Title: The Barefoot Summer
Author: Carolyn Brown
Series: – –
Genre: Women’s Fiction
New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown returns with a heartbreakingly hilarious novel about three women who had nothing in common, except their husband.
Leaving one widow behind is unfortunate. Leaving three widows behind is just plain despicable. Oil heiress Kate Steele knew her not-so-dearly departed husband was a con man, but she’s shocked that Conrad racked up two more wives without divorcing her first. The only remnant of their miserable marriage she plans to keep is their lakeside cabin in Bootleg, Texas. Unfortunately, she’s not the only woman with that idea.
Fiery, strong-willed Jamie wishes Conrad were still alive—so she could kill the scoundrel herself. But for their daughter’s sake, she needs that property. As does Amanda—twenty-eight, pregnant, and still weeping over the loss of her true love. On a broiling July day, all three arrive in Bootleg…with a dogged detective right behind who’s convinced that at least one of them conspired to commit murder. One momentous summer filled with revelations, quirky neighbors, and barefoot evenings on the porch offers three women the chance to make the journey from enemies to friends, and claim a bright, new beginning.
Source: ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley
This was a light and enjoyable read, that starts with fun at a funeral and explores the strange wonders of friendship and family through unusual connections and summer in a lakeside cabin.
Admittedly, throughout there are plenty of moments that stretched my ability to believe a bit (or sometimes a lot), but this is such a feel-good read that I didn’t mind. The characters are likeable, the writing is full of warmth and humour and the whole thing feels like a book hug.
The three wives are all wonderfully different. Kate is a workaholic who has self-esteem issues thanks to her husband, Jamie is a strong, fiery mother who just wants to make her daughter happy, while Amanda starts off absolutely awful and thankfully improves over time. I liked all three of them, even if I did wish they’d all been developed just a little more so that I got to know them all better.
There are a couple of romances – although like the characters they aren’t really developed, they’re just sort of there – and I thought more would come from the murder investigation. I also expected a few more revelations when it came to Conrad’s past, but this book isn’t really about such things. It’s about family and friends and the joys of small town life.
If you’re looking for a fun, comforting read that doesn’t delve too deeply into anything, has likeable characters and an enjoyable setting, then give this a go. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed.
The Barefoot Summer is Out Now.
Visit Carolyn Brown for more details.