From the Cover ~ Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor – oldest son in the largest Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake resort, and doting father. But he’s also a 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 a charity bachelor 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 Derek’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 at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.
My Thoughts ~ There is something about Susan’s writing that makes you feel whole. I felt involved and integrated into Deep Haven and all their problems. The characters and all the situations were so well rounded!! Something will probably stir my memory some time later, making me believe that I have actually physically met these characters, and believe me, this happens often. Unfortunately though, once I realise that it’s all imaginary, I feel disappointed.
I love the blurb! I get annoyed reading blurbs only to realise that all the main points of the story are clearly spelt out for you, leaving the story without substance. However this is not the case here! There is just so much more going on – the problems, the relationships, faith, family, mistakes, forgiveness. The depth of the plot and circumstances followed by their relatively ‘easy’ solution had me intrigued from the beginning!!
Darek. Handsome/scary. Loving/intolerable. Grieving/wounded. Forgiveness. Enter Ivy Madison. Beautiful/vulnerable. Caring/adaptable. Scarred/justice. Loving/Tiger (Theo). There couldn’t be any two people better suited!! They sparked right from the beginning, when Ivy, much to the town’s amazement, bought Darek at the bachelor’s auction. And the kisses, well couldn’t go wrong there 😉 soft and tender, making me weak to the knees. (don’t you just love it when authors make you feel like the heroine?) What made it worse, was that I read this on the bus and train, to and from University. I found it super hard trying to contain my amusement. Yes, there were plenty of humourous situations as well. In the end I just couldn’t help myself.
What I loved the most about this novel, was that there were 4 main characters: Darek, Ivy, Jensen and Claire, where I got to understand the situation as a whole like some foreign bystander, except that’s just it, I wasn’t foreign. I lived as each one of them – hurting when they hurt; laughed when they laughed; forgave when they forgave. I grew to love each one of them which is completely contrary to my initial thoughts and judgements. And it happened so subtly as well!! Then come all of the supporting characters, who all feel like family.
Forgiveness. That is the underlying message of the story. Loving literature, I briefly analysed some of the sybolism, and it gave the story such a deeper meaning! The fire proved to be what was needed to restore everything – all the hurt and grudges, that it seemed so insignificant and such a waste of time. Sound familiar? We all do it some time in our lives. We just need to have the courage to overcome it.
Susan May Warren is no author to just ‘forget’ to read!! I did that with this book, and I am so glad that I have read it!! Pick it up! This book won’t disappoint!!