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River's Recruit

(Sanctuary #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,693 ratings  ·  215 reviews
Jonathan McKnight lost everything in Afghanistan. His left hand, his identical twin and his self-respect. He searches for redemption during a solo backpacking trip into the remote Sawatch Mountains of Colorado and discovers a secret tribe of shifters.

River, the beautiful young shifter that rescues Jonathan from certain death, wants to recruit him. He is equally determined
Kindle Edition, 406 pages
Published November 12th 2012 (first published September 1st 2012)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,693 ratings  ·  215 reviews

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Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Quick review:

Cover: Nice
Rating: R
Thumbs Up: 4.5
Overall: What a great start to a new series
Characters: Well Done
Plot: Both have lost their way but together they find purpose
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Recommend: Yes
Book Boyfriend: Jonathan

SUMMARY (50 words or less)

The world building is stellar and had me drawn in. So unique the legend and the blending of culture and paranormal. An interesting read to say the least. There was action, there was heat, there was romance and there was betr
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I had the honor of receiving an ARC of this book to Beta-read for Charlotte Abel; and what an honor it was! This is the third book that I have read from this author and her stories have the ability to make me so absorbed in the story, that I don't want to stop for air!! The world's that she create's are enchanting and her characters are so endearing and so very easy to relate to. They are so real, which makes it so that I can identify with them and I become fully invested into what happens to th ...more
Karla(Book Addict)
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it

deleting reviews if you want to take a look at them you can do so on my blog, link on my profile
Lily at Bookluvrs Haven
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Review originally featured on Bookluvrs Haven

A picture/gif can convey a thousand words for the reviewer who is seriously stumped on what to write, because he/she just loved a novel so much they honestly don't know where to start.

I loved this story. There are so many elements to it that I enjoyed, that I don't even know where to begin. But I must have read this in record time considering how much I had going on. I was literally attached to my Kindle the whole time, sneaking in a page whenever I c
Kel (Faerie-bookworm)
I was lucky enough to get this ARC from the talented author, Charlotte Abel, and it is a must read. I couldn't put it down and flowed so well that I didn't even realize it was over until there was nothing else to read.

The story starts off with a bang in the prologue and builds to the point of frustration when you get to the cliffhanger ending, leaving you longing for more. The main characters, River and Jonathan, come from two completely different worlds that collide during a blizzard. He is has
Super Fan Girl
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was expecting 'just another shifter story' and was pleasantly surprised at the rich characters and depth of story in this book. I've read Charlotte Abel's first series and really enjoyed it so I knew I'd like this but I really love it. I've read it twice and keep thinking about the characters. Definitely the sign of a great book. Highly recommended to all that enjoy paranormal romance.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars ( A strange cult that lives in the mountains of Colorado, one that has nothing to do with the outside world. But is it really a cult?That’s the premise of this more than fascinating story. Jonathan Mcknight goes on a camping trip alone and ends up meeting a beautiful woman named River, who takes him to her home due to blizzard conditions. Little does he know that now that he knows about her, he can no longer ever go home. The conditions are pretty primitive, the clothe ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 This was so good! The world that River lives in reminds me of the Amish kind of. There is no electricity or gadgets or running water like we have. There are springs and they live off the land. There is no outside medical care also, its forbidden. River lives in a very harsh world. Stealing means that you loose fingers. Disobey or breaking rules means whipping or death. But River isn't human. Not really. They are a community of shifters. There are rules and more rules. Ruling classes and poli ...more
Katie Low
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
River lives in a community on the wooded outskirts of Denver that no one knows exists. It's called New Eden. The community is actually a group of shifters, that once they become of age, they force a merge with their wolf bringing them together body and soul. River is betrothed to Eli, the grandson of the ruler Zebulon. River has absolutely no interest in Eli whatsoever, nor him with her. Their match is strictly political, giving Eli the edge he needs to be the next ruler and freeing the woman he ...more
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru
I was given a copy of this book direct from the author in exchange for an objective and honest review. Thank you Charlotte for giving me the chance to read this series debut.


Jonathan McKnight lost everything in Afghanistan. His left hand, his identical twin and his self-respect. He searches for redemption during a solo backpacking trip into the remote Sawatch Mountains of Colorado and discovers a secret tribe of shifters.

River, the beautiful young shifter that rescues Jonathan from ce
Andrea ~The Book List Reviews
River's Recruit (The Sanctuary Series) by Charlotte Abel

First I would like to say that I had the honor of recieving a copy of this book directly from Charlotte Abel herself, in exchange for an honest review of it. Thank you!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Book Summary

Jonathan McKnight lost everything in Afghanistan. His left hand, his identical twin, his self-respect and his naive belief that good always triumphs over evil. Burdened by grief and guilt, he searches for redemption on a solo backpacking tri
Brooke (The Cover Contessa)
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
I received a copy of this book from the author to read and give an honest review. This in no way influenced my review process. I am reviewing this book as part of a blog tour hosted by SupaGurlTours (

Blurb from Goodreads:
Jonathan McKnight lost everything in Afghanistan. His left hand, his identical twin and his self-respect. He searches for redemption during a solo backpacking trip into the remote Sawatch Mountains of Colorado and discovers a secret tribe o
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love shifter stories and this one did not disappoint! It was different, had great pacing, and kept me hungry for more. Very unique!

The book starts out chronicling events in the lives of River and Jonathan before they meet, and I loved the way the tone was completely unique for each character's perspective. Once they met and their lives intertwined, I was pleasantly surprised how the story meshed these two people from such different worlds. These characters felt so real to me!

So, what did I lo
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Surprisingly enough, I really enjoyed this book. I didn't expect to, especially with all the romance, but unlike a lot of stuff out there these days it's not poorly-written cliche. Ok, some of the plot devices related to the shifters kinda made me face-palm (view spoiler), but there were downsides to everything and the author seemed to have seriously thought most of it out. It's nice to see a new, original take on the wer ...more
Jul 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Ok so I really wanted to like this book. I thought the plot sounded interesting and it was. I liked the new v. old world that the book flipped between in the beginning. I thought the characters were great and I love me some bow and arrow, horseback riding, kick ass woman. But the pace of this book was soooo slow. It's not until 25% of the book is through before the main characters even meet each other. OK wait let me explain this differently. This is how this book is broken down: First 25%, read ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a Great book! At first I didn't think I would enjoy this read as much as I did but I ended up as hooked as a fish. The POV's are switched between River and Jonathon throughout the story, it took a few chapters before the two get together and when they do.... Let's just say you better be prepared to put your life on hold for a bit.

Now for the ending....
Where's the next book???
I have to know what happens!!!!!!
Shannon Dermott
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Charlotte has created a "new adult" series to die for. I was captured by the first chapter and read straight through. This story is a unique blend of shifters and natives to American type culture. The world building is amazing.

There is so much to this story it is hard to explain. There is need vs. wants. There are old wounds that need to be healed. There are a plethora of secrets. There is jaw dropping desire. Everything you want in a good book, it's all there.

This author knows how to keep you o
I found this book while it was free on amazon. I have hundreds of free books, but for some reason this caught my eye so I started reading. It didn't wow me at first, but i got invested in the characters. i started and finished it in one day on vacation.

Well written, engaging characters and a twist on a familiar plot - fantasy world challenged by an outsider but with the effective twist of the outsider viewing things as cult like and has a believable backstory on how he could and should join the
Oct 22, 2014 marked it as dnf
Shelves: 2014
DNF at 47%. It had the potential to be a good book but was taking forever to get there, skipping past parts I wanted more detail about to go on and on and on and on about things that didn't add much to the story once you got past them. Disappointed but now that I'm reading this ends in a cliffhanger, I'm glad I'm throwing in the towel.
Aria Grace
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read this on a recommendation from a friend and it's sooo good. I couldn't put it down. I love shifters and this was a really well-written book. The characters are unlike any I've read in a long time. It isn't anything like The Hunger Games...but if you liked The Hunger Games, you'll love River's Recruit. I hope the sequel is in the works because I want it now.
Olivia ツ
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, kindle, read-in-2012
I think it's important for me to explain what my expectations were when I accepted the opportunity to review this book. I expected this to be about werewolves and I expected this to be heavy on the romance since it was classified as PNR. Although this is about shifters, the focus is more on the community and their rules and struggle for power. I can count the times there was any actual shifting. This is also a paranormal book with very little romance. This felt more like a YA book. While I enjoy ...more
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

What can I say but ARGH!! I was hooked to this book and its amazing storyline!! I kept flipping the pages, then BAM end of book!! OMGosh!! What will I do until the next book comes out? I need to know more now!!

Anyway, let me explain a little more of the amazing journey that I went on. River is a wolf shifter who has been living with Rueben outside of the Sanctuary, since the death of her mother 5 years ago. The two wolf clans all follow very strict rules in their day to day lives, where
Maghon Thomas
I would like to count the ways I LOVE Charlotte Abel… I love her because her writing takes me to a place that most things in life can’t do. I love her because when she writes a character, I completely fall in love with those characters and I feel like I know them. I love her because her writing is FLAWLESS! There is nothing better than being so submerged in a story that life floats away and there’s nothing left but the story. Have you fallen in love yet?!
I am so pumped about this new series. I d
Christie Rich
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Charlotte Abel has an easy writing style that sucks you into the story. I have read both Enchantment and Taken in the Channie Series and loved them both. River's Recruit is much different in storyline to the Channie Series, but it has the same laid back feel.

I enjoyed getting to know Jonathan and River, although the society River is involved in is pretty messed up. The first part of the book was mainly set up but kept me interested throughout. The cliffhanger ending left me wanting more! Now, lo
d‘Milady *aka*Dawn
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is amazing. A completely new take, unlike anything I've read before and I loved it! I want book 2 now!

This is a story about a girl named River who is part of a secret society/world (don't know what else to call it), that's not far from our own. She is then saved by an outsider named Jonathan, and quickly starts to find out their destinies are intertwined. I found myself getting really attached to the characters and dying to know what was happening! This is an excellent beginning to a
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

I absolutely loved this story!! It was very well written, the plot was awesome, the characters were very well rounded with good backgrounds. It was so well written it had my emotions on a roller coaster right with the characters. There were no slow areas and the story moved continuously throughout! It puts a unique twist on shifters that was very intriguing! This book caught me from the first page and was extr
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fast-paced and interesting book, River is one of those heroines that does not make you want to cry for women everywhere. Just as Jonathan is a protagonist that feels like a real person with real issues. The book holds your attention throughout and the mix between fantasy and reality is seamless and effortless. I loved this book and CANNOT wait to read the next one!
Jenny Whetzel
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an easy read, I finished the day I started. I thought the story was fantastic! Their "recruiting" process is an interesting concept and this doesn't seem to be your typical wolf shifter story. Well, so far anyway. I have plenty intention to continue with this series.
Lisi Cabrera
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book, it was exciting, at times heartfelt. I can't wait to read the next 3 books in this series!
Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books
Check out my post at my blog, there are extras there for you, will be a giveaway too as soon as I get the info. Click on the banner to go to the post for the tour

My River’s Recruit Review

Wow, what an amazing ride. On the edge of your seat, bite your finger nails amazing. Was up late into the night reading this, like 4 am! I could not put it down, especially after the halfway point.

I absolutely loved this book, the emotional connection you get really got to me, you can feel Jonathan’s desperati
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Other books in the series

Sanctuary (5 books)
  • River's Remorse (Sanctuary, #2)
  • River's Revenge (Sanctuary, #3)
  • Gabriel's Gift (Sanctuary #4)
  • Rose's Rebel (Sanctuary #5)