As a huge fan of Susan May Warren, I was thrilled to read Take a Chance on Me. As expected, I absolutely loved it! The plot, characters, and underlying themes are so rich, and I felt like I was right in the middle of everything the whole time. I loved Ivy and Darek and watching their friendship develop, and the addition of all of the drama surrounding Jensen really helped round out the story.
If I could sum up the message of the book in one word, it would belonging. Each of the characters are searching for a place to belong and must overcome past circumstances and their own shame to find that belonging. Let me just say it's a fascinating journey.
As a huge fan of family sagas, I'm looking forward to reading more about the Christiansen family! Whether you're looking for a romance or a deep, emotional story, Take a Chance on Me is a great choice! [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Take A Chance On Me is a story about the power of forgiveness. Ivy, a lawyer with a painful past, moves to Deep Haven in order to escape life in the city while still being in a position to help others. She attends a fund-raiser where bachelors are being auctioned off for a date. Ivy bids on whom she thinks is Owen Christiansen and wins only to later realize that she bid on his older brother, Darek. Darek is a broken man with a heart full of anger and hate due to his wife's death. Darek, who had no desires for a date, only stepped in for his brother, who could not be there due to his job as a hockey star. When he tries to leave the fund-raiser without meeting his obligation to go on a date with Ivy, she follows him and feeling guilty, Darek acts as a tour guide. The night is cut short when Darek receives a call that his 5 year old son has been injured, however, Ivy left an impression on him that Darek would rather ignore. Meanwhile, Jensen, who caused Darek's wife's death accidently, struggles with the guilt of his past while he fulfills the community hours he must finish so he does not have to go to jail. Jensen, who used to be Darek's best friend, feels like the town pariah and bides his time when he can escape Deep Haven and the town's scrutiny. Another character, Claire, who was Darek's wife's best friend, wrestle's with feelings of inadequacy due to her parents' wishes that she leave Deep Haven, go to college, and get a job serving Jesus as missionaries as they have. However, Claire loves Deep Haven, her job working as a gardner, and caring for her grandfather and doesn't want to leave. Unfortunately, she is scared to tell her parents for fear of disappointing them. As the story unfolds, Darek and Ivy and Clair and Jensen grow closer together, but then tragedy strikes each pair threatening the love that blossums among each pair. Will Darek overcome the feeling of guilt, hatred, and anger? Will Ivy overcome her past as a foster child and accept that God loves her? Will Clair find a way to stand up for what she desires and repair her relationship with God? Will Jensen be able to forgive himself and find a home in Deep Haven after all? Will Darek and Jensen forgive each other and become best friends again? These questions and more will be answered when you read the book.
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!
Ivy and Darek meet when Ivy buys him at a charity auction soon after she arrives in town. It becomes apparent they both have secrets from the past that they must deal with before they can pursue any sort of relationship and Darek has no idea that their secrets are intertwined so closely.
This is a good start to the Christiansen Family Series set in Deep Haven.
"Take a Chance on Me" is a very predictable and underwhelming story. I really felt that there was nothing original about the story, as it was just a typical "girl meets guy-doesn't like him but they're forced to spend time together-they eventually fall in love-then there's conflict-etc" story. Other than the setting (of a beautiful sounding resort area in Northern Minnesota) and secondary parts of the story (like the occupations of the characters, which were described in great detail), there wasn't anything new or original in the book.
The whole storyline was also very fast-paced and felt forced. The main characters, Ivy and Darek, have their first date in the first chapter, she meets his family on their second date, and immediately they start talking about Ivy becoming a mom to Darek's son. Just too far-fetched and unrealistic for my taste. (Also, I have a pet-peeve about overnight conversions that suddenly make an unequally yoked couple instantly yoked in stories. It doesn't work in real life and I find it lazy writing and too simple and trite in books.)
In conclusion, there are a plethora of great books out there, even in the romance genre, and I don't think this one is worth your time.