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Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter
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The front cover drew me in, and the fact that I enjoy this author and her stories. It is a god summer read and although there was problems to be worked out, the story was just very sweet and full of romance and was hard to put down once I started.

Madison lost her twin brother in a drowning accident years ago and although she has good support from her close-knit family, she still struggles with nightmares and bad dreams, which is also affecting her job as a veterinarian. She needs to learn how to sail a boat so she can enter the regatta and win, something her brother always wanted to accomplish. But her teacher for this turns out to be Beckett O'Reilly, who she struggles to get along with for many reasons (which you will discover as you keep reading).

As the book states, "the chemistry between them is electrifying". Beckett has adored her from afar for many years and as the summer progresses, so will their feeling for each other. But there are a few secrets that need to be brought out into the open, which could tear this couple apart.

A few of my favorite excerpts from the book:

This one is talking about Beckett as he watched Madison; "On her porch, watching her watching a moth, and realizing he was the moth and she the light. It would always be this way."

And then there was Madison's Mom talking to her about her brother who died;
"But death is part of life. Not my favorite part, not by a long shot. But God does not owe us ninety years on this earth. Life is a gift, however long it lasts. It's God's to give and take away as He sees fit. We go through life thinking we're entitled to our ninety, but we're not entitled to anything. All we can do is trust that He knows what He's doing. That He has a plan for all of us, and that no pain He allows in our life will go unused."

I look forward to reading the next book in this series, "Dancing with Fireflies". Enjoy!! ( )
  judyg54 | Jun 6, 2017 |
Madison McKinley is trying to desperately to put the loss of her twin brother, Michael, behind her. She's so desperate, she plans to brave her fear of water and swimming to enter the local sailing regatta to fulfill Michael's dream of being the youngest winner ever. What Madison didn't count on in her quest to honour her brother's memory was her substitute sailing teacher, Beckett O'Reilly. Beckett has always been an enigma since high school but as Madison spends more time with him, she discovers that there's more to him than meets the eye.

I quite enjoyed this Christian romance. Madison is a lovely character who felt wonderfully real and well-rounded. Beckett is just as interesting and the development of their relationship is enjoyable to read. I also appreciated that Madison is a regular church attender but who is still severely struggling to connect with God, which made her spiritual journey just as interesting. ( )
  MickyFine | Oct 4, 2015 |
Enjoyed this, love the mention of Sampson from Colleen Coble's books.

( )
  jnut1 | Mar 4, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book.

Madison who lost her brother in a boating accident years ago thinks winning 'his' race will make her whole again.

This is her story. ( )
  jnut1 | Mar 4, 2014 |
Madison McKinley seems to have it all. She loves her job as a veterinarian and she's part of a very loving and supportive family, that everyone loves. Though Madison is grateful she still struggles to put her twins death (from years ago) behind her. She can't sleep from a recurring nightmare and it's affecting her life and her job. Madison thinks if she can win the upcoming Regatta race and fulfill her brother's dream, that the nightmares will disappear. She must first learn to sail though. Beckett O'Reilly has always loved Madison but knows she would never look at someone like him. He's changed from the troublemaker he was in high school but his family hasn't. Madison will do anything to win this race, even if it means working with Beckett. But as they work together there is a chemistry between them that cannot be denied. Beckett carries a secret though that could change everything. Can their new romance find strength in adversity or will it fade into the sunset? Will Madison find the peace she seeks in fulfilling her bother's dream?

What a great start to the Chapel Springs Series and might I say I love the cover! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the folks and by the end of the book you really feel like you're good friends and can't wait to return. Beckett O'Reilly was such a great guy. He related to Madison so beautifully despite his own problems. Madison was easy to relate to. You can totally understand her feelings and emotions. Together they were great and I loved sharing their moments with them. The author did a beautiful job of covering a lot of family difficulties with grace and truth, but the most difficult was the death of a loved one. Just about everyone has faced that at some point and I loved what Madison's mother told Madison. "Life is a gift, however long it lasts. It's God's to give and take away as He sees fit. We go through life thinking we're entitled to our ninety, but we're not entitled to anything. All we can do is trust that He knows what He's doing. That He has a plan for all of us and that no pain He allows in our life will go unused." WOW, what powerful and comforting words. Now don't get me wrong, there are lots of playful moments to this story as well. It maintained that delicate balance which is so pleasing to the reader. Bottom line here is that you'll fall in love with the folks of Chapel Springs, I know I did. So if you're feeling the need to get away from the cold weather, I recommend you sail away to Chapel Springs for a Barefoot Summer!

As a side note, "A December Bride" is Layla O'Reilly's story (Beckett's sister). "Dancing with Fireflies" is Jade McKinley's story which I am looking forward to reading next.

Series: A Chapel Springs Romance (Book 1)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 28, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1401687008
ISBN-13: 978-1401687007

For more information on this book or other books by Denise Hunter, I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.denisehunterbooks.com/ ( )
  love2readnovels | Feb 7, 2014 |
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In the years since her twin brother's drowning, Madison 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 his dream of winning the town's annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast. She'll even work with the infamous Beckett to reach her goal. Can their romance survive summer's challenges? And will achieving her brother's dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?… (more)

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