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?
I was skeptical of Marcus and Quinn's relationship as seen in Close to Home, not because of their age difference -- although often mentioned -- but because Marcus seemed to return to Sanctuary Island with a lot of baggage. I had hopes that Home at Last would address those issues and allow Quinn and Marcus to have a HEA free of secrets or half-truths, but it did not.
Marcus spends a lot of time running: running from his mother's death, running from his boss's, running from the fragile relationship he has with his father. He kind of runs from Quinn too. But I didn't believe *any* of his past issues were fully and completely addressed. He talks with his father and boom! -- they have an immediate reconnection. He tells Quinn a little about his former boss and boom! -- any guilt he felt is gone.
The majority of Home at Last kept Marcus and Quinn's real romance as a backseat to their fake one in order to help Quinn's parents resolve their marriage problems. So this is me, being disappointed in that.
(A very special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Home at Last.)