Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review: Close to Home (Sanctuary Island #5)

Close to Home (Sanctuary Island #5)

by Lily Everett

When Tessa Alexander came to Sanctuary Island, she left behind a marriage to a man who didn’t love her the way she loved him. When she finally found the strength to set them both free, she discovered friendship and self-acceptance in her adopted hometown. Now she’s settled into a quiet life on her own—never expecting to see her husband again.

Johnny spent almost two years deep undercover, unable to let his wife into his cold, dangerous world. He’s shaken to the core when he comes home to find her gone. It’s painfully clear that Tessa is no longer the timid young woman he married—she’s become a force of nature, a brave and determined beauty. Johnny can’t let her go without a fight so he sets out to seduce his own wife. But will passion alone be enough to convince Tessa that her new life should include a second chance at happiness with a man who must learn to believe in love?
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
 Finally we are able to travel back to the enchanting Sanctuary Island, as Lily Everett brings two people back together in an all new way in order for the love they have both been hiding to find a true outlet. This story is about all new individuals, bringing fresh blood into this series and letting us get looks at some of our previous favorite couples—not to mention the crazy townspeople that make this island so unique.  If this is your first foray onto Sanctuary Island you will not be disappointed, even as some of the backstories are glossed over, this book truly is entirely stand alone and give Tess and Johnny the spotlight.  Johnny has finally returned to his true identity after sublimating himself for almost two years in order to go undercover and bring down a dangerous criminal organization, but before he can even make it home to the wife he loves, the rug is pulled out from under him.  Tess has released Johnny from their marriage, even though he doesn’t want release, and has left him to move to a small island off the coast of Virginia.  Determined to get her back, Johnny travels to the island and finds himself forced to deal with all the changes not only in his life but all the change in his wife. Tess is definitely surprised to see Johnny arrive on the island, but even more surprising is his determination for them to get back together. She loves Johnny so much, but she is determined not to chain him to her when he doesn’t love her.  But could they both have had their eyes closed to one another’s true emotions all these years? I loved seeing Tess stand up for herself against Johnny, even as I know that was breaking his heart, and finding her strength and sensuality as a truly desirable woman.  Tess was sweet and naïve in some ways, even as she grows and continues to dig herself a place in the world to set down roots.  Johnny was a bit of an ass at times, mainly because he never dealt with all the trauma of his childhood or looked inside to understand the motives for his overly-protective alpha personality.  When he begins to accept that he needs help—and even to get that help—there is true promise for him and of course his ability to seduce his wife is undeniable. Once Johnny and Tess see the passion that they both denied was there between them all along, and give into their needs, the fire between them is enough to singe bystanders and readers alike.  I love every story I have ever read based on this beautiful magical island. There is also a side romance that begins in this story and carries us into the next between two island residents both trying to find their place in their small town.  I am looking forward to reading the next in the series and of course seeing where Lily takes us next.  If you are looking for a read that is sweet, passionate, suspenseful, and ultimately a story of two people finally finding one another even though they have been together for a long time, Close to Home is a great foray into a world filled with strong and crazy characters.  

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

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