I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
I loved Roxanne St. Claire's Barefoot Bay series and was excited to start the Barefoot Brides. The three novels are about the wedding planners (also friends) who move their business to Barefoot Bay.
The first one, Barefoot in White, reunites college friends Willow and Nick. Willow is the daughter of a rockstar and a former runway model turned designer, and Nick is a navy seal on medical-leave due to a hearing loss. In college, Willow had asked Nick to relieve her of her virginity and he turned her down. Scared to get rejected again, she hasn't let herself get close to another guy, keeping that v-card until the age of 29. (!!)
Nick decides to try writing while he hopes to regain his hearing following a botched mission that got a journalist killed. Willow is estranged from her mother. So, you know, issues. Again, I like how St. Claire handles these. There are no quick fixes or love conquers all. Instead, love seems to help them, in this case Willow, have to courage to face her fears.
The characters were well-rounded and St. Claire has a gentle touch, which I appreciate. My one problem was the drawn out virginity. Nick and Willow took forever to finally have sex. Forever.
Still, I liked it. The last few scenes really picked up speed and were sweet and romantic. Perfect beach read.