Series: Barefoot Bay Brides, Book 2
Publisher: South Street Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Kick off your shoes and fall in love again in with the Barefoot Bay Brides! Destination wedding planner Gussie McBain needs a man...specifically, a wedding photographer. Just her luck that the shutterbug she runs into is more used to snapping pictures of glamorous models in couture gowns than brides in white lace. But Gussie's never been one to let bad odds stop her from a good gamble, so she asks for a favor she never dreams superstar TJ DeMille will actually grant.
Tom DeMille lives his life exactly as he pleases—always alone. In fact, he’s got that motto tattooed in Greek on his arm. But when Tom is suddenly saddled with guardianship of his twelve-year-old niece, he'll lose more than his freedom if he can't figure out how to take care of her. Then an alluring young woman with pink hair and a sassy mouth shows up at his door, and he agrees to do the unthinkable...photograph a wedding in exchange for some help with his niece.
As they work together, Tom begins to take down the walls Gussie has erected around herself to discover a truly beautiful and tender woman he knows he could love. But will his own heartache and refusal to lay down roots prevent him from giving Gussie the family life she craves...or could she be the one woman who can finally break his vow of solitude?
Prepare to fall in love with Barefoot Bay all over again in Barefoot in Lace. Artistry and style are a gorgeous backdrop for a romance filled with heartbreak, hope, and new beginnings. Roxanne St. Claire definitely knows how to blend sensuality, emotion, and escapism into a great story and Barefoot in Lace has all these things in spades.
Who wouldn’t want to get gussied up with Gussie? The beautiful stylist excels at her job and is one of those genuinely nice characters you wish were real, just so you could be friends with them. But Gussie also has some very real scars that she hides – and I’m not talking about the physical ones. Tom sees beneath the wigs and bravado from the start to the woman within. His determination and care bring Gussie out of her shell and are the catalyst for her deciding to start truly healing from the incident that shattered her life long ago. And speaking of Tom, he’s not without scars of his own, though he guards his ghosts more fiercely than Gussie. Tom is also nearing the end of his rope. He’s just lost his sister and his life is in chaos as he tries to figure out how to balance his life and job with the challenges of raising his niece, a girl who is feeling lost and alone herself. Alex is every bit as important to Tom and Gussie’s story as our hero and heroine themselves. The three of them are clearly meant to be a family, but conflicting wants, views on how their lives should be, and old wounds make things difficult. Ms. St. Claire makes Tom and Gussie work for their happy ending, and the reward is definitely worth the journey.
Barefoot in Lace is the second book in the Barefoot Bay Brides series, a trilogy set in the larger world of Barefoot Bay. That being said, Gussie and Tom’s book can easily be read as a standalone, though I defy you to read it and not want to at least dive in to Gussie’s fellow wedding planners’ stories. Willow and Ari continue to delight and the love and friendship between these three wedding planners is simply wonderful. I finished Barefoot in Lace both wanting to re-read Barefoot in White (Willow’s book) and eager to dive into Barefoot in Pearls (Ari’s book).
Barefoot in Lace is every bit as lovely and romantic as the weddings Gussie puts on. I adored Gussie and Tom and I look forward to revisiting them in the future.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.