Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: Barefoot in the Rain

Barefoot in the Rain (Barefoot Bay #2)

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?


Another crazy and emotional addition to the Barefoot bay series, Barefoot in the Rain, shows us the healing power of love and forgiveness. Roxanne St. Claire’s second installment in this new series is exciting and full of turmoil for both Will and Jocelyn.  Our story picks up almost a year after the ending of the first story. 
Jocelyn is running from a bit of a scandal and runs to the only safe haven she knows, her college friends, who unfortunately are living in the one place she never wanted to have to return to.  Faced with no other option, she heads to Casa Blanca, settling into one of the private villas until the smoke can blow over.  What she doesn't expect to find is the only man she’s ever loved and the one she’s scarified her happiness for since the fateful night 10 years before that left both their lives irrevocably changed.
Will is surprised to see Jocelyn hiding in the villa, almost as surprised as he was to find out that she has changed so much. Becoming an adulterer is not something he’d ever imagined her capable of.  Is her returning now a sign that it’s time for him to come clean with her? 
When Will enlightens Joss about her father’s situation, she is determined to fulfill her obligations to the evil father she hoped never to have to see again.  Determined to ease the burden for Will, Joss decides it’s time for her father to go into a home, despite Will’s persistent denial of the necessity.   Working together, reluctantly, the two of them begin to find some of the closeness and connection they once shared and soon the feelings that never really died for either of them come to the fore. 
As passion leads them down a long awaited road, becoming lovers only seems to complicate things for both of them.  Jocelyn is dealing with the hard truths of her past while trying to find some semblance of happiness for her future.  A future she can’t imagine having with Will, no matter how much she still loves him.   When a secret revealed pushes them further apart and deeper into the unacceptable truth of their past, Will and Joss have to decide just how much pain can be forgiven and forgotten to allow them to move on.
This was a very intensely emotional story, even more so than usual for Roxanne.  Jocelyn is dealing with the very profound issues of abuse, fear, and betrayal that have shaped her life.  Will is trying to come to terms with his protective instincts and his love for Jocelyn, as well as the fact that sometimes changes are needed whether we realize it or not to find our happiness. Both Will and Jocelyn have obviously never stopped loving each other and the youthful passion they felt as kids has grown into something real and lasting. 
I loved reading this story.  It was rich and full of the real life issues that so many deal with instead of just skimming them.  The romance was both sweet and sensual, while allowing the H/H to come together without their past fears drowning them.  Working through their issues together they are able to build something we know will last forever and will keep them from floundering when those fears rise.  I loved the little glimpses of Lacey and Clay and the new lives they were building, as well as the future plots for Zoe and Tessa.  I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series.  If you haven’t started this series yet, I suggest you get started before all the books are snapped up.  A Great read, no matter the season or setting, bringing you to the warm beaches of the gulf coast in a hot summer oasis where love can happen at any time if you just let it in.

Rating:    3.75 star

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