Saturday, 27 July 2013

Barefoot Summer: a book review

Barefoot Summer (A Chapel Springs Romance) 
I downloaded this book as a freebie from Booksneeze in exchange for a review. (This is the review, by the way.) I had in mind saving it for a holiday, but, once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I had forgotten - how could I? - that Booksneeze offers top quality books. I had also forgotten that I had read some of Denise Hunter's books before, but, when I realised, I was not surprised to find myself just as well entertained.

The book begins in an auction house: Madison, our heroine, is anxious to secure an important bid in a time auction: learning to race in a sailing regatta. Pleasingly, just after we meet her, we are introduced to her love interest a few paragraphs later, setting the scene nicely. Madison does not allow herself, however, to be distracted from her goal. This is simple yet problematic. Ten years after her twin brother died in a drowning accident, Madison wants to achieve his dream in his memory: to win the local sailing regatta. The problem? Madison cannot swim, let alone sail.

Our hero, Beckett, reappears - to Madison's dismay. It was definitely not her intention, but he turns out to be her swimming - and sailing - teacher. Yet another problem: she holds Beckett responsible for her brother's death.

Denise Hunter skilfully takes us through a maze of complications. We know there will be a happy ending - how could there not be - the question is, what? Will Madison and Beckett really end up together, because there are many real obstacles in the way? Or is this story mainly about courage, forgiveness, overcoming fears and hurts - is the resolution of the problems besetting our hero and heroine more important than whether they actually end up together?

I really enjoyed this book: yes, it's a (sometimes predictable) romance, but the intricacy of the plot keeps the reader well engaged and the character development is very credible, even relatively minor characters in Madison's family. I finished reading, wishing I could jump into the book and be a real part of Madison's community.

I have left out many of the details - I wouldn't want the whole plot revealed to me in advance, so I'm not going to spoil it for the reader. Read and find out!

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