Sunday, July 27, 2014

When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren

No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary review copy of the book was provided for the purpose of sharing a review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

As I have mentioned before, I really love the chance to continue the story of the characters that I meet in novels. I think that is one of the reasons why I really enjoy reading book series by authors like Susan May Warren. Susan has a whole series of stories around the Christiansen family - in each book, she focuses on one or two of the family members, but the others are also part of the story (which makes sense since they are all in the same family). It is so nice to have a continuation of the previous story, even if only in the background of the main story.

I was excited to see that When I Fall in Love, the third book in the Christiansen family series was available for review. For me, it is the second one that I have read and it did not disappoint. (I still need to find a copy of the first one to read.) This book was focused primarily on Grace Christiansen, but also spent a good amount of time with the story of Casper.

The story in many ways was about learning to live. It was about having faith and allowing yourself to be open to the path that God has for you. After catering her older brother's wedding, Grace is given a trip to Hawaii for a cooking school by her family. Her sister Eden, suggests that she can learn to cook Hawaiian food and then help cater her wedding later that year. Grace is reluctant to go, but ultimately makes the trip. A bad flight is almost enough to cause her to hole up in her room or simply head back home, but for Max, a former teammate of her brother Owen, he won't let that happen. Won't allow her not to pursue her dream, because in his mind 'everyone who gets to have dreams should reach for them.' The irony being that he is so good at encouraging her to pursue his dreams, when he won't allow himself to dream. In exploring Hawaii and learning to cook with Max, Grace learns a lot about herself and when he leaves, learns about her relationship with God that leaves her with a deepened faith.

It was a very good story and well written. The characters are well developed, through both their personal reflection and the observations made by those around them. As was the case with the last book that I read by Susan May Warren, I found myself becoming attached to the characters and cheering them on from my seat. I really enjoyed the story and can not wait for the next installment in the Christiansen family series.

About the book:

Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she'd vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled-or maybe yanked-away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.

Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.

Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace's faith will face its toughest test yet.

Purchase a copy here.

About the author:

Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed 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. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors.

Find Susan online: website, My Book Therapy, Twitter, Facebook

Read more reviews and learn more about the book at the book tour landing page.

No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary review copy of the book was provided for the purpose of sharing a review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.