Barefoot in the Rain
(Barefoot Bay #2)
by Roxanne St. Claire
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Forever
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?
Jocelyn Bloom has a thriving business in L. A. as a life coach to the elite of Hollywood. She's now embroiled in a scandal involving the famous husband of one of her clients and she's come home to Barefoot Bay to take cover. Her friends rally around her, including Will Palmer, who once was her lifeline during her miserable childhood. Jocelyn has been estranged from her father since she left Barefoot Bay for college and is stunned when she discovers Will has been seeing to his care because of his senility.
Will and Jocelyn have an extremely complicated past, which unfolds gradually throughout the story. It's pretty clear that Jocelyn's father, Guy, was abusive to her and was the catalyst to her leaving Barefoot Bay. What's not so easy for Jocelyn is Will's new relationship with Guy. It's also tough for Will to accept that Jocelyn may have had an affair with her client's husband. The two of them grapple with their memories of who they were from the past and who they want to be with each other now. Their romance is passionate and troubled but so realistic. It was interesting to see both try to rebuild their fractured trust while continuing to harbor secrets from each other.
Jocelyn's relationship with her girlfriends is also a crucial aspect of the story. I really like how their friendship is portrayed and how they support each other, even when it just means giving Jocelyn space. It's one of the strengths of this series and it plays out nicely in this story, especially when it's clear that one of the other friends, Zoe Tamarin, is also hiding something. It was perfectly set up for the next book and I'm dying to read it.
The conflict in this story involving Jocelyn and Guy was a pretty tough one and the ending was a little puzzling. However, it more than compensated with the romance between Jocelyn and Will and the heartwarming relationships between the girlfriends. I'm still loving this series and am looking forward to Zoe's story.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley)