Customer Review

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the keeper shelf!, April 14, 2012
This review is from: Barefoot Season (Blackberry Island) (Paperback)
Michelle Sanderson has come home after a ten-year absence to inherit the inn left to her by her father. An army veteran, she's been horribly injured and treated in a veterans hospital. But not all the wounds are on the outside.

Ten years ago she fled her Blackberry Island home after a youthful betrayal, and promptly enlisted in the army where she re-upped twice. Now, after being shot and going through a slow and painful recovery from a partial hip replacement, she's returned to the inn she called home. Her arrival brings another set of problems: she now must confront the woman who was once her best friend, and whom she thinks she hates, and she must deal with post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

Carly Williams, once Michelle's inseparable friend, has weathered a barrage of lies about an unsavory past. She has worked at the inn for nearly ten years. A single mother to a charming nine-year-old daughter, Carly has struggled to provide normalcy for the girl as well as run the inn under the inept management of Michelle's mother who has recently died.

Their first meeting goes badly, and things deteriorate from there. Michelle finds Carly and her daughter occupy the owner's suite, once Michelle's residence. Furthermore, the inn has been remodeled in what Michelle fells is a garish display of kitsch. Michelle's long-time friend, Damaris has few good things to say about Carly, even though the inn's other staff members and their customers love her.

When Michelle discovers the inn is on the verge of foreclosure, she digs into the records and learns of her mother's woeful mismanagement. She immediately set out to keep the inn afloat and she has to rely on Carly for help. The two form an uneasy truce that is fraught with problems as Michelle's PTSD threatens to incapacitate her.

Ms. Mallery's first book in her new Blackberry Island series blows the lid off women's fiction with a complex coming home story that will keep readers riveted to the pages. There's romance in the pages, but the premise is so much more complex than a mere happily ever after. She deals realistically with PTSD and the characters' twisted betrayals. Michelle instinctively knows how to get the business on solid footing, but she handles life badly. She resists going to meetings to help cope with her PTSD and uses alcohol as her crutch. When the one person she counted on fails her, she goes off the deep end and must finally admit she needs help. Both Michelle and Carly are multi-faceted characters. As the plot slowly reveals the behind-the-scenes traumas that drive their actions, the reader is caught up in wanting each character to confront her own demons.

The story is complex, and extremely well plotted. I couldn't put the book down until I finished it and was not disappointed. Barefoot Season is a romance with just the right amount of passion to delight Ms. Mallery's fans but not so much as to overpower the wonderful story. It goes on my keeper shelf, and I'll be recommending it to my friends.

Brava Ms. Mallery. You've made a fan of this reviewer.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 29, 2012 8:05:09 AM PDT
LuvBooks says:
Ms Gallery, Ms Malloy? Who are they? When reviewing a book please manage to get the author's name right. Her name is Susan Mallery, yet you managed to get it wrong twice.

The title of the book is Barefoot Season, not Barefoot Summer.

You might try editing your reviews before posting them.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2012 11:02:48 AM PDT
Tooncesmom says:
Thank you. Sorry my arthritic fingers decided to omit a letter. The Gallery spelling was a typo I should have caught (ah, the perils of hunt and peck). They have been corrected.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013 10:49:56 AM PDT
Shy guy G says:

Posted on Feb 14, 2014 10:05:34 PM PST
book lover says:
Thanks for a great review. I can't wait to read the book!

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 10:06:20 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 3, 2014 12:05:05 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 10:08:25 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 16, 2014 10:09:28 AM PDT]
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