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.
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 Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.
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Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award–winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church.
Susan holds a BA in mass communications from the University of Minnesota. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives.
For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com.
When I picked up this novel, I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. I really enjoyed the first Deep Haven novel that I read by this author – My Foolish Heart – but the others I have read since have not been my favorites for various reasons (not all having to do with the author’s writing).
But as I kept reading, I became fascinated with the interesting storylines and the believable characters. I didn’t always like the characters, but they still were relatable. There was a lot of drama, but at the same time, the story didn’t seem to get all wrapped up in its own drama. The writing somehow was able to keep things more down to earth than might have happened with other novels.
I think the main reason for this was that the gospel was clearly presented several times throughout the novel. The author didn’t shy away from the truth – that Jesus Christ loves us and died for our sins – and this was the best part of the book for me. The overall themes of forgiveness and grace were also extremely compelling. When I finished the book, I just sighed and thought, “Wow…that kind of forgiveness could only come from God.”
In the other Deep Haven novels that I have read, I didn’t always like that another storyline was told in parallel with the story of the two main characters. But in this one, I liked getting the story from the sides of all four characters – Darek, Ivy, Jensen, and Claire. Their stories intertwined so much more in this novel than they seemed to in past Deep Haven books, and I liked having all four perspectives.
Aside from the four main ones, there are lots and lots of minor characters in this novel. I have found this to be the case with the Deep Haven novels, but it didn’t distract me too much in this one. What did distract me a bit was how quickly Darek and Ivy “fell in love.” It was so fast – even before all of the excitement and repentance of the ending – that it didn’t quite ring true for me. I also thought that the novel got a bit long towards in the middle. Also, even though the ending was exciting and touching, it was still pretty predictable. I don’t think that made me enjoy the book any less, but I could see where it was going very easily.
I’m having a hard time deciding if Take a Chance on Me is my favorite of the Deep Haven novels. It is a close race between this one and My Foolish Heart. I think My Foolish Heart is going to win out only because of the football part of that story!
I will give Take a Chance on Me … 4 BookWorms.
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 is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."