dogs.  They are characters as well, and at times really steal the scene.

Haylee Hansen has lived a tough life.  She lost her mother at the age of thirteen and then only two years later lost her father and brother on the same day.  She ended up moving cross country to stay with her aunt Olivia who she barely knew.  Through many trials and heartache, the two became close and ultimately started Sanctuary Ranch.  The place is a combination of a  working dude ranch, foster home, and animal rescue.  All those working and/or living at the ranch have deep scars and troubled pasts.  However, they are family to the core.

Aiden McCall has lived through a nightmare.  One that for the past four years he keeps reliving nightly.  Once at the top of his field in emergency medicine, he now finds himself temporarily in the small town of Sunset Bay, Oregon at Sunset Bay Memorial, a low-level hospital.

Haylee and Aiden are thrust together when it is suggested that Aiden get a therapy dog to help with his anxiety.  What should only be a professional relationship turns personal when desire is awakened in them both.  Haylee insists that because of their issues, she and Aiden would never work.  But Aiden sees that she’s scared and is very persistent.

I have to admit that there is A LOT going on with Sunset Bay Sanctuary.  I initially found the large number of characters, almost introduced at once, daunting to keep up with.  Haylee’s past threw me for a loop.  A discovery by Aiden had me screaming and turning on the waterworks.  The climax of this story had me happy for Haylee and Aiden and glad that I stuck with the story.  However, I was left with some unanswered questions.  As I mentioned, there is a large cast of characters and I’m looking forward to getting more of their individual backgrounds in future stories.  I really hope a certain knitting cowboy gets a story.
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Oh, I do hope that Sunset Bay Sanctuary is the beginning of a new series for Roxanne Snopek. I did so enjoy this book about healing animals and people through a working/training/refuge ranch. Three is an entire cast of likable and believable characters who I would love to see have their own stories. Haylee Hansen, niece to the owner of the ranch, now a dog and horse expert has her story in this book.

Aiden McCall is the type of person who would benefit from Sunset Bay Sanctuary. It is a marvelous story to read as he finds healing for his soul and love for his heart. In fact, this is a perfect description of the book; soul touching and heart embracing.
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Sunset Bay Sanctuary by Roxanne Snopek
Sunset Bay #1

Great start to a new series set on the Oregon coast – I can’t wait to see who will have their story told yet – there were so many great characters waiting in the wings to step on stage!

Haylee Hanson has not had an easy life but has found her way through dark times to co-own Sunset Bay Sanctuary with her aunt Oliva. This is a ranch setting near the beach where they take in guests, help wayward youth and where Haylee trains dogs that will help others. The dogs were charming, the people intriguing, the backstories and subplots like a web with intricate threads…this was a story I could not put down. 

Aiden McCall is working temporarily at the local emergency room. He has his own set of demons to deal with that include panic attacks, nightmares and other assorted issues that make work difficult and his life stressful in general. With the suggestion a dog might help he is off to see Haylee. 

Sage is another person of interest that shows up pregnant and in need. Her story is a whopper and impacts more than one person in the book. I don’t want to say much more but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well plotted and written and a delight to read. I am eager to read book two in the series as soon as it comes out. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books – Zebra Shout for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

5 Stars
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This book has the emotional impact of a speeding freight train. It’s going to take you out at the knees, knock you down, and drag you through a minefield before it lifts you up with the promise of a brighter tomorrow. Just make sure to grab a box of tissues before you sit down to read it. At first, Haylee and Aiden seem to be an unlikely couple but as we learn more about each of them, it becomes obvious why they’re perfect for one another. Both of them have enough past baggage to fill that speeding freight train and they have the exact skills that each other needs in order to unpack it all and find healing. Surrounding them is a quirky cast of characters that have banded together as family. I look forward to reading future stories of Sunset Bay.
I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book.
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A contemporary romance filled with dogs, awesome characters and two very troubled people slowly learning to love. 

Haylee Hansen and her aunt Olivia run Sanctuary Farm. Haylee is the dog trainer for rescue dogs she tries to rehabilitate and train as service dogs. Olivia keeps the farm running and is known for taking difficult to place kids and giving them a home. It’s also a dude ranch for families who want to get the real farm experience. 

Aiden McCall (Dr. Mac) is the new ER physician. He is an excellent Dr. but after losing his son and his marriage after a horrible traffic accident, has been having debilitating PTSD symptoms.  He has panic attacks and terrible nightmares. A temporary stint in a small town ER seemed the perfect place to work on his problems. Aiden and Haylee first meet when her dog Jewel decided Aiden needed rescuing on a quiet stretch of rocky beach, and took him down. Lots of laughter ensued and Haylee suddenly feels a long dead spark of attraction. She doesn’t want anyone in her life but her dogs, but the spark has been lit.

These two damaged people are drawn together when a person from Haylee’s past stirs long forgotten heartbreak and sorrow, and Aiden is encouraged to try a therapy dog. A slow, sensual love story grows between Aiden and Haylee and it’s a lovely read. 

I received this novel from the publisher and Netgalley for review.

Pat Fordyce
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WOW!!! Words cannot describe how much I loved and was moved by Sunset Bay Sanctuary by Roxanne Snopek, the first book in her Sunset Bay series.  This is a story of two people who are struggling with soul-crushing pain, anxieties, and past decisions that have affected their lives.  Haylee Hansen trains dog on her aunt’s ranch which is part halfway house and part work camp. It’s a place where troubled kids and adults receive the love they greatly need. Haylee understands, as she was once one of those teens, after losing the last of her family to 9-11.  Only now, her troubled past ends up on her doorstep, turning her life upside down.  Dr. Aidan McCall is a broken man when he arrived in Sunset Bay.  He is controlled by the anger and anxiety from his past, affecting his life. He is fearful of this interfering with his new job at the Sunset Bay hospital, until someone suggests that he get a therapy dog. Haylee knows Aidan has baggage and is troubled but she wants to match him with the perfect dog to help him.  As these two spend time together, Aidan helps Haylee see that no one has a perfect life and that opening yourself up to love is the only way you can heal your soul.

I really loved reading this heart-warming book, it moved me, and brought tears to my eyes.  Ms. Snopek, is a wonderful story teller drawing me into her book, making me forget the world around me and not letting me go until I turned the last page. I did not want to put this book down to stop reading. I highly recommend this book to other readers and look forward to the next book in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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