Lily Everett is one of my go to contemporary authors. I loved her writing as Louisa Edwards and I love her writing her as Lily. Her Sanctuary Island series is fan-freaking-tastic. The characters she creates for this series are in just as much need of rescuing as the horses on the island…including the new sheriff Andie and Sam the islands latest refuge. Watching these two find love with each other is one of the best afternoons I’ve spent. Here’s a little snippet that I hope makes you want to read this book.
Better than a zap of lightning to the seat of the pants. Andie braced her feet and pulled herself upright, gritting her teeth against the urge to snap back at him. She schooled her features to cool, composed professionalism and crossed her arms over her chest.
“I’m not here in a decorative capacity, Mr. Brennan.”
Sam lifted one of the folding chairs as if it were made of construction paper, and turned it so he could straddle it backwards and prop his folded arms on the backrest. He smoldered up at her through unfairly long lashes. The flickering light of the votive candles clustered on the picnic tables somehow accentuated his rough, masculine charm.
“Don’t tell me,” he rumbled, “you came to make sure Ben and Merry had a wedding license, signed in triplicate. Or no— I bet Jo needed a permit to host a party like this in a public park.”
“Good thing Jo got her permit in a week ago.”
Andie stared him down, unwilling to apologize for the fact that she cared about her job.
Trust the rules, her father used to say. They’ll keep you on the right path when your emotions try to send you off in the wrong direction. Hearts can be misled, but the law is constant.
Sam Brennan shook his shaggy head and squinted into the distance as if he couldn’t imagine following such a silly, pointless regulation— and there it was. The reason Andie had a hard time getting a read on him.
He met her gaze squarely, an odd light glinting in the depths of eyes the color of bittersweet chocolate.
“Waste of paper, if you ask me. If people want to get together to celebrate a wedding, they ought to be able to. No regulations, no restrictions.”
Sam Brennan was a throwback to another time, when the rule of law held no sway and a man had to come up with his own personal moral code to guide his actions.
The thrill that ran across her nerves the moment she met him, the jumpy, unsettled twitchiness she battled every time their stares clashed, was because she recognized the essential danger of Sam Brennan.
He had the heart of an outlaw.
“I don’t make the regulations,” Andie said, her voice sharper than she wished. “I just enforce them.”
She was used to the way most people kept her at arms’ length— the khaki sheriff’s uniform tended to make civilians nervous, even the ones who’d never commit a crime. Andie accepted that distance, even though it was lonely at times, and she had real hopes of one day being accepted by this crazy little town as one of its own.
But when Sam’s mouth flattened into a tight line, nearly hidden by the beard, Andie caught her breath at the intensity of his expression.
I’m more than the badge, she thought with an ache, but even the idea of saying it aloud flipped her stomach and singed the tips of her ears with embarrassed heat. Would such a sentiment ever even have occurred to her father, or his father, or any of the long line of law- enforcement officers she’d sprung from? No way.
Pulling herself together, Andie kept her voice calm and firm. “In this case, what I’m enforcing is the law about not driving while intoxicated. Some of these folks are going to need a ride home, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Sanctuary Island is a little too small to support a cab company.”
Sam’s brows winged up, as if she’d surprised him again. Blowing out a breath and shaking his head, he plastered on what looked like a very determined smile. “Believe it or not, I didn’t come over here to pick a fight with you.”
No, you came over here to tell me I look like hell, Andie’s wounded vanity grumbled, but out loud, all she said was, “What can I do for you, Mr. Brennan?”
Sheriff Andie Shepard may be new to Sanctuary Island but, like everyone else who comes here, she’s already fallen under its healing spell. Andie is determined to leave her mistakes behind her and make this scenic haven her home. But she just might have to change her plans—as well as open her heart—when an unexpected visitor shows up on her doorstep…
Caitlin is the ten-year-old niece Andie never knew she had. Silent, wary, and shy as can be, Caitlin only responds to the horses that run wild across the island. Andie has no idea how to deal with Caitlin—until Sam Brennan enters the picture. A tall, handsome loner who rehabilitates abused horses, Sam is able to help Caitlin break out of her shell. But that’s not all: He finds a way to touch something deep in Andie’s heart, opening her up to the healing power of love. Together, these three lost souls must face the darkness in their past to build a brighter future. Because here, on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible…