Sweet Delight Audiobook Review: The Barefoot Summer by Carolyn Brown

Posted August 9, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews, Sweet Delight / 20 Comments

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sweet Delight Audiobook Review: The Barefoot Summer by Carolyn Brown
The Barefoot Summer
Narrated by Donna Postel

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Brilliance Audio
Released on January 3, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
add to goodreads

The Delight

A con man is murdered and the police investigation digs up not one, but three widows.  All are shocked and all are down-right determined to spend the summer at his lake-side cabin for the summer.  It was a fun premise, a favorite author, and a narrator I already love so I kicked off my sandals and joined the gals at the lake.


Kate Steele has had a marriage in name only for many years now to Conrad and an acrimonious one at that when he found out he could trick her into marriage, but not out of her oil company inheritance.  But, even she was shocked when he was shot and she becomes the number one suspect followed by two more wives who thought they were Conrad’s one and only.  Her workaholic no-nonsense mother wears a sour ‘I-told-you-so’ expression and tells her to get out of Dallas until the dust settles and then she needs to come back prepared to take over the business when her mother retires.  Kate is unsettled about all that gets revealed, but also about Waylon the nearly retired detective on the case who is a full time cowboy and getting away gets her to thinking hard about other paths and new desires.

Elementary school teacher, Jamie always wondered about Conrad’s need to be away so much, but never in a million years did she think he was a cheater and she’d end up a fake wife.  She holds her anger to herself because her adorable daughter Gracie should be allowed to grieve her daddy.  She doesn’t know about the other two wives, but she’s taking her child to the lake-side cabin for a summer of fun before reality has to set in.  If she has to share with the other two, so be it.

Amanda is caring the man’s baby and thought she had found the love of her life.  Her anger is directed at those other two lying hussies who aren’t Conrad’s wives. There are divorce papers, surely.  She needs to look to her child’s future and she intends to spend the days before the birth at the cabin where she had her honeymoon with Conrad.  Those other two might insist on being there and they don’t even more his passing, but she was his true wife, right?

The Barefoot Summer is about three very different women from different walks of life.  They are hostile, resentful, and even suspicious at first.  But, slowly, they find common ground as they share their lives and experiences and start to compare notes about the man who tricked and used them all.  Gracie is the sweet distraction and becomes their shared focal interest.  She pulls them out of their wallowing and they all make an effort for her sake.

As with any book by this author, there are friendly neighbors, small town happenings, ranch life, country living, and relationships and family.  At first, romance wasn’t a strong element, but two of the women have love interests.  I got a kick out of feisty Kate and phlegmatic Waylon’s romance.  He really does suspect her as the killer even while he gets a kick out of her snippy airs toward him.  She relaxes and softens out in the country and it is Kate who got the lion’s share of the story narrative.

It was fun having Kate, Jamie, and Amanda interacting and all sharing the cabin.  Just as Kate changes when she gets a chance to see a different life possibility, the same happens for the other two as well.  Conrad was despicable, but he did give them that and the chance to know each other.

It’s a gently-paced story with no big drama moments or much tension, but it was engaging and heartwarming.

Donna Postel is a narrator I came to appreciate when she did another Carolyn Brown book.  She has a husky yet versatile voice that gets a slight drawl and good distinction of character voices.  There is a sparkle to her work, if I might call it that.  I relaxed and enjoyed the story as a result and definitely want to listen to more of her work.

All in all, The Barefoot Summer was a great escape listen and encapsulated the summer season and the Texas country setting by the lake.  I can definitely recommend it to those who enjoy women’s fic crossed over with contemporary romance.

Challenges Met

Audio #62


About Carolyn Brown

Hi! I’m twenty five years old and movie star gorgeous. The camera added thirty plus years and a few wrinkles. Can’t trust those cameras or mirrors either. Along with bathroom scales they are notorious liars! Honestly, I am the mother of three fantastic grown children who’ve made me laugh and given me more story ideas than I could ever write. My husband, Charles, is my strongest supporter and my best friend. He’s even willing to eat fast food and help with the laundry while I finish one more chapter! Life is good and I am blessed!

Reading has been a passion since I was five years old and figured out those were words on book pages. As soon as my chubby little fingers found they could put words on a Big Chief tablet with a fat pencil, I was on my way. Writing joined reading in my list of passions. I will read anything from the back of the Cheerio’s box to Faulkner and love every bit of it. In addition to reading I enjoy cooking, my family and the ocean. I love the Florida beaches. Listening to the ocean waves puts my writing brain into high gear.

I love writing romance because it’s about emotions and relationships. Human nature hasn’t changed a bit since Eve coveted the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Settings change. Plots change. Names change. Times change. But love is love and men and women have been falling in and out of it forever. Romance is about emotions: love, hate, anger, laughter… all of it. If I can make you laugh until your sides ache or grab a tissue then I’ve touched your emotions and accomplished what every writer sets out to do.

I got serious about writing when my third child was born and had her days and nights mixed up. I had to stay up all night anyway and it was very quiet so I invested in a spiral back notebook and sharpened a few pencils. The story that emerged has never sold but it’s brought in enough rejection slips to put the Redwood Forest on the endangered list. In 1997 Kensington bought two books for their Precious Gems line. Two years and six books later the line died with only four of those books seeing publication. But by then Avalon had bought a book and another, and another. Ten years later the list has grown to thirty nine. Last year Sourcebooks bought the Lucky Series which is in the bookstores now. They’ve also bought The Honky Tonk Series which will debut with I LOVE THIS BAR in June and will be followed by HELL, YEAH, MY GIVE A DAMN’S BUSTED, and HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS.

Folks ask me where I get my ideas. Three kids, fifteen grandchildren, two great grandchildren. Note: I was a very young grandmother! Life is a zoo around here when they all come home. In one Sunday afternoon there’s enough ideas to keep me writing for years and years. Seriously, ideas pop up at the craziest times. When one sinks its roots into my mind, I have no choice but to write the story. And while I’m writing the characters peek over my shoulder and make sure I’m telling it right and not exaggerating too much. Pesky little devils, they are!

I have a wonderful agent, Erin Niumata, who continues to work magic and sell my work. I’m very lucky to have her and my editors who continue to believe in me.

Happy reading!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
The following two tabs change content below.
I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lover of Romance
1 year ago

There is something so charming about this author and her writing style. I like that she writes about three women and its not full on drama and that they are able to find common ground even though they have various backgrounds that differ from each other.

Glad you liked this one….great review.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Great way of describing her writing, Renee. I agree. Drama, but not empty angst going on.

1 year ago

Mmm, like a nice gentle summer breeze.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  vvb

It really smacked of summer especially when they were fishing and picnicking around the lake.

Anne - Books of My Heart

You are on a Carolyn Brown binge! I don’t know the narrator. This sounds like a fun premise. Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

LOL, one a month for my Reading Assignment Author Love challenge, but yes, I am definitely in the mood for her sunny, country charmers. 🙂

1 year ago

This was probably my least favorite Carolyn Brown. I was surprised because I usually love her books, but they can’t all be hits, right?

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel

I had a hard time with Kate for a while until she loosened up. You’re right about not all being hits. I DNF’d one of hers just last year, but figured it was only one in many that I love. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
1 year ago

That sounds like a sweet story. I’m glad to see you liked it.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It was. The friendships and new little family they all made together was sweet.

Angie Elle
1 year ago

Oh, this does sound like a spectacular read, Sophia. It sounds like it would be atmospheric, too, with the cabin at the center of everything.

Great review! 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

It felt just like golden summer days once they got to the cabin. I wanted to read on my porch and sip lemonade. 🙂

Carole Rae
1 year ago

This sounds so sweet.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

It really was once it got going. 🙂

1 year ago

Wow! what a wild ride… I didn’t see – do you get all three woman’s POVs? Will there be more? I do love this cover.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Jen

Yeah, nuts! And, yes, all three women plus the detective. It wasn’t hard to follow the different POVs on audio.

1 year ago

I do need to get on board with reading this author.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Nadene

Oh yes! 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Ooo this is standalone and has some suspense elements. Nice.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, I like these Montlake published ones that are all standalone. They are more women’s fic more than romance. And, yes, there is a bit of suspense, but it’s not a big part of the book other than everyone looking at each other awkwardly at first. LOL