Take A Chance On Me Book Tour & Review
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the book for review from Tyndale PR. Any and all opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced.
When I first read the blurb about Susan May Warren’s new book Take A Chance On Me I knew right away it was something I wanted to read. I couldn’t wait for my copy to arrive from Tyndale PR for me to review. When it finally arrived it took me a few weeks to finally pick it up since I had over a month to read it. When I did I was immediately hooked. I was done reading it in two days. I didn’t want to put it down at all. It make me cry, and pray, and beg for them for just forgive each other and start living their lives again. Here’s some information about the book
Title: Take A Chance On Me: A Christiansen Family Novel
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Tyndale Press
Published: March 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About the Book:
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.
I was cheering for Darek and Ivy from the first chapter. I wanted them to instantly hit it off. I was hoping for a happy ending in this book, but I quickly started to see just like real life, often we get in our own way and actually do more harm than good when it comes to some of the relationships in our lives. Ivy so busy worrying about fitting it soon finds her self in the middle of a huge town feud where everyone has taken a side. Either you are on Darek’s side (mainly his family and friends) his dead wife Felicity or one of the few people who still saw good in Jensen. As the story unfolds you start to pick your own side as well – at least I did. I couldn’t believe Felicity and Jensen. I just knew they had wronged Darek but I learned that even I was only looking at one side of the story.
I learned a great lesson on forgiveness reading this book. This whole town needed to let go of the past and move on. They wanted to find someone to blame for something tragic instead of seeing it for the horrible accident it was. Darek then spent years trying to make up for his prior years of being a bad husband and parent by clinging to his son Tiger. When he finally met Ivy he didn’t believe that God was offering him a second chance so he was going to throw it away if it wasn’t for his family showing him that its okay to forgive and move forward with life. Jensen was so busy being jealous of someone all his life that he let what he really wanted get pushed to the side instead of going for what he wanted. Even falling in love (at least he thought he was) with the wrong girl. It took him almost three years to realize that he needed to ask for forgiveness and accept what happened.
I could go on and on about this amazing read because it made me feel like I knew this family or at least wished I did. I wanted to move to Deep Haven. I was super excited to learn that this is only the first book in the series and I have lots of other Christiansen family novels to look forward to. I give this book five stars and a must read for your summer book list. I also want to add despite it being a Christian Fiction it’s not filled with bible verses or all talk about Christian life. It’s just about a family and a town learning to forgive and live.
Author Q & A
This is the first installment in a brand new six-book series. Can you give us a bit of background on this series?I love stories about families –
watching the members interact and grow together through challenges and victories – and I conceived this series as I watched my own children begin to grow up and deal with romance and career and futures. I love Deep Haven, and it’s the perfect setting for a resort, so I crafted a family, much like the families I know, who run a resort. They want to pass on their legacy to their children…but their children don’t know if they want it. It’s sort of a parallel theme to the legacy of faith we instill in our children. As they grow older, they need to decide whether it is their faith too. It’s a saga about family and faith and what happens when those collide with real life.
This Christiansen Family series is set in Deep Haven, Minnesota. Tell us about this setting.
Deep Haven, Minnesota is based in a small vacation town in northern Minnesota where I spent my childhood. It’s located on Lake Superior, surrounded by pine and birch and the sense of small town and home. Populated by everyone from artists to lumberjacks, it’s Mitford, or perhaps Northern Exposure gone Minnesotan. Quaint, quirky and beautiful, it’s the perfect place to escape for a vacation.
What was your inspiration for this particular book and the main character Darek Christiansen?
As I started to put together this series, I began to think about our culture and our children today. I started to take a look at the big questions we are faced with as parents – and as young people; the issues that affect us as a culture, as well as personally. I wanted these books to go beyond family drama, beyond a great romance to raise bigger questions and stir truths that we might pass along to others. This story is about our propensity in our culture to blame others for what goes wrong in our lives – and how this alienates us from each other, and ultimately, God. Darek is the oldest brother in the family; the leader and a real hero. He’s a wildland firefighter and a widower who’s had to give up his job to come home and run the resort and care for his young son. Darek doesn’t realize he has a problem – he lives with anger on his shoulder, hating the man who killed his wife (his best friend). His real problem is that he can’t forgive himself. In this first story, readers meet the family, hang out at the resort and discover that God can redeem even a heart of stone, if we take a chance on Him.
What lessons or truths will your readers find in the pages of this novel?
This book is for the person who feels they just can’t get past the anger they have for someone else to live in joy again. It’s for parents who see their children making bad choices and don’t know where to turn. It’s for people who believe that no one will ever really love them because of who they are, or the things they’ve done. It’s for people who need the courage to take a second chance on love and faith and family. I’m hoping readers walk away with a sense of how much God loves them, and that yes, He can heal the angry and broken-hearted.
How do you expect this new series to resonate with your audience? How do you want your books to make them feel?
Great question! I love a story that brings me on an emotional journey from anger to laughter to hope. But most of all, I want readers to be wrapped up in joy, that feeling we get when watch our football team win, or when we’re hands up in a convertible on a hot summer day, or digging our feet into a sandy beach, or hugging our loved one when they return home. Ah. The sense that, just for a moment, all is right in the world and everything tastes and feels delicious. I write romances, and in the end it’s worth the journey to the happily ever after.
As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?
I loved Darek’s transformation. His relationship with his son is so precious, but when he truly lets go of his anger, he becomes the hero I always knew he could be. I love writing about broken heroes who find healing.
You can read the first chapter excerpt.