An enchanting, contemporary story!
I love books set in small towns, or at least small-ish towns. Chapel Springs is a perfect example of just that. Gossip spreads like a wildfire, and secrets don't last for long. In the first few opening pages, I felt like I had stepped into a movie. Hunter paints us a vibrant portrait of the town, the McKinleys, and Beckett, and she allows us to reach into the minds of both Beckett and Madison, offering readers a personal look into their thoughts and fears. This helped me connect with Madison especially. I'm glad Hunter brought us the story from two perspectives, with just one or the other, the story would lack something.
The McKinleys are a tight-knit, well blessed family, and it isn't hard to like them. Madison McKinley is the oldest girl in family with an older brother, Ryan, and two younger sisters, Jade and PJ. Madison also had a twin, Michael McKinley, who died before we met the family. I loved getting to know them all, throughout the story, and I look forward to more books about them.
Losing a twin is painful and though it has been several years since the accident, the wound is still tender to Madison. She still has questions, not to mention the horrible nightmare that plagues her every night. A flaw in Madison that I recognized having struggled with myself, was her need to be strong. She couldn't or wouldn't fall apart. Instead of letting it all out, she bottled all her emotions in. It's an unhealthy practice and leaves wounds fresh. I won't go into detail, but there were two scenes related to this that I felt were beautifully written.
I wish I could go on and talk about Beckett, who, by the way, is a fantastic hero, but I will sum up and end my review here. This is the first book by Hunter I have delved into, and I am thoroughly impressed. Her writing style is unique and entices you to read further. I am eagerly looking forward to Dancing with Fireflies, the next in the Chapel Springs series. As far as things to know about this novel, there is kissing and an alcoholic, but it is generally clean. I'd recommend to readers 15 and older.
I won this book in a giveaway, no review required. Thanks, Rissi! ;-)
Madison’s heart closed the day her twin brother died.
losing her twin, Michael, in a drowning incident, Madison has rejected
the faith he lived by. Instead, she’s devoted her life to fulfilling
Michael’s dream—winning the River Sail Regatta in their small Indiana
town, Chapel Springs.
As she trains for the regatta, Beckett
O’Reilly is teaching Madison to swim. But he’s keeping a painful secret
from her—and as they grow closer, that secret threatens to upend their
lives . . . and the lives of both their families.