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?
Release Date 9/5/14
Roxanne St. Claire
South Street Publishing
I've loved Roxanne St. Claire's books since I first discovered her Bullet Catcher series years ago. I found I love her contemporary romances every bit as much as her romantic suspense books. Barefoot in Lace is one of my favorite books ever from Roxanne St. Claire.
Barefoot in Lace was a very emotional read for me. I openly admit to crying multiple times while reading this book. I wanted to know more about Gussie from the moment we met her. Gussie wears wigs of every color and style all the time. After learning why Gussie wears her wigs, I just wanted to hug her and it made me love her even more. I loved the meet-cute between Gussie and Tom (TJ) in the convenience store. It made me laugh and I could already feel the attraction between them.
While I loved Gussie right away, Tom was harder for me to love. He was totally honest with Gussie that he came with an expiration date, as his motto was "Always Alone", yet he needed Gussie to help him learn how to connect with his 12-year old niece Alex. Tom's sister had died suddenly and he was named as Alex's guardian. Tom and Alex have such a hard time connecting, yet Gussie and Alex connect as soon as they meet. I honestly loved the relationship between Gussie and Alex from the moment they met. I think I connected very quickly to Alex because my mom died when I was 12 and I understood every feeling Alex was having about her mom. I loved how Gussie stepped in to help Alex deal with her loss and help Tom to learn to connect with his niece.
Gussie and Tom did work for me as a couple. They had really great chemistry and I loved they got each other so quickly. As I said before, I was a bit hesitant to believe Tom would get past his "Always Alone" motto, especially once he shared his reason for his feelings. I knew that Tom loved both Alex and Gussie, yet was afraid to admit his feeling and risk losing them because of his past.
I highly recommend Barefoot in Lace to any readers who love contemporary romances. Barefoot in Lace can be read as a stand-alone story, I think you see more about the characters if you read the books in order.