Series: The Billionaires of Barefoot Bay #1
Published by South Street Publishing on 12/09/2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 128 pages
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Roxanne St. Claire has been enchanting readers with stories set on an idyllic slice of paradise off the coast of Florida known as Barefoot Bay for two years. In the first Barefoot Bay series, four friends joined forces to build and run a homegrown resort and spa and, in the process, found life-long love.
Now it is time to get to know some of the special guests of Casa Blanca Resort & Spa, which is fast turning into a playground for the rich and an elite destination wedding site. In the brand new Billionaires of Barefoot Bay trilogy, meet a trio of sexy heroes and the most unlikely ladies who steal their hearts in three novella-length (appx. 150 pages) love stories.
In Secrets on the Sand, Zeke Nicholas has turned his mathematical genius skills into a mountain of money. But Zeke sits on that mountain all alone, longing for the one thing money cannot buy: a lifelong partner and true love. Zeke grew up near Barefoot Bay and is staying at the resort for a week while he’s in town for a family event. Enter Mandy Mitchell...the maid. Except, Mandy is much more than that to Zeke—she was the object of his every teenage dream back in the days when she was known as “Mandy the Magnificent” but he'd earned the unflattering high school senior adjective of “Ezekiel the Geekiel.”
Zeke is no longer a geek—he’s gorgeous. And Mandy doesn’t feel so magnificent since her marriage fell apart and left her up to her eyeballs in debt and despair. The minute they meet again, Mandy knows he’s exactly the kind of trouble she should avoid...but Zeke does have one thing Mandy needs to gain the independence she craves. Will he give it to her? One look at Mandy, and Zeke turns his relentless ability to get what he wants into a full-on seduction and he’s ready to give her anything. But can Mandy face down the secrets of her past to find a fairy-tale future with Zeke?
Free on Kindle, Nook and Kobo on July 26, 2014
I like almost all forms of romance, although not so much historical, but I have a prejudice against the billionaire thing. How likely is it there would be so many young, handsome billionaires running around and they always fall for the pretty but down on her luck, no money lady. I enjoy something light and fluffy as long as it isn’t totally unbelievable.
Sadly, this book is a classic example of what I hate. It shows me why I stopped reading contemporary romance for more than 20 years! I just couldn’t take the unrealistic characters and the unbelievable storylines.
The man in SECRETS ON THE SAND, Zeke was a geek in high school who went on to be successful. He’s rich, smart, kind and he’s a billionaire. Mandy was his high school crush, cheerleader, prom queen, blah, blah, blah. They are ok, but every character including them is such a cliché.
SECRETS ON THE SAND is a novella, so it’s short. I just couldn’t get excited about any of the characters, the plot, or even the beach setting. It all felt fake to me. It is a clean read too, which isn’t really a good thing. I like some sexy times. But if I feel the character’s connection, sexy times aren’t important.
There may be physical attraction between Zeke and Mandy but they hardly talk to one another. Other than the initial meeting, there is little dialog. For example, SECRETS ON THE SAND just tells us they worked together on the business proposal for Mandy’s new venture. That would have been an opportunity to show them sharing, getting to know each other, and letting us get to know them. Things like that happen off page and the facts are just stated to us afterward.
I hadn’t previously read Roxanne St. Claire, I hope SECRETS ON THE SAND is not representative of her work because if it is, I won’t like it. I can’t recommend this to anyone unless you are totally into the billionaire romance genre, even then, I think there are better choices.