Take a Chance on Me
Susan May Warren
Published by Tyndale
393 Pages

Back Cover: 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.

REVIEW: This is the first novel in the series and features Darek Christiansen and his young son Tiger. The author states, “We are in this season of life…As you nurture your children, then guide them, then walk beside them…and finally stand back as they walk into life. And then you really start praying! These books are about those years…watching, hoping, praying your adult children into a legacy of faith.”

I instantly connected with Darek, Claire, and Jensen and was intrigued at how their lives had intersected and blown up. In walks Ivy Madison new in Deep Haven, Minnesota; and didn't know of the tragedy that had taken place three years back. The incident people were still wondering about. Ivy’s a lawyer. She’s started a new job in town. Her boss warns her about working in a small town, “…Remember, every case is personal…People you know and care about. You might have to give them hard news that their lives are about to change and you’re the one making it happen.”

Ivy hadn't lived in a small town before. She was raised in the foster care system and bounced around. She quickly learns this town has issues and its members are playing the blame game about what happened to Felicity three years ago. Jensen is on probation for a murder rap. Darek is a widow raising his young son, Tiger. And Claire was trying to learn to live with the loss of a friend. This town was stuck, and wounded; the author illustrates how hurting people; hurt people. They all needed to forgive one another and move on but couldn't.

I liked how this author showed how each character was dealing with their faith issues differently and all were woven into the story naturally. Each person had an issue with God and couldn't even think about forgiving; least of all themselves.

I liked how this author makes the reader feel part of this charming town and we all were embraced by and got to know Darek large family. Ivy reminded me of the character Sandra Bullock played in the movie While You Were Sleeping. She and Ivy always wanted to belong to a family. She didn’t want to get her hopes up, like all the other times she thought she’d get adopted and belong to a family. It was hard not to want.

Darek says to his sister …”You all had a conversation about my date?”
“You kissed her in the middle of the sidewalk. What were we supposed to do? Look away? It’s like a train wreck – we couldn't help it.”

I enjoyed this author’s well timed humor too. I liked the transparency of the characters and the way issues were faced by them. Hard choices need to be made and life gets messy. Things heat up in more ways than one and lives are put on the line. Can we trust God?

Leave plenty of time to enjoy every page of this novel. I was emotionally invested and connected with the story and the characters from the start. They jumped off the pages and into my heart. I couldn't stop reading. I had to find out what happened next. I was thrilled I had the next book in this series on my book shelf.

I highly recommend this compelling read just for fun. It would make a great book club pick too. The author has eighteen engaging discussion questions in the back to help you dig deeper. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, It Had to Be You.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Book Club Network  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”.

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins
The Book Club Network
Book Fun Magazine

1 comment:

  1. It's been SOOOOO Long since I've read one of Susie's books.