Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: No Strings Attached (Barefoot Williams #2) by Kate Angell

Balmy ocean breezes. . .sweet coconut oil. . .glistening tanned bodies. There's no better place for romantic sparks to fly than at the beach.

As a professional volleyball player, Dune Cates attracts scores of pretty women who flock to his side. But only one has managed to get under his skin--Sophie Saunders. Unlike the skimpily-clad beach groupies, Sophie marches to a beat all her own. And though she's afraid of the surf, burns in the sun, has two left feet, that doesn't stop her from trying every daring sport available on the boardwalk. Dune knows Sophie spells trouble, and he should keep his distance, especially since he's a no-strings-attached kind of guy. But he can't ignore an overwhelming instinct to protect her. And with the promise of ice cream sandwiches, merry-go-round rides and dreamy sunsets, it's only a matter of time before Dune gives in to the temptation of Sophie's soft lips.

Love is always sweeter in the summer.
As with No Tan Lines, the first book of the Barefoot Williams series, Kate Angell again excels when it comes to setting and atmosphere. No Strings Attached is a quick, light, cute, beach read. For me, the best part of Angell's contemporary read is that she made me want to be on that boardwalk playing beach volleyball, eating ice cream cones, and enjoying some summer fun!

The romances, yes, there are two of them again, are okay, but again not on the sweeping side of the scale. The central romance between Sophie Saunders and Dune Cates is light, sweet and lacks real conflict. Sophie suffers from multiple phobias and Dune helps her get over them, which is cute at the beginning, but gets kind of tiring after a while. The same goes for Dune's protectiveness and rather unreal, unending, patience and sweet understanding -- those scenes with the hamsters pushed me over the edge as I found them to be over-the-top sugary sweet.

On the other hand, the romance between Dune's volleyball partner Mac and Jenna Cates is fraught with conflict and fun. Mac is a womanizer, a boy/man who has a tough time filtering what comes out of his mouth. Jenna is sharp-tongued, sarcastic, and not the type of woman to really put up with Mac. They seem not to like each other and argue. I like how she makes him work for a relationship. Mac is an obnoxious womanizer and a pain in the ass, but unlike Dune who at times seems more like a protective brother to Sophie than a lover, Mac is fun and falls passionately in love with Jenna. Yes, Mac has some of the best lines in this book. "He gives good fun."

Ms. Angell's No Strings Attached was a mixed bag for me. It's strange. I highly enjoy the atmosphere she creates in these contemporary romances and love Barefoot William as a setting, but there is something missing for me when it comes to her romances. Yet, I gobbled up this book in one sitting, just like I would a sweet ice cream cone. So do I recommend it? I recommend it for those of you looking for a quick, sweet, summery romance.

Category: Contemporary Romance
Series: Barefoot Williams
Publisher/Release Date: Kensington/ April 30, 2013
Grade: C

No Tan Lines, #1


  1. Aww, it sounds like nothing really spectacular, and like a mixed bag :(
    I'm sorry, hopefully you'll read something awesome soon.

    1. Alex, this book was definitely a mixed bag. That seems to be the story with me and Angell's books so far. I love the backdrop she creates for her characters, some of her characters are great and stand out for me, but her romances leave me feeling flat, with exceptions here and there. But, I'm sure that there are readers out there who will just love this book. It would make a great beach read for them.

  2. I totally know what you mean, Hils. I'm a big fan of Ms Angell, but not so much for the stories ^_^; It's more the writing for me. She has a very readable and enjoyable style that makes you gobble everything up LOL. Sometimes, her romance works better so that's a plus :)

    I have to say, I liked No Tan Lines better than this one. But both are really great beach reads :)

    1. Nath, I totally agree on Angell's readable style. It's interesting because I gave No Tan Lines a C grade, but I was really looking forward to going back to Angell's Barefoot Williams world this summer, and I look forward to reading the next one too. So yeah... like licking an ice cream cone in the summer. *g*


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