Sanctuary Island (Sanctuary Island Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview


“I loved it!  A rare find.” —LORI WILDE, New York Times bestselling author

Welcome to a place where broken hearts come to heal—and where every lost soul will find a home.

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 ...

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Sanctuary Island (Sanctuary Island Series #1)

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Overview


“I loved it!  A rare find.” —LORI WILDE, New York Times bestselling author

Welcome to a place where broken hearts come to heal—and where every lost soul will find a home.

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.

SANCTUARY ISLAND

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.

 “A heartwarming, emotional, extremely romantic story that I couldn’t read fast enough. Enjoy your trip to Sanctuary Island! I guarantee you won’t want to leave.”—BELLA ANDRE, New York Times bestselling author

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Everett’s sweet contemporary debut illustrates the power of forgiveness and the strength of relationships that may falter but never fail. Ella Preston and her sister, Merry, head to Virginia’s Sanctuary Island, a refuge for wild horses, from their home of Washington, D.C. Merry is determined to forge a new start with their estranged mother, Jo Ellen, a recovering alcoholic. While workaholic Ella doesn’t share her pregnant sister’s zeal for reconciliation, she has always looked out for Merry, so she agrees to go along. Handyman Grady Wilkes retreated to the island after suffering devastating injuries as a search-and-rescue team member, and Ella is shocked to fall hard and fast for him. These two damaged souls must find the courage to open up to love, even as Ella struggles to forgive her mother. Richly nuanced characters and able plotting make for a pleasant journey while setting up the next book in this series. Agent: Deidre Knight, Knight Agency. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
“I didn’t read this book, I inhaled it.  An incredible story of love, forgiveness, healing and joy. “ –Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Sanctuary Island is a novel to curl up with and enjoy by a crackling fire or on a sunny beach. It’s a beautifully told story of hope and forgiveness, celebrating the healing power of love. Lily Everett writes with warmth, wisdom and deep insight. The island, with its wild horses and natural beauty, is a place of dreams, and the story will live in your heart long after the book is closed." –Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Willow Lake series

“I loved it!  A rare find.” –Lori Wilde, New York Times bestselling author of The First Love Cookie Club

“A heartwarming, emotional, extremely romantic story that I couldn't read fast enough! Enjoy your trip to Sanctuary Island! I guarantee you won't want to leave.” —Bella Andre, New York Times bestselling author of The Sullivan series

“With richly nuanced characters and able plotting…Everett’s sweet contemporary debut illustrates the power of forgiveness and the strength of relationships that may falter but never fail.” –Publishers Weekly

"I loved learning about Sanctuary Island and I felt as if I was there seeing and feeling everything first hand.  A wonderful book to get lost in for a few hours. I definitely recommend it to other readers." – Night Owl Reviews

The nostalgic, almost introspective story of a young woman, the mother who neglected her, and the wounded man who will walk the road to a happy ending with her. The story is the perfect blend of Romance and Woman’s fiction that will equally satisfy readers of both genres as well as those who meet in the middle.” – Heroes and Heartbreakers

“Everett’s newest novel is stirring. She skillfully blends the tender story of two daughters reuniting with their estranged mother with the love story of two emotionally closed people desperately trying to move toward each other. Readers will eagerly anticipate its sequel.” – RT Bookreviews

“I couldn’t help but fall in love with Sanctuary Island and want to move there myself.  This was an enchanting romance that swept me away!” –Books N Kisses

“Lily has a talent for metaphors that make me melt…and I love the way she ties the story together.  I’m so looking forward to the next book in the series.”  —USA Today’s Happily Ever After Blog

“Everett captures the very special relationship sisters have….A good comfort read, Sanctuary Island a very peaceful place where you could cure all of your ills with ease.” –A Bookish Affair

“A satisfying read about family, loyalty, taking risks, and love that any fan of women’s fiction would enjoy.” –Kindles and Wine

"A riveting tale of overcoming fear and emotional roadblocks, SANCTUARY ISLAND makes you fall in love with the island and its inhabitants.  Author Lily Everett brings tears, laughter and a happy-ever-after smile to your face while you're experiencing her well-written, compassionate novel.  I highly recommend SANCTUARY ISLAND as a "no excuses" emotional fight for a happy life in a book that hits home with real-to-life characters." – Romance Junkies

"SANCTUARY ISLAND is indeed a wonderful place to escape to...a place where dreams and healing walk hand in hand." –Romance Reviews Today

"A remarkable debut that perfectly blends family, forgiveness, love, and hope into one richly rewarding story." – Reader to Reader

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466808089
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/30/2013
  • Series: Sanctuary Island Series , #1
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 24,915
  • File size: 752 KB

Meet the Author


Lily Everett grew up in a small town in Virginia reading Misty of Chincoteague and Black Beauty, taking riding lessons, and longing for a horse of her own. Sadly, her parents gave her a college education instead—but she never forgot what the world looked like from the back of a horse. She currently lives in Austin, Texas, where she writes full-time.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1
 

If one more thing messed with Ella Preston’s schedule, she was going to scream.
Tightening her fist around her cell phone—the cell phone which was currently an expensive, high-tech hunk of useless plastic, due to the lack of signal out here in the boonies of southeastern Virginia—Ella put on her best negotiator smile for the white-haired lady behind the counter.
“Exactly how late is the Sanctuary Island ferryboat?” Ella asked sweetly.
“Aren’t you cute?” the lady said, putting another placid stitch in the square of embroidery she’d spread out over the ticket counter. “Don’t worry yourself. The ferry’ll get here when it gets here.”
That’s not an answer. She smiled again and thanked the lady for her help before turning to stare out at the dark green-gray of the water splashing against the concrete pier. If she squinted, she could see a long, narrow smudge against the horizon.
Sanctuary Island.
For the hundredth time since embarking on this trip, Ella wondered who the hell would choose to move to a remote island so tiny it didn’t even have a causeway connecting it to the mainland.
The only way on or off Sanctuary Island was by ferry. And when said ferry finally chugged up to the dock at the edge of Winter Harbor, Virginia, more than twenty minutes later than the printed schedule indicated, the sight of its peeling paint and barnacle-covered hull didn’t exactly fill Ella with joy.
Neither did the grizzled, salty-looking older gentleman in the shiny bowling shirt with BUDDY stitched across the left breast, who sucked on an unlit pipe as he opened the gate into the ferry’s lower level.
Ella gripped the wheel of her rented sedan and inched it over the rusty, pitted ramp leading into the cavelike bowels of the boat, suddenly glad she’d told her sister to get out and walk up the passenger ramp.
She honestly wasn’t sure the vehicle ramp could take the combined weight of herself, the beige four-door, and one seriously pregnant Merry Preston.
She followed the pickup truck ahead of her and wedged into the last space on the lower level, right beside the wall. Before she’d even managed to turn the car off, the ferryboat engine came to life with a shuddering roar.
Ella cracked her door, careful not to scratch the rental car’s paint on the metal hull of the boat. Sucking in her stomach, she squeezed out of the car just as the ferry lurched into motion. She fought down a swirl of nausea, nerves, and dread by repeating her mantra.
You are in control of your reactions. No one and nothing can hurt you unless you allow it.
The mantra was slightly less reassuring than usual, but then Ella usually took care not to put herself in situations this stressful. She was only here now because of her sister.
This is all for Merry, she reminded herself. Maybe it was the pregnancy, maybe it was the messy end of yet another relationship Ella had warned her from the get-go was doomed to failure, but Merry was determined to visit Sanctuary Island and reconnect with the mother they hadn’t seen since their parents’ long-overdue divorce fifteen years ago.
Personally, Ella could think of plenty of things she’d rather do than plan a trip to some godforsaken island completely cut off from civilization, to visit a woman who’d cared more about her next drink than fighting to keep custody of her young daughters—but if Merry was going, then so was Ella.
The past was the past, and Ella was completely over it. She’d make sure Merry got over this when it inevitably imploded, too.
Protecting her reckless, impulsive baby sister while Merry barreled forward with one of her harebrained ideas was an ingrained, lifelong habit.
The past was the past—but some things never changed.
Clutching the scarred, pitted wooden railing, Ella climbed the stairs to the upper deck. After the stale, gasoline-drenched air of the parking deck, the first breath of fresh, salt-sparkling ocean breeze buoyed her spirits.
Ella paused at the top of the staircase and inhaled deeply, lifting her face to catch a thin ray of chill spring sunlight.
“Ella! Over here!”
Ella opened her eyes to see her sister waving at her with both arms, her roundly pregnant bulk propped against the rail on the far side of the boat.
“Hold on,” Ella instructed as the ferry jounced over the choppy waters of the Atlantic. “I don’t know where the life preservers are if you go pitching over the side.”
Merry flapped one dismissive hand, but obediently gripped the railing by her hip. “Pssh. There’s no flotation device in the world big enough to fit me these days. Besides, you know you’d jump in after me and tow me to safety.”
Ella had to acknowledge that this was probably true, even though she wasn’t a strong swimmer. But if Merry went overboard, Ella would, too. That was the way it had always been.
“Let’s skip it, huh?” Ella reached her sister and curled an arm around Merry’s shoulders, bracing them both. “A near-death-by-drowning incident would really throw off my schedule.”
“It’s a vacation, Ella.” Merry sighed in the long-suffering way she’d perfected as a teenager. “You’re not supposed to have a schedule.”
“The unscheduled life is not worth living,” Ella quipped, but she kind of meant it. In her experience, surprises were vastly overrated. Let other people expect the unexpected—Ella would take boring predictability any day of the week.
They stared out over the water at the strip of tree-lined shore in the distance.
Their mother had moved to Sanctuary Island after her husband walked out and took their daughters with him. Ella and Merry had never seen the island in person, only in the pictures Jo Ellen included in the letters she’d sent them every week since she got out of rehab.
Ella shivered, a chill racing over her skin. Just the wind, she told herself, and discreetly spat out one of Merry’s loose curls. Ella’s hair was pulled back into a sensible knot, which the wind was doing its best to unravel.
Beneath Ella’s sheltering arm, Merry felt small, almost fragile. Delicate, in spite of the pumpkin-sized bulge of her belly stretching out her lipstick-red T-shirt.
The need to be strong for her sister stiffened Ella’s spine. There, that was much better than contemplating the uncertainty ahead. Whatever happened with Jo Ellen, the number-one priority for this particular plan was that Ella would be there for Merry.
Sweet, sunny, all-too-trusting Merry, who squirmed in a familiar, restless dance, faux-leather leggings squeaking.
“Again?” Ella pitched her voice to be heard over the breeze and the incessant clanking of the engine. “Really?”
“You try standing around with a watermelon constantly pressing down on your bladder, then come talk to me.”
“No, thanks.” Ella tried, but she couldn’t completely erase the fervor from her voice. Not that she never wanted to have kids, but to be in Merry’s situation? Low-level job, no savings, abandoned by the baby’s father—who’d been as big a loser as Merry had ever dated, so no real loss there.
With an effort, Ella downgraded from a ferocious frown to a subtle tightening of her lips, but when she glanced over at her sister, Ella realized she could’ve saved herself the trouble.
Plucking absently at the zipper of the jacket that wouldn’t quite close over her pregnant belly, Merry had zero attention for anything but the hazy outline of the island town on the horizon.
“I thought it would be warm here,” Merry said, a little wistfully, as she wrapped green-glitter-polished fingers around the deck railing and strained up onto her toes to peer over it into the white-foamed water below.
Subtly maneuvering both of them a few cautious inches back from the edge, Ella said, “It’s only April—spring is just getting started. According to my research, the weather’s supposedly fairly variable until June or so. Some warm days, highs up in the seventies, but lots of storms, too.”
Storms like the one that had kept this old bucket of a ferry from running last night, and forced Ella and Merry to spend an unscheduled night at the airport Hilton.
Merry wandered over to the bench seat in the center of the deck and lowered herself down carefully.
The ferry hit a swell that made it pitch alarmingly, and Ella staggered a few steps before managing to grab onto the bench and get herself seated.
Okay, seriously. Is this thing even seaworthy?
She’d been annoyed at the extra expense of the hotel room last night—her nest egg was only going to take them so far, and considering how things were going at work, she might soon need to stretch her savings even further—but now that the single thing between Merry and the frigid water of the Atlantic Ocean was this ancient, rusted-out tin can, Ella was glad whoever ran it had the sense to shut it down in bad weather.
If the ride was this bumpy on a clear morning, she’d hate to see it during a storm.
“It’s got to be warmer here than in D.C., at least.” Merry sighed, petting unconsciously at her abdomen.
Ella resisted the urge to point out that they’d had record-breaking high temperatures in Washington this winter.
She knew Merry wasn’t talking about the temperature.
Putting aside her own misgivings, Ella made her voice as gentle as she could. “I’m sure it will be. And hey, I think I saw a ladies’ room sign on the lower deck when we first got on the ferry. Want to go check it out? I’ll help you down the stairs.”
Merry sat up straight, giving Ella the same bright, plucky grin that had wrapped her around her baby sister’s little finger since they were kids.
“No, thanks. I want to stay on the top deck where I can get a good look at the island. I can’t believe we’re the only ones up here! I guess this must be the off season. I can’t wait to see it in a couple of months—I bet it’s packed!”
Ella felt as if her body had frozen to the metal bench. “A couple of months?”
Merry’s shoulders hunched up slightly and the grin dropped off her face, but Ella couldn’t back down.
“Merry. You can’t seriously be planning to stay that long.”
“Can’t we play it by ear?” Merry pleaded. “I mean, she’s our mother. And we haven’t seen her in fifteen years. You really think two weeks is going to be enough time to get to know each other?”
“I’ve only got two weeks of vacation,” Ella hedged. Two weeks of forced leave thrust on her by her worried, frustrated boss was more like it, but Ella didn’t say that. “Come on, we need to stick to the plan.”
“Oh, the almighty plan. Screw your plan! I’m perfectly happy to throw myself open to destiny and see where it takes me.”
Sure, because that always turns out so great for you.
The words stung the tip of Ella’s tongue, sharp and bitter, but she swallowed them back.
“Besides, it’s not like you’re happy at that stupid job, anyway,” Merry said, defiance trembling through her low voice.
The unconscious echo of the speech Ella’s boss gave her only days ago jolted Ella like a slap to the face. Merry couldn’t know what Paul Bishop had said that afternoon when he’d called her into his elegant, wood-paneled office and closed the door. When he’d shaken her carefully constructed world down to its foundations.
Ella gave her sister the same reply she’d given Bishop. “I’m good at what I do. Yes, commercial real estate is slumping, but it’s a cyclical business. I’ll be back on top before you know it.”
Underneath the firm answer, though, Ella was aware of the same puzzling sense she’d had in the meeting with Bishop—the sense that there was something she wasn’t understanding, some concept just outside her grasp.
Because all she could honestly think was, What the hell does my happiness have to do with anything?
Her job at Bishop Properties paid well, offered benefits, and until recently, had provided the kind of security Ella had been looking for her whole life.
Silence was a weird thing, Ella reflected as the next couple of minutes brought nothing but the rush of the wind and the low thrum of the engine vibrating through the deck.
She knew Merry better than anyone in the world. They had the same blue eyes, the same slight dimple in their chins, the same brown hair—although Merry had dyed hers a deep, purplish magenta this week, and next week it could easily be platinum blond—but that’s where the similarities ended.
Still, at only three years apart, they were closer than any sisters Ella knew. As close as twins, with their own shorthand language, mannerisms, and expressions, and the ability to communicate volumes with just the quirk of a brow. They could talk for hours or sit in a completely companionable quiet together, and just be.
But even as close as they were, Ella couldn’t bring herself to admit exactly how near she was to freaking out about seeing Jo Ellen Hollister again.
Merry squirmed in her seat, mouth turned down in an unhappy curve, and Ella blew out a breath. “Just hold on, sweetie. If you don’t want to use the bathroom on the ferry, that’s okay. I think we’re almost there, and the ferry bathroom is probably a health inspector’s nightmare, anyway.”
“No, that’s not what … Look. Ella. I know I’m kind of a mess, but you’re not the only sister who gets to worry. For the last year or so, I’ve wanted to say something about that job. When you told me you were taking a vacation, I was so relieved, because you were, like, this close to burning out. All you do is work. You don’t go out, you don’t have friends, you don’t date.” Real concern laced Merry’s husky voice, and one of her slim hands fluttered almost unconsciously to rest on the hard roundness of her stomach.
“Hey! I have friends,” Ella protested, ignoring the comment about her dating life. Who had time to date? She couldn’t imagine devoting precious hours to the awkward, messy, pointless process of dating. Someday, maybe, but now? When the job she’d fought and studied and lived for was in jeopardy, and her baby sister was about to have a baby of her own?
No. Ella had more important things to worry about than dating.
Merry gave her the patented Little Sister Eye-roll of Doom. “Please. We live together. I know everyone you know. Your best friend is your therapist. And when you’re not at work, you’re at the apartment on your laptop, researching properties.”
“Adrienne hasn’t been my therapist for years and you know it, so it’s completely fine that we meet up for lunch every now and then as friends. As for the rest of it, you’ve got enough hobbies for both of us,” Ella said fondly. “Maybe I’m a workaholic. But I’m trying to do better! An island vacation ought to get me off the hook for a year, at least.”
She was trying to make a joke out of it, mostly to avoid having Merry press any harder on the reasons behind Ella’s abrupt willingness to use vacation days to visit the mother she’d long ago written off, but Merry didn’t smile.
Ducking her head, Merry said, “I know this isn’t exactly the vacation of your dreams—I know you’re only here because of me, and I want you to know I appreciate it. I can’t imagine going through this alone.”
Ella swallowed around the lump thickening her throat and leaned in for a hug. “Don’t worry about me—I graduated from therapy, remember? I worked through all my issues about this. And sure, maybe for me that means being fine with the status quo of turning down all of Jo’s attempts at reconciliation. But I understand why you don’t feel the same way. And, sweetie, you’ll never have to be alone,” she said into the soft hair at her sister’s temple. “Not as long as you have me.”
The ferry blared its low, bleating horn. Merry pulled back, her eyes filled with excitement and nerves.
Craning her neck, Ella saw that they were pulling up to a wide wooden dock that ended in a gravel parking lot. A small, whitewashed building squatted at the top of the gravel hill stretching a barrier arm across the narrow road that led to the interior of the island. The words “Summer Harbor” were painted across the side of the building in flowy script, the letters scoured to a faded blue by the salty breeze.
The dock had been built up from the beach where a tumble of large, red-brown rocks formed a sloping wall between the flat circle of gravel and the surprisingly long stretch of untouched sand. Squinting, Ella made out a rickety set of steps connecting the two.
After the incessant ebb and flow of the crowds thronging the streets of Washington, it was almost surreal to stare down at what seemed like miles of pristine beach, empty of everything except a couple of sandpipers hopping comically through the foam of receding waves.
The wind was so briny Ella could taste it on the tip of her tongue. Gulls swooped and shrieked, their white wings glowing in the morning light, and Ella stood up to latch on to the railing.
Even though her feet were firmly planted on the rumbling deck, she somehow felt pitched forward, poised on the brink of something she couldn’t name.
Ella didn’t believe in fate or destiny. She didn’t believe in much of anything beyond the need to work for independence, the security of having a good plan, and the unbreakable bonds of loyalty and love that tied her to Merry. Believing in things was more in Merry’s line.
But as a shiver of surprising anticipation traced down Ella’s spine, she couldn’t escape the feeling that Sanctuary Island was exactly where she was supposed to be.

 
Copyright © 2013 by Lily Everett

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2013

    After reading this book, all I can say is wow! It's one of the

    After reading this book, all I can say is wow! It's one of the most perfect books ever written. I fell in love with Sanctuary Island and wish I could move to it and live there forever. I am eagerly anticipating the next book, and will be recommending this one to everyone I know.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    I first was introduced to Sanctuary Island in Lily Everett's swe

    I first was introduced to Sanctuary Island in Lily Everett's sweet Billionaire Brother e-novella series, and I had to say, I was not disappointed by the new full length series. Sanctuary Island shines with likable characters, heartwarming emotions, and plenty of sizzling chemistry between hero and heroine Grady and Ella. Lily Everett has definitely hooked me on this new small town romance series!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I had such a great visit back to Sanctuary Island with Lily Ever

    I had such a great visit back to Sanctuary Island with Lily Everett's first full length novel in this series!

    Ella grew up fast. Her mother was an alcoholic and in her early years Ella spent a lot of time dealing with her mothers mood swings, the fear of people finding out, and taking care of her younger sister. When her father finally left Jo Ellen, taking Ella and Merry with him, Ella felt very responsible for Merry. Often her father was working 2 jobs to support them, leaving the girls alone often. Jo Ellen got treatment with the help of her Aunt from Sanctuary Island, but she has never seen her girls since they left with their father. Despite weekly letters and requests to see them, it has never happened.

    Now Ella and Merry are grown up. Ella is on forced leave from her job, close to burn out, and Merry is quite pregnant and single. Together, at Merry's request, they decide to travel to Sanctuary Island to reunite with their mother at long last. This is not a trip Ella wants to make, but she is still very protective of Merry, so she goes along with it. Ella guards her heart and her sister. Her life seems to be her work and her sister. She has had therapy over the years, but the hurt, anger, and distrust of her mother is still inside of her.

    Ella is miserable, bitter, and angry that she is on isolated, tiny Sanctuary Island. One of the first person she runs into is Grady...what starts out as annoyance and anger with him quickly turns into unwanted attraction - for both of them.
    But Grady trusts Ella as much as she trusts her mother, and Jo Ellen is a good friend to Grady, one he doesn't want to see used or hurt. Fighting the attraction doesn't help though, and soon Grady has agreed to show Ella what Sanctuary Island is. From the healing air to the magic of the wild horses, Ella feels the draw of Sanctuary Island, and Grady,...even if she won't admit it.

    Both Grady and Ella have their issues and scars to deal with. Grady came to Sanctuary Island to heal, but Ella can't wait to leave it behind. Jo Ellen is hoping for forgiveness and a future with her daughters, something Ella is sure she does not want. But for the 2 weeks Ella agrees to stay on the island, she tries to find ways to help her mother save her house and not lose it to the lien. She tells herself she's doing it for Merry, but is she really? Ella knows how Grady feels about building up the island, so she keeps her plans a secret, even though soon they are spending more and more time together, becoming more and more intimate. Ella still plans on leaving, and Grady is trying to convince her to stay. Will Ella ever be able to move on from the past and start to heal? She recognizes other people can change, but not her mother...can she open up her heart and her mind to see that anything is possible? Just when Ella starts to think anything is possible, her secret comes out. Miscommunication, hurt, and more anger threaten all the positive moves Ella has made on Sanctuary Island. Ella and Grady will both need to find peace and forgiveness if they want to move on.

    Wow, what a great romance Sanctuary Island is! Lily Everett brings the characters and Sanctuary Island to life with her descriptive, emotional writing. I would say the main part of the Sanctuary Island is Ella's story and her relationship with her sister and her mother. We really see them all grow through out the book. Ella's romance with Grady comes to life through out Sanctuary Island and becomes intwined with her (and his) relationship with her mother. All of the characters were realistic and people I could see in my head. Ella frustrated me at times. She is an idependent, strong willed, stubborn woman who has worked hard to get where she is, and doesn't want to lose it all. Except when it came to her mother, she could relate well to others, even if she seemed to feel everything had to be her way. We got a little background on her father, and I felt he had a lot to do with Ella's determination to have nothing to do with her mother. It was fun to see Ella lose some of that control around Grady!

    Sanctuary Island kept me intrigued and never bored! I really can't wait for the next book to read about Merry who I am starting to love already!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Ellie and Merry Preston are on their way from Washington, D.C. t

    Ellie and Merry Preston are on their way from Washington, D.C. to Sanctuary Island at the request of their mother, Jo Ellen, who has not seen them in years because of her former alcoholic status.  While she has begged for contact over that very long time, it is only now after years of therapy that Ellie agrees to take Merry to meet their mother.  Ellie insists she expects nothing and is only there to make sure Merry doesn’t get hurt, especially as Merry is very pregnant and not known for her wise decisions in the past.  Jo Ellen is to have two weeks with her daughters but secretly hopes it will be much, much longer! Whether Ellie can get over her bitterness and anger to handle just the two weeks remains to be seen!
    Immediately on arrival, the girls meet Jo Ellen’s handyman, Grady Wilkes, and the sparks fly!  No, initially it’s biting, barbed comments back and forth operating between the romantic sparks, all of which don’t bode well for the impression both Ellie and Grady are making on each other and certainly creates a heck of a lot of confusion.  Grady, nevertheless, winds up helping Ellie who has an accident and twists her ankle as she falls through a crack in the staircase leading up to her mother’s home.  It could have been prevented but a young teen who avidly resents their presence isn’t quite careful in her warning for them to be careful on their approach to the house. 
    Now is where the plot begins to get interesting and no, it’s not predictable at all.  Merry immediately warns to the mother she always longed for and Ellie will make things worse when she discovers a secret that doesn’t remain a secret for long with her mother.  Grady turns out to have a serious wound but his internal wounds from the event causing the physical harm is much worse and threatens his future life with a confined existence on the island.  A conflict about money will drive all through some big mistakes but eventually a well-thought-out plan that eventually brings harmony and promise for the future but not until Ellie and Grady thump it out verbally and emotionally and allow the romance to have a very small chance.
    Lily Everett knows how to keep a reader’s interest by inserting problems and the struggle through them just at the right moment; all in all the plot development is superb and that makes the romance as it evolves even sweeter!  
    Sanctuary Island is a riveting read with something for everyone, as well as many descriptive scenes depicting a place everyone would love to visit or to live permanently.  Finely presented, Lily Everett!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ!!!!!!!!

    An absolutely wonderful, heartwarming story!! I could not put this book down. Ella and Merry came to Sancutary Island to reconcile with the mother they haven't seen in 15 years. Ella didn't much care to do this, she only came because of her younger sister Merry. What she didn't expect to find was Grady. Grady and Ella were both souls that needed help to trust, love and forgive. I cannont say enough about this book the emotional charge is unbelievable. I enjoyed the prequals to this book and cannot wait for the next!! Well done!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2014

    Highly Recommended - a must read

    I love Lily Everett's stories of Sanctuary Island. Stories are great you will fall in love with the Island and characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Loved it!

    Great Romance. Strong well developed story. The characters are very real, with very real issues.
    Our heroine has very real trust issues, and, our hero's troubles seem almost as insurmountable.
    Great book. I can't wait for book two in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Soul

    Watched them ((gtgtb....bbt))

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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