The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren — Review

The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren

thewonderofyou

The Wonder of You is the 5th book in Warren’s Christiansen Family series. This time the focus is on the youngest Christiansen member, Amelia. It’s a classic love triangle story–which boy should she choose? There’s Roark-the Brit she fell in love with overseas, or Seth- her hometown lifelong boyfriend. Amelia’s story is about more than romance, though. She’s struggling with her purpose and God’s plan for her life. Failure is a strong theme throughout The Wonder of You. Warren tackles the issue from several different angles, showing us self-failure in different situations and life stages and how we can react and rebound in each. While this story didn’t grab me as quickly as When I Fall in Love (book 3), it slowly worked it’s way to the forefront of my mind. By the end, I wanted more! Warren weaves in a bit of suspense in places, and she has superbly set up the next (and final) book in the Christiansen Family series. Fans of the series will be overjoyed to see a lot of Grace and Max in The Wonder of You. It’s really nice to see where they are now and what they’re dealing with, and they are strong secondary characters in this story. I give this book a solid 4 stars. Recommended for fans of inspirational fiction, family series, and Christian romance.

Publisher Info:

Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?

Susan May Warren

{MORE ABOUT SUSAN MAY WARREN}

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. Visit MyBookTherapy.com to learn more. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at http://www.susanmaywarren.com

ABOUT THE CHRISTIANSEN FAMILY SERIES:

Set on the north shore of Minnesota, the series features the Christiansens, a family readers can identify with as they try to figure out how faith meets real life.

In Take a Chance on Me . . . (the 2014 Christy Award winner for Contemporary Series)

Darek Christiansen, heir to the historic Evergreen Lake Resort is angry since the loss of his wife. After a charity auction connects him with assistant county attorney, Ivy Madison, Darek begins to believe there might be love again in his future, but he’ll have to overcome his painful past – and Ivy’s secret connection to his wife’s death.

In It had to Be You . . .

Eden Christiansen’s job as handler for her NHL rookie brother, Owen, leaves her little time to focus on her own career. If only team enforcer, Jace, would mentor the young man. When Owen’s carelessness leads to an injury, Eden and Jace are thrown together and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all.

In When I Fall in Love . . .

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 the Aloha State, she is pulled away from her predictable life and thrown headfirst into the path of hockey player, Max Sharpe, and the romantic adventure of a lifetime.

In Always On My Mind . . .

After a failed dig in Honduras, aspiring archaeologist Casper Christiansen heads home to Minnesota to face his unresolved feelings for Raina Beaumont, the woman of his dreams. But when he arrives unannounced on her doorstep, he receives the shock of a lifetime: Raina is pregnant with someone else’s baby.

In Evergreen (CHRISTMAS NOVELLA!!). . .

An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn’t be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He’s sure she’ll love it. What’s more romantic than Christmas in Paris?

Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then—because disasters strike in threes—an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.

As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid’s marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

Coming in Spring 2016: You’re the One That I Want

I urge you to check out the Christiansen family series!!

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Chance of Loving You — Review

Chance of Loving You Romance Collection by Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert, & Susan May Warren

Synopsis:

An anthology by three bestselling romance authors

For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock Trying to launch her own design firm while waitressing on the side, Julie Sheffield was drawn to the kind man she waited on at the restaurant last night . . . until he stiffed her on the tip by leaving her half of a sweepstakes ticket.

The Recipe by Candace Calvert Hospital dietary assistant Aimee Curran is determined to win the Vegan Valentine Bake-Off to prove she’s finally found her calling. But while caring for one of her patients—the elderly grandmother of a handsome CSI photographer—Aimee begins to question where she belongs.

Hook, Line & Sinker by Susan May Warren Grad student Abigail Cushman has agreed to enter the annual Deep Haven fishing contest. She’s a quick learner, even if she doesn’t know the difference between a bass and a trout. But nothing could prepare her for competing against the handsome charmer she’s tried to forget since grief tore them apart.

One chance for each woman to change her life . . . but will love be the real prize?

My Thoughts:

Chance of Loving You is a romance collection comprised of three unrelated stories. The collection begins with For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock. This is my favorite story of the trio! Julie is a struggling waitress, and Blake is down on his luck and unemployed. When Blake doesn’t have the money to leave a tip, he leaves Julie half of a sweepstakes ticket. You can guess where this is headed; think Nicholas Cage in It Could Happen to You. I expected the story to be predictable, but it actually surprised me several times! Blake and Julie are relatable characters who are all too human. Fans of inspirational fiction and Christian romance will adore For Love of Money!

The Recipe by Candace Calvert centers on Aimee, current dietary assistant at a hospital but aspiring culinary star. One of her edible decorations at the hospital isn’t well received, and she finds herself constantly trying to make up for it. It doesn’t help that a patient’s gorgeous grandson is always around throwing her off balance. The Recipe is enjoyable and had my mouth watering for strawberry rhubarb crumble. The story moved slowly and seemed repetitive at times, but it’s an overall good read.

Susan May Warren’s Hook, Line & Sinker rounds out the collection. Abby and Ross have a somewhat complicated past, and now they’re competing against each other in a fishing contest. Like all of Warren’s stories, the characters are realistic and have a magnetism about them. If you’re a fan of Warren’s Deep Haven books, you definitely don’t want to miss Hook, Line & Sinker!

Chance of Loving You is a wonderful collection of stories in a gorgeous package. (Seriously, check out that cover!) I love that they included a recipe at the end of each story. Highly recommended for Christian Romance and Inspirational Fiction fans!

About the Authors:

To learn more about the authors of Chance of Loving You, visit the links below.

Terri Blackstock – BioWebsite

Candace Calvert – BioWebsite

Susan May Warren – BioWebsite

*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh — Review

Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh

paperhearts

Synopsis:

Abigail Pressman would never have guessed that love notes penned on paper hearts by an anonymous couple could restore her belief in love. As a business owner in a quaint town at the base of the Rockies, she’s poured everything into dreams of expansion . . . and resisting the matchmaking efforts of the Valentine Volunteers, who gather in her store to continue Loves Park’s tradition of stamping mail with the city’s romantic postmark.

When Abigail is unwillingly drafted into the Volunteers, she encounters the paper hearts, a distraction that couldn’t come at a worse time. A hard-to-read doctor has become Abigail’s new landlord, and he’s threatening to end her lease to expand his practice.

As she fights a growing attraction to this handsome man crushing her dreams, Abigail is inspired to string the hearts in her store, sparking a citywide infatuation with the artsy trend. But when a new batch of hearts reaches the Volunteers, it appears something tragic has happened to the couple. Will uncovering their story confirm Abigail’s doubts about love, or could it rescue her dreams . . . and her heart?

My Thoughts:

When I saw Paper Hearts was available for review, I grabbed it instantly! I fell in love with Walsh’s Sweethaven series and have been waiting for something new from her. Paper Hearts is a love story, but it’s so much more. It’s about feelings of unworthiness, self-blame, and failure. It’s about forgiveness, perfect love, and romance. Walsh proves her talent for making characters real and dynamic. Not only did I see parts of myself in Abigail Pressman, but also in each of the supporting characters. While parts of the story were rather predictable, Walsh manages to keep an underlying sense of suspense throughout the book. I appreciate the realness and reverent manner in which the author approaches grief and death. I expected this book to be mostly lighthearted, but I was pleasantly surprised by the heavier storyline. I loved reading about the ladies in the Valentine Volunteers and hope to see more of them in the future. Loves Park is a place I’d love to visit again! Bring it on, Courtney Walsh!

To see the adorable video trailer for Paper Hearts, go here.

Visit the author’s Facebook page here.

*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.