Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mini-Review: Home for Christmas (Sanctuary Island #4)

Home for Christmas (Sanctuary Island #4)

by Lily Everett 


Tis the season for family and love…
At least it's supposed to be. For Libby Leeds, however, the holiday season is just another reminder of things she'd rather forget. When she left Sanctuary Island as an orphaned child, she never thought she'd go back except in her dreams, dreams she's kept alive by writing monthly column of her fictional small-town life, until her publisher sends her back home for the holidays.
Owen Shepard is a fallen hero, wounded in action rescuing three of his fellow soldiers, but after a whirlwind of media attention, all this charismatic Army Ranger wants is to get back on his feet and make it to Sanctuary Island to be with his daughter in time for Christmas. What he didn't expect was to be put on a crash course with a columnist hiding her past. Will the magic of Sanctuary Island at Christmastime allow them to find healing together?

Themes: holiday, contemporary
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating:

 Wow what a story; full of love and sweetness Libby and Owen's tale of finding home and happiness is one that will warm your heart on the coldest of winter nights.  I have enjoyed this author's writing since the alter ego was created and the Sanctuary Island residents burst onto the scene.  The story brings in some interesting new characters, refreshes some older characters and shows the true love that can develop when the deepest of friendships are combined with true chemistry.  There are a lot of laughs and lots of dramas as well, but the most important part is the way these two people come together in their times of need against the world to become a family, one built on love instead of blood. I am looking forward to future stories on Sanctuary Island and learning more about all the amazing people that seem to call it home. 

Libby is way over her head when she is forced face to face with the lie she has been living.  Having to travel to her long ago hometown of Sanctuary Island in order to give Owen Shepard and his daughter the Christmas of their lives for their reunion. Owen's near death injury has left him both physically and emotionally damaged and definitely unavailable for any kind of relationship, but when he meets Libby on the ferry he feels an instant connection to her that he cannot deny.  As they both come to terms with the changes in their lives and work together to find a way to make their Christmas wonderful, the connection only strengthens, making Owen wonder if it is possible to have a future with Libby and his daughter, even though he is determined to return to his former life as a Ranger.  Only a Christmas miracle can allow these two people to understand how important love is and how much they need one another, but will the miracle arrive in time to bring their family Home for Christmas?

As with all the previous novels in the Sanctuary Island series, Home for Christmas is the kind of story that makes you wonder just how two people can dig themselves out from under the snow they’ve been hiding under to embrace life again.  Owen is definitely a sexy and intriguing individual, especially to poor sheltered Libby, but meeting him in person blows her world open.  He is dealing with serious mental and emotional drama as well as the physical that comes from being injured in the line of duty, but his biggest challenge is getting to know his young daughter, one he never knew existed until quite recently.  He knows he needs to be there for her, but he cannot seem to let go of his belief that he needs to get back to full health and return to the front lines.  His inability to handle life as a Dad as well as his new relationship with Libby is what makes him so sweet, like a big idiot we all want to cuddle until they can understand it.  Libby has obviously got her own issues, not the least of which is some serious family drama, but she is perpetually cheerful and determined to succeed in her mission to give Caitlin and Owen their perfect first Christmas as a family.  The passion between Libby and Owen was sweet, more background to their love, but there anyway.  I enjoyed this sweet romantic story and seeing all the previous couples, as well as a little side romance.  In the end the most important part was the coming together of family to defeat all adversaries and meet all challenges in their path.  Another lovely foray into the loves of the members of the Sanctuary Island family and I’m wondering whose story might be next. 

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

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