I am beginning to think a visit to Sanctuary Island is in order. I’m relatively new to this series but author Lily Everett is doing a fabulous job making me want to visit this quirky little hamlet. I mean for the eye candy alone, I’m thinking it would be worth the trip! Speaking of eye candy, let’s kick this off with Marcus Beckett.
We first met Marcus back in book #5, Close to Home. Johnny helped him get his bar, the Buttercup Inn up and running while he was trying to get back in good with his kinda’, sorta’ ex-wife he’d never actually slept with. Remember me talking about that one now? While Johnny wasn’t getting laid, Marcus was nailing the town sweetheart, Quinn Harper all over that pretty new bar that was under construction. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, I’m talking about Marcus right now. He’s back in his hometown with some exceptionally mixed emotions. He has been gone since his beloved Mom died right as he finished college. A huge fight with his grieving dad dealt Marcus a bit of a course correction. The expected doctor route quickly veered off and Marcus ended up joining the military, pretty much to piss his dad off. He’s an angry fella that Marcus. After a stint in the military, he ended up as a Secret Service agent. His charge was a former first lady, filled with grit and sass, the national treasure sort of ex-first lady. A traumatic experience with the women he was supposed to guard has caused an already walled off Marcus to close up his heart almost completely. Notice I said his heart, because his dick is working just fine with old Quinn…and notice I said, “almost completely” about said heart – Quinn is a catch, he’d be a fool to let her go.
Well, clearly Marcus is a well-intentioned fool because he let Quinn go. The town is none too pleased with this turn of events. Quinn Harper is 10 years Marcus’ junior. She the flighty but incredibly sweet and well intentioned spark of life that everyone in town adores, mostly because she is goodness down to her soul. Quinn grew up next door to Marcus and she’s had a raging crush on him since she was old enough to think semi-coherent thoughts. The townsfolks are so peeved at Marcus, they’ve boycotted his bar. Quinn comes up with a plan, a fake rekindled relationship because she can’t stand to see Marcus feel the sharp end of the town’s ire. Also, she needs him to help her uncover this con man that’s trying to break up her parents. The two of them working together on this is a win/win…if they can just keep their attraction to a low simmer. Yeah, good luck with that – talking about feelings might not be his #1 skill but sex with Quinn is an intensity the likes neither of them have ever experienced.
So, we have an unrequited youthful love trope as well as a fake relationship trope and let me tell you – it is a ton of fun. There’s a fair amount of time spent of Quinn’s parents and their crumbling marriage but eventually the two couples feed off the love they see in each other. Quinn helps her parents remember their young love and they make her realize that you have to fight for what you want, even when it seems like it (or he) is doing everything to push you away. Of course spending time near his dad makes Marcus reconsider the events of the past – he realizes he may have been a touch reactionary…like I said, that cagey fucker has a short fuse. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the unraveling of the mysterious con man. I was equal parts frustrated and amused by Quinn’s parents – their inability to see through the bullshit was nothing short of remarkable, especially her mom. But, their story also highlighted that second stage of married relationships – when everyone retires and the kids are away from home. There’s a lot of time to fill and it could be easy for old insecurities to rear their ugly heads. Sometimes we take our partners for granted and we don’t even realize we are doing it. There are good messages in this portion of the book.
In summary, you could absolutely pick of this series here. I mean, I plan on going back to the beginning but not because I was lost, I’m going back to the first book because I enjoy Everett’s writing style that much. She paints a lovely, sometimes silly but always loving little town that protects its own. She gives us relationships that are not easy and she never lets the characters take the easy way out. The conversations they have to have happen and man, it might take a while but once the words start flowing, her heroes, especially Marcus, well…let’s just say I didn’t know he had it in him to be so damn sweet. It was lovely and I loved the pace of how things happened. Everett unfolded the many layers of this story expertly. If Lily Everett’s Sanctuary Island series is new to you, give it a try. It’s a fast read with some angst but definitely not over the top and characters that are willing to talk to each other. It looks like Home at Last might be the last book in this series. I hope not but if it is, I guess that means I’m gonna need to check out her other books!
Smooches,Tags: Contemporary, Lily Everett, Sanctuary Island series, scandal