Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter ~ A Contemporary Romance Review

Denise Hunter
Chapel Springs Series, Book 1

About the book:

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?

My thoughts:

If you can classify a novel as steamy without it crossing the line then this one is definitely putting off some vapors. The relationship between Madison and Beckett has been brewing for years and it finally comes to a point that they need to pursue it or move on. The problem is that neither one of them is sure how the other one feels. In order to figure it out someone is going to have to become vulnerable. That would mean exposing old hurts and weaknesses.

Ten years before Madison’s twin died in an accident. Everyone seems to have moved on except Madison. There’s a hole that just can’t be filled no matter how hard she tries. So instead she just pushes all those feelings down. But unfortunately her life is beginning to spiral out of control and she no longer has a choice about facing the past.

Beckett has so much baggage that he looks like a seasoned traveler. His father is a well-known alcoholic. His mother is long gone. He and his sister have spent years trying to forge a life in the face of all that adversity. As an adult Beckett is nothing like he was as a rowdy teenager, but can he convince Madison that he’s not who she thinks he is?

I enjoyed reading Madison and Beckett’s story. It made my heart pound and times with anticipation and at other times it just broke with sorrow over their situation. I think you’ll find it to be the perfect savory and sweet summer read. This four book series is off to a fabulous start!

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