Heartbreak Cove (Sanctuary Island Series #3)

Heartbreak Cove (Sanctuary Island Series #3)

by Lily Everett

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Overview

Welcome to a place where love is in the air, fate is in the stars, and home is just a heartbeat away…

Sheriff Andie Shepard may be new to Sanctuary Island but, like everyone else who comes here, she's already fallen under its healing spell. Andie is determined to leave her mistakes behind her and make this scenic haven her home. But she just might have to change her plans—as well as open her heart—when an unexpected visitor shows up on her doorstep…
Heartbreak Cove
Caitlin is the ten-year-old niece Andie never knew she had. Silent, wary, and shy as can be, Caitlin only responds to the horses that run wild across the island. Andie has no idea how to deal with Caitlin—until Sam Brennan enters the picture. A tall, handsome loner who rehabilitates abused horses, Sam is able to help Caitlin break out of her shell. But that's not all: He finds a way to touch something deep in Andie's heart, opening her up to the healing power of love. Together, these three lost souls must face the darkness in their past to build a brighter future. Because here, on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250018380
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/03/2015
Series: Sanctuary Island Series , #3
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 4.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Heartbreak Cove

A Sanctuary Island Novel


By Lily Everett

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2015 Lily Everett
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-0809-6


CHAPTER 1

Six months later ...


Sam Brennan pressed a soothing hand to the door of the mare's travel stall and wished he were on the top deck to catch the first glimpse of Sanctuary Island on the horizon. It had been too long since he saw the place.

Hurry the hell up, he silently coaxed the ferry. The rusty old clunker used to go faster than this.

After a terrible storm the year before incapacitated the ferry that used to shuttle between Sanctuary Island and Winter Harbor, Virginia, the town council had voted to retire the old girl and put a special measure on the ballot to fund a brand-new ferry. When his cousin happened to mention last week that the shiny new ferry sported a travel stall for large animals, the plan dropped fully formed into Sam's head like a gift.

Sanctuary Island was the perfect hideout, for a ton of reasons. It didn't hurt that the only members of his family that Sam still talked to lived there, and his cousin Penny had been kind enough—or crazy enough—to extend a blanket invitation to stay with her anytime. Even better, she'd wound up marrying the guy that owned the house where she was caretaker, so there was plenty of room for the new couple, Penny's teenage son Matt, and a spare cousin who traveled as light as a single leather duffel and a well-worn, hand-tooled saddle.

But by far the biggest benefit to making his getaway to Sanctuary Island was that he was known to travel there once or twice a year, often bringing a horse with him. So this particular trip shouldn't raise any eyebrows. Not even the sleek, dark chestnut brows of the prettiest lady sheriff imaginable ...

Another muffled thud against the stall door reminded Sam to guard against distractions, no matter how perfectly curved and sweet smelling. The miserable, frightened mare in the stall was the main reason he'd steered his course to Sanctuary Island.

"Just a little longer," he promised softly, heart squeezing like a fist. "And you'll be settled nice and cozy in your new digs at Windy Corner Stables. All we have to do is wait for the cars to get off the ferry when we dock, then walk down the gangplank and straight into the trailer Jo Ellen is sending for us. Easy as pie."

The mare's distressed breathing was audible even through the metal of the ferry's reinforced stall door, and Sam sighed.

Something told him his fantasy of making a quick, no-muss-no-fuss transfer from ferry to trailer wasn't going to come true. Still, no matter what happened when he finally got this godforsaken animal off this boat, it was a damn sight better than the fate that awaited the poor horse back on the mainland.

Sam could only close his eyes and pray that the dangerous risk he'd taken wouldn't land his newly acquired horse—and himself—in even worse trouble. Silently vowing to keep his head down and make as few waves as possible, Sam ignored the banked fires of want in his belly.

He'd avoid Sheriff Andie Shepard on this trip because he had to. No matter how much he wanted to touch her, kiss her, claim her ... he couldn't. Not yet.

Some risks were too dangerous to take, even for a man like Sam Brennan.


* * *

There were only so many places a fifty-pound bulldog could hide.

Holding her breath, Andie unhooked the flashlight from her utility belt and crouched to shine it through the small hole in the old stable door. She squinted around at what she could see of the broken-down, abandoned stalls, but she saw no movement other than the dance of dust motes in the sunlight filtering through the partially caved-in roof. Andie made a hopeful kissing noise. "Come on, Pippin. Are you in there? Your daddy's pretty worried about you. Come on out."

He had to be there. She'd already checked the pine copse behind Mr. Leeds's big plantation-style house, the overgrown kitchen garden where the dog liked to dig up vegetables, and the crawl space under the wraparound porch—which explained the red clay dirt streaking her khaki uniform where it clung to her sticky, sweaty skin in damp patches.

Sighing, Andie contemplated the ragged hole in the stable door. Was it even big enough for a dog of Pippin's considerable bulk to squeeze through? She had zero desire to step foot in a building that ought to have been condemned years ago if there wasn't a chance the missing dog might actually be inside.

What alternative did she have, though? She couldn't go back up to the house and tell Dabney Leeds—the wealthiest full-time resident of Sanctuary Island, leading member of Sanctuary's town council, and a major contributor to local political campaigns—that she hadn't been able to find his beloved bulldog.

But there was a limit to what Andie was willing to do, even in an election year. Risking her life in a derelict outbuilding just to be able to tell Mr. Leeds she'd searched everywhere—was it really worth it? Especially when she was running unopposed. Her time would be better spent going through the pinewood again, this time with a pocketful of dog treats.

Decision made, Andie wiped her hands on her thighs and prepared to stand up—when her gaze snagged on a wisp of blue fabric clinging to one of the torn slats in the stable door.

Her heart sank. She'd seen that shade of blue before ... on a certain depressed bulldog who'd been crammed into a sailor costume.

She was going to have to go in.

The spring breeze kicked up, sending a chill through Andie's bones when the dilapidated stable building creaked ominously. Standing, she put a hand to the pocked, rotting wood of the door and felt the tremor as the wind shook the entire structure. She was so focused on tracking the building's rasping groans that she almost missed the faint whimper from inside.

Pippin. He was in trouble. Maybe he'd gotten trapped in there, or injured, and that's why he hadn't come when she called. The world went sharp and clear as determination filled Andie's chest. She didn't pause to ponder the fact that her body was having the same response to rescuing a runaway bulldog as she used to get from tactical raids on drug dealers' hideouts back in Louisville.

She pulled in a deep, bracing breath and grasped the rusted iron handle of the sliding barn door. It stuck, of course, but Andie kept the pressure slow and steady until the door finally yielded with a piercing shriek. When the opening was wide enough to slip through, Andie shone the flashlight around the dim interior.

The stable clearly hadn't been used in years, maybe decades. Piles of dried green hay had drifted down from the sagging loft, filling the still air with the smell of mildew and decay. Wind whistled through the cracks in the walls, and when Andie narrowed her gaze up at the sharp, uneven slope of the roof, she got a clear view of clouds moving quickly across the pale April sky. It was really blowing out there.

In here, it wasn't much better. Andie's pulse sped at the knowledge that this old place could come down around her ears at any moment. She reminded herself that the building had managed to stay standing for a long time, even through last spring's terrible storms. There was no reason that today should be the day it collapsed.

Except for the fact that today was the day Andie had to go poking through it, moving fallen beams and generally disturbing whatever structural integrity it had left, in her search for a wayward bulldog.

She whistled softly. "Hey, boy. I know you're in here someplace. Come on, puppy."

The low whine from deep in the gloom sounded so human, Andie almost fumbled her flashlight. There, in the furthest corner of the stables under the droopy overhang of the loft, Pippin squatted, looking miserable. Or maybe that was just his face.

"Hey there!" Andie moved closer, careful about it in case Pippin got spooked and ran off before she could get her hands on him. But after a single, morose glance, Pippin twisted his stocky body and started licking at his left haunch, below the ripped hem of his mud-streaked sailor suit. Andie squinted—was that blood?

Concerned, she picked up the pace as the wind buffeted the building again. In the corner, Pippin switched from licking the scratch on his hindquarters to giving his undercarriage a good tongue bath. Andie snorted. Trust a male creature to get distracted from an injury by a little attention to his manly parts.

Hoping that indicated his wound wasn't serious, Andie reached the dog just as a particularly loud creak sounded through the structure. Her gaze shot to the loft, which shuddered as she stared up at it as if it were about to come tumbling down. There was no time to coax Pippin out on his own, even if he could still walk.

Instead, Andie bent her knees and got her arms around his squirming bulk, and lifted him against her chest. Thank the sweet Lord she'd kept up with PT since she took this job or she'd never be able to heft a reluctant, wriggling bulldog and hustle them both to safety. Pippin was fifty pounds of muscle, fat, and heavy bone—and he apparently hadn't had a pedicure in a while, judging by the pain raking across her skin wherever he flailed those scrabbling paws.

The next few minutes were a blur of huffing, puffing, barking, and whimpering, but Andie got them out of the stable more or less intact. However, when she tried to put the struggling bulldog down, he refused to stand on his own feet. Groaning, Andie heaved him back up and staggered toward the main house. As soon as they were within view of it, Andie had to bite back another groan.

Mr. Dabney Leeds was standing on the porch, banging his brass-topped cane impatiently against the floorboards. "Finally! Took you long enough. Where was he?"

Reminding herself that Mr. Leeds's querulous tone was most likely a cover for how worried he'd been about his furry friend, Andie gasped out, "In the old stable out back."

"Is he hurt?" Mr. Leeds's anxious gaze roamed over Pippin, who'd given up wiggling, at least. The bulldog had gone absolutely limp in Andie's arms, turning his bulky body into a dead weight.

"I think it's just a scratch," Andie said, concentrating on hauling herself up the porch steps.

Mr. Leeds scowled. "My poor baby! Hurry on now, get up here and put him in his bed so you can call Dr. Fairfax for me."

A perfect miniature replica of the cushioned wicker porch furniture sat beside the gliding loveseat. Andie deposited her burden on the pink-rosetted pillow and straightened with a hand to her back. Mr. Leeds fussed over Pippin, who closed his eyes in resignation, apparently having given up on his bid for freedom. At least for today.

Andie pulled out her cell phone to dial the local veterinarian just as the radio receiver clipped to her utility belt crackled to life.

"Disturbance in progress down at the dock," the dispatcher's staticky voice said.

"What are you waiting for?" Mr. Leeds's angry demand shocked Andie into looking up. "Call Dr. Fairfax, girl! I won't have my dog contracting an infection because of your incompetence."

"Sheriff? Come in?" Ivy Dawson, Andie's brand-new dispatcher, sounded impatient and annoyed, a combination Andie already recognized as an indication of actual worry.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Leeds. I have to take this call," Andie said, unhooking the radio from her belt. "Feel free to step inside and call the vet yourself—I'll keep an eye on Pippin."

Her finger hovered over the "talk" button but before she could press it, Mr. Leeds banged his cane against the porch railing, making Andie and Pippin both jump. "No! Now I've sat here all morning waiting on you to do your job. I'm not waiting another second. I'm a Town Councilman! The council directs the Sheriff's office, so you'd better do what I say, girl. Quick now!"

"Mr. Leeds, I understand you're upset," Andie said, holding onto her patience with both hands, "but I have a duty to all the citizens of Sanctuary Island, to keep people safe and be responsive to their needs. I can't ignore a call like this."

Mr. Leeds narrowed his watery eyes. Despite his stooped bearing and the tremor in his thin muscles, Andie felt a chill rush through her at the sheer force of will in the man's eyes. She must never make the mistake of underestimating him. Dabney Leeds was used to getting his own way.

"You can't ignore a call. Not even for the biggest campaign contributor on the island?"

Andie's stomach knotted at the unsubtle threat. She could survive without Dabney Leeds and his bags of money, so long as no one else entered the race. But the deadline for a candidate to throw his hat in the ring hadn't passed yet, so she couldn't be sure.

Still ... what kind of sheriff would she be if she caved to the demands of a single wealthy, entitled old man? "I'm very sorry, Mr. Leeds." Andie kept her tone as firm and no-nonsense as she could. "But I'm going to have to go. You have a nice day, now."

She didn't have time to appreciate the dawning rage on Leeds's pinched face as she turned and strode back to her county-issued SUV. "Sheriff Shepard," she said into the radio as she got behind the wheel. "What's the disturbance, Ivy?"

"Oh, thank the sweet heavens," Ivy said. "I was starting to worry I'd have to leave the station to go check it out myself, and I do not do wildlife. Especially not the actually wild kind."

They were really going to have to work on Ivy's radio communication skills. "Give me the rundown," Andie said calmly, throwing the truck into gear and heading up the winding driveway back toward Shoreline Drive.

"It came from down at the harbor. Buddy called it in, something about a horse going crazy and trying to kill someone? Although I don't know what a horse would be doing down by the harbor where the ferry captain could see one. Don't the wild herds usually stick to the other end of the island?"

"They're called bands, not herds. And yes, they do." Andie pressed down the gas and hustled through the center of town toward Summer Harbor. "The wild horses aren't domesticated, and we strictly enforce the rules about not feeding them or trying to touch them, so they mostly keep to the uninhabited northern tip of the island. But sometimes one of them will get separated from his or her band and become disoriented."

"And try to kill people?" The alarm in Ivy's tone made Andie bite down on a grin. Ivy was a recent transplant from Atlanta, and as she'd put it in her phone interview, she was not a "nature girl."

"That would be highly unusual," Andie said soothingly.

Ivy hmphed. "I notice you didn't flat out deny the possibility."

"Maybe you haven't been here long enough to notice, but big cities have nothing on small towns when it comes to the variety of creative ways people can find to get into trouble."

"You know that's right," Ivy agreed. "How many big city cops spend their morning tracking down a runaway bulldog dressed like the villain from a James Bond movie?"

"No monocle today," Andie replied, laughing. "It was the sailor outfit."

"That poor animal! Can't we arrest Mr. Leeds for pet abuse or something?"

Resolutely not thinking about how many problems that would solve, Andie sighed. "I don't think it's actually against the law to spend thousands of dollars on toys, treats, and fancy costumes for your dog."

"Well, it should be. It's a fashion crime, at the very least." Ivy paused. "You sure you're okay to check out the harbor call? I know dealing with Mr. Leeds is pretty stressful."

"I'm fine," Andie insisted. "And I'm almost there anyway. I'll keep you posted."

"Don't get trampled by a stampeding stallion," Ivy advised. "Over and out."

Grinning and thankful, once again, that she'd ignored Ivy's lack of experience and followed her gut about hiring someone who could make her laugh, Andie replaced the handheld radio on her dash as she crested the sandy hill above the harbor. The Atlantic Ocean rolled out in front of her like a deep blue carpet, the mainland an indistinct smudge of gray along the horizon.

The sight sank into her bones and lifted her up, the way it had ever since she first stepped foot on this tiny, undeveloped gem of an island. Without even a causeway to connect it to the mainland, the only link between Sanctuary Island and the closest town of Winter Harbor, Virginia, was a two-hour ferry ride.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Heartbreak Cove by Lily Everett. Copyright © 2015 Lily Everett. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Heartbreak Cove 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
Lily Everett always writes emotional, heartbreaking and wonderful stories. This is another wonderful example. Andie, the local sheriff, is hurting and Sam is running from something but when two broken souls come together, it ends up being just the right story to break your heart and make you sigh at the end.
My_Peace More than 1 year ago
Not many stories can make my heart ache so much but Lily Everett managed to fill me with emotions with Heartbreak Cove. Misplaced blame, perceived mistakes and lack of support has Andie starting fresh in Heartbreak Cove, a place where she yearns to belong and make home. Sam has his own hauntings and a past he doesn’t talk about. He is in Heartbreak Cove for more than a visit with his cousin. He’s brought with him a horse he’s rescued, Queenie, and will spend a lot of time rehabilitating her as well as helping his cousin on her ranch. Sam doesn’t expect the attraction he feels towards Andie any more than she expects her immediate attraction to Sam. When Andie suddenly finds herself looking after a young niece she never knew she had, a niece who has walls up and heart break written all over her, Andie finds she will do whatever she can to help her niece. Even if it means spending more time around Sam, who not only is a horse whisperer, but can get through the walls her small niece has. Slowly building, the chemistry between Andie and Sam simmers as their relationship grows. At the same time Andie and Caitlin are slowly making gains, and Andie is gaining her trust. But Sam has secrets Andie doesn’t know anything about and he doesn’t want to bring trouble to her or Heartbreak Cove, even as he yearns for a place to call home. “What would it be like to have someone in his life who loved him enough to never give up on him?” That’s the question, but will Sam take the chance, stay around and find out what he and Andie can have? When I finished Heartbreak Cove my heart felt so full. Writers like Lily Everett are the reason I read romance. She pulled me right in and made me feel part of not only Heartbreak Cove, but Andie, Caitlin, and Sam’s lives. I felt so much for these people! These characters are mature, realistic, and very likable. I loved watching the relationship between them all grow and evolve through the pages. I liked the connections and interactions between them, getting to know them, and the slow build of the romance. All of the sub plots blending in to Heartbreak Cove are woven in very smoothly, adding even more of a realistic feel to the overall plot. I love the settings and Lily sets them all up well, from the rowboat scene, to the characters of a small town, to the wild horses that are what Sanctuary Island is all about. Very well paced and not a book I wanted to put down, Heartbreak Cove was the perfect romance for me.  Romance, chemistry, no overly explicit sex scenes, and all kinds of different relationships that impact on the main characters present day lives are explored. Lily finishes the story expertly with enough of a glimpse of what’s to come that I am so looking forward to the next book in this series! The best romance I've read in a while, Heartbreak Cove is a very powerful book that I highly recommend to all romance readers.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
5 - I'm home... And I'm Staying. Stars! Heartbreak Cove is the third book in Lily Everett's Sanctuary Island series. It is the first book I have read in the series but not my first visit to the Island. Having read Homecoming last year, I quickly fell in love with the Island and it's inhabitants. Sheriff Andie Shepard and Sam Brennan's story is one that will grab you from the prologue and keep you entertained until the very end. A woman of the law and a horse rescuer with a whole host of secrets in his back pocket. Initially there seems to be more dislike than attraction, but an orphaned girl, an abused horse, and the residents of Sanctuary gradually bring this couple together. I didn't feel like I was stepping in blind with this book it read just as well as a standalone as I guess it will as part of the series, it did make me desperate too read it's predecessors though, just so I can go back and spend more time on the Island. This is a 'slow burn' romance, there is no insta-anything, everything moves along at the pace of life. The side romance between Taylor and Matt was a great addition, it offered a look at romance from both sides of the coin giving a teenage viewpoint as well as the adult one. I met Matt originally in Homecoming so seeing a bit more of him and his family was a great catch-up for me as well. "In the past, I've risked my livelihood, my freedom, even my life. But nothing and no one has ever gotten me this close to risking my heart. Lily has built a solid, unbreakable foundation with the island of Sanctuary, it's a place with each and every description she gives you, that pulls you in, it welcomes you, the townsfolk albeit a bit quirky here and there make you feel at home, and I hope she takes us back there in some way on a regular basis in the future. "This town is amazing. There is no place like it." And the epilogue... Well to say I cannot wait for October to get here now, would be a total understatement, Home for Christmas the continuation of a story that begins in this book, promises to be one emotional and seasonal sleigh ride back to Sanctuary, and I am looking forward to it! ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
celticmaggie More than 1 year ago
Reading this book brought back old, familiar memories. First it was just a girl's dream and then I was working with horses. Lily has become a favorite author for me. She knows how to get her people to co-operate with her awesome story line. Andie is the Sheriff for Sanctuary Island. She runs a tight ship but will manage an infraction to the best for the suspects good. Sam has a troubled life. He was an ex-con with a spoiler later in the story. He runs a Horse Rescue business and a major spoiler here. He tries to stay away from Andie. Then Caitlyn shows up on Andie's doorstep as she is her brother's 8 year old daughter. He had just told Andie that she was expected. Owen, just found out Caitlyn was his daughter after her mom died in a car accident. Small spoilers here. This is full of spoilers and they all seem to be near the end of the story. I liked this book but I can't say any more or the story is ruined. Any horse lovers would like this story. I hope you decide to read this book. There is lots of action here to keep you on point. Enjoy this book!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Such a fantastic book!! If you love sweet small town romances, put this one on the must read list. This latest installment in the Sanctuary Island series is one of the best. Two new characters to the island and their story is perfect. Sheriff Andie Shepard lives her life according to the rules. Her job is to enforce rules and keep others safe, which she takes very seriously. Her life is truly turned upside down when two things happen. First, a call from her brother telling her he has a daughter but is being shipped out on a mission and he needs Andie to care for Caitlyn until he returns. Second, she meets the very attractive horse trainer working at the local stables. Not only is she attracted to him but he seems to be the only one who can understand and get through to Caitlyn. Sam's a good man but rules aren't really his thing. When actions from his past come to light it could mean the end of their budding relationship. This is one I definitely recommend to everyone.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
4 Stars! I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I discovered Lily Everett's writing a little more than a year ago and I have yet to be disappointed. Every time I read one of her books in the Sanctuary Island series, I am ready to pack my bags and move there by the time I finish the book. An island with wild horses and a great community - who wouldn't want to live there? While this book could be read as a stand alone, parts of this story build upon events from the previous book, Shoreline Drive. Andie is the elected sheriff on Sanctuary Island, a job which keeps her quite busy. Her world gets turned upside down in this book. Not only is Sam back on the island with a wild horse, she also gets a call from her brother telling her that she has a niece that she didn't know about. Before she knows it, Andie finds herself caring for her niece, Caitlin, on a full time basis. As if that were not enough, she must also try to keep her job as sheriff. Sam is on Sanctuary Island but he isn't sure how long he will stay this time. He has brought a horse with him to rehabilitate. Andie's niece, Caitlin, falls instantly in love with that horse, Queenie, and responds to Sam better than anyone else. Sam sees a lot in Caitlin and knows some of the things the little girl is going through from his own past experiences. Sam has also brought a few secrets with him to Sanctuary Island that he works hard to protect others from. I am always amazed by how much detail Lily Everett is able to put into her books. There is so much going on this book and everything works together so well. Each character has their own amazing story to tell. The focus of this book isn't just Andie, Sam, and Caitlin, but instead focuses on Taylor, Matt, the horses, and really the island as a whole. I love the fact that this book ties nicely into the previous book. I really liked Andie and Sam together and thought that they had fantastic chemistry. I would have liked a little bit more of Caitlin's story but I have a feeling that more will be told in the next book. There was enough excitement in this book that I had a hard time putting it down and even though I found a few parts to be predictable, I loved the story overall. I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. Lily Everett has written a wonderful story that takes place on an island I think most readers will want to visit again. I can't wait to learn more about the residents of this wonderful little island in future book in this series. I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
ravenwolf_EPTX More than 1 year ago
Another Magical Visit to Ms. Everett's Sanctuary Island HEARTBREAK COVE (Sanctuary Island, # 3) by Lily Everett March 3, 2015  Publisher: St. Martin's 316 pages, approximately Romance: Contemporary ** Provided by NetGalley in Exchange for an Honest Review. ** -- SYNOPSIS -- Welcome to a place where love is in the air, fate is in the stars, and home is just a heartbeat away… Sheriff Andie Shepard may be new to Sanctuary Island, but, like everyone else who comes here, she’s already fallen under its healing spell. Andie is determined to leave her mistakes behind her and make this scenic haven her home. But she just might have to change her plans—as well as open her heart—when an unexpected visitor shows up on her doorstep… Caitlin is the ten-year-old niece Andie never knew she had. Silent, wary, and shy as can be, Caitlin only responds to the horses that run wild across the island. Andie has no idea how to deal with Caitlin—until Sam Brennan enters the picture. A tall, handsome loner who rehabilitates abused horses, Sam is able to help Caitlin break out of her shell. But that’s not all: He finds a way to touch something deep in Andie’s heart, opening her up to the healing power of love. Together, these three lost souls must face the darkness in their past to build a brighter future. Because here, on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible…  -- MY THOUGHTS -- Sam's returned to Sanctuary Island, looking to Jo Ellen to house a racehorse in desperate need of TLC; one that he may just have rescued in less-than-legal ways. Andie believes in a black and white letter of the law. She does not believe there is a grey area to it at all. Caitlin's the surprise 8-yr old niece that is delivered to Andie. She only has minutes to prepare after receiving a phone call from Owen, her military brother that she's not heard from in years. She's distrustful of adult females and seems to have taken a liking to Sam and the horses of Jo's rehab center. It's a treacherous line they'll walk to find a healthy balance.  Sam's past makes him a bit more impulsive when protection is needed. It also makes him more perceptive to like souls. Andie's past has made he stronger and more independent that she's almost unreachable in some things. Although these two were less enjoyable and a little more difficult to connect with, for me, they were still well written. The introduction of a few new characters along with many of the past round out the cast to the story. As usual, the dialogue and interactions are believable and natural feeling. The plot has just enough "uh-oh" drama to keep you on the edge of your seat and enough sub-plot to keep hoping for more. Plenty depth and dynamics in a smooth-flowing, full plot. There were several conflicts layered and interwoven throughout the story, all of which are resolved in a timely manner with very little predictability. The conclusion was sold, wrapping up all of loose ends of the main story and the sub-plot while the epilogue gave the readers an exciting glimpse into what to expect from the next book.  Once again, Ms. Everett has provided the readers a fantastic story about second chances, renewed hope and finding love and trust.  ------------------------ Heat Level: 2.75 ------------------------ Score: 4.0 Stars: 4
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed it