Barefoot Summer is a novel unfolding the story of Madison, a young woman who decides to enter a sailboat regatta-- despite her intense fear of water-- because winning the regatta was the one wish of her late twin brother. The subplot digs deeper into Madison's fears, past, family life, and her deep-set (although based on false information) prejudice of Beckett, her handsome sailing coach.
I chose this book to read and review because the title sounded fun, refreshing, and adventurous. Though the book has some positive points, it didn't meet my personal expectations. It's written well with beautiful descriptions and depth, but I felt the story was slow and drawn out. Rather than a large cast of characters, much time was spent on just a few characters and I struggled to stay engaged. I love strong female characters in fiction, but I couldn't connect to Madison for some reason.
Final thoughts? Well written book, but not my personal style or expectations for fiction.
[Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for the chance to read and review this novel at no cost. The words in this review are my original and honest thoughts.]
I love books set in small towns, or at least small-ish towns. Chapel Springs is a perfect example of just that. Gossip spreads like a wildfire, and secrets don't last for long. In the first few opening pages, I felt like I had stepped into a movie. Hunter paints us a vibrant portrait of the town, the McKinleys, and Beckett, and she allows us to reach into the minds of both Beckett and Madison, offering readers a personal look into their thoughts and fears. This helped me connect with Madison especially. I'm glad Hunter brought us the story from two perspectives, with just one or the other, the story would lack something.
The McKinleys are a tight-knit, well blessed family, and it isn't hard to like them. Madison McKinley is the oldest girl in family with an older brother, Ryan, and two younger sisters, Jade and PJ. Madison also had a twin, Michael McKinley, who died before we met the family. I loved getting to know them all, throughout the story, and I look forward to more books about them.
Losing a twin is painful and though it has been several years since the accident, the wound is still tender to Madison. She still has questions, not to mention the horrible nightmare that plagues her every night. A flaw in Madison that I recognized having struggled with myself, was her need to be strong. She couldn't or wouldn't fall apart. Instead of letting it all out, she bottled all her emotions in. It's an unhealthy practice and leaves wounds fresh. I won't go into detail, but there were two scenes related to this that I felt were beautifully written.
I wish I could go on and talk about Beckett, who, by the way, is a fantastic hero, but I will sum up and end my review here. This is the first book by Hunter I have delved into, and I am thoroughly impressed. Her writing style is unique and entices you to read further. I am eagerly looking forward to Dancing with Fireflies, the next in the Chapel Springs series. As far as things to know about this novel, there is kissing and an alcoholic, but it is generally clean. I'd recommend to readers 15 and older.
I won this book in a giveaway, no review required. Thanks, Rissi! ;-)
I have read a few books by Denise Hunter and have got caught up in the story every time. This book was the same way. I loved the characters and was able to relate to them really well. I would definitely recommend this book.
I won a copy of this book in a giveaway and was asked but not required to post a review.
I figured out a few years ago that I am a fan of Denise Hunter's writing. I have not read all of her books, but I am trying to rectify that! I have a few sitting on my bookshelf and a few waiting on my kindle. But, of those that I have read, I have loved each one. Barefoot Summer is definitely no exception to this.
Madison McKinley is a successful veterinarian and the member of a wonderful family. But there is something eating away at her. Years ago, she lost her twin brother and the pain just has never lessened. She suffers from intense nightmares that are affecting how she functions during the day. She hopes that by fulfilling her brother's biggest dream and winning the sailing Regatta, she can finally put the nightmares behind her.
To achieve her brother's dream, Madison needs the help of Beckett O'Reilly. Once the town bad boy, Beckett is now a very different man. He struggles with an alcoholic father and a grandfather with Alzheimer's. To train Madison for the Regatta, Beckett will spend hours and hours in Madison's company. He has been drawn to her since high school, but has never felt worthy of her because of his family's history.
Barefoot Summer has all of the elements I need in a romance. These are elements that one or both of the main characters must work through in the course of the story. There is pain that needs to be worked through, feelings of unworthiness and guilt that need to be overcome, love that has been simmering for years and just now might have the chance to break through and be real, wonderful attraction that is sweet and a romance that builds throughout the story.
I am really enjoying this Chapel Springs series. I have read Barefoot Summer and A December Bride (novella). I am really looking forward to reading Dancing with Fireflies.
Denise Hunter has a way of drawing a reader into the story and keeping you turning pages until the end. The characters were engaging and the plot was well developed. I look forward to the next book in this series.