by Lily Everett
Series: Sanctuary Island #6
Published on March 7, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Home is where the heart is...
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 martial 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?
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After an extensive amount of set-up for Marcus and Quinn’s story in the previous book, Close to Home, I was expecting this book to be an amazing romance. You don’t just spend a third of a book that’s marketed as a story about completely separate characters without giving these people a great story. And unfortunately, Home at Last didn’t live up to that.
Marcus has a lot of personal baggage he’s bringing to the table and all with good reason. He’s afraid to open up and it causes a lot of problems in the relationship which ended in the last book but flares up again in this one. This guy’s pretty rough around the edges. Then there’s Quinn, much younger, full of life and determined to get what she wants. She cares for her family so strongly and about Marcus as well but there’s only so much she could take before with his attitude that I can’t believe she contemplated the scheme she did and with him of all people.
Now the whole disaster of this book isn’t even their romance (which just fell flat, really). It was the subplot-that-was-too-big-to-be-a-subplot with Quinn’s parents and her mom’s guru. Home at Last became more about her parents working through their marriage issues in this completely unbelievable situation. It was all over the place.
And the romance that was hot and heavy in the last book between Quinn and Marcus just wasn’t up to snuff. Rough, gruff Marcus is suddenly doing all these super cheesy things to help Quinn out while they continue to have the same problem in the relationship with him refusing to open up and actually talk to her. It was the end of the relationship the first time and it came back over and over in this one to the point that I grew bored. I wanted to see them struggle with more than just communication, or at least change up the reasoning for why they’re having communication issues.
Honestly, I had the same issue with this book as I did with the last one, which was that the book focused more on a couple that wasn’t the central point of the story for far more time than necessary. The two characters that make it on the back of the book? Quinn and Marcus. They shouldn’t be taking a backseat to her parents for a ridiculous “subplot” that was way too out there to work for me.
It’s a shame. I like this world of Sanctuary Island. I think it’s the small-town in me that it speaks to. And I’d like to see new characters and their stories there. But when I go into a book expecting it to be about the characters marketed in the synopsis, then I want that simple expectation met. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to give the protagonists the spotlight in their own book. So while the writing was good, the world is good, and the characters are good on their own, this story just didn’t live up to my expectations in any way.