Monday, December 7, 2015

Review: Home for Christmas by Lily Everett

Celebrate Christmas on Sanctuary Island, where the love light gleams. There will be snow and mistletoe...and two lonely hearts yearning for love, family, and above all, home.

Magazine columnist Libby Leeds has made a name for herself sharing heartwarming stories from her perfect life on Sanctuary Island. There's just one minor detail she's left out: she hasn't set foot on the island since her childhood. Orphaned and heartbroken, she departed years ago and never looked back-except in her fictional columns. Now a wounded war hero is returning to Sanctuary Island, and Libby's editor insists she cover the story by taking the long road back...


Army Ranger Owen Shepard is a tall, handsome single father, and now a media sensation. He wants to reconnect with his daughter, Caitlin, and make up for lost time by giving her a Christmas to remember. When "America's Favorite Homemaker" Libby Leeds offers her help, he jumps at the chance. But the sweet, reclusive writer is more intriguing, and more tempting, than Owen could have imagined. Soon, Owen and Caitlin are spending their holiday with Libby, decorating trees, making gingerbread houses, and warming up by the fire. It's the closest Libby has come to love and family since she was a child-but until she and Owen admit what is in their hearts, the home they are creating together will be only in their dreams.

Libby is a writer, but what she writes and passes off as her everyday life is complete fiction.  She's pulled into a web in order to document Owen Shepard's visit to Sanctuary Island where his sister is the sheriff.  

I wasn't sure how receptive I felt toward Owen, his trauma notwithstanding, or that our heroine, Libby, is a liar (she is!).  These are not the typical makings for a romance novel.  That Libby continually lies as we go along was very frustrating at times, but I believe we're supposed to see that lies come easy for her; the truth is what is difficult.  

Again, it's not a typical Christmas/holiday story when things are so f-ing messed up.  I suppose that's what made me continue Home for Christmas -- the narrative wasn't neat and tidy; the characters weren't perfect with "made up" or "first world" problems.  So naturally I'm glad I continued through until the end.   

(A very special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Home for Christmas.)

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