Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blog Tour - HOME TO STAY by Terri Osburn

(Anchor Island #3) 
by Terri Osburn
Contemporary Romance
Release: May 1, 2014

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Willow Parsons’s two new best friends are getting married, putting her squarely on the sidelines of romance—which suits her just fine. After escaping the ultimate Mr. Wrong, she is more than happy to spend her days slinging drinks in Dempsey’s Bar & Grill, and her nights alone. But her Anchor Island refuge has just one catch: muscle-bound charmer Randy Navarro.
Everyone in town knows that Randy, owner of the local fitness club, is a giant teddy bear. Everyone, it seems, except for Willow. He’s convinced that her avoidance is more than just playing hard to get, and is determined to uncover the secrets that keep her on edge. But when old fears are dragged into the light, can Randy get Willow to stay and fight for their love…or will she take flight, leaving both him and Anchor Island behind?
Home to Stay is a charming, romantic tale about following your heart to find where you belong.

(Anchor Island #3)
by Terri Osburn
ARC Review
Release: May 1, 2014

My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️

Working in Dempsey's Bar & Grill is not exactly what Willow Parsons went to school for, but it's what she has enjoyed doing for the last year since she landed on Anchor Island. Not eager to share the fact she has chosen the small community to hide out in, she has nonetheless been able to make some really good friends here. Only one person unsettles her, partly because his massive size reminds her of someone she never wants to see again, and partly because of the conflictling feelings he brings out in her.

Gentle giant, that is how everyone sees Randy Navarro, adventurer and owner of the local gym, but he can't seem to catch a break with Willow. Awkward, since Will and his sister Sid are the best of friends, and they all hang out together on a regular basis. When he notices there isn't simply dislike, but real fear in her eyes, he is determined to make her feel as safe as possible. The preparations for the wedding of their friends offers opportunities to slowly win her trust. 

Recognizing Randy for the kind man he is, Willow finally is letting down her guard with him, and soon finds herself drawn into a romantic entanglement she did not want to have. But when her worst fears came true, instead of turning to the ones she had come to love, she reacted as she always had.......she ran.


Warm and Lush!!

This is not my first book in the Anchor Island series by Terri Osburn, a series that centres around a small island on the outer banks, and each have left me feeling utterly satisfied.

The characters from previous books reappear as supporting cast in HOME TO STAY, but the book is a story by itself, a solid standalone. There is no ongoing backstory that snakes through the series you have to be afraid of missing out on if you don't read the books in sequence or even miss one here or there. A colourful collection of friends are at the core of each story, in their late twenties to mid thirties, each finding their own, sometimes unexpected, happy ever afters.

This time it is Randy's turn, a quiet and unassuming giant of a man who is protective of his friends and sister, loves challenging himself by seeking adventure and puts a high value on living healthy. A good man, who is bothered by the fact that the woman he has more than a passing interest in seems to be afraid of him, when he poses absolutely no threat to her at all. 

The object of his focus, Willow, has come to the island a year ago, eager to escape into anonymity, for fear of being recognized and found, with good reason. She has kept to herself for the most part, but still has managed to make a few friends without having to share too much background information. She is simply seen as someone very private. Randy brings out feelings in her that slowly start making her feel safe enough to open up.

Well-written and dripping with atmosphere, Terri Osburn creates a close-knit community where people still look out for each other. Where the entire town is invested in the happiness of one of its members. And where, once you have been adopted, you always have a home. As Willow finds out.

✨A captivating, spicy and heart-warming home-coming.✨

**Copy provided in return for an honest review.**

In the year plus that Will Parsons had been on Anchor Island, she’d avoided the giant of a man as much as possible. Which had gotten tougher to do in recent months since she’d become good friends with Randy’s sister, Sid. Upon arriving on the island, her initial reaction to the man large enough to deserve his own zip code had been fear.
Fear of history repeating itself.
But over the last six months or so, she’d been around Randy often enough to realize his sister’s description of him as a gentle giant might be accurate. At times, she even liked the friendly man with a quick smile and whiskey-brown eyes. Which was all the more reason to maintain the charade that he still frightened her.
Will’s current predicament made romantic entanglements a luxury she couldn’t afford. Getting romantic meant getting intimate, which led to sharing one’s secrets.
Will’s secret was too dangerous to share.
“Can we talk?” Randy said when he reached the bar.
Until that moment, he’d never attempted direct conversation, and they’d never been alone without Sid or other mutual friends between them. Will wasn’t sure how she felt about this new behavior but believed it best not to encourage it.
“Can’t. I’m busy.” Will dropped clean glasses into hot water and glanced up to see Randy giving the restaurant a once-over.
“Right,” he drawled, his deep voice laced with a hint of his Latin heritage. “It’s important to have lots of clean glasses for seven customers.”
The sarcasm was new.
“There are nine, actually. Two are in the poolroom.” Will gave her best smart-ass smile as more clean glasses hit the suds.
“Will,” Randy said, impatience in his voice. “I know you don’t like me, but—”
“Who said I don’t like you?” Not that she did like him. At least not like him like him.
Great. Now she was thinking like a fourteen-year-old.
He settled his weight onto a bar stool, which creaked in protest. “No one had to tell me. I’m observant like that.”

She slung the rag over her left shoulder, shooting for unaffected. “What do we need to talk about?”
“Something that was announced at the Merchants Society meeting tonight.” Randy leaned back, draping an arm over the back of the stool beside him. What did a guy have to lift to get biceps like that, Will wondered. A tugboat maybe? “You have any green tea back there?” he asked.
Will retrieved a bottle from the small fridge under the bar, removed the cap, and tossed it into the can six feet away. “You don’t seem like the green tea type.”
“You’d have to talk to someone to know what type they are.”
Score one for the big guy. “So what happened at the meeting?”
After taking a drink, he said, “Thanks to Sam Edwards, Prime Destinations magazine is doing a feature article on Anchor Island.”
“That’s a national publication,” Will said, her spine straightening. “They’re coming here?”
“Yes, ma’am. A reporter named Rebecca King arrives early next week with a photographer.”
“A photographer?” Will’s voice climbed an octave higher. She cleared her throat. “So they’re going to take pictures?”
Randy narrowed his eyes. “Wouldn’t be much of a spread if they didn’t include pictures.”
So they’d want sand and water and boats. Not people. “Sounds like a good thing for the island. Here’s hoping it brings the tourists.” Switching glasses from the soapy water into the rinse sink, she asked, “But why do I need to know this?”
“Because they want to feature Dempsey’s. With Tom and Patty still in Florida, that leaves you for the interview.”
Will stared with what she could only guess was a look of horror. There was no question that she couldn’t do this. Her life literally depended upon not having her picture in a national magazine.
“That’s not going to work,” she said, returning to the glasses.
Randy hesitated with the bottle of tea halfway to his lips. “Excuse me?”
“It’s not a good idea, that’s all.” It was the worst idea. “They’re welcome to feature Dempsey’s, but I won’t be giving an interview.”
“I already talked to Joe about it. He says it’s a go.”
The other Dempsey offspring, Joe, ran a charter fishing boat business and helped at the restaurant from time to time.
“Then he can do the interview. Problem solved.”
Randy crossed his arms, an incredible feat considering the size of his chest. “I realize this island doesn’t mean as much to you as it does to the rest of us.”
That statement halted the glass washing. “Who said I don’t care about this island?”

Ignoring her question, Randy continued. “We have businesses here. Our families are here.” That one hit like a blow. No, Will didn’t have family on Anchor. Or anywhere else. “If we don’t get tourism back up, there are people on this island who will lose everything. That might not mean much to you—you can serve drinks anywhere you want—but it means something to us. It means something to your bosses, and the least you can do is answer some questions for a reporter.”
Anger flared in Will’s blood. This man didn’t know her. Didn’t know what he was asking. She cared about this island and the people on it. More than she could afford to, in fact.
“Are you done?” she asked, employing extreme patience to keep her voice steady.
By the look of him, puffed up like some bullfrog calling his mate, he was just getting started.
“I may not own a business on this island,” Will said, leaning forward. “And no, I don’t have family here. But I do have friends, and I do care about this island. Not that I have to explain any of that to you.” She pulled the rag from her shoulder and dried her hands. “Feel free to take your tea and go.”
Randy remained silent. It wasn’t in Will’s nature to be outright rude to people, but she was not going to be chewed up one side and down the other by this pissy giant who didn’t know a damn thing about her.
And to think, she’d begun to like him.
He broke his silence with a statement she should have seen coming. “Whatever big guy screwed you over in the past must have been a real asshole.”
The statement was more accurate than he’d ever know.

“My past is none of your business,” she said through gritted teeth. “And it’s the asshole in my present that’s giving me a headache tonight.”

Although born in the Ohio Valley, Terri Osburn found her true home between the covers of her favorite books. Classics like The Wizard of Oz and Little Women filled her childhood, and the genre of romance beckoned during her teen years. While Osburn went on to gain a degree in business administration, she couldn’t shelve her love of love stories. In 2007, she decided to put pen to paper and write her own. Just five years later, she was named a 2012 finalist for theRomance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Award. The author of the Anchor Island contemporary romance series, Osburn resides in Virginia with her daughter, an assortment of pets, and her bookshelves full of keepers. To learn more about this author and her work, visit her website at www.terriosburn.com.


Previous In ANCHOR ISLAND Series

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