Barefoot in the Sun (Barefoot Bay #3)
When running is all you've ever known . . .
Caught between fight and flight, Zoe Tamarin has always picked flight. Since she was rescued from a nightmare childhood by her great-aunt Pasha, they've been on the move, never staying in one place long enough to risk exposing their precarious past. But now that they've reached the sun-baked shores of Barefoot Bay, Zoe may have to stay and fight--for her aunt's life . . . and for a love she ran from years before.
Sometimes the bravest act of all is to stand still.
Oliver Bradbury came to Florida to start over, as both a doctor and a father to his eight-year-old son. He never expected life to hand him a second chance with the woman he lost years ago--but one look at Zoe Tamarin and he knows he'll do whatever it takes to prove that this time, he can be the man she needs. But when demands of family and friendship threaten to shatter their rekindled passion, Oliver must heal Zoe's lifelong wounds with more than hot kisses . . . but will that be enough to keep her from flying off with his heart?
The third installment in the Barefoot Bay series is a wonderfully sexy and intensely moving read, full of second chances and the return of lost love, not to mention a wonderful mystery buried deep in the secrets of the past. I have loved all of Roxanne St. Claire’s books since I picked up the first novel in her Bullet Catchers Series. This series is a great addition to the bookshelf of a great author, with heart, redemption, and true and abiding love. Barefoot in the Sun is no exception to the expectation. If you’re a fan of this author, you will not be disappointed.
Our story begins with a glimpse of the past, showing us the moment that Zoe and Oliver’s love story took its first downward turn. Her secrets come out and Oliver’s world is rocked by a discovery of his own, leaving the distance widening between them and ultimately Zoe cannot trust her heart enough to stay. Oliver’s heart is broken, but he’s determined to make the best of his life and moves on, never forgetting the only woman he’s ever really loved. When their paths unexpectedly cross almost a decade later, Zoe is terrified to have to face the man she’s always loved and her regrets about her sudden exit from his life. And when Zoe’s need for his help becomes too great to hold back, begging becomes her only option. Working together to save her Aunt, they quickly realize that the past isn't as far from their hearts as they both thought. Their passions and emotions are forced to the forefront and when things become even more complicated they have to battle to overcome the odds.
Zoe and Oliver’s passion is explosive from the second they are together again. She’s keeping secrets from all those she loves, but Oliver knows her biggest secret and seeing him again forces her to accept the past and overcome the fear that has shaped her life. Zoe is a very flawed person, but that’s what makes her a great character! We get to see her growth as Oliver helps her to move beyond her past and shows her the hope for a bright future; one that hopefully will include him in a major role. She’s still the fun loving, semi-flighty woman that he fell in love with, but as she grows he sees a deeper side to her and comes to love her even more. Oliver is the perfect mix of alpha and sweet. His sexiness knows no bounds! He is determined to make his second chance with Zoe into something they can build a life on together and if that means forcing her to confront some truths about herself and her Aunt, he’s willing to rock the boat enough to do it. His sensuality and Zoe’s volatility lead to some very interesting challenges between them, arguments leading to passionate embraces and love scenes that make the reader need a cool down before you can return to reading.
Though there is a great sadness to this story with Pasha’s illness and sordid past darkening everyone’s lives, Roxanne is able to keep those cloudy patches from overcoming the brightness of the love between Oliver and Zoe. It was great to get to see the interactions between Oliver and his son, as well as Pasha and the little guy. With Zoe’s help Oliver is able to become a better father and finally see that his son needs his attention and love just as much as he needs his financial stability and care. There were also some great glimpses into past and future characters, revisiting the couples from the previous two stories and seeing Tess’s character as she makes some interesting decisions in preparation for her book.
Barefoot in the Sun was a terrific read. Full of emotion and depth, Roxanne takes us on a journey through the human heart with her characters and their return to love. There were some cloudy days to block the sun for these lovers, but overcoming those obstacles together shows them that sacrificing for love is really no sacrifice at all. I cried a bit near the end of the story and I think you will too, but in the end everything works out for the best and you’ll be able to see that the love between Zoe and Oliver is stronger for the rollercoaster they've been on. I would be remiss in neglecting to mention again that the heat between Zoe and Oliver is so strong you might want to be sure to have an ice cold drink handy while you read, just in case. I personally can’t wait to find out how Tess’s life will be thrown for a loop in her book. If you’ve missed the first two in the series I recommend you spend a weekend in the sun reading all three of the fabulous Barefoot Bay Novels.