Thomas Jefferson DeMille, known to the public as T.M. DeMille, is a famous photographer in the fashion world. He has spent most of his life traveling from one shoot and site to the next without putting down permanent roots. The death of his younger sister leaves him in custody of a dejected, preteen niece. He feels that he is not qualified for such a daunting task. Tom reluctantly agrees to fulfill Gussie’s favor only if she helps him understand and get through to his despondent niece.
Gussie, in my opinion, is the best role model for both males and females to emulate. Despite a scar she received as a teen, she did not let it defeat or lessen her. Instead, Gussie used that scar to propel her closer to her interest and passion in style. And she easily won my heart with her warmth, caring, and understanding with Alex. Gussie shows how important family is to her and her potential as a mother or nurturing guardian.
Tom’s ability to see Gussie’s inner beauty hidden beneath the make-up and wigs melted my heart and helped him become my new favorite hero. Even though he has his own emotional and mental demons, he doggedly worked to show and convince Gussie that even though she’s scarred, it does not detract from her beauty. He and Gussie both have deep emotional scars that dictated their lives and behavior. I believe that similarity is what made the couple necessary for one another to accept who they are and what happened to them, finally heal, and take that final step of moving past it. I did enjoy Tom’s eagerness to whip off his shirt and detected a growing theme among THE BAREFOOT BAY BRIDES’s heroes: their need to take things off. I hope the author continues that fun quirk with the hero of the third installment.
BAREFOOT IN LACE is a heartrending with a deep, embedded moral to the story. The story encourages people that even a flawed person can be seen as beautiful. The author punctuates that point with Gussie. BAREFOOT IN LACE is book two in Roxanne St. Claire’s THE BAREFOOT BAY BRIDES series, earns Romance Junkies’ Five Blue Ribbons for its heartfelt message.