Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Claire

They say you can never go home again . . .

When "Life Coach to the Stars" Jocelyn Bloom is embroiled in scandal, the only place she can hide is the one place she wishes she could forget. She left Barefoot Bay-and the boy next door who knew all her secrets-years ago. Now nothing about the tiny island off the coast of Florida is quite how she remembers it, especially Will Palmer. He's even more gorgeous and tempting . . . and still capable of turning her world inside out.

But what if someone is waiting for you?

To Will Palmer, Guy Bloom is more than the elderly, senile neighbor he looks after-he's the last connection to Jocelyn, the woman Will loved and lost. But the reunion with Jocelyn doesn't go smoothly. Shocked by the change in her father's personality, Jocelyn struggles to reconcile her dark childhood with the sweet, confused man who has grown close to Will. Jocelyn has guided countless clients to happiness-but can she escape the rainy days of her past for a new sunny future with Will?

This is the first Barefoot Bay series book that I've read, and I have to admit I'm pleasantly surprised.  I was expecting (especially from the front cover!) to find the same old smooshy romance we all know and love.  The romance that is predictable and we read it because it is.  Instead, I found a cast of characters that endeared themselves to me immediately.  Even though I don't know the back story for the other characters, I found myself intrigued by them and wanting to know.

 There's just enough information on them that you have a bit of an idea what they've gone through and you care about them, but not enough that it's constantly slapping you in the face if you haven't read any of the other books.  As a standalone, this is an excellent choice.  Of course, I have already place the other books on my 'to read' list because I was so riveted by this one.  It never hurts to go back and get a little back story.

The character of Guy definitely pulls the story together.  We have an abusive man who's been beaten down by Alzheimer's....or has he?  Even though he doesn't portray the typical symptoms of the disease, everyone is pretty sure he can't remember his past or the man he used to be.  He can't even remember his own daughter or wife.  Though the story between Will and Jocelyn is believable, tragic, and yet sweet, Guy is where my focus stayed most of the time.  What a monkey wrench in everyone's plans!  I found myself pouring through page after page in a desperate attempt to get to Guy's inner workings and find out if he was indeed a good man or a bad man and where it would leave everyone else.  

This is a great, quick read that will pull you in immediately and hold you tightly.  Whether you're in it for the romance or the intrigue, you'll find what you're after. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Shawn

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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