The final book of Ms. Warren’s acclaimed Christiansen Family series, You’re the One That I Want follows Owen, the prodigal son of the family. After an injury ended his professional hockey career, Owen began running from his family, his past, and God. However, he finds himself slowing down long enough to find a job on an Alaskan crabbing boat, where he meets Scotty McFlynn and her father, the captain and boss of the operation. When Scotty is swept off the boat in a storm, Owen leaps off to save her, which lands both of them in freezing water fighting for their lives. In the end, they save each other, with a bit of help from the Coast Guard. Their adventure also happens to land them on the news, offering Casper Christiansen with a much-needed clue as to Owen’s location. In the Christiansen brothers’ attempt to return home to Minnesota, Casper finds out there is a BOLO out for him, in connection with a murder back in Deep Haven. With the escort of Scotty, the Anchorage Police Department’s newest recruit, Owen and Casper must find the truth behind the murder before it puts one or both of them in jail. Ms. Warren masterfully concludes the Christiansen Family series in You’re the One That I Want. After following Owen’s rebellion throughout the novels, this book offers a satisfying resolution to his search for faith and truth in the midst of life-altering challenges and disappointment. Overall, I really enjoyed reading You’re the One That I Want! In general, my favorite books within the Christiansen Family series have been those that focus on the Christiansen women (It Had to Be You, When I Fall in Love, and The Wonder of You). Comparatively, the other books have been quite good, but never fully captured my attention in quite the same way. You’re the One That I Want was definitely the strongest and most compelling story of those featuring the Christiansen men. The book’s scenes between Scotty and Owen serve as a testimony of faith in action, whether on the treacherous deck of an Alaskan crab boat or the calm shores of Evergreen Lake. After an entire series of true-to-life moments of a family walking together in faith, the prodigal son finally returning home may be one of the most fulfilling. Special thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for an advanced copy of You’re the One That I Want! Thanks! Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
“Please, God, save us – I promise to fix it if You just save us,” Owen begs in Susan May Warren’s novel, You’re the One that I Want. ~ What ~ The sixth book in the A Christensen Family series, this three-hundred-and-eighty-four-page book targets those who enjoy clean Christian romance and family dynamics with a touch of suspense. With no profanity, adult topics of premarital sex, dying, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. In this continuing family-focused drama, Owen is trying to flee his past of getting a one-night-stand pregnant by escaping on a crab-fishing boat in Alaska. Filled with shame, guilt, and regret, he has little faith that God in on his side. When Own rescues Scotty, the captain’s daughter, the impulsive, broken man feels unworthy to be loved. Scotty, who is dealing with past insecurities being a cop, is challenged by Owen’s impulsive behavior, especially when she escorts Owen’s brother back to Deep Haven for a crime he says he never committed. ~Why ~ With the theme of grace and love over-shadowing past mistakes and the wake they cause in relationships, the tale promotes having faith not only in God but also in each other and oneself. Some readers may walk away understanding that by the grace of God, they too are forgiven and can move on with their lives. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like Christian romance will pass on this story that explains God’s forgiveness and grace through faith. Although it can be read as a stand-alone book, starting with the first book in the series to know the characters better is recommended. ~ Who ~ The author of over forty-five novels, Warren has lived all over the world, including being a missionary in Serbia Russia. Winner of several prestigious writing awards, she has sold over one million books. She lives in Minnesota with her husband family. ~ Wish ~ Having read all six in the series, I found this one having the best underlying meaning by focusing on faith in God. With all the marriages and children throughout the stories, it would be helpful to have a list of each member in the family for reference. ~ Want ~ If you like a series that shows the good and bad in family relationships while promoting spiritual-filled romance, this one that mimics the Biblical prodigal son returning will remind you that supposed “second chances” are part of God’s plan. Thanks to Tyndale House for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reviewer’s honest opinion.
No-nonsense police officer Scotty McFlynn is “just one of the guys” on her captain father’s old crabbing boat in Alaska. Admittedly not the marrying type, she protects her sensitive heart with an icy shield, never allowing herself to grow close to anyone. The arrival of Owen Christiansen, however, starts to melt away her defenses, and she finds herself falling for the charming man on the run from his past. When their lives are suddenly jeopardized onboard, they realize there is more between them than simply being shipmates. They both survive, sharing secrets and a marriage proposal in the process. When Scotty fulfills her promise to Owen to go back with him to the Christiansen home in Deep Haven, Minn., she finds herself mixed up in clearing Owen’s brother’s name in a murder drama. After her stay with the Christiansen family lasts longer than expected, Scotty must choose which life she really wants. Warren (The Wonder of You) has shaped a beautifully dynamic romance that teaches the value of family and forgiveness through a modern-day prodigal-son story of redemption.
Warren’s Minnesota-set Christiansen Family series, including Always on My Mind and The Wonder of You (both 2015), draws to a close with this tale. The focus here is on Owen, the troubled youngest brother of the boisterous, fiercely loyal clan, as he attempts to make amends. Far from home, Owen is part of an Alaskan fishing crew when he begins to develop feelings for Scotty, the captain’s daughter and one tough crew member. A near-death experience draws them together, but both are afraid of opening up old wounds. Owen’s brother, Casper, tracks him down, and all three return to the Christiansen home in Deep Haven. Things are complicated as Owen deals with the consequences of his reckless past and Scotty learns how to trust others. Devoted fans of Warren’s series will love this prodigal-son story, as will new readers. Everyone can relate to the characters’ constant struggles to be more than the sum of their past mistakes, and readers will warm to the grace and hope that propel the growing love between Owen and Scotty.