In a sudden burst of uncharacteristic courage, Lacey decides that she wants to build a new resort on her end of the island and contacts an architect. Who she expects? An old fuddy-duddy with terrific experience. Who she gets? His son, Clay, with experience, but a few skeletons in the closet.
Clay becomes her architect—with major benefits. The romance between the two seemed to happen a little fast. I kept flashing to real life, even though I know that romance books are not real life (oh, that they could be!). Maybe this was the peril of this being a contemporary. I just did not buy that someone as responsible as Lacey would jump on Clay so quickly. He also has serious issues with his father and that relationship provides a serious tone to what is otherwise a frothy summer book.
As the battle for zoning for the resort heats up, so does the relationship between Clay and Lacey. All seems to be going well—and BAM! Ashley’s father, who tried to convince Lacey to abort and has never been a huge part of her life, comes back to Barefoot Bay wanting Lacey back. He saw some touching mother-child tableau in Patagonia (or one of his other travels—I cannot remember which). The fact that he stuck around for most of the book provided nice plot movement, but I could not get past the awkwardness of him being there.
Not to say that I hated the book. I thought there were some things done very well in this novel. One of the best parts was the honesty of the main couple towards each other. Even when there are issues with family and the inevitable misunderstanding happens, the two main characters endeavor to tell the truth. It does not always come out, of course, but there is not outright deception. I enjoyed watching Clay and Lacey attempt to tell the truth to each other throughout the novel.
I also liked the theme of Lacey learning to stand up for herself. She learned how to stand up to the town council, her former lover, and her mother. She ditched her excuses as to why her life could not be better and went to get the life she wanted.
The supporting cast of friends is clearly set up for future books, and they reminded me of other series books. One of Lacey’s friends is the free spirit, one the earthy type, and one the uptight career woman. I would hope that each subsequent book would build on the successes of this one.
There were enough plot twists and even though they were mostly predictable, they were enough to keep me interested. Barefoot in the Sand would be a good book to read during the summer—with your toes buried in the warm beach, an umbrella over your head, and a straw in your drink.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Regina