Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Claire

Title:  Barefoot in the Rain
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Barefoot Bay #2
Main Characters: Jocelyn and Will
Release Date: October 2012
ISBN: 9781455508273
Publisher:  Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
A Barefoot Bay Novel
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?

My Review:
If you've been following my book review blog/reviews for any length of time, you probably already know that I am a Roxanne St. Claire fan. I adore her books. I fell in love with her writing through her romantic suspense novels, but am finding that she does contemporary romance just as well. She brings so much emotion to a story...I love that!

This is the second of the Barefoot Bay stories and I was surprised by how much I loved Jocelyn. We met her in book #1 and although I was intrigued by her story/issues, I wasn't so sure I was going to like her as a character. BUT that was before I realized just what exactly her issues were. 

And this is where Roxanne's suspense writing skills shine through even though this isn't a suspense novel. The entire story in this book starts on a night 15 years ago between Joss and Will. On the verge of heading to college, they decided to go all the way, but Jocelyn's abusive father caught them and threatened everything Will had worked for. Throughout most the book, you don't really know what happened to Jocelyn that night after he sent her home although you get glimpses. That alone would have kept me reading this book. I couldn't put it down...I wanted to know exactly what happened. 

The most interesting twist to it all though was that now it's 15 years later. Jocelyn has made it a point to never go home and has never contacted Will. The irony, her father has dementia (which has created an entire personality change) and Will, as his next door neighbor, is basically his care-taker and best friend. Everything about this situation is heartbreaking. Will and Joss lost each other 15 years ago because of her father. But now he's this wonderfully nice broken man who likes to do needlepoint and has an obsession with hgtv. He doesn't remember Jocelyn is his daughter, but thinks Will is his son...seriously...HEART.BREAKING.

Neither Will nor Jocelyn has ever forgotten or gotten over what the other person meant to them. Will is one of those guys...just too nice and sweet. He doesn't understand Jocelyn's hatred of her father especially in view of who he is now. Will knew he was abusive to her mother (Will was Jocelyn's refuge when things got bad at home growing up) but he never knew what happened that night after she went home.

There are several great secondary story lines to this book too: Jocelyn's infamous "affair" with a hollywood movie star, Will's floundering baseball career, the resort that Lacey and Clay continue to build (seriously, I want to go stay at this resort when it's done!!!), and all four girls are back in Barefoot Bay.

Zoe's story is next and the angst coming through the snippets you get to see of that story line make my reader's heart happy. I can't wait!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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