Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review: Secrets On The Sand by Roxanne St.Claire (Barefoot Bay Billionaires 1)

          Title: Secrets On The Sand
                 (Barefoot Bay Billionaires 1)
          Author: Roxanne St. Claire
          Release Date: June 29, 2014
          Publisher: CreateSpace
          Category: Contemporary Romance
          Type: Digital, Audio, Paperback, MP3



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?

Excerpt:             (from the Roxanne St.Claire website)

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age.
If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.

Amanda arrived at the two-story vacation villa only slightly damp and out of breath. Setting her bucket down, but still holding the mop, she pulled out her master card key from the lanyard around her neck and tapped on the mahogany door.
“Housekeeping!” she called automatically before sliding the key in the lock.
She waited a beat, then tapped again and started to turn the knob, but the door whipped open from the other side, practically yanking her arm with it.
“You’re here now?” A man loomed in silhouette, backlit from the patio well behind him.
“You asked for…” She blinked as he took a step closer and she could see him clearly, losing her train of thought as she met Gulf-blue eyes fringed with dark lashes. Straight ebony hair brushed the collar of an expensive shirt. He was all black and blue…which was probably the shape this man left every heart he encountered. “I’m here to clean.”
But he seemed speechless, too, holding her gaze for a heartbeat or two, a frown pulling at his thick brows as he studied her—hard—then glanced at her mop. “I see that.” His eyes back on her face again, he searched every inch, from brow to chin and back again.
The scrutiny lasted one second too long, so she lifted the card key, flipping it to show her ID. “I’m with the resort.” Because he looked like he didn’t believe her. Or at least he didn’t believe…something. “You asked for your villa to be cleaned?”
“Uh, yeah, but later.”
Damn it! Tori had lied to her to throw off her schedule. Now she’d have to trudge all the way back down to the hotel. “All right, sorry for the incon—”
“No, wait.” He almost reached for her, then caught himself. “Stay and…clean.” He nearly swallowed the last word, as if it didn’t sound right to him.
“I don’t have—”
“Who are you?” he asked, still staring at her face.
Oh, jeez. Just her luck to get the nutcase. Great-looking, but a guest didn’t care what the maid’s name was unless he had a screw loose.
“I’m Amanda Lockhart from housekeeping.” She bent to scoop up the bucket as if that could prove it. “I was informed the Bay Laurel villa was ready for cleaning, but I can come back at a better time.”
“No, it’s just that…” His voice trailed off. Easily six-two with broad shoulders in a crisp white shirt tucked into pleated khaki pants, he wasn’t simply gorgeous, he oozed that indefinable something that came with money, class, and power. On most men, that revolted her. On him? Had to admit, nothing was revolting. “I have a guest,” he finally said.
She stepped back quickly, imagining some sultry brunette stripping down in his bedroom. Maybe two of them, by the looks of this guy. “I’ll come back. Say, three o’clock?”
Laser-blue eyes sliced her. “Do I know you?” His voice was tinged with something she couldn’t pinpoint in that split second. Hope? Expectation? Something.
“Doubtful.” She croaked the word, probably because there was no way anyone who had a single female hormone floating in her bloodstream would forget him. “Sorry to bother you, sir.”
“No,” he said quickly, opening the door even wider. “No, please. Come in…” That frown pulled again. “Amanda, did you say?”
She hesitated a second longer. “Not if you’re in the middle of something with a…a friend.”
The hint of a smile pulled at full lips, his eyes crinkling with a flicker of humor. “Not a friend.” He leaned a little closer and whispered, “But if I tell you who it is, you have to promise not to laugh.”
She didn’t move, her senses slammed by a clean, masculine scent and the low timbre of secret in his voice.
“It’s my mother,” he said, the smile widening. “And if you’re not careful, she’ll want to help you clean.”
She let out a quick laugh, the nerves receding but not the toe-curling impact of him. “I don’t need any help, but if you’re entertaining…”
“I’m afraid she’s not. Entertaining, that is.” He backed up to clear the doorway for her. “We’re on the patio.”
With a little uncertainty, she stepped into the cool air and rich comfort of the Moroccan-inspired decor. He fit in a place like this, as though the high-end designer had planned the dark wood and plush furnishings around someone with his size and command.
Deep inside, a familiar warning bell rang with a reminder that she’d sworn off men. All men in general. This kind of man in particular. Especially one who continued to look at her too intensely.
“Why don’t I start upstairs so I can stay out of your way?” Without waiting for a response, she walked toward the wrought iron banister, gripping her bucket and mop so they didn’t slip out of damp palms. Still, she could feel him looking at her, those gas-flame blues burning a hole in her back. Tensing, she put one foot on a step before sneaking a peek over her shoulder.
Sure enough, he was staring. With so much intensity it stole her breath.
“Is something wrong?” she asked.
“I…I have the strangest question,” he said, coming closer.
“Yes?” She braced herself for whatever it might be. A cleaning suggestion? A proposition? Maybe something as innocent as his favorite beer in the fridge? Guests could be strange. Not usually this drop-dead delicious, but strange.
He let out a self-conscious chuckle, shaking his head, a little color rising. Good heavens, was he nervous? Did this tall, dark, imposing master of the universe even know what insecurity was?
“Are you…” He angled his head, frowning hard, looking almost apologetic. “Are you Mandy Mitchell?”
Oh. Her knees buckled a little. Maybe with relief, maybe with that same shame that threatened her when Tori taunted with “senior adjectives” ripped from the pages of a yearbook.
“Not anymore,” she said softly, the weight of the bucket becoming too much at that moment. As she set it on the step, she nodded with resignation. “But, yes, I was. Do I know you?” Because, whoa and damn, how was it possible she didn’t remember meeting him?
“It is you.” He broke into a slow, glorious smile that was like someone had switched on a spotlight, blinding and white, that softened the sharp angles of his face and shadow of whiskers in hollow cheeks.
“Zeke Nicholas.” He took a few steps closer, reaching out his hand. “Mimosa High? Class of ’02?”
She’d gone to high school with this guy? And hadn’t dated him? Impossible. Without thinking, she lifted her free hand to his, getting another shock to the system when his fingers closed over hers, large and warm and strong and…tender.
“I’m sorry…Zeke.” Zeke? She’d never met a man with that name.
“Don’t be sorry,” he said, reluctantly releasing her hand. “We didn’t exactly run in the same circles.”
And why the heck not? “Are you sure?”
He laughed, the rumble in his chest a little too hearty and sincere. “Yes, I’m sure.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t remember…” Anyone or anything that looked like him. “A Zeke.”
“I went by my full name then.” He gave her the most endearing smile that reached right into her chest and twisted her heart. “You’re going to make me say it, aren’t you?”
“To help me out?”
He looked down for a split second, then back to her face, the gesture shockingly humble for a man who couldn’t be too familiar with humility. “Ezekiel Nicholas.”
Her jaw dropped as a memory snapped into place. “Ezekiel the Geekiel?” The second she said it, she gasped softly and lifted her hands to her mouth. “I’m sorry.”
“No, no.” He turned his hands up in surrender. “Guilty as charged by the dreaded senior adjectives.” Then he leaned a little closer and lowered his voice, his face close enough for her to count individual lashes. “Mandy the Magnificent.”
On his lips, the words were a sexy, sweet whisper of admiration that made every nerve in her body dance.


Amanda has fallen from grace. A former beauty queen, the most popular girl in High School, married to a rich man … she seemed to have it all. But looks can be deceiving. Trapped in the hell that manifested in the form of a pre-nup from her marriage, she is fighting to move on. Reduced to working as a maid in a hotel in her hometown and living in her parents’ house again, Mandy is working as hard as she can to get her life back together. Hind sight is a wonderful thing. Maybe the bitchy little thing she was in High School and the good fortune she took for granted has now come back to bite her in the ass. This wasn’t the life that she had, that she wanted. When a sexy a hell, super rich man walks into her life, she wants nothing to do with him. Men like him are exactly what doesn’t want anymore; what she CAN’T stand anymore. It doesn’t matter that he ends up being a former classmate, the biggest geek in school turned Adonis. Besides, with as rude as she was to people in that life, he probably hates all of his awful memories of her.

Zeke is floored when he realizes the maid in his suite is Mandy Mitchell; object of his High School infatuation. He doesn’t know her story, but he knows he doesn’t desire her any less; more, in fact. When an accidental situation occurs and Mandy ends up losing her job, Zeke sets out to make things right. He has bigger plans involving Mandy, but he has to find a way to prove to her that he isn’t what she thinks him to be. He could be exactly what she needs, but her built up walls discolor her budding feelings, leading her to assume the worst in several cases. But Zeke isn’t about to let this chance with Mandy go down the drain without a fight involving a mind blowing, nerve tingling, sensual assault on both her senses and the heart he has to break through to.

So, funny story. I chose to read Ms. St.Claire because of her name. My maiden name is St.Clair, so I went straight to it when I saw it. One of those things you can’t help. But I am really happy I did. This book had everything I enjoy in a story. The whole rich guy swooping in to save everything is a little cliché, but I think we all enjoy it anyway. Who wouldn’t want that to really happen? I wouldn’t be turning it down! Zeke is the kind of guy we can all love and appreciate. Under dog turned top dog. He has used his intelligence to make a name and a fortune for himself. His geek persona traded in for a strong, confident, gorgeous man. I think what endeared me toward him the most, wasn’t only that he had beaten the odds and become successful, but that he didn’t lose sight of who he was even after the success. Mandy, I liked because she was broken. Broken, but with a new sense of purpose. She had a weakness in character that made her believe everything she was going through was some sort of karma payback. A bit of an annoying trait actually, but she still had dreams and ambition despite being beaten down. I think she feels like she doesn’t deserve Zeke and so she continues to shut him out by likening him to her ex despite the vast differences; opposite they are, really.
This book was a quick read with some pretty steamy scenes. I truly enjoyed my time spent with this book and the characters. *whispers* In fact, I put off something else I should have done, just to read this book in one setting. I was happy to see, when researched, that Ms. St. Claire has an entire line of Barefoot books. I am going to research a bit further because I found that I liked several of the secondary characters. I know that Beckett is the MC in the second book in this series. However, in reading about two of the other couples, I felt that they must have stories of their own somewhere in Ms. St. Claire’s world. If not, pity. But I hope such is not the case. Happy reading all! And check out this book. I think you’ll be pleasantly entertained. 

Kindle version purchased for personal library

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