NO STRINGS ATTACHED - Kate Angell
Barefoot William , Book 2
Barefoot William/Saunders Shores, Florida - Present Day
While the enmity between the Cates and Saunders family has pretty much disappeared with the marriage of Dune Cates's sister to a Saunders, the differences between the two clans still exist. The Saunders are rich and stuck up while the Cates are laid back and fun loving. Several months ago, Dune got to know Sophie Saunders, the sweet, unassuming sister of his brother-in-law, who is still trying to find her niche in life. Currently, Sophie is trying her hand at various jobs on the Barefoot William side, though her awkward, fumbling attempts usually end with her stumbling and failing. Dune is handsome and self assured—and a star beach volleyball player—so he has women flocking to him all the time. However, it's Sophie who snags his attention, something he thinks are protective feelings, and not the deeper ones that soon build.
With the exception of her brother, Trace, who fell in love and married one of the laidback Cates, Sophie isn't close to her family and feels like the inferior one. She wants to be worthy of doing something, so she's taking on new jobs, such as riding a unicycle for tourists, just to experience it. Several months ago during a charity volleyball tournament, she had a chance to play with Dune on her pro-am team. He treated her with respect and she's never forgotten that, though she thinks he just feels sorry for her. Dune has been out of town on the volleyball circuit, but is back for a few weeks. Now, wherever she turns, there's Dune. They're soon spending a lot of time together and slowly, but surely, they've become attracted to each other. But could it be something more, like love, or is it just because Dune feels sorry for her?
Several generations ago, two men who had been friends fought over the development of the town they lived in and their resulting feud literally split the town down the center-one side is called Saunders Shores and the other Barefoot William, named after the rascally man who never wore shoes. Despite the recent marriage of Trace to Shaye Cates, there's still some tension, but everyone loves Sophie Saunders, as she is a genuine and caring person. But she is afraid of success, and Dune is determined that she will succeed, or at least make her dreams come true. It takes him a while to realize that she means more to him than as a friend, but once he does, he has to make a decision whether to remain in his hometown of Barefoot William or move on.
A secondary story (and romance) centers on Dune's volleyball partner Mac James and storeowner Jenna Cates. Mac is a babe magnet, while Jenna has problems holding a man's attention. Mac and Jenna seem like an unmatched pair, but like Dune and Sophie, they prove that opposites attract. Mac doesn't want to admit he likes Jenna, yet he can't stay away from her. Their romantic journey is bumpy and humorous, and nicely adds to NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
Kate Angell knows how to write a good ensemble story and NO STRINGS ATTACHED is no exception. Filled with a motley cast of characters, it would take up several lines of this review to name everyone who appears, because each one helps make this a tale that is entertaining and fun to read. We do briefly see Trace and Shaye from NO TAN LINES, but NO STRINGS ATTACHED can be read as a standalone without any problems. Sophie is an endearing character, especially if you've ever felt clumsy and unsure yourself. Under Dune's tutelage, she soon gains confidence and a new outlook on life, including the realization that she does have something to offer to the people surrounding her. Even Dune learns a few things about himself that he surely never expected.
A fun read from beginning to end and a great beach read, snatch up NO STRINGS ATTACHED.