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review 2017-12-25 02:41
Home for Christmas by Lily Everett
Home for Christmas - Lily Everett

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Well, this was a disappointment. I have read Lily Everett before and really enjoyed her work so I decided that this would be the book that I would read leading up to Christmas this year. I just knew that this would be a great read. Unfortunately, this book really didn't work for me. I am not sure if my reading tastes have changed since I last read this author or if it is just this book but this wasn't the enjoyable reading experience I had hoped it would be.

Libby Leeds has been living a lie. She is a well known author with a column that is supposed to be non-fiction but her life looks nothing like that column. She gets caught with her deception when her boss invites a well known hero to her home in Sanctuary Island for Christmas dinner. She is then forced to reconnect with family and do her best to be the woman the world knows from her column.

Owen was wounded in action and has been working hard to get back into shape so he can return to duty. He has recently discovered that he has a young child who is now living with his sister in Sanctuary Island. He is headed to there to get to know his child and get therapy. He accepts the invitation to have dinner with Libby since he wants to share the perfect Christmas with his daughter.

I didn't like Libby or Owen. Libby is living an absolute lie. Owen seems to only be able to focus on going back to active duty. Libby is even pretending to be married for a good portion of the book so this romance just never worked for me. I honestly didn't see a lot of chemistry between them. This is a very tame romance and I just didn't feel the spark that I would have hoped to see.

I think that my biggest issue with the book was that so much of the story seemed pointless. Once Libby opens up to Owen, I didn't see the point of continuing with the charade. There is a secondary romance that added nothing to the story and only contained a few short scenes. I found that I was often bored while reading this book and had to read passages more than once because my mind would wander. 

I would say that the best parts of the book included the scenes with Libby's grandfather and Owen's daughter. Those two characters were the highlight of the story and I would have really liked to see a bit more of them. The book does have a very strong Christmas theme with just about everything Christmas making an appearance at least once. 

I will not be recommending this book to others. I think that this was a rather forgettable story that was a bit too sweet for my tastes. I won't hesitate to read more from Lily Everett in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was overly sweet and I found myself rather bored at times. I couldn't connect with either of the main characters and much of the plot seemed pointless. Caitlyn and Grandpa were the highlights of the story. There was a whole lot of Christmas worked into the book which is another plus.

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text 2017-03-10 15:07
Sanctuary Island By Lily Everett $1.99
Sanctuary Island - Lily Everett

When Ella's sister decides to reunite with their estranged mother, Ella goes along for the ride—it's always been the two Preston girls against the world. But Sanctuary Island, a tiny refuge for wild horses tucked off the Atlantic coast, is more inviting than she ever imagined. And it holds more than one last opportunity to repair their broken family—if Ella can open her carefully guarded heart, there is also the chance for new beginnings.

Grady Wilkes is a handyman who can fix anything…except the scars of his own past. When he accepts the task of showing Ella the simple beauties of the island that healed him, he discovers a deep sense of comfort he thought he'd lost. But now he must convince the woman who never intended to stay that on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible—forgiving past mistakes, rediscovering the simple joys of life, and maybe even falling in love.

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review 2017-03-07 23:05
Home at Last - Lily Everett

In the previous book, Close to Home, we met Marcus Beckett and Quinn Harper.  They both grew up on Sanctuary Island, next door neighbors, but are 10 years apart in age.  Quinn always had a crush on Marcus and used to follow him around like a little puppy dog.  While Marcus was away at college, his mom died of cancer.  Mad at his dad for not telling him she was dying, he quit college, joined the army, and never looked back.  14 years later Marcus is back on Sanctuary Island.  

Quinn is tired of her parents believing her to be flighty and never wanting to grow up.  What they don't realize is that Quinn has finally found a job that she really likes and wants to make a career out of it....she just doesn't know how that job came to be!

Quinn and Marcus start dating for a little bit but he quickly breaks it off with her because he feels she deserves better than him.  What he didn't understand was that breaking it off with the town's favorite resident was going to bring him nothing but problems....including no one coming to his newly opened bar.

Quinn's parents marriage has hit a brick wall.  Quinn thinks that if she can show her parents that she is all grown up and settling down that they won't spend so much time arguing about her.  Quinn comes up with a plan....her and Marcus pretend to be back together.  This will make her parents happy and it should get the town folks coming into his bar.  Marcus reluctantly agrees.

What Marcus didn't count on was that he was really enjoying being with Quinn again.  When some marriage guru Quinn's mom has hired suggests that Quinn and Marcus move into her parents home for two weeks so everyone can see how well everyone gets along...that's when the fun begins!

I really liked Quinn.  She was just super sweet and fun.  I really liked Marcus too.  He was a little brooding but based on his background it was understandable.  Together they really brought out the best in each other.  It was fun watching the two of them go from pretending to real very quickly.

I really enjoyed meeting Marcus father.  I wish more of the story had included him...especially after the two of them aired out their grievances.   I really loved Quinn and Marcus happy ending as well as Quinn's parents.  Overall, another really great book from this author in such a fun, quaint town.

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review 2017-03-07 12:38
Home at Last
Home at Last - Lily Everett

'Home at Last' by Lily Everett is book Six in the "Sanctuary Island" series.  This is the story of Quinn and Marcus.  I have read the previous book and I do feel it would be helpful for you to enjoy this book more if you read the previous book "Close to Home".   Quinn has been in love with Marcus her former next door neighbor for a long time.  But he up and left town never to return until now.  Marcus has returned home to try to make a new start and to live a slower, quieter type lifestyle.   Quinn is the so called 'town sweetheart' and the town isn't warming up to Marcus due to them being upset that Marcus for 'Seducing and then dumping' Quinn.  Quinn is finding out that her parents are having marriage problems when they return from their trip with a third person who is possessively helping them with their marriage.   Quinn thinks that if her parents thinks she and Marcus are possibly getting married it may help settle down their marriage some.  In addition, this will help Marcus with his bar and the town being more open to him to see that he might be settling down.  But as we know all fake engagements seem to lead to true love.   Really sweet second chance at love romance.
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."

Source: www.amazon.com/Home-Last-Sanctuary-Island-Novel-ebook/dp/B01KFWX59U/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487453393&sr=1-5&keywords=Home+at+Last
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review 2017-02-10 03:25
Review - Close to Home by Lily Everett
Close to Home - Lily Everett

A captivating read about a woman trying to take control of her life and the man who is fighting to remain part of it. I’m a big fan of second chance romances and enjoyed the twist of these two already being married – albeit a marriage of convenience – and finding their way to each other’s hearts.


Both Johnny and Tessa are trying to escape the patterns of their past. Tessa has spent her life shying away from everything and when she finally decides to take control of things that also means letting go of everything from her past – including her husband, a man who married her to protect and care for her, but has never treated her like a real wife. Even though she has very deep and real feelings for Johnny, she knows she needs to let him go so they both can move on with their lives. What Tessa doesn’t know is that she has always been Johnny’s anchor, and when he finds she has set him free he is set adrift and he knows he’s not ready to give up on Tessa or their marriage so easily.


     “There’s more to the new me than some highlights and a trim,” Tessa said, her voice gone throaty. “I’m not the meek, mouse weakling you married.”

     Frowning, Johnny slid his hand down to cup her tense jaw. “I never thought of you that way.”

     Her eyes darkened. She turned her head away from his hand. “You would never have said that, because you’re too kind. But I’m not an idiot, Johnny. You’ve always seen me as a child.”

     “I see the woman you are now,” he rasped, already missing the silken texture of her skin under his fingertips. “And I like what I see.”

     She swallowed audibly, her brow crinkling in confusion. “I don’t understand why you’re talking like this. Why are you making this so difficult? It wasn’t even a real marriage.”

     The words were a body blow, knocking the wind out of Johnny. But he’d never been good at going down easy. “It was real to me.”


I really enjoyed watching Johnny take a step back and acknowledge that his take control personality is not what is needed to save his marriage. And even though he’s never acted on his very deep and real feelings for Tessa, he needs to now figure out how to show Tessa just what she means to him without steamrolling over her – a tough job for someone who is always used to being in total control of everything. I did like Tessa, but at times she could be a bit annoying to me – she is trying to keep control of her new found life, which I get, but sometimes I felt she was a bit quick in assuming someone was trying to take control and I do wish she was a bit more upfront to Johnny about her feelings and her fears. I did like the fact that she broke out and was able to create a new life for herself and created a home for herself on the island, and I loved watching her find her sexy side when it came to Johnny.


There were a few mysteries that were intertwined within Johnny and Tessa’s story, and I really enjoyed meeting Marcus and Quinn and look forward to learning more about them in the next book. The couple of twists at the end were only slightly predictable and didn’t disappoint at all.


All in all, I think I’ve decided that I need to find this island and take up residence! This was a cute and quirky small town “in your face” kind of place that allows for some great fun (small town gossip and characters just can’t be beat!) and also some heartwarming moments between friends who are more like family. This was my first book in the series and I don’t think I lost anything starting here although I would like to go back and read the previous books. Definitely a book worth checking out.


I received an advance reader copy from the publisher via NetGalley which I voluntarily reviewed.

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