Ask Me To Stay: A Homeland Book by Elise K. Ackers
When family tragedy brings bad boy Ethan Foster home, he doesn’t expect a warm welcome. In the small town of Hinterdown reputation is everything – and Ethan’s was ruined long ago. Nobody wants him around, particularly not Sam O’Hara, the girl he left behind.
There’s still a powerful spark between them, but Sam is afraid to risk her heart again. And Ethan is hiding a secret that will have repercussions for his whole family. Will the townspeople ever forgive him? More importantly, will those he loves the most find it in their hearts to take him back?
This tender tale of love and redemption is the first in a brilliant new series by Elise K. Ackers, author of Small Town Storm and the bestselling The Man Plan.
The long-awaited reunion occurred at the buffet table. Ethan drew alongside Sam as she was scraping pavlova into a plastic container. She would rather have been doing something a touch more glamorous or poignant, but she had to appreciate life’s sense of humour.
She prickled at the old nickname, the long-ago endearment that used to be whispered in her ear or cried against her throat. She looked up and smiled, and made sure the welcome extended to her eyes.
‘Hi, Ethan.’ She didn’t trust herself to say more. Just standing this close to him made her heart feel heavy. It was foolish to miss a man who had left so long ago and stupid to let his occasional returns unbalance her so much, but she’d never been able to control that.
‘You look good. Your hair’s got long.’
Sam continued to scrape, unsure how to respond. He didn’t look good and she wouldn’t pretend he did.
‘Cal tells me you work at the yard.’
He paused, slowed by her monosyllabic answer. ‘It’s good to see you.’
Her hand stilled. She looked up, measured her tone and removed the sting from the words before she said, ‘One day you’ll say that on a normal day. But it’s good to see you too.
How’ve you been spending your time?’
‘Poorly,’ was his unsatisfying answer. He reached for a near-empty serving tray of satay chicken and carried it into the kitchen behind her. It wasn’t worth salvaging and was scraped into the bin. He turned on the tap at the sink, preparing to wash the tray – then Dean walked in.
Dean was about four inches shy of Ethan’s extraordinary six foot seven, but he was equally solid. They shared their late mother’s brown hair and brown eyes. Ethan’s hair was longer and the curls less defined, but the pair were close in appearance otherwise.
Unmistakably brothers; and right now, undeniably at odds.
Q: Tell our readers why you think they’ll enjoy Ask Me To Stay: A Homeland Book
A: I think readers will enjoy being a part of the Foster family. This is a novella about redemption, reputation and second chances, both for the heart and the soul. It’s contemporary/rural fiction with romantic elements, about the fractured relationship between two brothers, about secrets and first loves. It’s a sweet, heart-felt read and the first in a three book series, so readers will get to stay with the characters just a little longer.
Q: You may have noticed we like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from Ask Me To Stay: A Homeland Book?
A: My favorite quote from Ask Me To Stay: A Homeland Book is:
It was dangerous: she was getting used to seeing him, and relying on Ethan for anything – even something as simple as sticking around – could only ever end in
bitter tears and sharp disappointment.
Have you ever known someone to contradict their bad boy/girl reputation?