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.
If I had to describe this novel in one word I would use: Touching. Ms. Warren does a fabulous job of capturing people’s emotions. Her characters are always rich and vivid and ready to step off the page. And sometimes that can be a bit of a problem, because just like you can’t really know people, I felt like I couldn’t really know these characters. This novel seems to start right in the middle of things. You have all of this backstory that is so relevant to the present. The first chapter starts off interesting it took me a minute to really get into the novel, but once I got into it I had to finish it. Darek was an interesting hero. He was flawed, but he was real. Ms. Warren has been doing this thing where she kind of writes two love stories in one so the love stories are a bit shorter than I would like. And personally, there are some characters who I just want to know more about than others. I wanted to see more of Darek and to really watch him fall in love with Ivy on the pages. But I felt that it was a bit stunted at time. A lot seemed to happen off screen. My heart went out to Jensen though. Boy did he have it rough. I would say the best part of Jensen was when he came to a realization that he needed to let go of the past and that God loved him and never stopped loving him. Claire’s situation, though noteworthy, was one that I felt could have been a bit more developed. I knew who she was, but I still felt like I didn’t know where she came from. Overall, the novel has a lot going on, but you won’t get lost. The novel is engaging and recommended. And I for one, look forward to seeing what happens in the next book!
Update: I was told that this was a confusing review, so to clarify: Ms. Warren is a fabulous author. You won’t be disappointed with her books, and though this is not one to be missed, it was not especially my favorite.