Monday, July 29, 2013

Sanctuary Island

Sanctuary Island is the newest release from author Lily Everett. The publisher is St. Martin’s Press and the release date is July 30, 2013. From the back cover.~

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.

I was approved for a review copy from NetGalley thanks to the publisher. I'd read the 3 novellas that introduced us to Sanctuary Island and was really excited to read the first full length book in the series.
I really enjoyed this story a great deal. I could feel Ella's pain when it came to her mother, yet understood her coming to the island because she loves her younger sister Merry so very much. I love that Grady is the one to finally help Ella open her heart. While Ella's scars are all on the inside, Grady wears his scars on the outside of his body. It was wonderful to see them each heal thanks to the help of the other. I also loved the chemistry between Grady and Ella. These 2 lost souls really did find each other at the right time in their lives on Sanctuary Island.
I did wish Ella had been more forgiving of her mother Jo Ellen sooner. Jo is a recovering alcoholic and she is willing to do anything to have her girls back in her life. However, I did love that once she started to forgive her mother, she wanted to do anything she could to help Jo out.  I really loved Ella's sister Merry, who is pregnant when she arrives on the island. Merry has always relied on Ella, but this time she is the one who is willing to fight to get what she wants. Merry is much more open to reconciling with their mother, and I loved she had such great instincts. I loved Merry every bit as much as I loved Ella and can’t wait for Merry to get her happily ever after.

Ms. Everett writes strong characters with depth. I think Sanctuary Island is a great start to this new series. I’m already counting down until we get Merry’s story in January 2014 with Shoreline Drive.

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