Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Blog Tour: Barefoot on the Beach by Katlyn Duncan

Renee Clarke is perfectly happy just the way she is…

Renee may be thrilled to be planning her sister’s wedding, but after witnessing her mother’s two failed marriages, she has always vowed that she is better off on her own.

But when Renee discovers that Luc Hardy has moved next door, her world is knocked off kilter. Luc was her whirlwind summer romance as a teen and, more importantly, her first love. Now he’s back in West Cove, looking more handsome than ever.

There is no escaping the romance in the air this summer. With the wedding planning in full swing, Renee begins to believe that she might be able to put her childhood reservations about marriage aside.

Yet when her mother arrives, she stirs a torrent of emotions in Renee’s heart. She’s up to her old tricks again – boasting about her latest conquests – reaffirming Renee’s lack of faith in love.

As Renee’s happily-ever-after hangs in the balance, will Luc be able to convince her that true love can last forever?

A totally heart-warming summer romance you won’t want to put down! Perfect for fans of Jenny Hale, Susan Mallery and Lucy Coleman.

Buy it on Amazon: US | UK | Canada 


Renee's ordered life is first knocked off balance when her sister requires help planning her fast-approaching wedding, and then upturned completely when her first summer fling moves back in next door. Over the course of the summer, she has to confront her choices and wonders if she's really as happy as she thinks.

Despite the age of these characters (I think Renee's in her mid-thirties), this almost feels like a coming of age book as Renee learns to set boundaries and let go of her painful past. I loved how her relationship with Luc grew naturally from the awkward re-meeting to adults having honest conversations about feelings and a future together. By the end of the book I had fully bought into them as a couple.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how uplifting this book is. It's a sunny, optimistic cloud of a book full of sisterhood, family, and friendship. There's no clear antagonist, scheming exes, or even particularly catty women. The biggest barrier to Renee's happiness is herself which is both rare and realistic.

However I have to say I was not a huge fan of Renee's sister Cait. She came off as a bit selfish and rather manipulative especially in her dealings with Renee. While most of her actions came from a place of youthful naivety, I found myself getting more and more annoyed with her - and by extension, with Renee for putting up with her. Some of those boundaries Renee needed definitely related to her sister and I can't help but wish they'd had a proper conversation about that and cleared the air, rather than Renee squashing her feelings. After all, good boundaries also include realising when something is someone else's fault and not yours.

Despite my annoyance with Cait, this was a charming, uplifting read, perfect for the beach (or when you wish you were on one!)

Four stars.

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