Romancing the Readers would like to thank author Lily Everett for stopping by and answering a few questions about her latest book, Shoreline Drive.
How did Sanctuary Island come about?
1.) Sanctuary Island is a product of my imagination, memories of my childhood in a small Virginia town, and trips I've taken to several real-life east coast islands with wild horses, from Chincoteague to Cumberland Island. I wanted it to feel warm, friendly, cosy, and nurturing, so that the people who live and visit there could find healing and romance!
Did you ever worry that Ben being so rough around the edges would put people off him as a hero?
2.) I actually didn't worry too much about people liking Ben, partly because as a reader I adore a gruff, prickly hero who only shows his soft side to a few people (including the heroine!) and partly because I've found that romance readers generally forgive heroes a lot of bad behavior. We're much less forgiving of heroines, for some reason. I hope Ben won you over in the end!
With having Merry & Ben story not being a new plot how do you feel you handled the story line differently?
3.) There aren't that many "new" plots out there. To me, the main point is to take a familiar romance trope like the marriage of convenience plot, and twist it enough to make it fresh while keeping the underlying dynamic that makes readers love that kind of story. In this case, I modernized a storyline that's more often seen in historical romance, and I changed it so that while the heroine believes it's just a marriage of convenience, the hero knows he's in love almost from the beginning. But since he doesn't believe Merry could ever love him back, he's willing to take whatever he can get, along with the ability to protect and care for her and her infant son. To me, there's nothing more romantic than devotion that asks for nothing in return.
You left Ben and his parents story somewhat hanging, did you do that on propose or do you feel all questions were answered?
4.) The rift between Ben and his parents was too wide to completely bridge in this book. It was important to me that Ben choose Merry and stick by her, even against his parents' wishes. I'd like to think that over time, Merry will help Ben work towards a reconciliation with his mother and father.
I can't tell you how honored I was was when asked to read, review and come up with come Q&A for Shoreline Drive. At first I was like Yeah! then I thought, oh gosh, what am I going to ask? For me, who always has something to say, I have to admit my mind went blank. I'm only happy that I loved the book so that made it easier. I figured I would ask her what I'd like to know as a reader. She answered my questions perfectly. Again I want to thank her. Shoreline Drive is the second book in the Sanctuary Island series. I have to be honest, I haven't read the first book in the series, and only read one of the novellas that tie into this series, but I can honestly say it won't be my last. I very much enjoyed both Ben and Merry. As you can tell from my questions I found Ben to be somewhat gruff. That said, I loved him! I liked his attitude. He is what he is with very little regret. Not to worry, Merry handles him perfectly. So much happens within the story but you never feel overwhelmed. In fact, at the end of the book you'll find yourself thinking, "that's it!" I'm big on reading books in order so I'll tell you at times I found myself a little lost and wished I had read the first book in the series. The good thing is that you will catch up in no time. This is the perfect book to relax and enjoy and take all our minds off this cold weather. Happy reading!
I was given a ARC of this book for a honest review