Review – Barefoot by the Sea by Roxanne St. Claire

Barefoot by the SeaPublisher: Forever
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley

When you think you know your heart’s desire . . . Tessa Galloway is a gifted nurturer-her verdant garden at Barefoot Bay’s new resort is living proof. If only the woman who can grow anything could grow what she wants most: a baby. Her friends think the right guy will come along, but Tessa doesn’t want to wait. All she needs is the perfect donor to make her dream come true. Then John Brown is hired at the resort. If anyone could make beautiful babies, it’s this gorgeous, mysterious man. So why does Tessa suddenly find herself wanting so much more?

Can you give up all your dreams for love?It’s been three long years since John Brown had to leave his old life. Forced into the witness protection program, he’s desperate to be reunited with his toddler twins. When he gets that chance, there’s a catch-he must prove he’s got a steady job and a new wife. Landing a gig as a chef in Barefoot Bay is easy enough. And falling for lovely Tessa is even easier. The hard part? Can he win the heart of a woman who prizes honesty-when the truth may shatter it?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I am a big fan of the Barefoot Bay series, so when I finally got Tessa’s book on my eReader, I was super anxious to read it.

Tessa hates secrets. Given the way she was raised, it’s completely understandable why she hates them, but she is the type to hold grudges when someone keeps something from her. The one thing she is open and honest about is her desire to have a baby. When she meets John, she is instantly attracted to him. But a horrific first impression has John running for the door faster than his feet can carry him. To Tessa’s horror, John gets hired on at the resort, and the two end up working closely together. The attraction between them is more than either can stand, and Tessa finds herself wanting more than she ever thought possible from the mysterious man.

John was forced to walk away from his life when he witnessed the most tragic event possible. Now, he has the chance to be reunited with his twins; if he can keep his nose clean and prove that he can lead a steady life. Tessa is absolutely a part of the life he wants to lead, but keeping secrets from her is harder than anything he’s ever imagined. But in order to get his children back, he will have to do anything and everything possible to keep his real identity hidden, despite any growing feelings he might be having toward Tessa.

While I loved the angst with John having to keep all his secrets because of the witness protection program, and Tessa’s ongoing suspicion that he is keeping things from her, it did feel a little overdone at times. Don’t get me wrong, it was plenty angsty, full of heartache and dramatics on behalf of Tessa, and some brooding intensity from John. However, there were just a few times when it got to be too much for me. The angst reached a level where I was rolling my eyes instead of being gripped by the story.

The romance between these two was great. Again, with all the drama with John’s secrets and Tessa’s instincts that something was off, the added sexual tension was off the charts. And it had to be in order for Tessa to put her gut feelings aside and pursue something more with him. I loved the fact that their first meeting was so horrible, and yet they were able to build a friendship and relationship from it.

There were times I was a little anxious for John to just tell Tessa the truth about his situation. Other times I wanted to shake Tessa and demand she trust John, especially after he finally told her the truth. Plus, The whole foreign witness protection thing seemed to be a little far-fetched at times, but what do I know about other countries policies. *shrug* I was absolutely glad to see that all the baddies got what was coming to them, and that John was able to not only get his kids back, but also be free of his burdens.

I loved getting the chance to see more of Ashley, Lacey’s daughter from the first book. It was nice to see her grow up a little, experience some of the boy-crazy moments that every teenaged girl goes through. It was a special little treat to get to see her in a different light than the last few books, and I enjoyed the growth and development of her character.

St. Claire did a good, although somewhat predictable, job of setting up the next series of books set in Barefoot Bay. I’m a huge fan of wedding books though, so of course I will be tuning in for the next series. Plus, getting the chance to see more of this awesome group of friends will be a nice treat.

All in all I enjoyed the final book in the Barefoot Bay series. I loved going on this journey with these four friends, and will be sad to see them step out of the spotlight. However, I’m anxious to see what St. Claire has in store for us next, especially given the next series of books will be about weddings.
I give Barefoot by the Sea a B

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