RITA Award–winning and best-selling inspirational author Warren takes readers on a journey back to Deep Haven, Minnesota, as in The Shadow of Your Smile (2012). Ivy Madison believes moving to the idyllic town will be her opportunity to start fresh, but she soon learns life in a small world is tricky. Meeting Darek Christiansen complicates her life even further, because her work is intertwined with his past in a way she fears will lead him to reject her. Claire Gibson and Jensen Atwood both love Deep Haven but feel trapped by their pasts. Unable to let go of their pain, they both remain stubbornly convinced that God has turned against them. As Ivy starts to transform Darek’s ways, Claire and Jensen must also learn to change. When disaster threatens the home they all love, they quickly learn what has been truly important all along. Warren once again creates a compelling community full of vivid individuals whose anguish and dreams are so real and relatable, readers will long for every character to attain the freedom their hearts desire.
Warren (The Shadow of Your Smile) returns to the rugged landscape of Deep Haven, Minn., with a spin-off series featuring the Christiansen family. Widower Darek Christiansen is mortified at having to fill in for his hockey-star brother at a charity bachelor auction. Ivy Madison, the new assistant county attorney, moved to Deep Haven in search of the stability that seemed to elude her. She impulsively places the winning bid, unaware of Darek’s past. Darek is equally oblivious to Ivy’s association with Jensen Atwood, a man linked to the death of Darek’s wife. The sons of two well-respected Deep Haven families, Darek and Jensen barely tolerate one another, though once they were best friends. As a romance blossoms between Darek and Ivy, she soon realizes that her connection to Jensen could be the undoing of any future for her budding relationship. Warren lays bare her characters’ human frailties, including fear, grief, and resentment, as openly as she details their virtues of love, devotion, and resiliency. She has crafted an engaging tale of romance, rivalry, and the power of forgiveness.
by Publishers Weekly
Widower Darek Christiansen is not pleased when he has to fill in for his brother at a bachelor auction. But love blooms after Ivy Madison, the new assistant county attorney, places the winning bid. Unfortunately, their relationship is threatened by Ivy having arranged a plea bargain three years ago for Jenson Atwood, the man considered responsible for the death of Darek’s wife. VERDICT: Warren’s (“Deep Haven” series) new series launch has it all: romance, suspense, and intrigue. It is sure to please her many fans and win her new readers, especially those who enjoy Terri Blackstock.
by Library Journal
2014 Christy Award winner!
Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor—oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near.
New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case.
Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.
â€œYouâ€™re so angry at what happened, at not being able to blame anyone, that you have nowhere to put it. So youâ€™ve bottled it up and tried to tell yourself that youâ€™re innocent, but the truth is, none of us are. Weâ€™re all wretched sinners, no matter what weâ€™re accused of,â€ the old man pleads to Jensen in "Take a Chance on Me," Susan May Warrenâ€™s a Christensen Family novel.
At three hundred and sixty-one pages, this paperback book has a photograph of a man carrying a young child on the front cover. With no profanity and only mild kissing with limited physical contact, this story is targeted to young women, especially of Christian faith that enjoy romance with perfect conclusions. At the end of the book there are eighteen discussion questions to ponder.
How do you erase the past? How do you deal with mistakes or accidents that alter your life completely? How do you forget, forgive, and restore relationships? At what point do you turn to God for answers, the only source of grace and comfort?
In this Christian romantic tome set in the small town of Deep Haven, Minnesota, four young peopleâ€™s lives intersect. Wounded, widowed Darek has a major chip on his shoulder having lost his wife in an accident three years ago. Although he knows he was not the perfect husband, he now is responsible for their young precocious toddler. His childhood friend, Jensen, who he competed against in all aspects of his life, is to blame for his wifeâ€™s death. Rich playboy Jensen does not go to jail but has to complete community service in the same area of those who now, he believes, hate him. Even through the supposed rejection, he is starting to notice Claire, a young but emotionally broken, sweet girl who feels she cannot live up to her parentsâ€™ wishes.
When Ivy, the new assistant county attorney, moves to Deep Haven to settle for a quiet life, not only does she have to deal with her own crafted plea bargain that got Jensen off the hook, but conflicts abound when she starts to fall in love and embrace Darek and his loving family that live on the familyâ€™s one hundred year old resort.
With the backdrop of a town where everyone knows everything about everybody, a tinderbox summer set up for fires of the forest and hearts that struggle of ongoing hatred between the past and present. The four have to deal with each of their own demons of rejection and fear until they realize that God is kind, forgiving, and able to heal their painful past. The reader falls for the deeply developed characters including family members and friends as the plan of eternal redemption and salvation is weaved in this tender tale.
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" Are you okay?" She nodded. But how could she possibly be okay with Darekâ€™s voice in her head. â€œHe stole my life from me.â€ And sheâ€™d made it worse. Sheâ€™d kept Jensen out of jail." Genre: Realistic Fiction Target Audience: Adult Women Subjects: Forgiveness, Love Summary: Three years ago both Darek and Jensenâ€™s lives changed. And Ivyâ€™s hand in it was something they knew nothing about. Now she has moved to their small town and is falling in love with Darek and his son. But the past is still affecting their life and the secret of her role in it could end all hope of a relationship. Notes: The start of a new series from Susan May Warren, Take A Chance On Me is the first of stories about the Christiansen family. The setting is Deep Haven, as her other novels have been. This story tells the story of two couples as they attempt to overcome a tragedy that shook them all. Childhood friends split apart when poor choices were made and the decisions continue to impact them. Itâ€™s a story of healing and forgiveness. I donâ€™t usually give opinions in my reviews, but this is a story I strongly recommend. Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5 Reviewer: CTF Devourer Colossians 3:13 â€“ Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Excellent. Involving, Touching, Sweetly Romantic. I enjoyed this book for well-portrayed characters and well-described scenes. The author knows the Great Lakes area and the forest-firefighting scenarios quite well. The plot pulled me right into the lives of the characters. The family showed strong faith, and helped the main characters to move forward in their search for healing. The banter among the family members was fun. I enjoyed the drama, the light romance, and the unfolding of the different backgrounds for the main characters. This story made me laugh and cry.
This book reaches out and grabs the reader from the very first paragraph! It is a wonderful story about forgiveness, faith, family and love. As Darek struggles with the loss of his wife, he blames his best friend for killing her. When Ivy comes to town Darek starts to feel emotions he has never felt before, starts to realize that he wasn't a good husband previously, that God is giving him a second chance, and that he needs to forgive not only his best friend, Jensen, but also himself for the man he used to be. Wonderful story, characters, atmosphere, and very well written.
This is an amazing story about second chances at love and the importance of forgiveness. Darek Christiansen is the oldest in a large family, trying to keep their resort in Minnesota in the black. He's also a widower with a young son, angry and bitter at his best friend Jensen, who accidentally killed her. When he meets Ivy Madison, the new assistant county attorney, he has no idea that it was her plea bargain that gave Jensen community service instead of jail time. All he knows is that she might be his second chance. Ivy loves the sense of family and community she finds in Deep Haven, especially since she grew up in foster homes, but she's terrified the truth will come out about her involvement in the case. She's falling for Darek and his little boy, but can he forgive her when he learns the truth?
Jensen may not have gone to jail, but he feels like he's been in prison for the last three years. Trapped in Deep Haven in order to do his community service, he feels like everyone hates him and he can't wait to leave until he reunites with Claire, Darek's wife's best friend. Could he get a second chance with her, Darek, and the town he loves?
I loved this story set in the cozy town of Deep Haven. This is a new series that spins off of the Deep Haven novels, focusing on the Christiansen family, but will have cameos of characters from the other novels. The way Susan writes emotions and scenes bring the story to life. I fell in love with the characters and was rooting for them to find the forgiveness and love they searched for. I really want to live in Deep Haven, but reading this story is the next best thing. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.