BAREFOOT IN THE SAND – Roxanne St. Claire
A Barefoot Bay Novel , Book 1
Grand Central's Forever
Barefoot Bay, Florida
Six weeks after a hurricane destroyed Lacey Armstrong's home and nearly killed her and her daughter Ashley, she has a plan to rise from the ruins. Lacey wants to build an oceanfront resort, but first needs an architect to draft the plans so she can start. When Clay Walker shows up on Barefoot Bay , she's thrilled she got a response from the architectural company she had contacted. Clay is pleasant, eager, and attracted to her, even if he is twenty-nine to her thirty-seven years. But then she learns that Clay is the son of the head CEO and that he's no longer associated with the firm. Despite her initial misgivings, a connection develops between Lacey and Clay. Both want the resort to become a reality. Clay's charm has her taking him on as an architect, and as much as Lacey tries to resist the attraction, she begins to fall for him.
Added into the mix is the unexpected return of Ashley's father David. Ashley is thrilled to have her father in her life, and David is soon trying to woo Lacey. But Lacey hasn't forgotten that David left her in the lurch when she discovered she was pregnant. However, Ashley wants her parents to get together, which makes it difficult for Lacey to disappoint her. Lacey just knows David will soon be off to parts far away soon, leaving Ashley heartbroken. If Lacey needs any advice on her men troubles, she has her best girlfriends, Jocelyn, Zoe, and Tessa nearby, as the ladies have descended upon the island to support their friend. However, when opposition to her resort plans threatens to jettison her dreams, it's Clay who steps in to help her fight those who don't want change on the island.
Rising out of the ashes of having her home destroyed by a hurricane, Lacey plans to make lemonade out of lemons in BAREFOOT IN THE SAND. The island and its town is run by a monopoly of longtime residents who don't want anything to change—especially if it means competition for their businesses. All Lacey wants is to introduce vacationers to the beauty of Barefoot Bay with its pristine beaches and stellar views. While having a hurricane literally rip off your roof while you're hunkered down in a bathtub isn't the most ideal way to realize dreams, Lacey saw it as a way to start a new stage of her life. As a single mom, she has raised Ashley by herself since David took off rather than face fatherhood. Now he wants to be a part of their lives, including a grand idea of marriage. But Lacey's vision of the future is clouded with Clay's nearness. He's hot and makes her feel like a beautiful, desirable woman, something Lacey hasn't felt in a long time.
Clay thought he'd follow in his father's footsteps, but instead he was seen as a rival, and nothing got in the way of what daddy's wants. This included stealing Clay's then girlfriend and marrying her. After a scandal ended with Clay booted out of the company and his career left in ruins, he has had to pick up the pieces. Landing on Barefoot Bay is an opportunity to help repair his life, and meeting Lacey is a bonus. Lacey and Clay bond in so many different ways, and readers will see how much they belong together. But Clay still holds a part of himself apart from Lacey, while she's afraid to take the leap and grasp for love.
BAREFOOT IN THE SAND is a beautifully told tale of rebirth, with both Lacey and Clay working to realize their dreams after hitting rock bottom. Lacey thinks their age difference and being a mother of a teenager should mean she can't be having these sexy, illicit thoughts about Clay, while he can't get past the bad things that happened to him in the past. BAREFOOT IN THE SAND builds to a climactic end as everything falls in place, making it a perfect beach read that will leave you smiling.