A superb summer read destined to become a classic. No surprise there, since Denise Hunter is the author. The first in the new Chapel Springs series, Barefoot Summer is a breathtaking escape read that will leave you clamouring for more. The story is anchored by incredible main characters, both grappling with the depth of their past hurts. Hunter has such an uncanny gift for developing a romance steeped in emotion and uncertainty. But there's sizzle and hope there as well which makes for a spellbinding combination. What evolves is a stunning story which centres on letting go and letting God.
Denise Hunter delivers another captivating novel in "Barefoot Summer," the first book in her newest series, "A Chapel Hill Romance." True to its title, this novel evokes images of carefree, childhood summers full of innocence and fun that were spent at the river or beach. "Barefoot Summer" is not just a lighthearted romance, but an emotional journey of two young adults, Beckett and Madison, with an entwined past shadowed by tragedy, heartache, and painful secrets.
As a reader, I was immediately drawn into the story with Hunter's portrayal of Madison McKinley
as a successful and grounded daughter in her closely-bonded family. The warm interactions with her siblings and parents are in stark contrast to Beckett O'Reilly's broken family and shadowed past. By telling the story through both Beckett's and Madison's perspectives, I sympathized with both individuals and wanted them to overcome the heartaches and emotional obstacles in their path.
Denise Hunter is an author who consistently delivers novels with emotional depth, a plot that develops at a steady pace, and a satisfying conclusion. After meeting other friends and family members in "Barefoot Summer," I am eagerly anticipating her next novel in the "Chapel Springs" series. I am very intrigued by Madison's sister, Jade, and her story that awaits within the pages of "Dancing with Fireflies," set to be released April 2014.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Book Sneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Personally I enjoyed this book. I thought the story line was interesting. The relationship between Madison and Beckett was very realistic. We all have baggage and at some point in our life, we ALL feel guilty about something. Watching their relationship unfold and how they struggle through their own personal issues was really refreshing.
I was a bit confused when they talked "boat talk" I do not know anything about boats except that they float, so reading all of that was confusing. I was lost and found myself skimming that part. So yay for having real terms but sadly I got lost as I am sure many readers would.
God was present in this book but he was not over bearing. I personally thought there was a nice balance. The cover was nice, I did not find it particularly enticing but it was nice. The writing was good and the characters were believable.
All-in-all this was a great book, a nice read and one that will pull your heartstrings.
***This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review***
Denise Hunter in her new book "Barefoot Summer" Book One in the Chapel Springs Romance series published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Madison McKinley.
From the back cover: Madison's heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.
In the years since her twin brother's drowning, Madison McKinley has struggled to put it behind her. Despite the support of her close-knit family and her gratifying job as a veterinarian in their riverside town, the loss still haunts her.
To find closure, Madison sets out to fulfill her brother's dream of winning the town's annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.
Beckett O'Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help--and he'll give it, because he owes her far more than she'll ever know.
Madison will do anything--even work with the infamous Beckett O'Reilly--to reach her goal. And as much as she'd like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.
But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer's challenges? And will achieving her brother's dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?
A regatta, boats, colorful sails, a girl afraid of the water who has never sailed and the only man who can teach her she doesn't like, add them all together and you have a recipe for a great story. Madison wants to find peace regarding her dead twin brother who drowned and the only way she feels that she can do that is to win the regatta in his name thus fulfilling his dream. Beckett is willing to teach her what she needs to know about sailing however Madison doesn't like him. Now these two will have to overcome all their fears and insecurities to work together to win the regatta. "Barefoot Summer" is about low self-esteem and feeling unlovable and how these feelings prevent us from living our lives freely. It is about healing from past hurts to embrace the present and move into the future. "Barefoot Summer" is a sweet romance that has some really nice moments in it. I liked it and look forward to more from Denise Hunter.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Madison is a twenty-six year old veterinarian who still grieves the death of her twin brother a decade ago. She is plagued by nightmares and thinks she can get rid of them by fulfilling his vow to win the local sailing regatta by age twenty-seven. She stretches her finances to make the winning bid at a fund raising auction. Her reward - sailing lessons.
But a hitch in her plans arises when the fellow to give her the lessons must find a substitute. He chooses Beckett, an engine repairman for the local marina as well as a designer and builder of sailing boats. That Beckett. The Becket who kissed Madison in high school. The kiss neither of them have forgotten.
Madison doesn't know if she can go through with this. She's angry with Beckett because of what he did to her younger sister, chasing her off. And Beckett doesn't know if he can go through this either. He is convinced he is the cause of Madison's brother's death. Besides that, he is the son of the town drunk - not boyfriend material for Madison and the fine Christian family she comes from.
The novel takes place along a Midwest river and we learn a bit about river sailing. The Christianity of the characters is well presented. I love the Kneeling Nanas! They added some humorous relief to the intense story line. An interesting theme in the novel is the pain that is caused by keeping secrets.
Hunter creates what seems like an impossible situation for the romance between Madison and Beckett to blossom. I was anxious to see how this impossible situation would be overcome. I did feel the resolution was a bit contrived. The vagueness of the ailment made it seem contrived. An actual name to the condition would have added to its credibility.
A delightful Christian romance with just a slight imperfection at the end.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from a publicity group for the purpose of this review.