When all you hold dear is taken away . . .
When a hurricane roars through Lacey Armstrong’s home on the coast of Barefoot Bay, she decides all that remains in the rubble is opportunity. A new hotel is just what Mimosa Key needs, and Lacey and her teenage daughter are due for a fresh start. And nothing, especially not a hot, younger architect, is going to distract Lacey from finally making her dreams a reality.
A second chance is the only thing you have left.
Love has already cost Clay Walker everything. And if he’s going to have any chance of picking up the pieces of his life, he needs the job as Lacey Armstrong’s architect. What’s not in the plans is falling for the headstrong beauty. Her vision of the future is more appealing than anything he could have ever drafted for himself. Will Clay’s designs on Lacey’s heart be more than she can handle, or will she trust him to build something that will last forever?
Barefoot in the Sand is the first book of the Barefoot Bay trilogy.
The first chapter is exciting. I like Lacey’s mentality and “insane optimism” as she is dreaming about building a new home while she is hiding in a bathtub in the middle of a hurricane, when even their survival is unsure.
Sadly, the story soon becomes languid.
Let’s see: hot chick (Lacey) and hot guy (Clay) meet. The “commitment-free sex” becomes love. Nothing special so far.
Where is the conflict?
It can’t be the age difference: Lacey is 36, Clay is 29. It is not that much.
Clay is an architect, who has some rivalry issues with his father both in business and in love life. His earring, and a single tattoo on his shoulder throws the heroine down, by that she considers him dangerous and unreliable, but still hot. Okay. Move on.
Lacey is a single mom with a teenage daughter, Ashley, who is always “facebooking”, and pretty angry at the world as a whole. Making things even more complicated, Lacey’s ex (and Ashley’s father) is back after 14 years, and wants her and his daughter back, right after her first date with the hot architect guy. Bad timing, isn’t it?
Lacey also has three best friends, whom I’m unable to distinguish from each other. Some of them behave strangely and have secrets. Too much chatting, little sense.
Lacey has plans and dreams: building a new home as well as starting a new hotel and catering business. Her plans and dreams are encumbered by some clash with the town authorities, and malignant inhabitants.
The story lines are sadly uninteresting, full of clichés, and exaggerations. I have to admit that I gave up at page 111, at the shark-attack scene.
After that, I just ran over the chapters, read into some scenes. Still, I’ve read enough to make sure that I wouldn’t have loved this book even later because the novel ends with a story element that I really dislike: public love declaration. There are concealed issues and insincerity between Lacey and Clay, but due to the fact that Clay expresses his affection toward Lacey publicly, her doubts and uncertainty go away, as if they have never existed.
I also dislike the instant sexual desire: while I understand and totally accept it in Paranormal romances, as there the characters are strongly influenced by fate and instincts, in Contemporary romances it is ridiculous and unrealistic that the heroine almost has an orgasm when the hero touches her knuckles.
Apart from some not really fitting references to the 21st century, it looks like the story is set in the 90s.
Well, maybe I should stick with Paranormal Romances. My flings to Contemporary genre are rarely satisfying.