When I Fall in Love (Christiansen Family #3)
By Susan May Warren
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 paradise, she is pulled—or maybe yanked—away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.
Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.
Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Grace Christiansen feels stuck. A homebody whose dreams of going to culinary school have just been dashed, Grace isn’t sure what her next step should be. The adventure of a lifetime begins when Grace’s family buys her a trip to Hawaii to attend a cooking class. Enter, Max. Her brother Owen’s fellow hockey teammate, Max is asked to look out for Grace during her trip. Far from the crazy fangirl he was expecting, Max finds himself drawn to her passion and heart. When the opportunity presents to compete in a local cooking competition Grace and Max jump right in. But Max has a secret that prevents the two from growing closer. Will Max share what’s holding him back so he and Grace can have a future together? And can Grace trust that God will transform her life into something amazing?
I read Take a Chance on Me when I was judging for the INSPY awards and it was one of my favorites of the year. Actually, it was one of my favorite christian fiction reads ever. I was really excited but a little wary starting When I Fall in Love because I thought it might be a disappointment compared to the first. Boy, oh boy was I wrong. This book gave me the same amount of feels, tears, and laughs as the first… if not more!
I love Deep Haven but the change of scenery from Minnesota to Hawaii was thrilling! I could almost see the ocean, smell the flowers, and taste the food– that’s how lively the dialogue and descriptions were. I also love baking and cooking, so reading the cooking competition parts were so much fun and inspirational. There was a subplot from the viewpoint of Raina and Casper and while I don’t usually like diversions from the main story, Susan May Warren made it work beautifully just as in her previous books. Grace is perhaps the one member of the Christiansen family I can really relate with which made this book all the more special to me. Each emotion and struggle portrayed in this book struck me right on the heart, especially when Grace dealt with her fear of venturing out and trusting that God would catch her if she fell. It was real, it was deep, and it was the perfect combination of fun, sweet, uplifting, serious, thought-provoking, and funny!
The Christiansen Family series is slowly but surely making its way to the top of my all-time favorites. When I Fall in Love is the perfect definition of christian romantic fiction and I cannot wait to read what happens next with Casper, Raina, and the whole Christiansen gang next in Always on My Mind, coming in February! (February is way too far away, don’t you think?)
**I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own. My sincerest apologies to the publisher and author for my delay in reviewing.
Have you read any good contemporary romances lately? Please share your recommendations in the comment section below!