Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Barefoot Storm
AUTHOR: R.W. Clinger
PUBLISHER: JMS Books, LLC
LENGTH: 140 Pages
Twenty-four-year-old Storm Darlington, wealthy mogul of Darlington Securities, decides to remove himself from his heavy workload in New York City and spend a month in Barefoot Beach, Florida.
In Barefoot Beach, Trent Long is happy with his lifeguarding duties. He enjoys the sun, taking photos, and saving lives. But his world is turned upside down when Storm enters it. Sparks ignite the moment their two worlds collide. The only fly in the sunscreen ointment is Storm’s best friend, and retired Wall Street stock broker, Barbara Mullen.
Storm is forced to rethink his romantic feelings for the sexy lifeguard when Barbara reveals some of Trent’s secrets. But there’s very little time to think because Barefoot Beach is threatened by hurricane Edwin. Threats also come from Barbara, who insists she’ll end her friendship with Storm if he doesn’t dump Trent.
During the hurricane’s fury, Storm questions his relationship with Barbara, his busy life of finances in New York City, and the secrets he’s learned about Trent. Can Storm come to terms with all three? Will he be able to navigate the stormy waters of love, loss, and a possible future in Barefoot Beach?
I’m not even sure where to start on this one. I never want to underestimate a writer’s commitment to a book, or downplay the difficulty involved in just sitting down to write one. I appreciate the work that writers do, and having been a huge reader my entire life, feel deeply grateful to them. That said, I always attempt to give the author the benefit of the doubt when something sounds questionable. However, I’m wondering if a looming deadline caused some hurrying on this particular book. I’m going to have to give a few spoilers to justify the rating that I’m giving this book. I’ve never rated a book with this rating before and feel I need to explain my logic. Please understand this review is directed at this particular story, and is only my opinion.
The book seems to suffer greatly from lack of research. First, as a full time Floridian, who resides on the Gulf Coast, I can state with certainty that a Category 4 hurricane is a mandatory evacuation of Zone A everywhere, as well as Zone B in most areas. The whole “riding the storm out in a beach front bungalow” just can’t happen anymore. Particularly after Katrina, which this books says happened in the past. And when Barbara and Storm go out for lunch the day after the hurricane, I was wondering if they were at the Red Cross truck. The author described total destruction and deaths in one section, and the power is still on down the beach and the café is open.
There were also very implausible characters. A 24 year old who graduated from college and starting with nothing founded a private executive security firm which is already now worth somewhere in the multi-million dollar range and has offices not only in New York, but Sydney, London, Frankfurt, Dubai and somewhere else as well? His best friend who is a retired stock broker at 29, because she made millions in her first few years in the market? If the author had made them at least 10 years older they might have been more plausible, and I would still wonder if Insider Trading wasn’t part of the meteoric rise to riches on Barbara’s part.
There was a point in the book when it got rolling that I thought it was finally getting better, and then Storm shoots his Glock at a dark shadow in his kitchen in the middle of the night without even asking who it was. That sounded too much like a certain South African runner’s story to me.
I’ve never read any of the author’s other works. I would believe they would be better than this one. This book just seemed too hurried, like it was written in a short period of time, without looking for consistency. For example, if Barbara is 29, and she was a freshman when Storm was a junior, how is he now 24?
I would recommend skipping this book and looking at his other books.