Cait’s Review of “The Island Sanctuary” by Ann Maree Craven & Michelle MacQueen

By: Cait Marie


They’re strangers…
…nothing more.

Leyla Priestly observes life rather than participating in it. As an award-winning photo journalist, she travels the world, seeing many things others refuse to acknowledge. It’s her dream, to bring light to darkness and actually make a difference.
But it comes at a cost.
When a particularly heartbreaking mission leaves her an emotional wreck, her boss orders her to either take time off or accept an easy assignment.
A puff piece. Leyla doesn’t do puff pieces. Or vacations. So she chooses the job and finds herself headed to a small coastal town where the people are too friendly—a wee bit nosey—and the rugged, reclusive veterinarians far too good looking.
Conrad Ashford, the wayward son of the wealthy Ashford family, has forsaken everything expected of him to run the Corolla Wild Horse Sanctuary situated on a small island across the bay.
And he is her assignment.
Or rather, his horses are.
As Leyla spends time at the sanctuary, despite Conrad’s less than warm welcome, she realizes the horses might not be the real story behind this island oasis.
Because here is a man who hides his heart deep within the wild sandy shores, and she’s determined to reveal it in the images she captures.
Leyla has a life in the city and a difficult job she’s eager to get back to. But she might learn that sometimes one can make the biggest difference right where they are.

Come to Superiore Bay for an escape into this heartwarming, small town romance with beautiful sunrises, lovable town-gossips, a complicated love story, and a herd of wild horses who will steal your heart.

The Island Sanctuary is the book three in the Maine Mornings series. It’s a standalone story.


I have just adored this entire series, and this book is no exception. While each book has tugged on the heartstrings though, this one really hit the emotions hard (in a good way). It was so moving.

I’ve been waiting for Conrad’s story. We saw him in the previous books here and there with his brothers, but he’s so different from them, and I needed to know what his deal was. He’s the quiet loner who runs the wild horse sanctuary island, setting him apart from the rest of the Ashfords. Seeing him deal with Leyla, a photojournalist there to shoot the sanctuary, was an absolute blast. They’re both determined to do their jobs, and they’re both so stubborn, which led to a lot of great banter and tension.

As always, Craven and MacQueen quickly drew me into the story and kept me there. While it was an effortless, light read, it still held a lot of depth and emotion. I love this series and all the characters, and I could genuinely just continue reading about them even after the happily ever after.

I highly recommend The Island Sanctuary and rest of the Maine Mornings series, especially to those who enjoy clean adult romance.

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