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Sweet Summer Romance July 26, 2013
I love a book that carries a theme. Denise Hunter took from Luke 8:5-8 the story of the sower and created a story about how a young woman can be in church her entire life and still not understand how to let go and let God. She hears the Word about healing and trusting God with all, but she hasn't quite learned to allow the Word to pierce her heart.
I too love the second verse she shares from 2 Peter 3:9. "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." God has perfect timing. We see this message throughout the story-line.
Madison McKinley is a girl who is hurting over the loss of her brother. She is concerned about her sister and things in her life just are not going as planned. I should say, as her plans. God, on the other hand, has plans for her. She just has to figure them out and follow His leading. Just maybe going barefoot she can get the hang of it :)
I love the idea of sailing and joining in to race in the regatta. Madison must take lessons to prepare. She must learn about the vessel she will be sailing. Just as in life, the waves to not always make for smooth sailing, but with the right knowledge we can learn to navigate the storms and enjoy the ride.
We get to see the journey of Madison, along with other characters you are sure to enjoy. There are seasons to life and Madison learns to navigate those seasons as she allows the Word of God steer her in a world that is ever changing.
This was a sweet romance.The characters were believable and their circumstances are those we can relate to on some level. If your looking for a summer read this is one you must add to your list.
Watch for the next book in the series, "Dancing With Fireflies", to be released in 2014.
This book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review.
Review by Robin
The perfect summer romance! June 12, 2013
"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.
Review by Kathleen
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?
|Series||A Chapel Springs Romance|
|Publication Date||May 28, 2013|