Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Refuge of the Heart” as Want to Read:
Refuge of the Heart
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Refuge of the Heart

4.71  ·  Rating details ·  113 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
District Attorney Mitchell Sanderson wanted for nothing and lost everything in a tragic accident. A dogged worker, Mitch’s conviction rate earned him respect and trust. Now up for re-election, Mitch’s law-and-order persona makes him a shoo-in candidate. But when faith, conscience and love of a troubled refugee ripple the smooth waters of his existence, can Mitch risk every ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 25th 2015 by Franciscan Media (first published August 13th 2015)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Refuge of the Heart, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Refuge of the Heart

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Refuge of the Heart

Ruth Logan Herne

REFUGE OF THE HEART is an inspirational and very emotional story about two refugees, Lena and Anna who teach us what faith and courage is all about. They don't let fear stop them and right from the very first page, you will be cheering for both of them and praying that they get to their happily ever after place. Ruth Logan Herne pulls her readers in from the first chapter and never lets them go. Ruth also breaks the readers hearts, shreds them, and then, hands
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Wow, this book was hard to put down. I could feel the emotion from the characters. I was pulled in from the beginning.

I loved Mitch and Lena and Anna. Thiers is a story that I won't soon forget. This is not your typical love story, but it is oh so good.

I plan to share this book with many friends.

I gave this book 4.5 stars and I highly recommend it.

The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
"How she went from being a young doctor approaching residency, almost affluent by town standards, to being a commodity, sold to nameless soldiers, night after night."


Magdalena Serida's life, before receiving a church-sponsored refugee immigration opportunity, had been a nearly unbelievable mixture of pain and pleasure. Being caught in the crossfire of the heinous Russian insurgency into Chechnya, she lost everyone in her family to war, except her young sister. Now living a quiet life,
Rated 4.5 - An emotional and inspirational novel about two refugees whose faith and courage outweigh their fears. Their happy-ever-after is an uplifting story especially appreciated by readers who enjoy a scripture based book.

Magdalena “Lena” Serida and her five-year-old sister Anna live on a limited income. Since a Catholic church sponsored their immigration from Chechnya over three years ago, Lena has been studying to regain her medical degree in the United States. Their limited funds barely p
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Herne ripped my heart out and stomped all over it during this read. It's back in place now, but still tender and fuller somehow, like the Grinch's heart that grew three sizes too big. Because that's the kind of read this is -- transforming. Opens your eyes and your heart, fills you with compassion. Urges you to walk a little taller, be a whole lot kinder and leave judgements up to God.

As a priest tells Magdalena: "But Lena, child, we're never alone...Our actions and those of others entwine. Ea
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
When I’m not reading or blogging or spending time with my family, I stand in front of a room of adults from all over the world and teach them English. Teaching English as a Second Language has – without question – completely changed my life. And so, as I read Ruth Logan Herne’s exquisitely beautiful Refuge of the Heart, I laughed and cried and grinned and sobbed with Magdalena from Chechnya. Ruth so perfectly captured the voice of an educated immigrant, the inflections and the frustrations (idio ...more

I have to confess . . . I didn’t want to read this book.

Okay, there. I confessed. Someone had posted that it was a tear-jerker and I let their opinion stop me. And I feel pretty stupid about it, because it was such a wonderful story, I feel terrible that I might have missed out on it—because I was afraid to read it.

Well, yeah, I grabbed for the tissues, but it’s so much bigger than that. This story MUST be read—and appreciated. Time and again I felt guilty for ever thinking about not reading it.
Loves To
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read! Emotionally charged characters with heart rending histories and a sweet romance. What more can you ask for! I couldn't put it down.

I won this book but the five star review is my honest opinion of the story!
Tarsha Woods
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love, God, Scriptures and Faith combined in one great read. Trusting God with a mustard seed of faith is the expedition Ruth Logan Herne takes us on while reading "Refuge of the Heart"
Elaine Applebury
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a book!
Jessica Nelson
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful story! Well-written, empathetic characters. Strong voice. I cried so many times.
Fanspace Book Blog
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love-struck
I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don't read very many books that are Fiction. As you might have noticed I only read romance novels. Novels like Refuge of the Heart always catch my eye but I'm always so picky about them because they're not written correctly or aren't correct historically and that's why I tend to stay away from them. I found this book on Netgalley and the cover immediately caught my eye as well as the unique story
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Looking for an exceptional romance novel with a Christmas theme that is a bit extraordinary? I would suggest you pick up Refuge of the Heart by Ruth Logan Herne. This is a heartwarming story of a Chechnian refugee that has escaped her war torn country and is seeking to find a fresh start for herself and her sister Anna here in America thanks to the goodwill of a local church as her sponsor. Even though it is difficult, Magdelena Serida knows that in time, she will earn her doctor's degree and fi ...more
Bonnie Roof
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When District Attorney Mitchell (Mitch) Sanderson rescues Magdalena (Lena) Serida, and her 5 year-old sister, Anna, from the peril of a flat tire in a store parking lot - little does he realize she could be the rescuer of his heart. Shielding it against loving again, since the loss of his wife and unborn son in a drunk-driving accident, 5 years prior - he still blames God for their deaths.

Lena, a church-sponsored refugee from war-torn Chechnya, Russia, had witnessed the horrors of war firsthand
Vera mallard
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story of courage, survival, the undefeated human spirit, terror, relationships, faith in God and redeeming love. I loved this story and couldn’t read it fast enough. Ms. Herne did a wonderful job of instilling emotion into this story; I could feel all the Lena’s emotions, the cultural differences, the language, having to start her education over here, I thank God I live in America. Lena, the main character of this story has suffered as no human being should have to suffer, an ...more
Leslie M.
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Refugee Magdalena (“Lena”) Serida and her five-year-old sister Anna escaped an uprising in Chechnya and headed to America to pursue a better life. Lena is in nursing school and struggling to support her sister, but she is quite content with her new life. She meets District Attorney Mitchell Sanderson when he helps her with a flat tire. This chance encounter is the start of a new friendship. A tragic accident once cost Mitch everything he loved, so he is not looking for a relationship at this tim ...more
Claudia Aroni
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perhaps a little sappy and highly predictable story but very well written. Most important, it brings attention to a subject near and dear to my heart, refugees and their determination to make a new life for themselves and their loved ones.
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, oh wow!! Ruth Logan Herne created a masterpiece with Refuge of the Heart. I was immersed and astounded with the depth and heart felt compassion I felt reading about Magdalena Serida and her 5 year old sister, Anna.

Lena and Anna were refugees who had been sponsored by a church to come to America from Chechnya. They were so appreciative for every little thing they had in America, even though it was very minimal compared to Americans. Their faith in God and courage was shown throughout the st
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ruth Logan Herne writes amazing books. I am not disappointed when I choose one of her novels to get engrossed in. Refuge of the Heart is a unique experience. From the beginning, you are captured by the charm of her heroine and her sister as they are enjoying the Christmas decorations--refugees from Chechnya, living on a shoestring budget as it becomes readily apparent. Then you are introduced to the hero, Mitch Sanderson, a no non-sense District Attorney; but one with a tender heart, for he sees ...more
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, touching story that makes you forget it's a story. Lena and Mitch's tale is so tender yet so troubling, I completely lost myself in this book. Ruth Logan Herne tackles some difficult issues along with the sweet romance; the best part of this compelling story is that all the issues find their answer in God's abundant grace. Forgiveness and redemption come to the forefront as Mitch fights for a love others would find impossible. Lena struggles to surrender her heart as she tries to wo ...more
Sherida Stewart
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A heart-touching book!

My heart was so affected by Refuge of the Heart, a story filled with hope, forgiveness, and sweet romance. I loved Lena Serida from the moment she struggled with a grocery cart in a snowy parking lot. She shines as a bright light living her Christian faith to such an amazing level. Mitch Sanderson, as a tender, yet strong, trying-to-be-good man, is struggling with complex issues. His personality glows as he realizes his weaknesses and strives to become a better man. I raced
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A "Must Read" Book!

This book grabbed my attention immediately and kept it throughout ... weaving together the heartbreaking tale of a young woman and her little sister. They are Chechen refugees, and as you read through the book and find out more of their story THERE comparing it to what they have HERE ... there's just no words for Magdalena to express her gratitude for the church family who sponsored them and brought them to America. She is overwhelmed! But, she is also scared to have her past
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: influencer
I received this book in a batch for a read, score and review and I love when I get a book by an author I have never read before. Mrs. Herne wrote a beautiful story of starting over and relying on God for what is needed even when it seems that there is no hope.

Mitch Sanderson is an attorney who is in the prime of his life personally and professionally. He is financially set and seems to have nothing to want for. Except maybe purpose of a deeper nature. When he meets Magdalena and her sister he ha
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Refuge of the Heart, a new novel by Ruth Logan Herne, introduces the reader to Lena, a young woman who fled war-torn Chechnya with her 5-year-old sister Anna. Lena, who was a medical student on her way to a promising career before the war tore her family and her life apart, wants nothing more than to complete her nursing degree and find a job that pays well enough for her to move to a safer neighborhood with a good school for Anna. As the novel begins, D.A. Mitch Sanderson happens upon Lena and ...more
Edwina Cowgill
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Refuge of the Heart is one of the most beautiful love stories of our time. Mitch Sanderson, District Attorney, and Magdalena Serida, refugee from war-torn Chechnya, come to life through Ruth Logan Herne's words. The story of their individual pasts--the strength, the wisdom--gained even through heartache is masterfully woven with their sweet, gentle love story of the present.

Lena escaped Chechnya with her little sister, Anna. Anna is a delightful five year old who sees the world through wide eye
Refuge of the Heart is a wake-up call for those of us who live comfortable, insulated lives. How easy it is for us to forget the suffering of those who live in war zones, suffering through atrocities many of us will never know - sexual assault, corruption, violence, poverty, hunger.

Magdalena, Mitchell, and little Anna are all well-drawn, likable characters. Their affection for one another and the way in which each brings the other closer to becoming who he/she should be in Christ is heartwarming
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a passionate, intimate account of Magdalena Serida, a refugee from Chechnya. The war she escaped left her deeply scarred, yet her wounds are unseen by the naked eye. It takes a gentle man, Mitch Sanderson, to see beneath her façade to the inner hurt, grief, and pain. Mitch’s heart also bears the scars of loss and pain. “He’d tripped and fallen off a ledge he hadn’t even seen.” As he strives to be a man worthy of her love, Lena teaches Mitch to embrace a Christ-led life. Written with the ...more
Linda Matchett
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Refuge of the Heart is a powerful, moving book about two people who are dealing with tragedy. Despite the heavy topics involved, the book is not depressing, which can sometimes happen. Mitch and Lena are realistic characters who I rooted for from the very beginning of the story. The minor characters are also well-developed and likable. The message of God's hope during times of horrific evil is effectively woven throughout without being preachy or seeming like platitudes. I appreciated the opport ...more
Mrs.  Lopez
I felt the timing was off, the conflict was too late in the story and the resolution was too rushed.

I enjoyed Francine's story and the characters had good depth. I enjoyed the book, but it wasn't much of a page turner.

I felt the author tried too hard to use large words and then overused those words, which was awkward.
Deborah Blonsky
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book

I quickly fell in love with the characters in this book. It is a strong reminder of God's grace. Well written and researched, this gives an understanding of mans darkness and God's redemption.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Ruth Logan Herne loves Charlie Brown Christmas trees, rooting for the underdog and people who go the distance while others see the path as too long or broken! She loves God, chocolate, writing, dogs and is blessed by a sprawling family, oodles of grandkids and a sweet old farmhouse in constant need of work. She's sure that clean rooms are over-rated, snakes and possums should mind their own busine ...more