Title: Home at Last
Author: Lily Everett
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: March 2017
Length: 303 pages
Series?: Sanctuary Island #6
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Home is where the heart is…
Marcus Beckett left Sanctuary Island after his mother’s funeral, and he hasn’t been back since. Until now. Needing a change from the high-risk, high-stakes life of a bodyguard, Marcus makes a solitary life for himself running the neighborhood bar in his hometown. His only mistake? Seducing and then dumping the town’s sweetheart, Quinn Harper. Marcus knows he did the right thing—a good girl like Quinn has no business with a broken man like him. But now no one will come to his bar, and he’s watching his last chance at a peaceful life go up in smoke. So when Quinn proposes a fake four-week courtship, he can’t refuse…even though he knows it’s a bad idea.
It’s a romantic charade that will buy Quinn time to distract her mother and father from their own martial problems—and will help Marcus welcome back some paying customers besides. But what begins as an engagement of convenience slowly transforms into a deeper connection, one that heals both of their hearts…and ignites the simmering passion between them. Could it be that pretending to be together is just what Quinn and Marcus needed to give their real love a second chance?
Quinn is trying to figure out her adult life, but she’s kind of flighty and noncommital. When her parents return to Sanctuary Island from their travels, Quinn decides it is time to move out and try adulting. She convinces Marcus to let her live upstairs above the Buttercup Inn, the bar he restored and is opening after he has finally come back home.
Soon there is trouble in paradise, and Quinn’s parents announce their impending divorce. Little Princess Quinn can’t believe her parents want a divorce – they are the most in love couple she has ever known. In order to save her parents marriage, she again convinces Marcus to do something for her: a fake engagement. Not only is Quinn the belle of the isle, now Marcus has some redeeming qualities around town. Then her mother’s “marriage guru” comes to town. In order to “work his magic,” both couples have to live together in Quinn’s family home while working through their issues. Ron believes there are so many bad vibes and tries to sabotage the Harper’s marriage at every turn, only adding to the reasons her mother thinks the divorce should happen.
While squashed together all uncomfy and too cozy, Quinn continues to think about how and why Marcus left the island in the first place. She never saw him again after his mother’s death so many years before. When her proddings to visit his dad don’t have Marcus trudging down the lane to his own childhood home, Quinn pays his father a visit and finds the most extraordinary surprise – or two, rather. One of the surprises is for Marcus, and the other is for her parents and just could be the one thing to save their marriage.
Quinn – the island darling who can’t get it together
Marcus – the prodigal son returned home, pissed off the town for dumping Quinn
Ingrid – Quinn’s mother, a hippie-type spacey free spirit
Paul – Quinn’s father, a logical man and retired, often gives in to Ingrid or Quinn
Ron – the snaky marriage guru friend Ingrid met while traveling who’s going to “save” the Harper marriage
Marcus was this close to bolting again. She was like a National Geographic photographer in the wild or something – she didn’t want to spook him.
The Highs and Lows
- Quinn. She is the quirky redhead darling of Sanctuary Island. Growing up she had the biggest crush on the next door neighbor boy, Marcus. She grew up and is a bit of an airhead at times, never committing to any one thing. She’s flighty, and sadly her parents and everyone around town know it, but they love her just the same. The other thing about Quinn is she is incredibly loving and loyal, sometimes even to her own detriment.
- Marcus. He broke up with Quinn and the whole town is pissed. They’re boycotting his bar and his bottom line is suffering for it. If this keeps up, he’ll go belly up. Quinn proposes he pretend to be her boyfriend for four weeks. Not only would that convince her parents she’s able to hold down something, she strikes a deal with Marcus. Be her boyfriend and she’d get the customers rolling in. In order to save his business, he agrees.
- The Plot. After her parents announce their divorce, Quinn will do anything to show them they shouldn’t. Her mother is a gullible flake and her dad is is a retiree who doesn’t know what to do with his life. They’ve never believed she’d ever do anything of consequence with her life – she couldn’t even finish college or hold a steady job! Now she’s determined to show them that she’s serious and committed. When Ron stipulates that both relationships need to be all under the same household, Quinn is totally on board. For whatever odd reason, Marcus seems to be as well – and he’s making his devotion and adoration of Quinn believable. It is a zany, crazy, and brainwashing adventure. I wasn’t expecting the entire storyline to focus on Quinn’s parents, especially after so much build up between Quinn and Marcus in the previous book. I was looking forward to really exploring their little old married-couple-like relationship, but I feel it was slightly smothered by her parents’ drama. There was a lot of redundancy and repetition in that whole process that left me wanting to just bash some of their heads together so they’d see the light.
- The Villain. “Doctor” Ron is an unlicensed marriage guru who believes in the colors of the wind and all that. He is an enterprising and conniving man, no more than a con artist. And he’s conned Quinn’s mother to kingdom come. Nothing her father says or does is good enough; clearly, he can’t agree to take this seriously and work on their marriage, blaming Ron at every turn while Ron continues to urge them that there is just too much negativity and they should sell their home, cut their losses, and move on. He’s such a skeez and slime ball. He’s weird and kinda creepy. I hated him. I wished he’d choke on a blueberry or something.
- Marcus’s Father. I found Quinn’s enduring wish to reunite Marcus and his father endearing. When Marcus finally went back home, I was just as surprised at he at what he found his father had been up to. He also shared some interesting news with Quinn and Marcus – interesting news about good old Ron’s wife and her own business enterprises. It is the crucial thing that Quinn needs to save her parents marriage.
Lily Everett grew up in a small town in central Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although she’s lived many other places since, from college in Philadelphia to her first publishing job in New York City and her current home in Austin, Texas, she never forgot the beauty and warmth of her little hometown. She is thrilled to be writing the Sanctuary Island series full time because it allows her to combine her longstanding love of romance with the memories of her childhood home.
Lily’s alter ego is Louisa Edwards. Under that name, she is the author of the Recipe for Love series, sexy contemporary romances with hot chef heroes set in the high-stakes, fast-paced world of professional restaurants.