Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery
- ISBN-13: 9780778313380
- Publisher: Harlequin
- Publication date: 3/27/2012
- Pages: 368
- Source: NetGalley
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.
I love books that are set in small towns and better yet when they are about inns. I have always wanted to run a bed and breakfast so books about inns just speak to me. I found that this book was a great start for this series and much more about friendship, growth and forgiveness than the romance that I have Susan Mallery’s books to be historically. Michelle has returned to Blackberry Island after spending 10 years in the Army and the death of her mother. The inn has been run by Carly since Michelle’s mother death and there is a lot of history between these two woman. I found that I liked most of characters in this story. Michelle was a bit frustrating to get to know and understand. She has a lot of baggage from not only her time in the military but her history with Carly and her mother. She is very negative and in the beginning unwilling to face her own issues. Carly, on the other hand, was very easy to connect with right from the beginning, as well as, her willingness to move forward to save the inn she loves so much. Both ladies are faced with the mistakes that Michelle’s mother made and must get the inn’s finances back in check or they will lose the in. Michelle is forced by the bank Representative to bring all mortgage payments up to date and keep Carly on for a full two year. Carly quickly realizes that this woman has set these terms because she knows that Michelle cannot stand Carly and is hoping they will fail.
Each of these woman has their own story lines running through the main story line of ensuring that the inn is saved. This worked really well for me and provided the romance in the story. Michelle moves into a room that a man in town is renting. She finds that she is constantly drinking and no eating. She has nightmares and can’t really live. This man is a vet as well. When Michelle is ready, he beginnings to help her out of the hole she has made. There is romance that blooms between them. Carly finds that she is falling for one of Michelle’s friends that has come to town and taken a job as the town sheriff. Things get a bit odd when Carly finds out he is Michelle’s ex-husband but all of that works out.
I think that my favorite relationship in the story is that between Michelle and Carly’s daughter. This just shows a different side of Michelle and allows a softer side to be shown. This is also the girl that will really bring Michelle and Carly closer to being friend and no longer enemies since they have to common goal of saving the inn, in some cases from those who they trusted the most.
There was a ton about this story that just worked for me. It was a beautifully written story and left me wanting to know what will happen next at Blackberry Island Inn.