What do you do when it feels like all hope is lost? You have to learn to trust and believe God has the best for you. This book offers a great story of hurt, hatred, and feeling lost that leads to hope, love, and forgiveness. Even though it may be a work of fiction it is very relatable and has great life application
Another excellent Susan May Warren book from the Christiansen Family series!! As always the writing here is top notch & the characters are so believable. As with all of Warren's other books I found it hard to put this one down. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series in the coming weeks. I hope that at some point they start making Susan May Warren's books into movies!!
Take a Chance on Me is the first book in the Christiansen Family series. The series takes place in Northern Minnesota near the shores of Lake Superior. The Christiansen family owns the Evergreen Resort near Deep Haven. John, the father of the family, was introduced to us in the Deep Haven Series.
This book focuses on John and Ingrid's oldest son, Darek. The story opens with a charity bachelor auction where Ivy, a new person to the area, bids on Darek. Darek has a past he is struggling to move on from and is not ready to date anyone. He struggles with having to give up his career as a fire fighter as well as raising his young son alone after the death of his wife.
As Ivy gets to know Darek and his family, she realizes it is a family she would like to be a part of. But she is holding a secret, she is the person that kept the person who killed Darek's wife from prison by making him stay in the area to do community service.
I really like this book. I like how it ties in with the Deep Haven series and builds on it. It's a great story of family and reminds us that God watches over us and helps us through the hard times even when we don't ask.
I am so glad I took a chance on this novel. I absolutely loved it! The story gripped my heart from beginning to end. Following the lives of 3 best friends and a new comer was interesting, exciting, and at times heartbreaking. The events that led each character to where they are at this point in time were each traumatizing in it's own way, but watching them grow, triumph, and overcome their pasts gave me immense satisfaction in the story.
I loved Ivy, Claire, Jensen, and Darek. Their characters were uniquely complex, though they struggled with much of the same emotions. The author did an excellent job of layering their pasts and presents to add emotional clarity and depth to the story. At times, I felt like Ivy and Darek's relationship was rushed, but it made sense in a way (I know, that's confusing, but that's how I felt). Ivy and Darek have to decide whether or not to take a chance on each other, despite their emotional scars and baggage. Tiger's antics lent a light air to an otherwise deep and emotional plot. I just wanted to squeeze that little boy!
Each character has to overcome bitterness, anger, and emotional scars that have tainted their lives.Everyone feels like someone else has wronged them at some point in our lives. It's what we do with those feelings that can shape our futures.As the author states in her note to the reader, "we live in a blame world." There is no mercy, grace, or forgiveness. We cannot redeem ourselves. Only God can. That's what grace is. When we accept his grace, we also accept his mercy and forgiveness. Then we can learn to be more like Christ in our lives, forgiving others, and extending mercy and grace to those who we feel have wronged us. Ivy, Claire, Jensen, and Darek each have to learn to accept those things in different ways for their lives to be full of the joy and love the Lord has for them.
Overall, I loved this story. I can't say enough good things about it and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.
Take a Chance On Me, the first in the Christiansen family saga makes for a powerful start to this stunning series. I'm not quite sure where to begin this review. Perhaps to say that this story portrays one of the most moving testimonies of forgiveness that I have ever read. And the strength of the story is in the fact that the author shows the far reaching effects withholding forgiveness has. Not only for the individual harboring resentment and anger, but for all the people surrounding them, both family and friends and even neighbours. In fact, in a way, an entire community has born the burden of one man's unwillingness to forgive. And that man is our hero, Darek Christiansen.
Tormented doesn't begin to describe Darek. Mired in past mistakes that led to a fatal tragedy, his unwillingness to forgive extends towards himself as well as a friend turned arch enemy. Bitterness and anger are beginning to twine themselves around Darek's heart but he doesn't see it. Not until Ivy Madison shows up on his radar. And mercy, don't get me started on Ivy because she is exactly the wrong person for Darek, or maybe the right person going about it all the wrong way? However you look at it, be prepared for emotional angst that will churn up your tummy and cause you, the hapless reader, no end of heartache.
This is a true-to-life love story with none of the gnarly bits edited out. But there's incredibly tender moments too. Along with toe-curling love scenes and larger than life family times. And oh the joy of victory! The Apostle Paul's admonishment to "fight the good fight and finish the race" comes to mind when I think of Darek's journey. Not because he did it particularly well, but because he clung on to shrapnels of truth wherever he could find them. Because he was willing to soften his heart as a result. Because he might not have always" kept the faith" during that difficult journey, but he found it again. Truly inspirational.