You’re the One that I Want
By Susan May Warren
Published by Tyndale
353 Pages

Have you heard about The Christensen family? If not I highly recommend getting to know them. Susan May Warren has penned a gripping series I couldn’t get enough of. I’m normally not a person that gets caught up in reading a bunch of books in a series. But I found myself anticipating the next installment where I’d learn about the next child in the family. Each book has wonderful discussion questions. Her stories make you laugh, cry and everything in between. There are six books in the series. The first book in the series is Take a Chance on Me; book 2 is It Had to Be You; book 3 is When I fall in Love; Book 4 Always on My Mind; Book 5 The Wonder of you ; and Book 6 is You’re the One that I want. There is also a novella called Evergreen that shares the parents’ story I enjoyed too.

Here is my review of the final installment in this series. I can’t say enough great things about this series. This author pulls out all the stops in this final novel. It won’t spoil the series for you if you start reading this book but I highly recommend starting with book one. It will make for a richer, more satisfying experience!

REVIEW: I cheered and felt sad when I finished reading this heart-felt, wonderful conclusion to an amazing series that answers questions like. What does a Christian family look like? How does a family put their faith into action? And was this really the last book in the series? LOL!

I like what the author said about the Christiansen’s, “When I conceived this series, I wanted a story about real people dealing with real issues of faith and family. I didn’t want to shy away from the mistakes but to tell a story about a family that faces its share of darkness…and discovers a God who is standing at the doorway.” She achieved her goal as each book focuses on one of the Christiansen adult children and their struggles and triumphs.

I’ve waited to read Owen’s story for five books now. I’m happy to report this author pulls out all the stops in showing his journey; I was spell bound enjoying every second of his adventure. This novel starts out on the stormy seas of Alaska. Owen has tried to run far from his former life and has become a fishermen on a crab ship. That’s where he meets Scotty McFlynn Owen thinks, “Finally he met a girl who didn’t see him for his past…she only saw a drifter, a hard worker, a guy trying to make sense of the cards life dealt him.”

Scotty was solely raised by her father. She called him Red. He taught her everything she knew about fishing and life. She tells Owen, “You know what being Red’s daughter has taught me? That there is no room for crying, Life happens. People die. There are no fairy tales or happy endings. It’s the way it is, and if I want to survive, I can’t let people get close enough to hurt me!”

She was rough and tough. She had to be to survive the sea and a boat load of young men on the ocean for a month. Owen is starting to stir things in hear heart she hasn’t felt before. It’s scares her and her ordered life.

Casper has set out on a mission to find his brother Owen. He has issues that need to be settled. His brother was the only thing standing in the way of him marrying Raina. His brother had no idea that Layla was his daughter. He’d already missed a few months of this little one’s life tracking down Owen. Casper wanted to marry Layla’s mother and be the father to this precious girl that stole his heart.

Things get messy when the brothers finally meet and start to head back to Evergreen (their family) Resort. Casper has had months to plan what he wanted to say to Owen. Owen is shocked to see his brother in Alaska. Casper meets Scotty who tells him a thing or two about his brother he finds hard to believe.

Casper, Owen and Scotty learn about faith and how to put it into practice as they lean on God’s strength in the process. Owen says to Scotty, “Faith is reaching out, believing in what you can’t see…When I first got hurt I wanted nothing to do with God. Later, I couldn’t face the colossal mess I’d made of my life. But then I realized I couldn’t fix myself, that I needed help (I realize)…I’m not a total screw up, or if I am God can help me fix it.”

The author says, “God is a pursuer, and even as we push him away, he says, “You are not alone. If you will allow me, I will fix this…It’s easier to endure the self-flogging, the shame, the guilt, because, we know we deserve it.” She goes on to say, “Who am I beyond the Prodigal? How does someone face their past and move on to what God has for us….We are the redeemed. The forgiven. The sons and daughters of the king. Suddenly we can rise, look forward into a new dawn, glorious and rose gold, full of promise. And it is this view that changes everything.” Amen!

I like this author’s heart and her writing style. I wasn’t raise in a Christian family. I found this family dynamic very interesting and insightful in how this family with adult children work together, were loyal to each other and how they tried to show unconditional love the best they could.

This novel can be read as a stand-alone but it’s much more rewarding when you’ve read the whole series because you’d have seen Owen at his worst and realize how far he’d grown and how his family had grown along with him. I enjoyed hanging out with this loud, fun family that lives life large with each other and in their adventures. I loved how this story is not preachy but this author makes the reader think about their family challenges wondering how they’d react in that situation.

This author quickly makes you feel part of the Christenson family. You’ll find yourself wanting to re-read this series just for fun. It’s also a wonderful book club pick. This author includes 12 questions to help create lively discussions for your group. This novel and this series are ones you won’t soon forget. I highly recommend this book and the entire series.

 ABOUT AUTHOR: SUSAN MAY WARREN Growing up in Minneapolis and attending the U of MN, I learned to love city life, although I'm a woodsy girl at heart. Or maybe I'm an adventurer -- having lived and traveled all over the world, including Siberia Russia as a missionary for eight years. Probably that's why my characters can't sit still, and seem to get into one scrape after another -- they're too much like me! I love God, my family, my country, my church, and feel privileged every day to be able to write stories.

Here's my "Official" Bio.

With over 1 million books sold, critically acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA and Carol award-winning author of over forty-five novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. Known for her compelling plots and unforgettable characters, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic-suspense, thrillers, rom-com and Christmas novellas.

With books translated into eight languages, many of her 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. She's a three time RITA finalist and an eight time Christy Finalist

Disclosure of Material Connection: #AD Tyndale
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through 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”

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