Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review - Barefoot Summer


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? 


Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

Learn more about Denise at
I enjoyed this book immensely. The characters in this book had so much depth and they were incredibly likeable. I found myself really wanting them to find love and peace with their pasts and find a future!

Madison is a veterinarian whose life is filled to over-flowing with work, volunteer work, and acting in community plays. She adds to this by deciding to learn to sail and win the sailing race on the river in her town. She wants to do this to honor her dead brother, her twin, whose dream it was to win the race before he turned 27. With her 27th birthday coming up, she knows she needs to go forward with this. The only problem is, she doesn't know how to swim and she's deathly afraid of the water! 

Beckett is a man who has turned his life around. He has given his life to the Lord, has a steady job, and lives the life of a godly man. He grew up abandoned by his mother and his alcoholic father is not a good influence. His grandfather is the one who raised him and his sister and it was his good influence that helped Beckett to get on the right track. Beckett went to school with Madison and has always loved her from afar, but her family is above his own, in his own mind, so he hasn't pursued her.

The thing I really like about this book is it shows what happens to us when we try to fix things on our own. It also shows what happens when we don't face our past and feel our feelings. This also shows what happens when we assume things about ourselves and others, when they aren't that way at all! Such a mess we can create for ourselves - let alone the fact that we are miserable by living in our misery.

The underlying theme of this book is how much we really need God. Only through our faith in Him do we have peace, knowing that He has everything under control. I also liked that Madison's mom emphasized to her that God already knows what she's thinking and feeling, so it's okay to tell him in words and writing. I think more people need to understand that it's okay to tell God how we feel!

This is a wonderful book. A very sweet romance with very likeable characters you'll grow to care about! Great book for relaxing! You'll love it!!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE 

Blessings - Julie

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