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.
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.