Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery

Michelle Sanderson may appear to be a strong, independent woman, but on the inside, she's still the wounded girl who fled home years ago. A young army vet, Michelle returns to the quaint Blackberry Island Inn to claim her inheritance and recover from the perils of war. Instead, she finds the owner's suite occupied by the last person she wants to see.
Carly Williams and Michelle were once inseparable, until a shocking betrayal destroyed their friendship. And now Carly is implicated in the financial disaster lurking behind the inn's cheerful veneer.
Single mother Carly has weathered rumors, lies and secrets for a lifetime, and is finally starting to move forward with love and life. But if the Blackberry Island Inn goes under, Carly and her daughter will go with it.
To save their livelihoods, Carly and Michelle will undertake a turbulent truce. It'll take more than a successful season to move beyond their devastating past, but with a little luck and a beautiful summer, they may just rediscover the friendship of a lifetime.(Synopsis from B&

Trade Paperback, MIRA, 368 pages  Rating 5/5

I really enjoyed this book. It seems as though I have read many books recently where the heroine is supporting her wounded or psychologically damaged man but this time the wounded warrior is the heroine! Michelle is an interesting character as she is physically and emotionally damaged and we should instantly like her. But she is also nasty and vindictive and at first not really likable.
Carly, the other main character in the series, is also all of the things we normally admire; plucky single mom wronged by her husband and best friend, but she too has sides to her that are not very admirable. Both of these women have pasts that cause them to dislike each other but they also have a long friendship seems to be sorely needed by both of them.
When Michelle returns to run the inn her father left her years ago, she has just been discharged from a military hospital, and nothing is what she expected. Her recently deceased mother has run up the bills, added lots of unneeded parts to the inn and left Michelle’s former best friend in charge. Michelle has every intention of giving Carly the boot, but circumstances force the two women together. There have been betrayals on both sides and neither woman is ready to forgive let alone forget.

Ms. Mallery does a wonderful job of portraying two women in an awkward situation that have to just suck it up and get on with their lives. The reader thinks they know all of the reasons why they hate each other but we really only know the surface issue until halfway through the book. Both women need to find a way to coexist and put the past behind them. Michelle is dealing with PTSD and teetering on the edge of alcoholism. Her relationship with her landlord Jared is perfectly done- no Mr. Right jumping in and solving all of her problems right away. She has to work on getting better before the relationship. Carly also has to look at her priorities when a possible romance comes her way and not make the same bad decisions she has before.

There are some interesting secondary characters who provide a little villainy to the story but primarily the story revolves around Michelle and Carly which works very well. I am not sure if this is the start to a series but I would definitely enjoy another visit to Blackberry Island (Daisies and all)!

Thanks to for the egalley.

No comments:

Post a Comment