Childhood best friends, Jocelyn Bloom and Will Palmer almost had a relationship when they were younger, but something drastic happened that changed that fate.
After living with an abusive father, Jocelyn finally spreads her wings and escapes Barefoot Bay where she grew up to work as a life coach to celebrity clients in LA. This job allows her to keep life organized and within her control. If she can’t stop the drama from happening in her own life, then the next best thing is to fix other people’s lives.
As years pass, Joss tries to forget the one man who has held her heart. Yet years cannot chip away the feelings she has developed all those years ago for the boy next door. When a made-up scandal involving Joss and a celebrity client has taken up the front page of the tabloids, Joss escapes to the one place where she knows the paparazzi won’t follow her – Barefoot Bay.
One step into Barefoot Bay and she realizes the drastic mistake she has made because now she is bombarded with old hurts and heartbreak. There she learns that Will is her father’s neighbour. Even worse is the shocking fact that now her once abusive father, Guy is now sick with dementia. The once aggressive man is almost charming in the way he speaks. It’s almost like he’s a different man. Yet looking at him brings back memories of a bad childhood. How can Joss forgive her father for all his sins? Does the fact that he doesn’t remember his actions make what he did to her okay?
Struggling to overcome her conflicting feelings, Joss also learns that Will is taking care of her father. After the disastrous event that tore them apart, Joss wonders how Will has the heart in him to forgive her father for what he has done to her and their relationship.
BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN turned out to be far more heartbreaking than I thought it would be. St. Claire weaves an intricate and heartbreaking story that had me very interested in finding out the outcome. She set up an extremely delicate situation that put the heroine in a very difficult spot.
There were times when I felt that Joss was a little heartless, but that’s because as a reader, you don’t always get the full experience of her past. St. Claire only gave us glimpses of that dark childhood in the beginning so I think readers won’t always feel the exact same way as a heroine. Yet, Joss was very strong in dealing with the events that happened to her.
Sometimes I felt as if Joss was not only heartless to her father, but also to Will. I think she felt as if Will was picking her father’s side, which left her feeling hollow and alone. But St. Claire does a great job of developing their dormant feelings for one another until it blossoms into something more. I enjoyed this book more than the first one and feel as if St. Claire has a good series on her hands.
*ARC provided by NetGalley