Title: Take A Chance on Me
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher/Date: Tyndale/ April 28, 2013
Series: Christiansen Family #1
Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren
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.
‘Take a Chance on Me’ is the first book in the Christiansen Family Series. There are 6 other books in the series, and I plan on reading all 6! Before reading this book I had never heard of Susan May Warren, and that is probably because this book is not in my normal genre to read.
‘Take a Chance on Me’ is a story of tragedy, love, family, friendship and forgiveness. The story takes place in the town of Deep Haven, and Evergreen Lake Resort in Minnesota. (I have never been to Minnesota, but this book made me want to visit!) Darek is the oldest brother in the Christiansen clan, and he has been angry at himself and life since his wife died in a tragic car accident. Which left him to be a single father to their son Tiger.
Ivy Madison is new to Deep Haven, and she is the new District County Attorney. Ivy grew up in the foster care system and she feels hurt, and as if God and life have given up on her. When Ivy & Darek meet for the first time, she immediately thinks him a jerk. Then she meets the Christiansen clan and instantly likes them all. They treat her like one of their own. It is like a dream come true, because she never had a family to call her own.
I really enjoyed the secondary characters, Claire and Jensen. Claire feels like she has been a failure to her parents. She didn’t go to college after high school ans she hasn’t done anything ‘big’ with her life. She works in a pizza place, takes care of prized roses and helps out at the elderly home. Her parents expected her to go to college and get a degree, but Claire wants to stay in Deep Haven. She doesn’t want to live or go anywhere else.
Jensen was responsible for Felicity’s death that fateful night. Most everyone in the town of Deep Haven look at him like he is a murderer. He has been sentenced to community service in Deep Haven, and he longs for the day when it is over and he can leave town and never come back.
Darek, Claire, Jensen and Felicity grew up together. They went to high school together and were all best friends. I enjoyed this book because none of the characters were perfect. They were all just people longing to be forgiven and trying to forgive themselves. Meeting the Christiansens’ through this book, made me want to be a part of their family. They are not perfect, but they love and really care for each other.
Sometimes you have to forgive someone for a wrong they have done to you, to be able to forgive yourself. Most of the time forgiving ourselves for something is the hardest thing to do.
Mrs Warren did a great job developing her characters and her setting. While reading the book I could actually see the characters and the town of Deep Haven. A few times I could actually feel fire licking at my heels. Take a Chance on Me is one of the best books I have read in a long time.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions in my review are my own. This review contains an amazon.com affiliate links.