Sunday, December 24, 2017

Review - Home for Christmas by Lily Everett

Home for Christmas by Lily Everett
Series: Sanctuary Island #4
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Date Read: December 3, 2017
Length: 320 pages
Source: NetGalley

Tis the season for family and love…

At least it's supposed to be. For Libby Leeds, however, the holiday season is just another reminder of things she'd rather forget. When she left Sanctuary Island as an orphaned child, she never thought she'd go back except in her dreams, dreams she's kept alive by writing monthly column of her fictional small-town life, until her publisher sends her back home for the holidays.

Owen Shepard is a fallen hero, wounded in action rescuing three of his fellow soldiers, but after a whirlwind of media attention, all this charismatic Army Ranger wants is to get back on his feet and make it to Sanctuary Island to be with his daughter in time for Christmas. What he didn't expect was to be put on a crash course with a columnist hiding her past. Will the magic of Sanctuary Island at Christmastime allow them to find healing together?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014597-what-doesn-t-kill-her
My Review

Well, this was a disappointment.  I have read Lily Everett before and really enjoyed her work so I decided that this would be the book that I would read leading up to Christmas this year.  I just knew that this would be a great read.  Unfortunately, this book really didn't work for me.  I am not sure if my reading tastes have changed since I last read this author or if it is just this book but this wasn't the enjoyable reading experience I had hoped it would be.

Libby Leeds has been living a lie.  She is a well known author with a column that is supposed to be non-fiction but her life looks nothing like that column.  She gets caught with her deception when her boss invites a well known hero to her home in Sanctuary Island for Christmas dinner.  She is then forced to reconnect with family and do her best to be the woman the world knows from her column.

Owen was wounded in action and has been working hard to get back into shape so he can return to duty.  He has recently discovered that he has a young child who is now living with his sister in Sanctuary Island.  He is headed to there to get to know his child and get therapy.  He accepts the invitation to have dinner with Libby since he wants to share the perfect Christmas with his daughter.

I didn't like Libby or Owen.  Libby is living an absolute lie.  Owen seems to only be able to focus on going back to active duty.  Libby is even pretending to be married for a good portion of the book so this romance just never worked for me.  I honestly didn't see a lot of chemistry between them.  This is a very tame romance and I just didn't feel the spark that I would have hoped to see.

I think that my biggest issue with the book was that so much of the story seemed pointless.  Once Libby opens up to Owen, I didn't see the point of continuing with the charade.  There is a secondary romance that added nothing to the story and only contained a few short scenes.  I found that I was often bored while reading this book and had to read passages more than once because my mind would wander. 

I would say that the best parts of the book included the scenes with Libby's grandfather and Owen's daughter.  Those two characters were the highlight of the story and I would have really liked to see a bit more of them.  The book does have a very strong Christmas theme with just about everything Christmas making an appearance at least once. 

I will not be recommending this book to others.  I think that this was a rather forgettable story that was a bit too sweet for my tastes.  I won't hesitate to read more from Lily Everett in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.
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.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

20 comments:

  1. Harsh to not like a Christmas story when you need the vibes! I think it would be hard to connect with a main character that's lying all the time... Not going to read this though and thanks for your honest review!

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    1. I feel pretty harsh posting this review today. I read that book specifically to review it for Christmas eve so I went ahead with it.

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  2. Ouch! Sorry this was such a disappointment. I am glad that you were able to find something to like though. I give you a lot of credit for finishing the book. I would have DNFed a book that made me feel these things.

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    1. I need to learn to dnf when books don't work for me. I don't do it often enough.

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  3. Man, this sounded like Keokuk so good too. At least there a couple of things that kept you reading.

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    1. There were some better points of the book.

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  4. Hmm, it reminds me of the old Barbara STanwyck movie, Christmas in Connecticut where she writes a Martha Stewart like housewife column for the paper and she makes it all up, but then the paper wants her to host a war hero for Christmas to boost the ratings.
    The lie part and pretending to be married would kill the romance for me, too.

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    1. I read a few reviews for this book today after posting mine and saw others mention that movie. I haven't seen it but it sounds like it is a pretty close copy.

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  5. oh my, I can see why you would have issues with this and I know I would have the same issues here.

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    1. The story just never clicked with me if you know what I mean.

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  6. Sorry to hear you didn't like this one.

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  7. Aw I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one! From the way you describe it, I don't think the romance would've worked for me either. I'm curious, though, as to why she was pretending to be married...I feel like that's just odd. And I've been there before with the pointless feeling for books so I can relate. Hopefully your next read is better!

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    1. I thought it was very odd. This one just didn't work for me.

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  8. Oh no! I've really enjoyed Lily Everett's books in the past but this doesn't sound like it'd work for me either. It's hard to connect to a romance when I don't like either main character and I can't stand the unnecessary deceptions. I think I'll pass on this one. Thanks for saving me time and disappointment next Christmas!

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    1. I have enjoyed other books written by her as well. I think that is what made this book so disappointing for me.

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  9. Ugh nope! It sounds like it could have had potential but just missed...all of it. Good to know, though, because I'd been tempted by the pretty cover. lol

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