Monday, July 28, 2014

When I Fall in Love: Book 3 of The Christiansen Family Series And A Fantastic Contest!

 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

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.

My Thoughts: 

When I Fall in Love is the third book in Susan May Warren's stand alone series The Christiansen Family.  In this third book we learn about Grace Christiansen. A talented chef who is currently working at a pizza parlor in town and making dishes for her family and friends on the side. When she makes the food for Ivy and Darek's wedding, Eden and Jace ask her to cater their wedding which will be a huge event because of Jace's status as a hockey player. Grace doesn't believe in her skills the way her family does so she declines.  Her family presents here with a three week culinary vacation in Hawaii, Grace refuses to go. Eventually they talk her into it and tell her that a teammate of Jace's will be there to help her get around and find her way. Max has gone on this vacation every year to get away from being a hockey player and be able to do what he loves. He isn't thrilled about having to "babysit" Grace but an unlikely meeting finds them both drawn to each other and they enter a cooking competition together. As they spend more time together, their feelings escalate until Max finally has to walk away because of his own issues. 

When I Fall in Love is a great book. I have had the pleasure of reading the other two books in this stand alone series and I have loved each one.  I was instantly drawn to this book because of the setting of Hawaii! It has been my dream since I was 6 yrs old to go to Hawaii, something I haven't gotten to do yet but am working on it. As I read this book, I felt like I was there in Hawaii with Grace and Max seeing the beautiful sites and hearing the sounds. Susan May Warren paints a beautiful picture of this tropical paradise and really made me feel like I was there. And the food, oh the food that was put together and described made my mouth water and let my imagination go into what kinds of foods I want to try.  Susan May Warren writes with authority about Minnesota and Hawaii, cooking, party/wedding planning, hockey, and dragon boats(have to read it to understand!). I found myself taken in with this book from the start and could not put it down. Every time I picked up the book I was transformed back to Grace's tropical paradise.  I really enjoyed all the characters in this book especially  Grace. Having read other Christiansen books, Grace and the rest of the siblings have been introduced but it has been limited information so I loved learning so much more about her. I could really relate to Grace's characters desire to stay close to home, safe and not venturing outside of her safety zone, also the desire to spend the whole Hawaiian Vacation reading books. Grace's story, while be it fiction, rang some truth for me . I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed. As stated further up, these are stand alone books that do not have to be read in order. Susan May Warren has written these books in a way that new readers don't feel lost and the seasoned readers aren't losing their interest in repeat details. It is a rare thing! I give this book 4.5 STARS.

Susan May Warren's newest book in the Christiansen Family Collection, When I Fall In Love,  has won over readers' and critics' hearts alike. With critical reviews like, ". . . an exquisite romance. Profoundly touching on the topic of facing fears, this book is a true gem," and more than 60 five-star reviews at Amazon, When I Fall in Love is sure to please.

Susan has teamed up with some amazing food bloggers for a fun food challenge and a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway!

  One grand prize winner will receive:
Grab your aprons and wire whisks and buzz on over to the When I Fall in Love website to learn more and enter the Hawaiian Chef Showdown! Susan is challenging you to make a Hawaiian-inspired dish using coconut, mango, or one of the other ingredients mentioned in the book. You’ll get extra points for creating your own recipe—plus she might share it on the When I Fall in Love site! Or if you're not up for an adventure in the kitchen just click one of the icons below for easy entry.

Hurry, the giveaway ends on August 10th. All winners will be announced August 13th at Susan's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Susan's blog on the 13th to see if you won!

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