Barefoot in the Sun. Roxanne St. Claire. Grand Central Publishing. April 2013. 432 pp. hbk. ISBN #: 9781455508259.
Zoe Tamarin has been on the run for years. She believes her “Aunt Pasha” has saved her from an abusive father and knows the true reason why they must keep moving from place to place – because Aunt Pasha is wanted by the law. Now she meets Oliver Bradbury when she shows up at his cancer clinic in Florida, a place where they are using experimental treatment protocols to save the lives of terminally ill cancer patients.
Oliver lost the one true love of his life and only has an 8 year-old son whom he seems to avoid all the time, working away his grief over his wife’s death. Oliver’s son, Evan, is a pip of a boy who has a sharp tongue for almost everyone as he quickly picks up the “lines” all use on him with strength but without much compassion or empathy. His Dad works himself silly and has little time for his son.
Zoe meets Evan and they click together immediately, having the same irreverent and realistic sense of humor. When Zoe asks Oliver’s help for Pasha who is very ill with cancer, we aren’t sure how that will turn out as Pasha wants help without any hospital involvement. For she’s got a shocking secret that the reader will not learn for quite a while. Meanwhile, after much back and forth hassling arguments about her medical condition, Pasha finally agrees to be treated by Dr. Oliver. Things become intensely complicated for her when the law arrives and says she’s wanted for murder!
As the story continues, so does the hesitant care and attention Dr. Oliver and Zoe begin to tentatively allow themselves to feel. It’s definitely hair-raising for both and we are not sure if so much resistance and fear can surmount the relationship that would so obviously benefit both. They truly are hot for each other. Can they surmount the resistance that has them constantly thinking about immediately escaping or completely and permanently embracing each other? Barefoot in the Sun is a very good romance worth spending pleasurable hours with. Nice job, Roxanne St. Claire!