Barefoot Summer main lesson is about redemption. We see that constantly in the lives of both main characters, Madison and Beckett. Madison hopes to let go of her hurt and pain surrounding the death of her twin brother by fulfilling his dream to be the youngest sailor to win the regatta. The only problem is she can not swim, nor can she sail. Beckett has difficulty seeing himself as the new person he has become in Christ and with the help of Madison and the Lord he begins to heal.
The plot was refreshingly unique with the deep heart issues and the fun sailing lessons. I enjoyed the nautical feel to the story. The author did a great job developing Madison, I could relate so much with with her fear of water and her lack of expressive emotions. She felt real and was very down to earth. The author transitioned from both main characters and past and present with such ease. The writing style was simple, but so impact full. The emotions and spiritual topics ran deep and meaningful.
I can not wait to read the next installments the the series and would definitely recommend this book to others.
I received a complimentary copy, from Litfuse, in exchange for my independent and unbiased review.
Madison McKinley is a 26-year-old veterinarian back living in her home town of Chapel Springs, Indiana, and she has a dream. She wants to win the Annual River Sail Regatta in honour of her twin brother, Michael, a keen sailor who died when they were 17. There are only two things standing in her way: she doesn't know the first thing about sailing, and she is afraid of water.
She wins a sailing lesson-and-regatta package at a local charity auction, but her plans go awry when she finds the lessons won't be from married-with-children Evan Higgins, but with the very single Beckett O'Reilly, reformed bad boy and son of the town alcoholic. Beckett has had a long-time crush on Maddy, so is happy to give her lessons, as long as she doesn't find out how he feels about her, doesn't find out what happened between him and her sister, Jade, and doesn't discover his secretâ€”the one he doesn't know if she will be able to forgive.
The opening was a bit confusing as I tried to sort out all the characters (especially the many McKinley siblings), but I soon worked them all out and settled into enjoying a well-plotted story. It wasn't a straightforward romanceâ€”there were enough twists and turns to keep it interesting and give it a pleasant depth not found in many contemporary Christian romances. The one slight fault was perhaps the outcome of the regatta _
I really enjoyed Barefoot Summer. I liked the characters, I liked the way the author dealt with Madison's issues with Christianity, and I especially liked Beckett, who has overcome a difficult childhood to become a man anyone would be proud to know, despite his inferiority complex. I liked the style of writing, and I especially liked the way the author introduced the various characters in the McKinley family, obviously setting us up for a sequel (which I will look forward to reading).
Odd as it might seem, I read two books in a row about a twin who lost their faith in God when they lost their twin to death, this and An Open Heart by Harry Kraus. I enjoyed Barefoot Summer much more, because I could really believe Madison's faith journey, and I found the characters easier to relate to. Yes, the plot was more predictable than that of An Open Heart, and perhaps even a bit corny at times, but the storytelling was better. Or maybe it's just that I like the romance_ A fun summer read (or, for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, for cuddling up by the fire with).
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze for providing a free ebook for review.
Madison is determined to put her twin brother's death, and the resulting nightmares, behind her, and she thinks that fulfilling Michael's dream of winning the town's annual regatta before their 27th birthday will accomplish both. Only two things stand in her way: her terror of water, and her fear of Beckett O'Reilly - the man who is going to teach her to sail. Beckett has his own reasons for being apprehensive about this arrangement, but is determined to see it through. Can Madison win the race? Can she find a way to move on? Will Beckett be the key to helping her heal, or will he only bring more pain?
I found myself really enjoying this book. I loved Madison's determination to train and win the regatta, even though she froze at the mere sight of water, and didn't even know how to swim. Although storylines of dead twins are really starting to freak me out, I could feel her grief that she'd refused to release about the loss of her other half. Her search for healing, and how faith might relate to that, was compelling, and I wanted her to find a way to live her life well without Michael. Beckett was an intriguing character on his own; his past and how he'd overcome it felt realistic and honest. He had scars from his past that still affected the way he saw himself, but he was trusting God to see him through his new life.
I was excited to see that this was the first book in a series; I hope that the following books continue to expand on the other characters in Madison's family and that we continue to keep tabs on Madison and Beckett.
I give this book 4 stars for enjoyability.
I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.
The way Beckett treats Madison reminds me of my own personal love story, so naturally I loved every minute of this book (you'll have to read it to understand what I mean). The families involved are very real and the individual characters are very easy to like.
Barefoot Summer is laid out so well. We are taken to the past as the characters remember key moments in their lives without it being confusing. They story line itself is quite intriguing and enjoyable as we read about Madison striving toward her goal and finding the peace she so desperately needs.
God is so good to those who are willing to hand it all over to Him. His faithfulness is true to the end. Even though we don't understand why bad things happen to good people, when we surrender and admit that we cannot work it out on our own then hand it over to Him, we can rest assure that He will turn a tragedy into something good.
Do I recommend this book? Yes, yes, and yes!
***Thank you Litfuse Publisity Group and Thomas Nelson Publishers for the free book in exchange for my honest review and for the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour.***