When firefighter Connor Mahoney decides to run for mayor, he’s confident of victory because of his brilliant idea to put Frank, a local canine hero who saved a drowning child, on the ticket with him. Then Connor gets some unwanted help from the Dogmothers, who think a pretty new arrival from Washington DC would make the perfect campaign manager for their highly-eligible bachelor grandson. But no matter how much Connor likes the idea of working with the gorgeous Sadie Hartman, she’s doing her best to keep him at arm’s length.
Disillusioned by politics after working in DC, Sadie doesn’t want the job, no matter how smoking hot the sexy firefighter is or how much his sweet grannies push. But then she learns that the race has another candidate – a man who was instrumental in wrecking Sadie’s family. Uncertain the “dog and firefighter” can win, she launches her own campaign to be mayor of Bitter Bark.
But Connor and Sadie are both in for a big surprise when a two-hundred-year-old law is unearthed to upend the entire election. Then, the only way for Sadie or Connor to save the town from a terrible mayor is to join forces in a way no one is expecting. As Sadie and Connor discover that the best part of running against each other is literally being against each other, it doesn’t take long to figure out that sometimes winning the race means losing your heart.
Agnes Santorini, known as “Yiayia” to her Greek clan, only has one thing on her Christmas list — a brown short-haired dachshund that matches the one she dreamed about, certain that pup can save her aging heart. When she learns that a local man has this very dog for adoption, she and her partner-in-crime, Gramma Finnie, leash up their current doxies and join forces with their great-granddaughter to get their paws on the pooch.
But things don’t go quite as smoothly as expected. A quick walk through the town of Bitter Bark turns complicated when the dog’s owner has a simple demand, which sets off a series of events that have two grannies and one girl dashing through the snow with two dogs in tow. As they meet every demand and overcome every obstacle, Yiayia shares the secret of her past…and reveals just why this is the canine angel she needs to save her.
But even if they manage to get the dog under their Christmas tree, that might not be where the little fellow belongs. And maybe, just maybe, Yiayia’s heart can be healed by a completely different kind of love…the kind that only comes at Christmas.
Alex Santorini puts his family first and foremost, and that’s going to keep him behind the grill at the family restaurant for the rest of his life, especially if his Greek grandmother has anything to say about it. But when a local winery needs a chef to step in to cook for a celebrity wedding, Alex jumps at the opportunity to showcase his culinary skills…and a chance to get closer to the winery owner who has captivated – and refused – his attention.
Grace Donovan is in a bind and knows that the answer to all her problems is one sexy Greek chef who has everything she needs…and everything that scares the hell out of her. Raised in a series of ever-changing foster homes, Grace has spent her life using science and logic to surround herself with protective walls. With all his passion and intensity, Alex could burn those walls down and, like everyone else in her life, leave her broken and alone.
As Alex and Grace join forces to land the wedding of the year, they also launch a search for the mother of three puppies abandoned at the winery…only to discover a shocking connection to Grace’s own mother and her shadowy past. When the truth comes out, their romance faces its greatest test. Will Grace choose the family she’s wanted her whole life…or the love she may never find again?
Firefighter Braden Mahoney is devastated when his beloved Weimaraner, Jelly Bean, fails the canine arson investigator test. Faced with the challenge of raising the money for advanced training, it’s Braden’s sweet grandmother and her best friend who suggested he use the services of the new event planner in town. Not that he needs a push in Cassie Santorini’s direction. Ever since she arrived, Braden has had his eye on the sassy Greek goddess…and can’t stop thinking about getting the rest of him on her, too.
Cassie has spent years putting family first, even moving to Bitter Bark when her mother falls in love with the local veterinarian. Having a huge new extended “family” is fun, especially when one smoke show of a firefighter attends the gatherings, but Cassie has no plans to remain in this small town. She’s ready to pursue her big-city dreams. But when Braden asks for an assist for his precious pup, Cassie agrees to help him set up a town-wide scavenger hunt. It isn’t exactly a hardship to be around those blue eyes and brawny shoulders, especially since they both agree that everything – even the undeniable sparks that crackle between them – is temporary.
But when temporary gets complicated by feelings that might lead to forever, Braden and Cassie start to question the direction they’re headed. Should they follow their dreams…or their hearts? It’ll take a dog with a bad nose and a sweet soul, two particularly meddlesome grandmas, and some help from the clan that loves them to make sure Cassie and Braden follow the clues and find their way to each other’s arms.
Title: Barefoot in White Series: Barefoot Bay Brides #1 Author: Roxanne St. Claire Genre: Contemporary Romance Published: May 2014 My Rating: 5 stars Source: Owned From the Cover:
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.