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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1

Thomas Nelson Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1

Since losing her twin, Michael, in a drowning incident, Madison has rejected the faith she lived by. Instead, she's devoted her life to fulfilling Michael's dream, winning the River Sail Regatta in their small Indiana town, Chapel Springs.

As she trains for the regatta, Beckett O'Reilly is teaching Madison to swim. But he's keeping a painful secret from her-and as they grow closer, that secret threatens to upend their lives, and the lives of both their families.

Average Customer Rating:
4.571 out of 5
4.6
 out of 
5
(28 Reviews) 28
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5 stars
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28 out of 28100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Review 1 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 22, 2014
Customer Avatar
Rosie
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
An enchanting, contemporary story!
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! ;-)
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Review 2 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book

Date:January 20, 2014
Customer Avatar
susanmsj
Location:Odessa, TX
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
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Review 3 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Beautiful Love Story

Date:January 11, 2014
Customer Avatar
Britt98
Location:Grand Prairie, TX
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
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Review 4 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

a refreshing read

Date:October 16, 2013
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The loss of a loved one is a life changing experience. Denise Hunter has taken that experience and given us a glimpse of how hard it is to "just get over it". An underlying theme is how easily a misunderstanding can happen when secrets are kept.
Barefoot Summer was well-written and kept me interested enough to keep coming back when I had to step away for other things. I didn't connect with Madison and Beckett as well as I would have liked, but their stories drew me in, and I loved Ms. Hunter's descriptions of being on the water--I could almost feel it, though it's been years.
***I received this book from the publisher/author for the purpose of review. The above is my honest opinion.***
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Review 5 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

barefoot review

Date:October 8, 2013
Customer Avatar
beckie
Age:35-44
Gender:female
"Barefoot Summer" is the first book in the Chapel Springs Romance Series written by Denise Hunter. This novel is a romance starring Madison, a 26 year old veterinarian, who is learning to swim from Beckett, her long-time secret admirer. Madison comes with some baggage (her twin brother recently died) as well as her hatred for Beckett due to a misunderstanding with her sister/roommate.
This book was ok. The romance was good, but the formula was typical. The characters seemed too young for their age. Though the book is the first in its series, it reads as if there have been others. I spent the first several chapters trying to figure out what was going on. The writing was fair, however, a prologue would have been helpful. I received this book for free from booksneeze.com
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Review 6 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
This review is fromBarefoot Summer - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another great read from Denise Hunter

Date:November 13, 2013
Customer Avatar
Kim S
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
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Review 7 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great cover for a smooth, sail-away read.

Date:August 8, 2013
Customer Avatar
JesuSaves
Location:Canada
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
A town that will lull readers with its charms, characters who rub against a person in the right way, skillfully rendered heartache that prompts a hero and heroine to evolve and rise above obstacles, Denise Hunter weaves it all together in her latest, with a unique and redefined prose. Barefoot Summer will whisk you away into an adventure where emotions run as deeply and as dynamically as the waves of the sea. The story gets even better when the concept behind the title is revealed. It's simply profound. Denise poignantly addresses the issue of fear - fear of rejection, fear of pain - through characters that are so amazingly human, I was left touched by the beautiful words of encouragement and the struggles Beckett and Madison go through. Their romance is so sweet! I mean really you all. How much more darlingness can a reader take? A darling, quirky Madison McKinley is paired up with a sweet and equally quirky Beckett O' Reilly and his smoldering gaze, 'eyes as dark and enigmatic as a moonless night' (p, 35) (his eyes are fascinating!), no wonder readers are still swooning over this one. My favorite scenes involve swimming lessons and the last scene in the end. So romantic, they're worth several rereads. This one is a keeper. Despite the fact that I thought some parts too predictable and wished there'd been more interesting dialogue between Beckett and Madison - like I said, they're quirky and I would have enjoyed watching the author explore their personalities and relationship through fun and friendly bantering - I can honestly say that I enjoyed Barefoot Summer. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series. Kudos to you, Denise Hunter!
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Review 8 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 31, 2013
This book allows a glimpse into the lives of Madison McKinley and Beckett O’Reilly. The two have known each other since their school days. Beckett had a reputation for being the bad boy and Madison was a picture of perfection. While Beckett came from a broken home, Madison seemed liked she had it all. Although behind every picture of perfection there is often hidden pain. Madison tragically lost her twin brother and while everyone else seems to have gone on with their lives she cannot seem to get past the pain. She desperately wants the nightmares to stop and she believes that by fulfilling her brother’s dream of winning the town’s regatta that she can finally move on. When Madison wins boating lessons at an auction she is both scared and excited to embark on this adventure of competing in the regatta. However, plans change when her instructor is unable to fulfill his commitment and she is forced to learn from Beckett O’Reilly. Beckett will do anything to help Madison win this race as he has kept his feelings for her buried as he believed someone like her could never be interested in him. As the boating lessons begin the chemistry between them is undeniable. Will a secret that Beckett has kept for years tear them apart?
Denise Hunter has written a beautiful love story with all the emotions and flaws of real life. Two hurting people fall in love and have to figure out their way through the twists and turns in life. I really enjoyed this story and found the characters to be very relatable. I look forward to reading the second book in the series called Dancing with Fireflies coming in April 2014.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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.
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Review 9 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
This review is fromBarefoot Summer - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This book was easy to read.

Date:September 4, 2013
Customer Avatar
Rosella
Location:New Brunswick, Canada
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book is captivating from the very beginning. Easy to read, makes you want to continue reading so you can find out the outcome.
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Review 10 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Superb Summer Read

Date:July 18, 2013
Customer Avatar
KavR
Location:Canada
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A superb summer read destined to become a classic. No surprise there, since Denise Hunter is the author. The first in the new Chapel Springs series, Barefoot Summer is a breathtaking escape read that will leave you clamouring for more. The story is anchored by incredible main characters, both grappling with the depth of their past hurts. Hunter has such an uncanny gift for developing a romance steeped in emotion and uncertainty. But there's sizzle and hope there as well which makes for a spellbinding combination. What evolves is a stunning story which centres on letting go and letting God.
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Review 11 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Another Captivating Read by Denise Hunter!

Date:July 11, 2013
Customer Avatar
Rambling Reader
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Denise Hunter delivers another captivating novel in "Barefoot Summer," the first book in her newest series, "A Chapel Hill Romance." True to its title, this novel evokes images of carefree, childhood summers full of innocence and fun that were spent at the river or beach. "Barefoot Summer" is not just a lighthearted romance, but an emotional journey of two young adults, Beckett and Madison, with an entwined past shadowed by tragedy, heartache, and painful secrets.
As a reader, I was immediately drawn into the story with Hunter's portrayal of Madison McKinley
as a successful and grounded daughter in her closely-bonded family. The warm interactions with her siblings and parents are in stark contrast to Beckett O'Reilly's broken family and shadowed past. By telling the story through both Beckett's and Madison's perspectives, I sympathized with both individuals and wanted them to overcome the heartaches and emotional obstacles in their path.
Denise Hunter is an author who consistently delivers novels with emotional depth, a plot that develops at a steady pace, and a satisfying conclusion. After meeting other friends and family members in "Barefoot Summer," I am eagerly anticipating her next novel in the "Chapel Springs" series. I am very intrigued by Madison's sister, Jade, and her story that awaits within the pages of "Dancing with Fireflies," set to be released April 2014.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Book Sneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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.”
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Review 12 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Barefoot Summers

Date:July 8, 2013
Customer Avatar
Libby
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Personally I enjoyed this book. I thought the story line was interesting. The relationship between Madison and Beckett was very realistic. We all have baggage and at some point in our life, we ALL feel guilty about something. Watching their relationship unfold and how they struggle through their own personal issues was really refreshing.
I was a bit confused when they talked "boat talk" I do not know anything about boats except that they float, so reading all of that was confusing. I was lost and found myself skimming that part. So yay for having real terms but sadly I got lost as I am sure many readers would.
God was present in this book but he was not over bearing. I personally thought there was a nice balance. The cover was nice, I did not find it particularly enticing but it was nice. The writing was good and the characters were believable.
All-in-all this was a great book, a nice read and one that will pull your heartstrings.
***This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review***
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Review 13 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Regatta, Healing, Restoration and Romance

Date:June 21, 2013
Customer Avatar
VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Denise Hunter in her new book "Barefoot Summer" Book One in the Chapel Springs Romance series published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Madison McKinley.
From the back cover: Madison's heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.
In the years since her twin brother's drowning, Madison McKinley 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 her brother's dream of winning the town's annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.
Beckett O'Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help--and he'll give it, because he owes her far more than she'll ever know.
Madison will do anything--even work with the infamous Beckett O'Reilly--to reach her goal. And as much as she'd like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.
But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer's challenges? And will achieving her brother's dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?
A regatta, boats, colorful sails, a girl afraid of the water who has never sailed and the only man who can teach her she doesn't like, add them all together and you have a recipe for a great story. Madison wants to find peace regarding her dead twin brother who drowned and the only way she feels that she can do that is to win the regatta in his name thus fulfilling his dream. Beckett is willing to teach her what she needs to know about sailing however Madison doesn't like him. Now these two will have to overcome all their fears and insecurities to work together to win the regatta. "Barefoot Summer" is about low self-esteem and feeling unlovable and how these feelings prevent us from living our lives freely. It is about healing from past hurts to embrace the present and move into the future. "Barefoot Summer" is a sweet romance that has some really nice moments in it. I liked it and look forward to more from Denise Hunter.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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."
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Review 14 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

a Christian romance with secrets revealed

Date:June 21, 2013
Customer Avatar
bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is a pretty good romance for summer reading.
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.
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Review 15 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Loved it!

Date:June 19, 2013
Customer Avatar
Michelle Sutton
Location:Arizona
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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.
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Review 16 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Journey To Peace

Date:June 19, 2013
Customer Avatar
MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
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Review 17 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Perfect summer read

Date:June 15, 2013
Customer Avatar
Cara Putman
Location:Indiana
Age:35-44
Gender:female
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!
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Review 18 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book for a lazy summer day!

Date:June 15, 2013
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 swim—and so patiently!—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.
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Review 19 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The perfect summer romance!!

Date:June 12, 2013
Customer Avatar
Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Life is filled with difficulties. This isn't heaven. We have these big mountains, set right in front of us, and we have no choice but to climb.
Her mom looked down, took a long moment, then squeezed Madison's hand. "When you were a little girl, you didn't like going barefoot, you remember? You had such tender feet."
"The grass tickled, and the sticks and rocks hurt."
"Even that time we went to Lake Michigan, you wore your sandals on the beach except when you were on your towel."
"The sand was hot."
"You remember Michael though?" Mom laughed. "Mercy, I couldn't keep that boy in shoes. It was all I could do to make him keep them on at church. I'd come into the nursery and there his socks would be, all balled up in the corner, and him running around barefoot."
Madison smiled at the remembrance. "We were different as day and night."
"But still so close." Mom tucked Madison's hair behind her ear and looked at her knowingly. "Sometimes we have to find the courage to take off our shoes and feel it all. Even the bad stuff."
"Sometimes those negative feelings are so strong, they're overwhelming, and it's easier to just not deal with them. But they always come out one way or another. You've always been afraid of feeling, Madison. 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 supposed realizing that has given me a measure of peace." (pg 235-236).
In the latest novel from best selling author Denise Hunter, Barefoot Summer, takes the reader in the life of Madison McKinley who lost her twin brother ten years ago when he drowned. Now plagued by unrelenting nightmares, Madison feels that the only way she'll find peace is to fulfill her brother Michael's dream to be the youngest winner at the town's annual regatta. But to do that, she'll have to conquer her fear of water and her fear of Beckett O'Reilly, who's the only one who can teach her to sail.
But Beckett O'Reilly has his own secrets he's been carrying around for years. One that started at a high school dance and has impacted the lives of the McKinley's to this day. If only he can find a way to dig deep inside and tell Madison what she needs to gain perspective in her life, but these days all she is doing is harboring a deep grudge inside against God for taking her brother away from her. If only he could find a way to help her find God and allow Him to heal the broken pieces in her life.
I received Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. Too often our fears of failure will hold us back from what potential God has planned in our lives. Too many times, we'd rather run and hide than face things head on. I love how Denise Hunter incorporates that into the first book in her Chapel Springs Romance series. It seems that despite all outward appearances in both Madison and Beckett, there lies deeper secrets that they both will have to come to terms and deal with. But are Beckett and Madison the only ones who are keeping secrets? You'll have to pick this novel up to find out! A perfect summer read and one that offers a powerful message between the cover. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and even includes a discussion guide that is perfect for book clubs.
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Review 20 for Barefoot Summer, Chapel Springs Romance Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Redemption. Nautical. Lovely.

Date:June 11, 2013
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Alicia
Location:New York, NY
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
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.
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