Ivy Madison is the new assistant county attorney in Deep Haven, Minnesota. Her goal is to make a difference and find a place to belong in the tiny little town. She has no idea when she goes to a charity bachelor auction that the last person she should bid on is Derek Christiansen.
Derek is angry and embarrassed at having to fill in at the auction for his hockey-star brother. And that’s not all he’s angry at. He’s been brooding for years after the tragic death of his wife. Angry and bitter, the town knows to stay away from Derek.
When Ivy bids on Derek she has no idea what the implications will be. Little does she realize that when she crafted a plea bargain to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail 3 years ago she was keeping the man responsible for the death of Derek’s wife free. What she does discover is that getting to know the large Christiansen family feels like home for the first time in her life. Having grown up in the foster care system she’s been looking for a place to belong her whole life. The Christiansens own the historic Evergreen Lake resort and she’d like to stay forever.
Derek and Ivy can’t deny the fact that they’re drawn to each other. As they try to form a relationship they, and the people around them, have to begin to deal with their pasts and issues of forgiveness. No chance can really be taken until healing begins.
Warren dives deep into heavy topics such as forgiveness, the love of God, bitterness, and more. She does so with finesse, and proves once again that fiction can cover the deep issues of life in an approachable way. This book deals with healing and second chances. It’s not your typical fluff novel, but a hard-hitting and effective story that will grip you.
The characters are real people and very endearing. I wanted to become a part of the Christiansen family and be invited over to the lake for the weekend. Derek and Ivy have an undeniable chemistry that is sweet to read. You’ll agonize alongside them as they fall in love with each other and, in their woundedness and humanity, continue to fumble.
Warren always includes humor in her books which is much appreciated when dealing with a heavy story. You’ll find yourself chuckling as you turn the pages.
My only critique of the book is I felt the story was told from too many perspectives. At one point 4 different characters tell the story. I prefer to stick to one or two, otherwise I find myself feeling muddled. It’s a long book and I think the number of story lines may have been more effective as a couple of books instead of just one.
I can report that this is the start of a new spin-off series taking place in Deep Haven. This series will follow the Christiansen family. I can promise you that’s a good thing. Warren has proven through the years that she can handle spin off series with ease. I, for one, can’t wait to grab the next book in the series.
I love visiting Deep Haven and the people there. Do yourself a favor this summer, grab this book, find a sunny spot with some lemonade, and dive deep into all it has to offer. You’ll be glad you did.
My thanks to Tyndale Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book for my real and honest review.
Rated PG: adult situations
Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!