PJV QUICKIE: Barefoot in the Sand is a cute summer read – an older woman/younger man steam up the pages in this story of family, friends, and new beginnings.

Title: Barefoot in the Sand
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Series:  Barefoot Bay
ISBN: 1455508217
Publication: April 24, 2012 by Forever
Source:  Publisher
Links: Author Web >> Author Twitter >> Purchase Book >>Goodreads
[xrr rating=3/5 imageset=red_star]

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Review

Lacey Armstrong stared down death and lived to tell about it.  After deciding to ‘ride out’ a hurricane in her home in the Keys, she and her teenage daughter emerge from the protection of their bathtub to…nothing.  The house is destroyed; all their possessions gone, leaving only memories, the bathtub, and a stuffed unicorn.

Lacey has always wanted to run a hotel; she’d actually been considering turning her home into a B&B but never got around to pursuing the dream.  Now that she’s rebuilding from the ground up, maybe it’s time to make her dream a reality.  She calls an architectural firm for a consult, but ends up meeting with the wrong guy.  The wrong guy who has a great vision for her business, and is pretty darn cute… and young.  Then, as if she didn’t have enough going on, the father of her 14-year-old daughter shows up unannounced and wants to be involved in their lives.

Clay Walker is desperate for Lacey to hire him.  He had been working for his father, but things went very, very wrong and he’s on his own now.  He wants to build a name for himself, but there are a few things that need to happen before he can do that.  Lacey’s project is exactly what he needs to begin building his future.  He won’t let his attraction to Lacey stop him from achieving his goals – he’s been burned by love (or lust) before.

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As I said above in the PJV Quickie, Barefoot in the Sand is a cute read.  I’m going to tell you what I liked, and then what drove me up a wall…

I liked the chemistry between Lacey and Clay; they were a good fit – he’d been hurt before and needed someone who wasn’t going to screw him over, and Lacey hadn’t dated in so long she needed a nice guy to get her back on the dating horse 🙂  When they got together for work and for ‘play’, they were on fire.

I liked Lacey’s girlfriends.  They were a nice, supportive group.  It was weird though that they all had deep dark secrets the others didn’t know about.  (I am assuming these secrets are the basis for each of the books in the series.)

The locals were a nice foil for the B&B drama – the zoning wars, the town hall meetings, the extended family that pretty much runs the show… it was an interesting peek into the ‘old vs new’ that happens every day in small towns all over the country.

Here’s what drove me nuts  – Lacey is a pushover.  An example: She’s baking, and her ex (who has just waltzed into her life after 14 years) says he used to love her apple tarts.  She’s in the mood to bake and says “how about meringue cookies for dessert?”  He goes shopping with their daughter and comes back from the store with a tart pan and apples, and she ends up making the damn tart. (emphasis mine)

Now, I’m normally a huge fan of a love triangle, but her ex was a jerk all the way around and for me, completely unbelievable as a love interest.  I didn’t like how he manipulated the daughter either; getting her hopes up for a reconciliation between her parents.

As a whole though, the book was fun and I had a good time reading it.  I’d like to keep up with what happens with each of the girlfriends as the series moves along.

Recommendations:

Anyone looking for a sweet and sexy beach read – be aware there are some sexy bits between these covers that will have you reaching for your iced tea to cool off!

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Happiness Key by Emelie Richards (Happiness Key series)

Driftwood Cottage by Sherryl Woods (Chesapeake Shores series)