Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Paperbacks
Welcome to a place where love is in the air, fate is in the stars, and home is just a heartbeat away…
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…
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.
Connect with Lily
Six months later . . .
Sam Brennan pressed a soothing hand to the door of the mare’s travel stall and wished he were on the top deck to catch the first glimpse of Sanctuary Island on the horizon. It had been too long since he saw the place.
Hurry the hell up, he silently coaxed the ferry. The rusty old clunker used to go faster than this.
After a terrible storm the year before incapacitated the ferry that used to shuttle between Sanctuary Island and Winter Harbor, Virginia, the town council had voted to retire the old girl and put a special mea sure on the ballot to fund a brand- new ferry. When his cousin happened to mention last week that the shiny new ferry sported a travel stall for large animals, the plan dropped fully formed into Sam’s head like a gift.
Sanctuary Island was the perfect hideout, for a ton of reasons. It didn’t hurt that the only members of his family that Sam still talked to lived there, and his cousin Penny had been kind enough—or crazy enough—to extend a blanket invitation to stay with her anytime. Even better, she’d wound up marrying the guy that owned the house where she was caretaker, so there was plenty of room for the new couple, Penny’s teenage son Matt, and a spare cousin who traveled as light as a single leather duffel and a well- worn, hand- tooled saddle.
But by far the biggest benefit to making his getaway to Sanctuary Island was that he was known to travel there once or twice a year, often bringing a horse with him. So this particular trip shouldn’t raise any eyebrows. Not even the sleek, dark chestnut brows of the prettiest lady sheriff imaginable . . .
Another muffled thud against the stall door reminded Sam to guard against distractions, no matter how perfectly curved and sweet smelling. The miserable, frightened mare in the stall was the main reason he’d steered his course to Sanctuary Island.
“Just a little longer,” he promised softly, heart squeezing like a fist. “And you’ll be settled nice and cozy in your new digs at Windy Corner Stables. All we have to do is wait for the cars to get off the ferry when we dock, then walk down the gangplank and straight into the trailer Jo Ellen is sending for us. Easy as pie.”
The mare’s distressed breathing was audible even through the metal of the ferry’s reinforced stall door, and Sam sighed.
Something told him his fantasy of making a quick, no-muss-no- fuss transfer from ferry to trailer wasn’t going to come true. Still, no matter what happened when he finally got this godforsaken animal off this boat, it was a damn sight better than the fate that awaited the poor horse back on the mainland. Sam could only close his eyes and pray that the dangerous risk he’d taken wouldn’t land his newly acquired horse— and himself—in even worse trouble. Silently vowing to keep his head down and make as few waves as possible, Sam ignored the banked fi res of want in his belly.
He’d avoid Sheriff Andie Shepard on this trip because he had to. No matter how much he wanted to touch her, kiss her, claim her . . . he couldn’t. Not yet.Some risks were too dangerous to take, even for a man like Sam Brennan.