Synopsis via Goodreads:
Sam Hartman, AKA Hart Throb, views the beach as just another sandbox all too reminiscent of the hellhole where he was injured. And the alternative therapies that Jillian offers him? He considers them pure voodoo. He would rather move their relationship off the massage table and into his bed, but as much as he wants her touch, it forces him to face the demons that still haunt him. Can the heat of their unlikely connection heal them both?
This is a special book. It is a collaboration, in a way, between two awesome authors. Roxanne St. Claire has opened her fan-favorite world of Barefoot Bay to a select number of romance authors. Marilyn Baxter is one of those talented writers.
\Marilyn introduces us to two very different, yet similar characters, Jillian and Sam. They have both sacrificed a large part of who they are for their family. For Jillian it is her sister. For Sam it was a brother-in-arms. But Sam is suffering from a wartime injury, both physical and mental. While Jillian has found her peace in being a healer who believes in the power of her hands.
Jillian is a talented masseuse who finds herself back in her hometown, the beautiful Barefoot Bay. She is offered a job that allows her to focus on one client, a hero, a wounded warrior. Jillian is determined to maintain a professional relationship with Sam while Sam is determined to be as unprofessional with her as possible.
As I have said before, a military hero is one of my biggest weaknesses. Marilyn creates a perfect mix of hot male, wounded soul, and hidden vulnerability in Sam. He may be all masculinity, but inside is a child crying out for help.
And Jillian? Well, she is a woman who is empathetic and caring. Her goal is to help this wounded man and his body get well again. But he fights her every step of the way. This she can look past because of his injuries, mental and physical. But, she can't fight the attraction he evokes in her.
Marilyn has done Roxanne proud. She has brought two of her characters and placed them perfectly inside Barefoot Bay. She stays true to the essence of the world that Roxanne has created. I was kept enthralled by the relationship between Jillian and Sam. There is no way to skim over the fireworks, both sexual and hostile, that fly between Sam and Jillian. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and the Bay.
In reality, if this is the first visit to Barefoot Bay for you, you will definitely want to hurry back. If you have visited Barefoot Bay with Roxanne, you will want to visit again with Marilyn. This is a MUST READ!