Here's a description of the book:
"Madison’s heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.
In the years since her twin brother’s tragic drowning, Madison has struggled with her ability to trust God—or anyone else, for that matter. It was her brother’s dream to win the annual River Sail Regatta in their small harbor town of Chapel Springs, Indiana. And Madison’s determined to honor his legacy by making his dream her own. Maybe then she can finally find closure.
But learning to sail means learning to swim. And her instructor is Beckett O’Reilly, a man who already has two strikes against him in Madison's eyes. Being on the water terrifies Madison. But Beckett’s calming presence and unwavering confidence eases her fear. And as much as she’d like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying.
As her feelings for him grow, a fledging faith begins to take root in her soul, as well. With Beckett, Madison feels alive for the first time in years –carefree and confident she can win the regatta, maybe even find love.
But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their love and the depth of Madison's faith. Will their love survive summer's challenge? And will achieving her brother's dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?"
Barefoot Summer is inspirational contemporary romance at its finest, with several intriguing plot lines, a wonderful supporting cast, deep family ties and issues, a romance with authentic tension, and a memorable message that ties in with the title.
I read almost the entire book in one setting, engaged with each new scene. Hunter writes simply beautiful descriptions, making me feel a part of Chapel Springs as I stopped at the hole-in-the-wall pizza parlor, swam and sailed on the river, visited homes in the neighborhoods, and roamed the park. I loved the easy-to-envision sights and smells. And of course I loved how the romance took center stage, without skimping on the other aspects of the plot.
The story involves a great mix of excitement and relatable issues. The pace was just right, with scenes alternating between the fun and the painful. Hunter tackles so much involving family (without going overboard) that there's bound to be something that will hit nearly every reader personally. I loved all of the brother/sister relationships, and the nursing home scenes resonated with me. The "Kneeling Nanas" are great, and the real-life connection that's highlighted in the acknowledgements is too sweet.
Just like Madison, I don't like to go barefoot (mostly because my feet get cold so easily!)...but this book showed me another way of "walking barefoot" that touched my heart. Barefoot Summer is a fabulous beginning to the "Chapel Springs" series!
*With thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing through the Booksneeze program
for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest