By Susan Mallery
MIRA, $14.95, 368 pages
A delightful surprise from classic romance writer Susan Mallory, Barefoot Season explores the boundaries of friendship and family, and the difficulties our soldiers face when there is no longer a war to fight.
Wounded in action, Michelle Sanderson has no choice but to return to the place she had turned her back on so long ago, a small inn on Blackberry Island. Although her mother is no longer alive, every room is filled with reminders of Michelle’s difficult past. Struggling with a very real but unacknowledged case of PTSD and her physical limitations, Michelle has little choice but to depend on her former friend Carly Williams despite an age-old betrayal that sent her fleeing to the armed services in the first place. To save the Inn, the two must put aside old bitterness and resentments and work together.
While each heroine is matched with a perfect romantic hero and romance blooms, the true heart of the story is in Michelle’s recovery and rediscovered friendship between the two women. A pleasant surprise, Barefoot Season will stay with readers long after they turn that last page.
Reviewed by Lanine Bradley