TAKE A CHANCE ON ME
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.
Yes, I have been reading these backwards. Take a Chance On Me, the first in the Christiansen family saga makes for a powerful start to this stunning series. I'm not quite sure where to begin this review. Perhaps to say that this story portrays one of the most moving testimonies of forgiveness that I have ever read. And the strength of the story is in the fact that the author shows the far reaching effects withholding forgiveness has. Not only for the individual harboring resentment and anger, but for all the people surrounding them, both family and friends and even neighbours. In fact, in a way, an entire community has born the burden of one man's unwillingness to forgive. And that man is our hero, Darek Christiansen.
Tormented doesn't begin to describe Darek. Mired in past mistakes that led to a fatal tragedy, his unwillingness to forgive extends towards himself as well as a friend turned arch enemy. Bitterness and anger are beginning to twine themselves around Darek's heart but he doesn't see it. Not until Ivy Madison shows up on his radar. And mercy, don't get me started on Ivy because she is exactly the wrong person for Darek, or maybe the right person going about it all the wrong way? However you look at it, be prepared for emotional angst that will churn up your tummy and cause you, the hapless reader, no end of heartache.
This is a true-to-life love story with none of the gnarly bits edited out. But there's incredibly tender moments too. Along with toe-curling love scenes and larger than life family times. And oh the joy of victory! The Apostle Paul's admonishment to "fight the good fight and finish the race" comes to mind when I think of Darek's journey. Not because he did it particularly well, but because he clung on to shrapnels of truth wherever he could find them. Because he was willing to soften his heart as a result. Because he might not have always" kept the faith" during that difficult journey, but he found it again. Truly inspirational.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Take a Chance On Me please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 25 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!