Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. 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.”
Title: Barefoot Summer (A Chapel Springs Romance)
Author: Denise Hunter
Format: trade paperback with a Reading Group Guide
Genre: Christian, Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Published: Thomas Nelson / 2013 / ISBN: 978-1-4016-8700-7/ 320 pages / $15.99
Madison's twin brother downed while in high school and she still hasn't been able to get rid of the dreams that torment her night after night. In an effort to move on from the tragedy, Madison decides that she wants to win the annual sailing regatta in honor of her brother. The only problem--she doesn't know how or sail, or swim for that matter.
Beckett, the former "bad boy" in high school, who also happened to be Madison's first kiss, is saddled with the responsibility of teaching her how to sail before the regatta. The same one he is planning on winning so he can start his own boat building business with the cash prize.
Although they try to fight it, Madison and Beckett are drawn to one another and working/sailing side-by-side isn't helping the attraction. Finally, they decide to call a truce and end up falling in love.
As with all fledgling romances, there is always some kind of misunderstanding that threatens the relationship; however, Beckett would hardly call his secret a misunderstanding. In fact, it's more like a plague that is growing exponentially the longer he keeps it from Madison.
Will telling Madison the secret rip apart their budding relationship? Can they both learn to trust God and His comfort and promises? Will forgiveness change their lives?
What I Liked: Denise Hunter is quite the realistic story teller. Not only does she pull on your heart-strings with a real-to-life sob-story, but her character development makes you want to walk right up to the characters and shake them on occasion when they make "dumb" decisions.
I'm a sucker for romance stories and this one did not disappoint. The characters were realistic in their actions and voice to the point that I felt like they were my own friends and I was the proverbial "fly on the wall" while they lived their daily lives.
I enjoyed the fact that Ms. Hunter wove biblical truths such as trust and forgiveness into this tale, which made the actions and reactions of the characters that much more realistic. I sat biting my nails during certain points in the story because I could hardly handle the suspense of how the characters would react and whether or not they would rely on God to guide them.
As I mentioned, Ms. Hunter is quite the wordsmith, and I intend on reading as many of her words as I can find.
What I Didn't Like: Finding out that book #2, Dancing with Fireflies, will not be available until April 2014. Really? Why must we wait soooooooooooo looooooooooooooong for the book to be published?????
Overall Impression: Rating: 5 out of 5
Let me know what you think! Happy Reading!!