Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Claire
Released: October 30, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
Growing up, Jocelyn had to live with a father, named Guy, that was very abusive to her mother. She becomes best friends with Will next door, and often took refuge at his house when things got bad at home. Right before college starts, their friendship takes a turn towards romance, but before they could get down to business, Jocelyn’s father barges in, enraged and ready to take Will out. Will is a star baseball player with a scholarship he needs to keep and Jocelyn’s father threatens to cry rape if he goes near her again. So after Jocelyn flees the house,Will takes the safe way out – by never contacting Jocelyn again.
Now Fifteen years later, Will’s baseball career has come to an end, and he is back in his hometown working in carpentry, helping to build the new resort. When he first got back to town, he discovered Guy was no longer the town bully, but rather a sick old man with dementia. Will takes pity on him and starts to help him cook dinner and take care of himself. Jocelyn left for college and never returned home, except for her mom’s funeral years ago. She has estranged herself from her father and has no idea he is sick.
Jocelyn works in Hollywood as a life coach, but the tabloids have reported that she has slept with a big star’s husband. On the run from gossip, she flees back home to hide. She reunites with Will, and is shocked and confused, when she finally sees her father again,.
This book has a nice beginning with an interesting set up. Guy is a really vicious father and when we move fifteen years into the future I was excited about Will and Jocelyn reuniting. But my excitement was never quite fulfilled. Jocelyn has very mixed feelings when she finds out her father is sick. He is a changed man. He doesn’t remember anything about being an abusive person, and he doesn’t remember her. He thinks Will is his son. He is kind and gentle. Jocelyn can’t reconcile this. She wants to throw him in a home and be done with it. I understood this, as he was an awful person. But her character never grew on me. She was so cold and defensive, and just prickly. I felt like she just stalls and doesn’t move forward with either hating her father, or coming to terms with who he is now.
Will has had puppy dog eyes for Jocelyn forever, but feels his inaction all those years ago when her father caught them, drove Jocelyn away. Again, he just kind of bumbles along in this story waiting for Jocelyn to make up her mind about him as well. The romance takes forever to unfold and never grabbed my attention. I got tired of the Guy storyline by the second half and was ready for everything to be resolved way before the story actually ended.
Not sure if I’ll continue this series, as I didn’t love the first book either, I might have to wait for reviews on book three to decide.