Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Homecoming (anthology)

Homecoming (Billionaire Brothers #1-3)

by Lily Everett


Three billionaire brothers are about to discover exactly where they belong, in this romance from Lily Everett. Billionaire brothers Dylan, Logan, and Miles Harrington have everything they could ever want…except love. Now they’re about to travel to the magical, windswept refuge of Sanctuary Island where they’ll discover that power, fame and fortune don’t mean a thing without someone to share it with.
Dylan Harrington, the infamous "Bad Boy Billionaire," decides to escape his life of scandalous escapades for some R & R on Sanctuary Island. He never expects his harmless flirtation with a waitress at the Firefly Café to make him long for a simpler life. For his brother Logan Harrington, it takes a visit to Sanctuary lsland to make him recognize his true feelings for his assistant Jessica. And when eldest brother Miles travels to Sanctuary Island to knock some sense into his love struck siblings, he doesn’t expect to be blindsided by lifelong local Greta. Can the jet-setting billionaire whisk a small-town girl away to his life of luxury…or will the homey pleasures of Sanctuary Island win him over first?
Themes: Anthology, contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Lily Everett is a pseudonym for a favorite author of mine, Louisa Edwards. Her new series while not about chefs is just as intriguing and full of heart. Set on a small island off the coast of Virginia, Sanctuary Island, this series has great potential. To begin the series Ms. Everett gave us a short trilogy of novellas about three billionaire brothers who own property on the island.

Firefly Cafe 3.5 stars.
The first book, Firefly Cafe, is a great beginning to the series introducing us to the brothers and allowing us to get to know youngest brother Dylan Harrington. Dylan is finally growing up and has decided to leave behind his life of frivolous and meaningless encounters with random gold digging women. When he arrives at the family's home on the island he comes face to face with the first real sweet woman he's seen in many years, Penny Little.  Penny is a recently divorced, hardworking, single mom who Dylan immediately wants to get to know better. But as his feelings begin to grow for both Penny and her son, Dylan has to try to understand how he can overcome his deceit in lying about his identity so he can have a future with them. Finally, deciding it’s time for him to go after what he wants, despite what others might think, Dylan gives in to his need for family and love and goes after them with gusto.
I really liked Dylan, even if in the beginning he comes off a more of a playboy than anything else.  He has obviously been burned by women in the past and has become a bit of a cynic, so I can see why he feels the need to hide his identity at first, but, honestly, he lets the charade go on a bit too long.  But it is obvious he is changing and becoming the man he was meant to be—a man worthy of a woman like Penny.  Penny is dedicated to her son and  to making their lives better, but when she meets Dylan she is instantly attracted and it throws her for a loop.  Seeing them fall in love and overcome the odds to find happiness was great, mainly because I so wish I was Penny and could find my own sexy billionaire bad boy hiding in the sweet handyman that lands on my doorstep.

Summer Cottage 3.75 stars.
Logan’s book picks up right where his brother's ended.  Logan has arrived on Sanctuary Island, blackmailed there by his assistant—or his keeper depending who you ask.  Jessica had been taking care of him so long that she has become an integral part of his life, but she refuses to give into his advances, afraid to repeat past mistakes.  Spending more and more time with him Jessica begins to see that under his genius exterior there is a broken man that has never recovered from the loss of his parents.  But when they give into their desire and decide to let the island work its magic, can their feelings prove strong enough to overcome all their barriers and allow them to have a future?

Jessica is a woman who has been badly hurt in her past, erecting 10 foot thick walls around her heart to keep herself from falling for Logan and falling into the same trap she’s fallen into before. While I liked the way she kept Logan in line and used everything at her disposable to keep him healthy, it seemed she was a little too stuck in the past.  One would think with a few years of maturity she would stop blaming herself and realize she was a victim.  Loving Logan doesn’t even fall into the same category in my opinion—and Logan’s for that matter.  Overcoming her objections Logan is finally able to bring her into his arms and quickly their relationship becomes very deep and intense.  When he is thrown for a loop though, Logan reverts to old patterns and pushes her away in an attempt to keep himself from getting hurt.   Thankfully, just in time Logan realizes that when there is love nothing else is important and he embraces the love that he can share only with Jessica.

Island Road 3.75 stars.
Miles is the eldest brother, the rock, the handler, and he has decided that his brothers have both lost their minds in the tiny town they have found love.  When he arrives determined to bring them back to their senses he meets his match in sexy but sheltered Greta.  Greta has been kept close to her family and home all her life, giving into her own fears, and has never had the adventures in life many women her age have.  When Miles learns the truth about her past, he is drawn to her and determined to bring some fun and spontaneity to her life.  But when he starts to fall for her, their fears and experiences might not be something they can overcome, leaving them both wondering if their fling could be more.

The final brother Miles is a big of an enigma.  A man of lengthy experience and very worldly, he doesn’t understand a woman as sexy and smart as Greta being happy trapped in her small hometown of Sanctuary Island.  He is a very stubborn and headstrong man, but has his moments of sweetness.  I understand it was the premise for him arriving in town, but I did not like seeing him come to try to break up Dylan and Penny and wanted to smack him a lot when he got it into his head to seduce Greta to try to get her to inadvertently assist him in his quest.  Greta might have spent most of her life on the small island where she was born, but she is by no means weak and there is no way she will let a man life Miles takes advantage of her.  I loved seeing her experience the sights of NYC and finally get to live out an adventure, falling in love along the way.  Seeing her confront Miles and make him see the damage he could have caused makes me see just how strong she is, making her Mile’s perfect woman.

Overall, Homecoming was a great compilation of short novellas that were successful in showing the uniqueness and romantic draw of Sanctuary Island.  All three brothers had unique stories of overcoming their pasts, finding themselves and embracing love.  It was also nice to see that the brothers were able to become closer to each other when the women in their lives forced them to see the damage their distance was causing to their hearts.  While the stories had some intensely emotional moments, there were not really any moments of intense passion, which I would have liked.  In the end, we are left wanting to know more about the island and the people that call it home.  I look forward to seeing more about the brothers in the full-length novels in the series. Lily Everett is a great new personality for an already favored author, though personally I hope for more of her chef books under the name Louisa Edwards, as they are always wonderful and steamy.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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