The 3rd book of the Wonderful Christiansen Family Series by Susan May Warren. These books just keep getting better which seems impossible because the prior two books are so fantastic. The deeper we dive into the Christiansen Family, the more attached we because to each one of them. This author has a way with character development that is just a real treat for readers.
When I Fall in Love focuses on two storylines that blend well together at the end of the book. The first storyline revolves around Grace Christiansen and Max Sharpe. Grace is the 2nd oldest Christiansen daughter, and Max is an NHL hockey player and former teammate of Owen Christiansen. Grace and Max find themselves in Hawaii attending the same short term culinary school together. The second story line revolves around Casper Christiansen and Raina. Casper is the 2nd born Christiansen son and Raina is new to Deep Haven. Of course, all the Christiansens make appearances adding to the intrigue of the entire story. I honestly cannot get enough of this family. Im very excited for the next book to release!
From the very beginning of the Christiansen Family series, I have been in love. This book proves to be no exception. Susan May Warren has a way of writing that pulls me in and doesn't let me go until the very end. I get wrapped up in the story. I even got a little angry when I had to put the book down and do my job! Grace and Max's story started out a little on the slow side for me, but I quickly warmed up to it and didn't want it to end.
Grace is such a sweet character. Her fear of the unknown is one a lot of people can relate to. I know I certainly can. I loved watching her step outside of her box, her comfort zone, and blossom. Max was an intriguing character. It amazed me how he could turn from cold to warm in an instant, all because of his fear of his future and his feelings. Watching the two wrestle their feelings for each other was as frustrating for me as it was for them, and I enjoyed every second of it.
The message of the story, for both characters, has to do with overcoming your fears to live the life that God intends for you to live. I think it can be summed up in these two quotes (don't worry, they aren't plot spoiling quotes):
"The amazing, whole, overwhelming, abundant life is found, oddly, by letting go. By living a dangerous faith -- the kind of faith that believes in a God who knows our hearts and loves us enough to take our breath away."
"Suffering can either destroy you or it can save you. Because without suffering, we don't need more; we have enough. But when we suffer, we can't help but reach out [to God}."
Overall, I enjoyed this addition to the Christiansen Family series and can't wait to read more about Casper and Raina!
When I Fall in Love is book three in the Christiansen Family series. This books main focus is about Grace but pulls in the whole family and new people as well. At the beginning of the story, Grace is catering Darek and Ivy's wedding with the help of her assistant Raina. As a thank you to Grace, her family gives her a trip to a cooking retreat in Hawaii.
Max, a member of the Blue Ox NHL hockey team is also going to the cooking retreat. He is asked to keep an eye out for Grace, as she does not want to go. Despite Max's original feelings of not being responsible for Grace, he develops a gentle caring for her. Together they compete in a cooking competition and see may sites in Hawaii. Max has made a decision to never get into a romantic relationship due to carrying a gene for a health condition that may shorten his life.
After the cooking retreat, Grace along with Raina and Max, cater a Hawaiian themed wedding reception for her sister Eden and Jace, another member of the Blue Ox team. At the last minute Max has a family emergency and leaves town, Raina is faced with her past and does not show up on time.
Once again the love of family and God are very evident in this story. I am really enjoying this series and how it builds on the family members and their love for each other.
When I Fall in Love is the third book in Susan May Warrens Christiansen series, following Take a Chance on Me and It Had to be You. When I Fall in Love is about daughter Grace, who wants to be a chef. Its set partially in Deep Haven, so there are some mentions of characters from the Deep Haven series. But its also partly set in beautiful Hawaii, where Grace participates in a cooking contest with hunky hockey player Max Sharpe. Hawaii and food. Whats not to love?
Despite the title, When I Fall in Love wasnt the standard lightweight romance (Susan May Warren novels never are). There are family complications in the relationship between Max and Grace, one of whom is Owen, Graces younger brother, who used to play on the same pro hockey team as Max. The other complication is Max, who has decided never to marry because of his family history. Theres also a subplot featuring Raina Beaumont (Lizas niece, from Happily Ever After), and this looks as though its setting up the next novel in the series.
Ive read a few foodie novels over the last few months, including A Table by the Window, While Love Stirs, and Stones for Bread. Theyve all been excellent, as is When I Fall in Love. Is there some kind of subliminal message there? I even highlighted her sauce recipe: brown sugar, molasses, honey (thats three kinds of sugar. It sounds good already), Worcestershire sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Yum. Its not exactly barbecue season here in New Zealand, but Ill have to try this sometime.
However, its not the food that most impresses me about Susan May Warrens writing. Its the way she manages to seamlessly integrate solid Christian principles into her novels without ever sounding preachy. In When I Fall in Love, its Grace who has the spiritual lesson to learn, a lesson about abiding in Jesus and not just following Him. Its a lesson we can all benefit from. Recommended.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for providing a free ebook for review.
Rich. Decadent. Almost better than chocolate. That's the kind of read this is. Warren drops her readers into a fictional world that is so real it's believable. And then she pummels them with angst and drama and humour and snappy dialogue until they're begging for more. And she delivers, her readers are hooked and a habit is formed.
But woe to the poor characters who have leapt from her imagination into the pages of this book. She is not kind to them. In fact, she has a distinctly cruel streak when it comes to creating havoc for the Christiansen family. Honestly, there was one secondary plot where I had to read with one eye closed, wincing all the while. In fact, I thought I'd skip those scenes, but the author doesn't play fair. Enticing dialogue, rapier wit, heart crushing angst -- how can a reader resist? Anxiously awaiting future books to see how that particular gnarly mess pans out.
The author's attention to detail enriches the read all the more. Whether it is foodie descriptions or the symbolism in Grace's name, every element adds even more dimension to an already riveting read. And the romance? Prepare your fainting couch. Exquisite.
But honestly, what moved me most about When I Fall in Love is the awesome inspirational thread. This is a story about trusting God -- completely. With your future. With your past. And definitely your present. We can't begin to live until we surrender all to Him. Amen and amen.