When friends Leo, Zane and Cooper travel to Sanctuary Island for the wedding of fellow billionaire Miles Harrington, they’re certain their friend is making the biggest mistake of his life. Having vowed to remain perpetual bachelors, they’re certain they can bring Miles to his senses before he throws away his freedom forever. But Miles makes them a bet: if they come to Sanctuary Island to spend some time and help out with the wedding, they’ll change their tune about love before he says “I do.” Because Miles knows, better than anyone, that all it takes is a little Sanctuary Island magic to turn the biggest romantic cynic into a true believer. Now three billionaire bachelors are about to discover that sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned in order to embrace the life of your dreams…
In Fireside Inn, the Honorable Lord Leo Strathairn inherited his family’s money, his title, and his position in London society. When he meets Sanctuary Island’s funky young librarian, Serena Lightfoot, he’s determined to get a lot closer. Despite the simmering attraction between them, Serena isn’t at all interested in putting up with a pampered playboy. But as Leo ramps up his seduction attempts, Serena sees that he’s nothing like the empty-headed aristocrat she’d assumed.
This is an off-shoot of Everett’s series set on Sanctuary Island (involving Miles and his brothers) but I’ve not read any of the others and I really don’t think it is necessary. I’m intrigued though because her writing style is very smooth and her characters are quite addictive. But I will say that the blurb really doesn’t do the book justice. Miles does assign each of his friends a wedding related task and there is a bet but Leo’s tale is a little more involved than it is made out to be. He’s been assigned to pick a reading and he enlists the help of local librarian, Serena. For years he’s hidden the fact that he can’t read and she’s his best hope to find something perfect. Serena has been long pursued for her brain and not her body so when Leo does nothing to mask his desire for her Serena decides to go for it. But of course, Leo can’t keep his secret forever and things get sticky very quickly.
I loved these two. They each have their own hangups, but Everett does an amazing job of making her characters full-bodied in just a handful of pages. Leo is deliciously handsome and charming, but also fabulously troubled due to his reading disorder. He works hard to hide all of his insecurities behind his sexy mask but spending time with Serena and her deep love of literature definitely puts him on edge. He does his best but you know that it’s going to slip. Serena is also an amazingly fun character. Her passion for her library and everything it represents jumps off the page and makes you remember why you love reading so much. But she’s had a long history of heartache from men and as tempting as Leo is she doesn’t quite trust his desire for her (and her doubts are completely understandable once you get a feel for her past). I loved that these two have something that can help the other but they each have to get past their own issues to see it. The ending perfectly brought it all together.
My only complaint is that I would have loved to have seen more interactions between the two but there just weren’t enough pages. We are given a wonderfully sweet introduction and an equally sweet resolution so they get the happy ending they deserve but there are a couple of weeks that are just glossed over. We know that they spend that time together but I’d have liked to have been there for more of it to see them get to know each other better.
The Fireside Inn is so beautifully compelling that I am very much looking forward to seeing the other two bachelors. We don’t get a lot of their stories here, which is fine because I wanted to see as much of Leo and Serena as I could. I’m super excited to continue this wonderful series – coming soon look for a review of the next book Bonfire Beach, releasing next week.