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.
This author sure knows how to pack emotion, tender moments, and passion within the pages of each book she writes. I loved this book. It was compelling and interesting. I appreciated how there were so many lessons about secrets, forgiveness, and knowing God in a personal way inserted into the story line. I also loved how the author showed that a relationship with the living Savior does change the way someone lives their life and eventually people who long for similar peace will seek the same relationship.
The romance was delectable. I adored the hero. He was very heroic and delightful. The way he sacrificed his time to help Madison was admirable. I loved how he taught her to swim so she wouldn't be so afraid to be on the water. The tension was tastefully written, but palpable and intense at the same time. There was true love going on within the pages of this book. It flowed smoothly and naturally and I had a hard time putting it down once I got wrapped up in the story.
Come and get lost in Denise Hunter's new book. You'll experience the love of family, and the loss of one parents. Some aren't as fortunate to grown up in a close caring family, like the main character here, Beckett O'Reilly..his Mom left when he was young, and his Dad turned to drink. He did have a calming influence in his life with his Grandfather. Don't think he would have made it without him and his finding God through him.
Then there is the opposite side of the spectrum in Madison McKinley, her parents and siblings all rally around her. She does have her demons, she lost her twin, her brother at age 17, and has recurring nightmares about his death, which happened ten years ago.
Madison has decided the one way to stop those nightmare is to win the town's annual regatta. This plan puts both Beckett and Madison on the same path. They seem like they don't like each other. Beckett, because of his up bringing has very low self-esteem, and Madison feels she is unlovable with all of her heartache.
Will Madison be able to conquer her demon and begin to trust God? Will Beckett find peace and his own self-worth?
Follow this town and families on their journey to find peace and salvation.
I received this book through Litfuse Blogger Book Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
Denise is a master of creating characters and stories that I enjoy. Hers are always romance focused, and I am swept into a world where you know the hero and heroine can get together even though you know they should. This is also a story laced with the thread of regret over the past and forgiveness. You can't move into the future without confronting your past and extending forgiveness to yourself and others. This is a perfect summer read. I can't wait to return to southern Indiana in a future book!
If you're looking for a book that will sweep you off your feet this summer, Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter is the perfect choice! The plot intrigued me before I ever began reading the book. It just seemed like a unique mix of "issues" and challenges for two people to overcome. As I began reading, though, it sucked me in and I did NOT want to stop reading!!
Beckett was a little ... dreamy, shall we say? Sure, he's got this "bad boy" persona left over from high school, but he's misunderstood by a lot of people. When he offers to help Madison, I just knew I was in for a treat. I think it was about the time he began teaching her to swimâ€”and so patiently!â€”that I knew we had a real "hero" on our hands!
Madison was an interesting character. I liked her right off the bat and really felt sorry for her at times. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a sibling, much less a twin. She's tried to move past it, but hasn't really been able to overcome her grief. At times she grated on my nerves because she was so judgmental and a little harsh. But there were other moments when I really connected with her. As I kept reading, I realized that the author really did write Madison well ... even when I was annoyed with her, there were reasons for her behavior/attitudes, and I ended up really liking her.
As you might be able to tell, the characters really drive this book. They made the story for me! The romance was perfect. Plus, there's a great family dynamic that I'm hoping we get to see more of in the rest of the series.
By the end, Barefoot Summer had me itching for a lazy day at the lake (or on the river), which makes this the perfect book for summer! [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.