Title: Sanctuary of Mine
Author: S. Pratt
Release Day: July 13, 2013
THIS IS A NEW ADULT NOVEL. RECOMMENDED FOR 17+ YEARS DUE TO SEXUAL CONTENT AND SOCIAL SITUATIONS
When you see someone who looks like they need saving, you save them right?
Mackenzie Deeks is struggling. Outwardly she plays the tough guy and acts like being a young adult with an eating disorder is no big deal. Inside, she's crumbling.
Ever since her parents’ divorce, the only way she has been able to feel in control of her life is by purging the despair that has its grips on her and won't let go.
Tyler Redding knows when someone needs help - he's seen it before. This time, though, he's not going to take no for an answer. From the moment he first sets his sights on Mackenzie, he's unable to think of anyone else. But how can he focus on a football career when all he wants to do is date the most unassuming person he's ever met?
As their lives become intricately entwined, it becomes more than wishful thinking when Mackenzie and Tyler find each other again as adults. With successful careers, a beachside lifestyle and each other’s love to contend with, life should be pretty damn good. But just when they think they’ve found their wonderful kind of normal, their perfect world comes crashing down.
It’s going to take a lot to keep Mackenzie from succumbing to old habits, but Tyler thinks he might just be the one to save her for good.
‘You can’t go on living like this. This is the old you. The you before you promised me that you’d never do this to yourself again. I love you so much and can’t watch you do this to yourself.’
‘Well then leave!’ Her stale breath hits me. The feral tone that spews from her mouth smacks me straight across the face. Her words sting like a bitch, but I’m trying not to take it personally.
‘You don’t mean that. You love me too, I know you do.’
‘Do I?’ Petulant eyes stare me down. I swallow hard. Why is she being so damn difficult?
‘Well if you don’t love me, damn well pretend Mackenzie! Because each and every second I’m not with you is like torture for me and I can’t accept that you don’t love me enough to want to let me help you get through this.’ Her expression softens just a little, but it’s enough to let me know I’m making headway. Levi is still standing in the bathroom doorway, the quiet spectator while all our back and forth is going on.
In my sternest voice possible, I issue her an order.
‘I’m going downstairs. I’m going to put the kettle on and make coffee for all of us. I’m going to make you a sandwich, which you’re damn well going to eat. Then we’re going to talk about anything you want to talk about, but whether you like it or not, we are going to talk. We’re going to talk until it doesn’t hurt anymore. I’m here for you and I’m not going anywhere. Levi is going to help you get cleaned up and you’re not going to give him a hard time about it. I know you’re hurting, Mack, but we are too. Your pain is our pain.’
I kiss the tip of her perfect little nose before rising to leave. Levi’s eyes lock with mine, respect silently offered as I make my way out.
‘Tyler!’ I swivel around, Mackenzie’s desperate plea grounding me to the spot.
‘I do love you, you know.’ Tears trickle down her cheeks, falling into the bath water as though they are the most inconsequential thing in the world. They aren’t, though. They’re everything. It means she isn’t far enough gone not to feel anything.
‘I know you do, baby, I know you do.
***3.5 heartfelt stars***
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall …
Mackenzie Deeks is suffering.
She is suffering from not only her parents divorce and her move to a new school, but she is also suffering from an eating disorder that resulted from these two things and also so very hateful, vile words that her mother has said about her.
She is a loner.
She is lost.
She is hollow.
It’s like with one simple purge I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. That feeling is kind of euphoric, which makes doing it kind of addictive.
Enter Tyler Redding.
High school heartthrob and football superstar.
He looks past the "plain Jane" that everyone sees and sees Mackenzie. He sees that she is struggling and in pain and he doesn't turn his back and walk away- no Tyler decides that he wants nothing more than to save Mackenzie.
‘You kind of look like you need saving.’‘I’m fine,’ I whisper.‘Good, well I’ll see you around Mack.'‘Mack?’ I call after him.‘Like a Mack truck. You floor me like a Mack truck.’
Tyler can see the issues that Mackenzie is dealing with since he lost someone who he loved very much due to anorexia/ bulimia. He works his way effortlessly into Mackenzie's life and for a while she is living, she is happy, and she is whole.
‘I, ah … I don’t really like people noticing me.’‘Well I notice you, and I’m not about to stop either, so get used to it.’
When Mackenzie learns that Tyler knew of her eating disorder and didn't tell her, her heart is broken and she believes that the only reason that he has been spending any time with her is because he is trying to fix her to feel better about himself. She doesn't except the fact that he cares for her because of the person that she is, not just to help her.
Mackenzie refuses to speak to Tyler and finds out too late that his father received a new job which means Tyler is moving away from Mackenzie and away from the relationship that they had started to establish.
Tyler and Mackenzie start writing letters to each other that were so sweet and absolutely adorable that I found myself smiling as I read them, much like I pictured each of them doing as well. The best part of these letters? They are proof to Mackenzie that Tyler cares and loves her for the person that she is and you know what? She starts healing not only her heart but her body as well.
'I hope you save a space for me in your heart. I want you to heal so that you can lead a full and happy life … who knows, maybe we’ll cross paths in the future.'
When Mackenzie and Tyler see each other again their feelings for one another haven't changed, in fact they have blossomed into so much more than they were before. But sometimes old habits die hard and sometimes they come back with a fierceness that no one is ready for.
'You can’t go on living like this. This is the old you. The you before you promised me that you’d never do this to yourself again. I love you so much and can’t watch you do this to yourself.’
When Mackenzie pushes Tyler away after a painful tragedy strikes will he be able to save her once again or will the pain and loss that has made her crumble prove to be no match for the love that he has been fighting for?
‘So where is your sanctuary then?’ She takes her hand and places it on the middle of my chest.‘It’s right here in your heart.’ And then she seals the deal with a kiss that makes me never want to let her go.
***I was given an ARC copy for an honest review.***
Shelly is a multi-genre author who lives on the east coast of Australia in northern New South Wales with her husband and two children.
Shelly's breakout novel, Ruined and companion novella, Ruining Angel are contemporary romance fiction books available on kindle and print from the Amazon store. Sanctuary of Mine is a New Adult Romance and available in print and kindle on Amazon. (Graphic Design by Cover It Designs).
Beloved Soul by Shelly Pratt is available through Amazon and is published through Eternal Press. Please note that Beloved Soul's cover artwork, editing and publication is all done through Eternal Press.
Editing acknowledgements go to those who are listed on each individual book title.
Earlier novels written by Shelly will now all be published under Stevie Harlow. Slight title modifications have been made, but ALL of this information will be made clearly visible to readers so there will be no confusion to those who have previously purchased these books. You can find all of the Stevie Harlow Novels on this website in the menu above. Just hover and click!