Take a Chance on Me (Christiansen Family Series #1)

( 51 )

Overview

2014 Christy Award winner!
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 ...

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Overview

2014 Christy Award winner!
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. Tyndale House Publishers

2014 Christy Award Winner for Contemporary Series

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Warren (The Shadow of Your Smile) returns to the rugged landscape of Deep Haven, Minn., with a spin-off series featuring the Christiansen family. Widower Darek Christiansen is mortified at having to fill in for his hockey-star brother at a charity bachelor auction. Ivy Madison, the new assistant county attorney, moved to Deep Haven in search of the stability that seemed to elude her. She impulsively places the winning bid, unaware of Darek’s past. Darek is equally oblivious to Ivy’s association with Jensen Atwood, a man linked to the death of Darek’s wife. The sons of two well-respected Deep Haven families, Darek and Jensen barely tolerate one another, though once they were best friends. As a romance blossoms between Darek and Ivy, she soon realizes that her connection to Jensen could be the undoing of any future for her budding relationship. Warren lays bare her characters’ human frailties, including fear, grief, and resentment, as openly as she details their virtues of love, devotion, and resiliency. She has crafted an engaging tale of romance, rivalry, and the power of forgiveness. Agent: Steve Laube, Steve Laube Agency (Apr.)
Booklist
RITA Award–winning and best-selling inspirational author Warren takes readers on a journey back to Deep Haven, Minnesota, as in The Shadow of Your Smile (2012). Ivy Madison believes moving to the idyllic town will be her opportunity to start fresh, but she soon learns life in a small world is tricky. Meeting Darek Christiansen complicates her life even further, because her work is intertwined with his past in a way she fears will lead him to reject her. Claire Gibson and Jensen Atwood both love Deep Haven but feel trapped by their pasts. Unable to let go of their pain, they both remain stubbornly convinced that God has turned against them. As Ivy starts to transform Darek’s ways, Claire and Jensen must also learn to change. When disaster threatens the home they all love, they quickly learn what has been truly important all along. Warren once again creates a compelling community full of vivid individuals whose anguish and dreams are so real and relatable, readers will long for every character to attain the freedom their hearts desire.
Library Journal
Widower Darek Christiansen is not pleased when he has to fill in for his brother at a bachelor auction. But love blooms after Ivy Madison, the new assistant county attorney, places the winning bid. Unfortunately their relationship is threatened by Ivy having arranged a plea bargain three years ago for Jenson Atwood, the man considered responsible for the death of Darek's wife. VERDICT Warren's ("Deep Haven" series) new series launch has it all: romance, suspense, and intrigue. It is sure to please her many fans and win her new readers, especially those who enjoy Terri Blackstock.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414378411
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Series: Christiansen Family Series , #1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 219,551
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Take a Chance on Me

a Christiansen Family novel


By Susan May Warren, Sarah Mason

TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.

Copyright © 2013Susan May Warren
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-7841-1


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Ivy Madison would do just about anything to stay in the secluded, beautiful, innocent town of Deep Haven.

Even if she had to buy a man.

A bachelor, to be exact, although maybe not the one currently standing on the stage of the Deep Haven Emergency Services annual charity auction. He looked like a redneck from the woolly woods of northern Minnesota, with curly dark-blond hair, a skim of whiskers on his face, and a black T-shirt that read, Hug a logger—you'll never go back to trees. Sure, he filled out his shirt and looked the part in a pair of ripped jeans and boots, but he wore just a little too much "Come and get me, girls," in his smile.

The auctioneer on stage knew how to work his audience. He regularly called out names from the crowd to entice them to bid. And apparently the town of Deep Haven loved their firefighters, EMTs, and cops because the tiny VFW was packed, the waitresses running out orders of bacon cheeseburgers and hot wings to the bidding crowd.

After the show was over, a local band would take the stage. The auction was part of the summer solstice festival—the first of many summer celebrations Deep Haven hosted. Frankly it felt like the village dreamed up events to lure tourists, but Ivy counted it as her welcoming party.

Oh, how she loved this town. And she'd only lived here for roughly a day. Imagine how she'd love it by the end of the summer, after she'd spent three months learning the names of locals, investing herself in this lakeside hamlet.

Her days of hitching her measly worldly possessions—four hand-me-down suitcases; a loose cardboard box of pictures; a garbage bag containing The Elements of Legal Style, How to Argue and Win Every Time, and To Kill a Mockingbird; and most of all, her green vintage beach bike—onto the back of her red Nissan Pathfinder were over.

Time to put down roots. Make friends.

Okay, buying a friend didn't exactly qualify, but the fact that her money would go to help the local emergency services seemed like a good cause. And if Ivy had learned anything growing up in foster care, it was that a person had to work the system to get what she wanted.

She should be unpacking; she started work in the morning. But how long would it take, really, to settle into the tiny, furnished efficiency apartment over the garage behind the Footstep of Heaven Bookstore? And with her new job as assistant county attorney, she expected to have plenty of free time. So when the twilight hues of evening had lured her into the romance of a walk along the shoreline of the Deep Haven harbor, she couldn't stop herself.

She couldn't remember the last time she'd taken a lazy walk, stopping at storefronts, reading the real estate ads pasted to the window of a local office.

Cute, two-bedroom log cabin on Poplar Lake. She could imagine the evergreen smell nudging her awake every morning, the twitter of cardinals and sparrows as she took her cup of coffee on the front porch.

Except she loved the bustle of the Deep Haven hamlet. Nestled on the north shore of Minnesota, two hours from the nearest hint of civilization, the fishing village-turned-tourist hideaway had enough charm to sweet-talk Ivy out of her Minneapolis duplex and make her dream big.

Dream of home, really. A place. Friends. Maybe even a dog. And here, in a town where everyone belonged, she would too.

She had wandered past the fudge and gift shop, past the walkup window of World's Best Donuts, where the smell of cake donuts nearly made her follow her sweet tooth inside. At the corner, the music drew her near to the VFW. Ford F-150s, Jeeps, and a handful of SUVs jammed the postage-stamp-size dirt parking lot.

She'd stopped at the entrance, read the poster for today's activities, then peered in through the windows. Beyond a wood-paneled bar and a host of long rectangular tables, a man stood on the stage, holding up a fishing pole.

And that's when Deep Haven reached out and hooked her.

"Are you going in?"

She'd turned toward the voice and seen a tall, solidly built middle-aged man with dark hair, wearing a jean jacket. A blonde woman knit her hand into his.

"I ..."

"C'mon in," the woman said. "We promise not to bite. Well, except for Eli here. I make no promises with him." She had smiled, winked, and Ivy could feel her heart gulp it whole. Oh, why had she never learned to tamp down her expectations? Life had taught her better.

Eli shook his head, gave the woman a fake growl. Turned to Ivy. "Listen, it's for a good cause. Our fire department could use a new engine, and the EMS squad needs more training for their staff, what few there are. You don't have to buy anything, but you might help drive up the bids." He winked. "Don't tell anyone I told you that, though."

She laughed. "I'm Ivy Madison," she said, too much enthusiasm in her voice. "Assistant county attorney."

"Of course you are. I should have guessed. Eli and Noelle Hueston." Noelle stuck out her hand. "Eli's the former sheriff. Hence the fact that we've come with our checkbook. C'mon, I'll tell you who to bid on."

Who to bid on?

Ivy had followed them inside, taking a look around the crowded room. Pictures of soldiers hung in metal frames, along with listings of member names illuminated by neon bar signs. The smells of deep-fried buffalo wings, beer, and war camaraderie were embedded in the dark-paneled walls.

A line formed around the pool table near the back of the room—what looked like former glory-day athletes lined up with their beers or colas parked on the round tables. Two men threw darts into an electronic board.

Then her gaze hiccuped on a man sitting alone near the jukebox, sending a jolt of familiarity through her.

Jensen Atwood.

For a moment, she considered talking to him—not that he'd know her, but maybe she'd introduce herself, tell him, I'm the one who put together your amazing plea agreement. Yes, that had been a hot little bit of legalese. The kind that had eventually landed her right here, in her dream job, dream town.

But Noelle glanced back and nodded for Ivy to follow, so she trailed behind them to an open table.

"Every year, on the last night of the solstice festival, we have a charity auction. It's gotten to be quite an event," Noelle said, gesturing to a waitress. She came over and Eli ordered a basket of wings, a couple chocolate malts. Ivy asked for a Coke.

"What do they auction?"

"Oh, fishing gear. Boats. Snowblowers. Sometimes vacation time-shares in Cancún. Whatever people want to put up for charity. But this year, they have something special on the agenda." Noelle leaned close, her eyes twinkling. Ivy already liked her. And the way Eli had her hand wrapped in his. What might it be like to be in love like that? That kind of love ... well, Ivy had only so many wishes, and she'd flung them all at living here, in Deep Haven.

"What?" Ivy asked.

"They're auctioning off the local bachelors."

And as if on cue, that's when the lumberjack bachelor had taken the stage.

Ivy sipped her Coke, watching the frenzy.

"So are you going to bid?" Noelle asked.

Ivy raised a shoulder.

The lumberjack went for two hundred dollars—too rich for Ivy's blood—to a woman wearing a moose-antler headband. He flexed for her as he walked off stage, and the crowd erupted.

A clean-cut, handsome young man took the stage next, to the whoops of the younger crowd down front. "That's my son," Noelle said, clearly enjoying the spectacle. He seemed about nineteen or
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren. Copyright © 2013 by Susan May Warren. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

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(35)

4 Star

(13)

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(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2013

    What can I say except that I loved this book! Which is kind of

    What can I say except that I loved this book! Which is kind of weird because it took me so long to read this book. I said I would read it in exchange for some truthful reviews. I’m kind of a stubborn person, and the thought of having to read a book felt like school work (if you must know I didn’t like any of the books that I had to read for school) so I put off reading it. Then it got some good reviews, and I was afraid to be the person who didn’t like it. So I put it off some more. But once I finally started reading the book, I couldn’t put it down. In fact, when I reached the final 120 pages, I was rationalizing that my boys didn’t need clean clothes or dinner. They are boys after all, and I really, really wanted to finish the book as fast as possible. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to the characters. I felt as if they were real. (Don’t worry though my boys were in clean clothes and didn’t have to resort to eating cereal out of the box and I was able to finish reading too. Thanks to my husband).

    Basically, Take a Chance on Me is the first book in a new series by Susan May Warren. It revolves around the adult children on the Christiansen family, who live just outside of Deep Haven, Minnesota. If you are a Susan May Warren fan, you probably know and love the people and town of Deep Haven. And they make appearances in the book. Or if you are like me and haven’t read any of the Deep Haven series, don’t fear because you won’t feel left out. You won’t need to catch up on the history of the other series in order to enjoy this one. Furthermore, Warren is a great writer and can tell a story without a background dump of information that will put you to sleep.

    Take a chance on this new series (pun intended). There was adventure, there was romance, but not enough of one to overpower the other. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. In the meantime, I think I’ll read the books in original Deep Haven series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    I love Susan May Warren's books and I especially love her books


    I love Susan May Warren's books and I especially love her books set in the small Minnesota town of Deep Haven. I wish it were a real town and I could go visit. She's set 6 books there already, I believe. They are all stand alone books but this time: she's written Take a Chance On Me, the first in a 6 book series about the Christiansen family.

    I was fortunate enough to be on the launch team for this book and I am so glad to be given this book early. What a joy to hold another of Susan's books in my hands again! I only wish the other 5 could be here in the same year.

    Ivy Madison, former foster child and now a county prosecutor, moves to Deep Haven to have a place to belong. She attends a bachelor auction as a fundraiser and bids on a bachelor, Darek Christiansen. Ivy wrote a plea agreement getting on community service for the man who everyone assumed killed Darek's late wife. She finds out but not before her heart is engaged with Darek's. How can she tell him? She wants so desperately to belong and have a feeling of permanence somewhere. She knows she will be left alone again the moment she tells Darek.

    Jenson Atwood didn't see Felicity Christiansen running that night when his car struck and killed her. Now that he's gotten community service and no jail time, he's worked hard to finish his service. But the town seems to be against him. He feels like everyone is watching him, waiting for him to mess up again. He and Darek were once best friends and now Darek can barely stand the sight of Jenson.

    Both these men haven't allowed God the chance to show them the grace He freely offers. Both seem bound in the snares of unforgiveness and bitterness. They can't see that those around them care what happens to them.

    There are several stories in this novel, all heartrending and painful at times. It's a revelation to me of how God waits for us, hoping that we will allow Him to have His way in our lives. How often do we, as believers, try to plod through life on our own, bearing burdens that God never wanted us to carry? We could so easily let Him walk alongside us and help us with our load, but we have too much pride to admit that we need help.

    This book also shows us that even though we go our own way and allow heartbreaking events to make us bitter, God can still use those very events to bring about His peace and mercy and grace in our lives.

    I laughed, cried, (bawled, actually) and felt joyous reading this book. It left me wondering how I could stand to read the remaining 5 if this one moved me so deeply. This is a book you will remember long after you close the cover. It is one which will always have pride of place on my book shelves.

    I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the Christiansen family series.

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    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is the first book in the Christiansen Family Novel series.

    This is the first book in the Christiansen Family Novel series. It was such a good read, and I am thrilled to know there is another book coming!
    The Author shows how most of the characters in this story need to find forgiveness. They blame God for their circumstances, and won't take his gift of redemption.
    Darek Christiansen is mad at the world, feels he has been handed a rotten deal, and the only good thing in his life is his 5 year old son Tiger. He was a willing player, but now feels life has not been fair to him. Then his wife was killed by his best friend....it was an accident and he knows it, but would rather blame his friend.
    Enter Ivy Madison, a sweet young woman, she has taken a job as Assistant DA in Deep Haven, MN. She has had a scarred upbringing, having lived in fourteen foster homes. For someone who had such a horrible start in life, she has a lot of compassion.
    The Lord does put people in their lives to help them find what they need...HIM, but will the accept? Or will they go on blaming God for their problems?
    I did love being back in Deep Haven, MN, the area sounds so beautiful, and Susan May Warren brings it to life. Be set for a bit of romance, mystery, grief, and some great family love. A wonderful book to get lost in.

    I received this book from the Tyndale Blog Network, and was not required to give a positive review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Check out the full review at Kritters Rambligns The first in th

    Check out the full review at Kritters Rambligns

    The first in the series that centers around the Christiansen family who own a resort on the North Shore of Minnesota and the eldest son who is trying to bring their property up to date.  At the same time Ivy who has been searching her entire life for a permanent home that she can make her own has moved to town and has a history that could greatly impact the small town.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    I¿m so glad I finally got to read a book by Susan May Warren! Th

    I’m so glad I finally got to read a book by Susan May Warren! This one was delightful – a lovely read. The characters felt very real and I can definitely feel an attachment to them already, even after only one book. They’re easy to connect to and easy to love. I could identify with them from the very start and empathize with their problems as well. I wasn’t entirely blown away by it, but I definitely did enjoy this book and will read more by Susan.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    I love finding a new book series to fall in love with! And that

    I love finding a new book series to fall in love with! And that is what I feel has happened after reading Take a Chance on Me. This book was wonderful and introduced me to a family that I want to learn everything about.

    Take a Chance on Me takes place in Deep Haven, Minnesota. This is the setting of another series that Susan May Warren wrote. But don’t worry if you haven’t read that series. You don’t need to read it to understand what is going on in this new series.

    In this first book of the series, we meet the Christiansen family. This is a family that really loves each other and stands strong together. John and Ingrid Christiansen own the Evergreen Resort. They have six grown children. Take a Chance on Me is about their oldest, Darek, who is a widower and single father. He has so much anger in his heart. Anger toward himself, his dead wife, his former best friend, God and just life in general.

    Ivy is new to Deep Haven. She has never had the love and support of a family or the stability of staying in one town for long. She falls in love with Deep Haven and plans to make her permanent home there as a county prosecutor. Ivy has some issues with believing that God cares, based on things that have happened in her life. Things in her life always seem to fall apart, but now Ivy holds out hope for a family and future. So, when she has the chance to grow close to Darek and then finds that there are some truths that might come to light and tear them apart, she is devastated.

    Two other characters, Jensen and Claire, have their own pasts to deal with and their own issues with God to come to terms with. Their back stories, as well as Ivy and Darek’s are interwoven and so very interesting. All of these characters are very well-written. I am really looking forward to reading more from this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I just finished this book last night, i forced myself to stay up and read the rest! OMG this book is my favorite book in the whole world!!!!!! It seemed to have everything i love to read about. I could not get over Warren's writing, it was amazing! As for the book, it seems to be based on forgiveness, second chances, and if course, ROMANCE!!! Oh my word, the romance was to die for amazing!!!! I have never read such a deep CHRISTIAN romance before, it was so deep and beautiful!!!! My only negative complaints are that the begining started in a bar... I mean, really?? I was not sure if it was a real bar or not, but beer and God do NOT mix. And then just another complaint, is that I didnt really like how Tiger was well, 'alive' if you must say, in Felicity before marriage, ( it usually bothers me to read that stuff, but it didnt really, because I know that God would protect me from that.) But it was worded rightly, not too deep into it, or words that explain it. But any way, i LOVED this book, there were times i almost cried too, and then nearly laughed my head off. I am so excited for her next book in the series to come out!! Except i kinda wish the whole bar/beer thing wasnt included in this series, other than that, it was amazing. I am STILL gloating over this book, especailly about the romance. No kidding, it was deep, beautiful and everything else romantic!!! And i loved the adventures and mysterys, forgot to mention, that my heart nearly throbbed out of my chest at all the exciting parts- which i have NEVER felt that way before when reading another romance!!!! Which is an awesome feeling, it makes the book more alive. Oh how i wish that the story was real and i was apart of it!!!!!! Literally, gloating... GREAT JOB SUSAN MAY WARREN!!!!!!!!!

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  • Posted January 4, 2014

    This is a great story of what forgiveness can do. Darek Christi

    This is a great story of what forgiveness can do.

    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.

    Ivy Madison has moved to Deep Haven to take the job as assistant county attorney. Living in a small town and being a part of the community has been her dream. Suddenly her life has become more complicated. She simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction held the first day she is in town. 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 love the small town of Deep Haven that Susan May Warren has created. I would love to be able to live in a community like it where everyone knows each other. This is the first book of a new series set in the same community. I quickly fell in love with the Christiansen family. It would be so cool to be neighbors with a tight knit family like this.

    This particular book is the story of the oldest son Darek. As with most people he has a lot of baggage to deal with from past decisions. I thoroughly enjoyed finding out how his parents helped him to work through some of that baggage without ever judging him for those decisions. There are many other characters whose stories intertwine with Darek’s that are also working through past baggage. The gentle nudges that they all get to look to God for help is incredible. They all have a journey to take to find forgiveness for themselves and others. The paths are so intricately woven that it was a joy to follow along with these wonderful characters.

    I’m looking forward to finding out the stories of the rest of the Christiansen children in future books in this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    soul searching

    I got this book because of the title and cover. It was a soul searching book from all characters. Each had to find their way and hope for a good out come. It was about pain, losing someone you never loved, losing someone you thought you loved, to finding what you really want and do you deserve that love. To wanting a love and family you never had. You found all this and more in this book. I found it well worth the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    This book is a Christian romance. This is the first book that I

    This book is a Christian romance. This is the first book that I have read by this author. I enjoyed reading it and really liked the story.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book. The Characters are real with real pr

    I really enjoyed this book. The Characters are real with real problems and flaws. It is interesting how we are painted a picture from each of the characters skewed viewpoints. It is sad how we tend to think the worse of people and hold grudges. This is sometimes from our own insecurities. I love the way everything comes together in the end. A great Clean story.

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  • Posted November 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Susan May Warren in her new book ¿Take A Chance On Me¿ Book One

    Susan May Warren in her new book “Take A Chance On Me” Book One in the Christiansen Family series published by Tyndale House Publishers takes us into the life of Darek Christiansen.




    From the back cover:   Come home to the Christiansen’s, where faith and family meet real life.




    To all who know her, 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 like this town of Deep Haven.  Ms. Warren does such a good job with the town and its inhabitants that you want to go there and live with them despite that the winters there are brutal.   Ivy Madison is the perfect heroine, she is the new assistant county attorney.  Ivy has an indirect connection with Darek though neither knows it at first.  Each of them has scars and wounds they need healed.  The only one who can heal them is God and they won’t let Him.  ”Take A Chance On Me” is an emotional ride that will wring you out and then fill you with renewal.  God tells us that all things work together for the good and that, in His time, He makes all things beautiful.  Want to really know how He does it?  Susan May Warren shows us the how in this exciting story.  ”Take A Chance On Me” is a wonderful, sweet story with power and depth that will keep you flipping pages.  I recommend this book highly and look forward to a return to Deep Haven.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers.   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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  • Posted October 22, 2013

    In Take a Chance on Me (Christiansen Family Series) the first no

    In Take a Chance on Me (Christiansen Family Series) the first novel in a new series by Susan May Warren,
    we find themes of forgiveness and grace, love and redemption, courage and healing.

    Derek Christiansen's best friend, Jensen, betrayed and hurt him. He is  responsible for Derek's wife's death.
    Ivy Madison helped Jensen gain his freedom, before she ever met Derek.
    So many obstacles to any of them gaining peace and finding love and acceptance.

    Susan May Warren has created characters that I really cared about~ not just the main hero and heroine,
    but even the potential "Villain" is a character that I cared about.
    I love how she creates personalities that ring true... none of them are too good to be true,
    and none of them are beyond redemption.... excellent themes!  

    I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale~ I was not required to give a positive review. 

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  • Posted August 31, 2013

    As a huge fan of Susan May Warren, I was thrilled to read Take a

    As a huge fan of Susan May Warren, I was thrilled to read Take a Chance on Me. As expected, I absolutely loved it! The plot, characters, and underlying themes are so rich, and I felt like I was right in the middle of everything the whole time. I loved Ivy and Darek and watching their friendship develop, and the addition of all of the drama surrounding Jensen really helped round out the story.

    If I could sum up the message of the book in one word, it would belonging. Each of the characters are searching for a place to belong and must overcome past circumstances and their own shame to find that belonging. Let me just say it's a fascinating journey.

    As a huge fan of family sagas, I'm looking forward to reading more about the Christiansen family! Whether you're looking for a romance or a deep, emotional story, Take a Chance on Me is a great choice! [5 stars]

    I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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  • Posted August 31, 2013

    As a huge fan of Susan May Warren, I was thrilled to read Take a

    As a huge fan of Susan May Warren, I was thrilled to read Take a Chance on Me. As expected, I absolutely loved it! The plot, characters, and underlying themes are so rich, and I felt like I was right in the middle of everything the whole time. I loved Ivy and Darek and watching their friendship develop, and the addition of all of the drama surrounding Jensen really helped round out the story.

    If I could sum up the message of the book in one word, it would belonging. Each of the characters are searching for a place to belong and must overcome past circumstances and their own shame to find that belonging. Let me just say it's a fascinating journey.

    As a huge fan of family sagas, I'm looking forward to reading more about the Christiansen family! Whether you're looking for a romance or a deep, emotional story, Take a Chance on Me is a great choice! [5 stars]

    I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    There are so many different layers to this novel; Darek and Ivy'

    There are so many different layers to this novel; Darek and Ivy's relationship intertwines with Jensen, and Jensen and Claire's relationship intertwines with Darek. It was so interesting to learn about their pasts and their presents and wonder about what is going to happen and how it will be resolved.

    I love the way Warren writes her characters and builds them a little at a time, giving readers glimpses into who they are and what they could be, but never giving away what will happen. The plot line grows slowly, but isn't boring because Warren writes such interesting details.

    I loved this book! The message of forgiveness and how the past haunts those who are unable to forgive and move on is described so well in the characters of Darek, Jensen, and Claire. I think it is great the way that the supporting characters are used just as much as the main characters to demonstrate Warren's message. What a well-written book!

    If you have never read a novel by Warren, give this one a try and you will probably find a new author to enjoy. If you have already read some of Warren's books, this is another one you will probably love. I highly recommend this book!

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  • Posted August 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is an amazing story about second chances at love and the im

    This is an amazing story about second chances at love and the importance of forgiveness. Darek Christiansen is the oldest in a large family, trying to keep their resort in Minnesota in the black. He's also a widower with a young son, angry and bitter at his best friend Jensen, who accidentally killed her. When he meets Ivy Madison, the new assistant county attorney, he has no idea that it was her plea bargain that gave Jensen community service instead of jail time. All he knows is that she might be his second chance. Ivy loves the sense of family and community she finds in Deep Haven, especially since she grew up in foster homes, but she's terrified the truth will come out about her involvement in the case. She's falling for Darek and his little boy, but can he forgive her when he learns the truth?

    Jensen may not have gone to jail, but he feels like he's been in prison for the last three years. Trapped in Deep Haven in order to do his community service, he feels like everyone hates him and he can't wait to leave until he reunites with Claire, Darek's wife's best friend. Could he get a second chance with her, Darek, and the town he loves?

    I loved this story set in the cozy town of Deep Haven. This is a new series that spins off of the Deep Haven novels, focusing on the Christiansen family, but will have cameos of characters from the other novels. The way Susan writes emotions and scenes bring the story to life. I fell in love with the characters and was rooting for them to find the forgiveness and love they searched for. I really want to live in Deep Haven, but reading this story is the next best thing. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    Susan May Warren is an excellent author! Ivy and Darek meet wh

    Susan May Warren is an excellent author! Ivy and Darek meet when Ivy buys him at a charity auction soon after she arrives in town. It becomes apparent they both have secrets from the past that they must deal with before they can pursue any sort of relationship and Darek has no idea that their secrets are intertwined so closely.
    This is a good start to the Christiansen Family Series set in Deep Haven.

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I love a book that transports me into vivid scenes and touching

    I love a book that transports me into vivid scenes and touching relationships. Take a Chance on Me did just that. The surroundings are almost tangible, the four distinct points of view are easy to follow, and the characters made me care about them. 

    This goes much deeper than a Christian romance story. Susan May Warren layered it with a lovely message that leaves you with a sense of accomplishment when you come to the end.

    I recommend this book to anyone who wants an emotional, tear-stained ride through a beautiful setting and story. A true keeper.

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    "Take a Chance on Me" is a very predictable and underw

    "Take a Chance on Me" is a very predictable and underwhelming story. I really felt that there was nothing original about the story, as it was just a typical "girl meets guy-doesn't like him but they're forced to spend time together-they eventually fall in love-then there's conflict-etc" story. Other than the setting (of a beautiful sounding resort area in Northern Minnesota) and secondary parts of the story (like the occupations of the characters, which were described in great detail), there wasn't anything new or original in the book. 

    The whole storyline was also very fast-paced and felt forced. The main characters, Ivy and Darek, have their first date in the first chapter, she meets his family on their second date, and immediately they start talking about Ivy becoming a mom to Darek's son. Just too far-fetched and unrealistic for my taste. (Also, I have a pet-peeve about overnight conversions that suddenly make an unequally yoked couple instantly yoked in stories. It doesn't work in real life and I find it lazy writing and too simple and trite in books.) 

    In conclusion, there are a plethora of great books out there, even in the romance genre, and I don't think this one is worth your time.  

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