HOME TO STAY
(Anchor Island #3)
by Terri Osburn
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.**