Barefoot at Moonrise
By Roxanne St. Claire
Publisher: South Street Publishing
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Fire Captain, Ken Cavanaugh and successful businesswoman, Beth Endicott have a painful history, with a short-lived high school relationship that ended badly. Though his feelings about what happened haven't changed, it wasn't Beth's fault and Ken knows he owes her a long-overdue apology for words said in anger and grief. Serving on their 25th high school reunion planning committee should give him the opportunity to do so but when he finally runs her to ground in a beach cabana under a beautiful moonlit sky, the desire that flowed between them in their teens explodes in a passion that can't be denied. Sunrise brings the knowledge that their chemistry is as combustible as ever but the accident that tore them apart twenty-five years ago still stands between them and the possibility of a second chance.
After growing up under her rich and influential father's thumb, Beth has worked hard to carve out a life of independence as an adult. She views the passion she shares with Ken as the one-night stand it clearly is - at least in her mind - though Ken would like a chance to see where a relationship might take them. An unexpected surprise has him working a home renovation with her and throws all of her carefully-made plans into chaos. The more time they spend together, the more tempted she is to consider a permanent relationship but how can she trust her heart to a man who still blames her father for his father's tragic death?
As with all her books, St. Claire infuses Barefoot at Moonrise with an ample amount of heart, heat, and humor. The main couples in the Timeless books are older - late 30s to early 50s - and with age, comes more wisdom and depth of character. In Ken's and Beth's case, it also brings more baggage from past history to overcome. Their journey to a happy ending is, by turns, endearing, frustrating, poignant, sizzling, and perhaps most important, forgiving. I enjoyed each twist, turn, laugh, and sigh along the way.
I liked both Ken and Beth and cheered for their happy ending. I also enjoyed the family dynamics at play in this journey, especially Beth's evolving relationships with multiple members of her blended family. Ken's firefighting family was a fun addition and I wouldn't mind seeing more of them in future books. I wasn't sure how St. Claire was going to eliminate the obstacle between Ken and Beth and their happy ending but she did so in a believable and satisfying manner with a few surprises along the way.
I highly recommend both Barefoot at Moonrise and Barefoot at Sunset (6/1/16) and can hardly wait for Barefoot at Midnight, due out in October. I have the feeling that one, with bad boy Lawson Monroe as hero, is going to be a wild ride!