This is Book 2 in this author’s “Barefoot William” series. This was a fun, sexy romance. I enjoyed the story and the characters. The two main characters, Sophie Saunders (from Saunders Shore) and Dune Cates (from Barefoot William), are both sort of on equal footing financially. She comes from a wealthy family, while he got fame and wealth from a successful career as a pro volleyball player. There is an 11 year age difference between the two, with Sophie being the younger one. However, she is over 21 so I’m glad that it didn’t end up being a huge source of conflict in the book. One source of conflict, although thankfully not between Sophie and Dune, is that she is that their two families and communities have a long standing feud. Nobody really came to blows over this or experienced any real nastiness in this story. Overall, the Saunders crowd is just a little more snooty and high-end, while the Cates family and community of Barefoot William is a little more accepting and laid back. Sophie comes off seeming very timid and a little sheltered at times. There are two things that save the character for me. First, she’s a very kind and good person at her core. Secondly, she is aware of her limitations and short-comings and seeks to break out of her comfort zone. At the opening of the story, she is looking to work at one of the shops/attractions on the boardwalk in Barefoot William. She’s not looking for employment for a paycheck. She’s volunteering so that she can discover something she enjoys and is good at so she can find her niche in life. She happens upon Dune Cates and his buddy and volleyball partner Mac James and they all re-connect. She and Dune had last met up at a volleyball tournament for charity. Although he doesn’t remember, Dune and Sophie first met when she was 7 and he was a teenager and he helped her out. I loved how the author handled Dune’s reaction once he was clued in to that first meeting. In these types of situations in romances, the hero tends to blow things out of proportion, claiming the heroine was deceiving him. I was happy that Dune had a better reaction. I felt like Sophie and Dune brought out the best in each other and treated each other with respect.
I also really enjoyed the secondary romance between Mac James and t-shirt shop owner Jenna Cates. They had sparks from the beginning, even though at first their attraction was masked by sniping at each other. I totally understood Jenna’s point of view. She has a bad history of picking guys and Mac was never somebody’s idea of serious boyfriend material. I loved the way they slowly realized just how much they liked each other. Mac charmed me with his goofy, charming, quirkiness and made me laugh. I also loved the relationship between him and her protective cats - so cute. I look forward to reading more books in this series and other books by this author.