Review: Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery

Barefoot Season
Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery
Series: Blackberry Island (# 1)
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Publisher: MIRA
Page Count: 368
Source: Advance Preview provided by the author

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.

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.

Review: Best friends; you love each other, you hate each other. It’s all part of life. In Susan Mallery’s soon-to-be released “Barefoot Season” we meet two former best friends who have so much hostility toward one another that it was hard to like them or imagine why anyone would want to be friends with them in the first place!

I have to admit, I am a die-hard Susan Mallery romance fan. I’ve read them all – twice! As with last year’s Best of Friends, Susan takes us through the story that does have romantic elements but the main plot deals with the difficult relationships between family and friends. In previous books, she presents realistic struggles between friends, family and lovers and Barefoot Season is no exception. The animosity between Michelle and Carly is palpable on every page and at times I wished that they would just scream it out and move on.

Everything in its own time.

Not only is Michelle recovery from the horrors of war and an injury, she returns home after her mother’s death to find her beloved inn in financial ruins. Add to that the fact that Carly is running the inn and the two are forced to work together.

Carly’s a single mom struggling with a lifetime of lies and just wanting a chance at a normal life but with Michelle back in town, she finds it difficult to look at the future when the past is still hanging over her head. Along the way other relationships form and, as she does so well, we get that taste of romance that Susan Mallery writes so well. If I had one complaint it was that I would have liked to see a little bit more of the development of these relationships; I think it could have been interesting to watch the romantic relationships evolve and how those relationships come to help Carly and Michelle with their own friendship.

All in all, Barefoot Season is a wonderful read. Once I started, I could not put it down. While not your typical romance, there’s still enough for even the most devout fan. For those of you looking for a good book to use with your book club, Susan has even included questions for discussion at the end. Being that we all have had best friends, this story has a lot to offer to a group discussion setting.

I love an author who is in tune with her readers!

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