Reviewed by Cara Lynn
Barefoot in the Rain is the story of Jocelyn Bloom, who is a life coach to the stars. It also continues the story of some of the other characters in this book, including her friends.
I have to say I did not enjoy this book. When I read, I prefer to read for enjoyment, maybe even romantic suspense (not hard-core suspense), or I read non-fiction to learn something, but I don't really want to read about problems in a fiction book. Or worry about what the problems might reveal.
Jocelyn has fled back home, because the tabloids are accusing her of being the mistress of a famous actor, possibly breaking up his marriage. Fifteen years earlier she had fled home, vowing never to return, because of her extremely abusive father. Unknown to her, he now has Alzheimers or something similar -- or maybe not. (He does, it appears.) She is taking the heat to protect the actor's wife.
It is a testament to the author that I cared enough about the characters to continue reading it. I did not like the juxtaposition of all the Alzheimers and memories of abuse throughout the whole story.
The book begins with a prologue in which Jocelyn and her next door neighbor, Will Palmer, a boy she has known all her life, who had offered a place of refuge whenever her father went after her mother, are about to consummate their innocent love, when her father, the sheriff of the town, barges in, pulls a gun on Will, threatens him with attacking her (he hadn't.) He is totally out of control. You really don't know what he did to her until you continue reading the book. I was afraid her father had raped her (he hadn't.) (Thankfully.)
The main story is how she and Will fall in love again. (They always were on some level.) Complicating matters is that he has been taking care of her father for some time, since he also returned home, out of pity or compassion.
Because of this trauma associated with her first sexual experience, she is still a virgin. (Her friends don't know this.)
There is a teaser chapter of the next book in the series where Zoe and Oliver, the doctor who had hurt her, get back together again (I'm sure.)
I'm not at all convinced or the reason for her father's abuse. I also have some knowledge of a similar situation, not a family member, of dementia or Alzheimers or loss of memory (no abuse was part of it.) So there were parts of the book which I assume were researched, but didn't jive with what I am personally aware of. For all these reasons, I give the book 2 stars. That said, I would like to read the next book in the series which is, as I said, Zoe's story.
There is forgiveness of her father and renewal of love, perhaps unreasonably. It wasn't convincing to me, at least.