Thursday, March 9, 2017

**GIVEAWAY** Showcase Home at Last by Lily Everett

Today I'm showcasing Lily Everett's #6 in her Sanctuary Island series, Home at Last.
Read all about it then enter for a change to win a copy for yourself sponsored by Lily's publisher St. Martin's Press.

ISBN-13: 9781250074065
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 03/07/2017
Length: 320pp
Buy It: B&N/Amazon/Kobo/IndieBound

Home is where the heart is…
In Lily Everett's Home at Last, Marcus Beckett left Sanctuary Island after his mother’s funeral, and he hasn’t been back since. Until now. Needing a change from the high-risk, high-stakes life of a bodyguard, Marcus makes a solitary life for himself running the neighborhood bar in his hometown. His only mistake? Seducing and then dumping the town’s sweetheart, Quinn Harper. Marcus knows he did the right thing—a good girl like Quinn has no business with a broken man like him. But now no one will come to his bar, and he’s watching his last chance at a peaceful life go up in smoke. So when Quinn proposes a fake four-week courtship, he can’t refuse…even though he knows it’s a bad idea.
It’s a romantic charade that will buy Quinn time to distract her mother and father from their own marital problems—and will help Marcus welcome back some paying customers besides. But what begins as an engagement of convenience slowly transforms into a deeper connection, one that heals both of their hearts. . .and ignites the simmering passion between them. Could it be that pretending to be together is just what Quinn and Marcus needed to give their real love a second chance?

Giveaway is for one print copy of
Home at Last US ONLY
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Read an excerpt courtesy St. Martin's Press:


Quinn Harper pedaled her bike down the road, slowing the way she always did when she got to the house next door to her own. The only other house out this far on Lantern Point. The Beckett house.

His house.

When she was younger, a little kid instead of an almost teenager, she used to ring the bell attached to her handlebars in the giddy hope that Marcus might come outside and give her that friendly wave, or even better, the grin that made it seem like they were both in on a juicy secret no one else knew. Not that a grown-up college graduate like Marcus would have a secret with a twelve-year-old. Quinn wasn’t delusional, but she used to ring her bell anyway.

Now she bit her lip, looking down at her silent bell. It was definitely not a day for bell ringing. Even the gentle rustle of the candy-apple-red and white streamers sprouting from her handlebars seemed wrong somehow—too bright, too happy, clashing with the sadness hanging over the Beckett house.

Quinn shifted on the banana seat of her bike, preparing to push off and ride back to the end of the point, when all of a sudden the front door slammed open and Marcus Beckett strode out.

Wobbling, Quinn stuck out a skinny leg to steady herself against the curb as Marcus crossed the lawn toward his waiting Camaro, black like the leather jacket he’d slung over the shoulder of his dark suit. She’d never seen him as dressed up as he was today. She didn’t like it. Apart from the very sad and tragic reason he was wearing it, the suit made him look older, even more out of reach than he already was.

Marcus tossed his jacket into the passenger seat and shut the door with a bang before bracing his palms against the side of the car. His head hung down, wild, dark hair brushing his bulging biceps, and Quinn felt the same confusing heat that had simmered in her belly all summer whenever she’d caught a glimpse of Marcus around the neighborhood, in the park, or eating burgers with his friends at the Firefly Café.

Now, that warmth was nearly choked off by the awful, stomach-twisting sympathy that seized Quinn as she watched Marcus’s broad shoulders heave, once and then again.

Realizing suddenly that he had no idea anyone was there and that this was probably a moment he wouldn’t want anyone to see, Quinn slid off her bike seat and started walking it carefully backward, trying not to make a sound.

But Marcus straightened up with a muttered word— a very bad word, Quinn recognized, simultaneously impressed and scandalized—and when he straightened to go around to the driver’s side of the car, he saw her.

She held her breath, wondering if she should apologize, or if she should say she was sorry for other reasons, like everyone had been saying at the church earlier. Agonized indecision froze her tongue to the roof of her mouth.

Marcus didn’t do the friendly wave, but he did smile. Small and tired, and it didn’t reach his shadowed gray eyes, but Quinn smiled back anyway. She couldn’t help it. She always smiled when she saw Marcus Beckett.

“Hey, Turbo,” he said. “Nice dress.”

Quinn glanced down at the black fabric covered in big, pink blossoms. It had been one of her favorites, but now she was afraid she’d never be able to wear it again without remembering what it felt like to wear it to Mrs. Beckett’s funeral.

“I didn’t have one that was all black,” Quinn blurted, feeling weirdly like she should apologize for the bright blooms covering her torso. “Maybe the purple one would’ve been better. I didn’t know.”

And Quinn’s mother, devastated by the loss of her best friend and only close neighbor, hadn’t been much help.

“First funeral, huh?” Marcus looked away, fingers tapping restlessly on the roof of the Camaro. “Me, too.”

Whatever fleeting delight Quinn usually took in finding anything she had in common with Marcus was muted by the low, miserable sound of his voice. Her throat was full of an aching, incoherent tenderness—a need to do or say something to make things better for him—but there was nothing. Even at twelve and finding new reasons to fight with her mom almost every day, Quinn still couldn’t imagine losing her.

She didn’t think being older and technically a grown-up like Marcus made it that much easier.

The weight of everything she felt, everything she wanted to tell him, glued her jaws shut for an agonizingly embarrassing moment. Everyone had already told Marcus how sorry they were. It obviously hadn’t helped. Maybe nothing could, but she had to say something.

“Your mom was always real nice to me,” she offered. “She never minded when I asked her questions.”

It didn’t sound like much, but to Quinn and her insatiable curiosity, it had meant a lot. She liked to follow around the adults in her life who had interesting jobs, finding out as much as she could about what they did all day as teachers, horse trainers, veterinarians, accountants, whatever. As a nurse, Mrs. Beckett always had good stories to tell about funny things people did in the emergency room at Winter Harbor Hospital, and she hadn’t gotten frustrated or annoyed the way lots of grown-ups did at having a chattering kid hopping after them with question after question.

Marcus didn’t scoff at Quinn’s stupid memory, though. He looked almost as if he got it. “She liked you. And I know your family did a lot for my parents while she was sick, so thank you for that.”

Quinn ducked her head, feeling awkward heat stain her cheeks. “Don’t thank me. My dad made the casseroles and stuff.”

“You visited my mother every day,” Marcus countered, catching her gaze the moment she lifted her head in surprise. “Yeah, she mentioned it when I called. You came over and sat with her and distracted her from the pain by talking a mile a minute, Turbo.”

A smile ghosted across his face before flickering into the grim-faced blankness he’d worn at the service. “Anyway. Since I wasn’t here, I’m glad somebody was.”

Without meaning to, Quinn glanced at Marcus’s dark, quiet house. The house where his father would live alone, after today.

“She was glad you stayed at school,” Quinn offered. “She talked about how proud of you she was. All the time.”

The muscle at the back of Marcus’s jaw clenched visibly. “Screw school. I should’ve been here. If Dad had told me when he found out how bad the cancer was—”

He cut himself off by slamming his fist into the roof of his car with a loud bang that made Quinn jump.

“I guess he wanted you to be able to graduate on time.” Quinn bit her lip, wanting to defend the gray, grieving Dr. Beckett but not wanting to make Marcus think she didn’t understand why he was upset. “If you’re going to be a doctor, all that medical school and stuff … it takes forever.”

Dragging his keys out of his pocket, Marcus glanced over his shoulder at his father’s house. “I’m not going to medical school. I’m not going to be a doctor.”

Quinn’s jaw dropped. Everyone knew Marcus was going to follow both of his parents into the medical profession. He’d been working toward it his whole life. “But. You got into Stanford.”

Quinn ought to know. She’d cried for a week at the thought of Marcus all the way across the country in California for years and years.

He shrugged, using the motion to slide the charcoal-gray suit jacket off his shoulders. The stark white shirt underneath stretched taut across his chest, outlining the shape of his muscles. Quinn swallowed hard.

“Screw Stanford,” Marcus said as he crumpled up the jacket and tossed it in the car with his duffel.

“What will you do instead?” Quinn asked urgently, sending up a swift, silent prayer that the answer would be “stay home on Sanctuary Island and ask you to the prom in four years.”

He paused, and Quinn held her breath. Finally, with a last, hard look at the house where he grew up, Marcus said, “I’m enlisting.”

“In the army?” Quinn squeaked. Oh no. No, no, no.

She’d worried about him going to Stanford for medical school and never coming back, but at least in that scenario, he’d be happy and healthy in California. Now she was going to have to worry about him coming home alive at all.

“Or the navy. I haven’t decided yet.” Marcus flipped his keys into the air and caught them one-handed, his gaze on the horizon. “Doesn’t matter. The point is, it’s my life and I’m going to do what I want.”

A hard lump rose in Quinn’s throat. She couldn’t argue with that, and if this was what Marcus felt called to do, she could only admire him for it. But she couldn’t let him leave—maybe forever!—without saying something! She had to tell him how she felt. Fear clutched at her.

Screwing up her guts, she inhaled—and then chickened out at the last second. “Just remember that there are people here on Sanctuary Island who l-love you.”

Instead of softening, his expression turned flinty. “Love. That’s just an excuse people give when they want to control you. People who love you think they own you, and that you owe them something, no matter what they do. Well, fu—forget that. I don’t owe anyone here a damn thing.”

His eyes connected with hers for a brief, stormy moment where Quinn was mostly trying not to cry. Something about the way Marcus ground his teeth, the red rims of his eyes, told her he was in the same boat. Speechless, she watched him walk around and open the driver’s side door of the Camaro. He didn’t look at his house again. Instead, he lifted his head and gazed at her.

“Don’t let love tie you up in knots, Turbo,” he said starkly. “The world is full of people who think they know what’s best for you and ‘love’ gives them the right to decide that. You’re better off making your own choices.”

With that, he slid behind the wheel and started the engine with a roar. He backed out of the driveway fast and took off down the road in a squeal of tires. He never looked back once.

Quinn knew that for sure, because the instant he drove away she pushed off from the curb and pedaled as fast as her legs could carry her, following the Camaro as far as she could with her heart pounding and eyes stinging. He outpaced her in less than a minute, leaving her struggling in his wake, sucking in exhaust fumes on every desperate, sobbing breath. Tears streaked her face, but she told herself they were from the wind in her eyes.

There was no point in her crying over Marcus Beckett. She couldn’t lose something she never had to begin with.

But in a small, stubborn corner of her heart, Quinn was very much afraid that no matter what he said or thought about love, no matter what happened or didn’t happen between them … she’d never love anyone in her life as much as she loved Marcus Beckett.

Copyright © 2017 by Lily Everett
Books in the series

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Meet Lily:
Lily Everett is the author of several books including, Sanctuary Island, Heartbreak Cove, and Shoreline Drive. She grew up in a small town in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and has loved romance her whole life. She is thrilled to share the world of her beautiful imaginary Sanctuary Island with all her readers. She and her family currently live in Austin, Texas where she writes full-time.

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  1. I haven't read these, but you know I love these small town setting series. I really need to check out more books published with St. Martin.

  2. Thanks for this captivating feature and giveaway. This series is delightful.

  3. Can recommend these, haven't read this latest one but did enjoy the others.

  4. Oh I'd been so tempted by this one. It looks fantastic!

  5. I am not a fan yet. I haven't read any of them.

  6. I have not read any of this series before, oh they look so good! I cannot wait to read them!

  7. This is a new to me series.
    Theresa N

  8. I'm not familiar with this author. Thanks for sharing this and the giveaway. :-)

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads