Destination wedding consultant Willow Ambrose has fought a battle with the scale for much of her life, but she has finally won the war. By putting her past behind her and cutting off all contact with anyone who knew her before and, of course, controlling everything she can, Willow has carved out a new body and a new life. But when she comes face to face with someone who left an indelible mark on her heart years before, all that threatens to crumble.
Navy SEAL Nick Hershey is on medical leave, doing a friend a favor as a stand in “man of honor” at a beach wedding. He might not be that interested in the nuptials, but the wedding planner catches his eye the minute they meet. When he realizes Willow is really a girl he knew in college—and a girl he unintentionally hurt to the core—he knows he has some making up to do.
Willow has learned how to beat every temptation…but Nick’s sweet-as-candy kisses just might be the one thing she can’t resist. But the closer they get, the more the past threatens to tear them apart. Can they finally let go of a painful past in order to find a forever future?
Read on for my thoughts on Barefoot in White. No true spoilers, promise.
Barefoot in White was originally reviewed on another blog of mine First In Series. That blog is a baby still – definitely a work in process, but since in the coming weeks I intend to review the rest of this series, Barefoot Bay Brides here – I thought it was time to introduce you to both my other blog (of many) and this charming series. Hopefully you will enjoy both.. now, on to the original review:
There is nothing like a bare-assed man rocking out on air drums to your father’s famous rock song at an eardrum shattering volume to get a girl’s attention. Even more so when you realize that this gorgeous piece of man candy is the same college student that you had crushed hard on back in the day and he turned down your offer of giving up your virginity to him by practically running out of the room. No, neither sight is a memory easily forgotten. Now all Willow can do is pray that Nick doesn’t recognize her – but then, why should he, she had shed enough pounds since that horrifyingly embarrassing night to create an entire other person… which she definitely now was.
I absolutely adored Willow and Nick’s story in Barefoot in White. Willow is the daughter of a rock star and a supermodel, now a fashion design icon. Their love and marriage has stood strong throughout the years and her parents are as in love with each other today as they were on the night of her father’s famous marriage proposal. While her relationship with her father has always been loving and close, unfortunately the same cannot be said of her mother. Because of her mother’s thoughtless, careless comments throughout Willow’s life about her appearance and her weight, and her constant manipulations of everyone’s life Willow finally had enough and cut her mother out of her life. For the past three years Willow has recreated herself by losing weight, running, changing her name, moving far from her California roots and becoming partners with two friends in their destination wedding planning business in Barefoot Bay.
Nick is a Navy SEAL on medical leave for a hearing loss in one ear. While he is recuperating and praying to be able to return to his unit soon he is also attempting to rewrite history. He is currently writing his first novel, a military novel loosely based on his experiences. When one of his best friends from his unit asked for a favor that included being his twin sister’s “man of honor” at her destination wedding, Nick jumped at the chance to get away from California to the peaceful beaches of Barefoot Bay and do some serious writing in between helping Misty with the details with the wedding planners.
Funny thing was… Misty didn’t seem too interested in those details and left most of it up to Nick and the ladies of Barefoot Brides. While Nick thought that odd, he shrugged it off as a model’s air-headedness… what he was more interested in was rediscovering Willow, the lady who caught him bare assed naked in his bungalow… and the woman who he knew he had deeply hurt back in their college days.
Barefoot in White is such a tender love story. Two people who get a second chance to rewrite their own history if only they can really leave that history behind. It is a deeply touching journey through the pains of life and how we deal (or refuse to deal) with them. One of the most lovely, sexy physical love scenes you will ever read is another reason why I highly recommend this start to the Barefoot Bay Brides trilogy. I dare you to not find your heart melting at Nick’s plan of attack on Willow’s heart. I double dog dare ya to not completely understand Willow and shed a tear or two for what she is experiencing. Maybe you don’t understand it or may be you think she’s overreacting — but you will be touched by the raw emotions that are brought out in Willow’s journey to healing.
This is the start of a spin off trilogy of Roxanne St. Claire’s Barefoot Bay series. One that I will definitely continue to read. This “free” first in series story is well worth the time and cost of discovering the rest of the story for Willow’s partners.
Barefoot Bay Brides = 1.) Barefoot in White 2.) Barefoot in Lace 3.) Barefoot in Pearls
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