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.
Ivy Madison has moved to Deep Haven to take the job as assistant county attorney. Living in a small town and being a part of the community has been her dream. Suddenly her life has become more complicated. She simply doesn't know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction held the first day she is in town. 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.
I love the small town of Deep Haven that Susan May Warren has created. I would love to be able to live in a community like it where everyone knows each other. This is the first book of a new series set in the same community. I quickly fell in love with the Christiansen family. It would be so cool to be neighbors with a tight knit family like this.
This particular book is the story of the oldest son Darek. As with most people he has a lot of baggage to deal with from past decisions. I thoroughly enjoyed finding out how his parents helped him to work through some of that baggage without ever judging him for those decisions. There are many other characters whose stories intertwine with Darek's that are also working through past baggage. The gentle nudges that they all get to look to God for help is incredible. They all have a journey to take to find forgiveness for themselves and others. The paths are so intricately woven that it was a joy to follow along with these wonderful characters.
I'm looking forward to finding out the stories of the rest of the Christiansen children in future books in this series.
Darek Christiansen is the most in-eligible bachelor in Deep Haven, but of course Ivy Madison doesn't know that when she first meets him. As the new assistant county attorney, Ivy is eager to finally put down roots, in the small, everyone-knows-your-name town in Minnesota. Growing up in 14 different foster homes, she has no family but dreams of being a part of one. The intriguing Darek has it all - a large, rambunctious family, a five-year-old son Tiger, and the kind of heart that attracts her attention from the moment she sees him interact with his son.
But Darek has his secrets, such as the nature of his relationship with his late wife Felicity, and the truth about how she died. Little does he realize that Ivy was the person who crafted the plea bargain for the very man responsible for Felicity's death; Jensen Atwood. Will Darek be able to forgive Jensen in his part in his wife's death? Will he be able to forgive Felicity for being the enabler of Jensen's freedom?
I was already in love with this novel when I realized that Warren had written six other books about Deep Haven. But I'm so glad I didn't know, because this novel is absolutely wonderful! Reading this made me wish that the Christiansen family was my own, and the characters are so well developed that it felt as if they were real people. I feel that if I just peek out my door, I'll see Claire bouncing out of her place with her pizza uniform on, all ready for her day at Deep Haven's pizza parlor. I've never read anything from this author, but I am an instant fan. I must and will order the first six books asap!!
This book was provided for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Usually I get a little confused when a story is told with more than 2 points of view, but the 4 in this story are easy to follow. I didn't have any problem distinguishing who was who.
The imagery is so vivid, and I feel like I've visited the scenes. I love a book that 'carries me away'. There are emotional aspects of this story I wasn't expecting, and I hated to finish the book because I didn't want to leave the characters.
Susan May Warren in her new book "Take A Chance On Me" Book One in the Christiansen Family series published by Tyndale House Publishers takes us into the life of Darek Christiansen.
From the back cover: Come home to the Christiansen's, where faith and family meet real life.
To all who know her, Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelorâ€”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 Ivyâ€”a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.
I like this town of Deep Haven. Ms. Warren does such a good job with the town and its inhabitants that you want to go there and live with them despite that the winters there are brutal. Ivy Madison is the perfect heroine, she is the new assistant county attorney. Ivy has an indirect connection with Darek though neither knows it at first. Each of them has scars and wounds they need healed. The only one who can heal them is God and they won't let Him. "Take A Chance On Me" is an emotional ride that will wring you out and then fill you with renewal. God tells us that all things work together for the good and that, in His time, He makes all things beautiful. Want to really know how He does it? Susan May Warren shows us the how in this exciting story. "Take A Chance On Me" is a wonderful, sweet story with power and depth that will keep you flipping pages. I recommend this book highly and look forward to a return to Deep Haven.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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.