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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Susan May Warren: The Wonder of You

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling. Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?

My Thoughts:

I have read all of Susan May Warren’s books, including all the Christiansen’s family series. After finishing Casper’s story in Always on My Mind and being introduced to Amelia near the end, I couldn’t wait to dive right into Amelia’s story in The Wonder of You. True to the contemporary romance, Warren created everything I love about her writing and then some. Great descriptive setting, heart-pounding romance, and page-turning tension with wonder—I literally could not put this book down.

The writing was tight, interesting, and grammatically sound with a nice balance between the internal monologues and the actual conversation between the characters. Once again, Warren creates life-like characters that jump off the page. I felt Amelia and Roark’s struggle as they debated between the fling they had in Prague versus the reality of their normal situations. I enjoy watching Amelia and Roark interact and liked them instantly. Warren has definitely created memorable characters who fill the dining room table at the Christiansen family’s dinners. The supporting cast was members that, as an avid reader of the Christiansen family series, I have come to know and love. I enjoyed how Warren is continuing the family saga for my and tons of readers’ enjoyment.

The pace and flow was just right for this type of book. I enjoyed how Warren weaves the romance affecting Amelia and Roark into modern day story of chivalry who had to fight for the woman’s hand. It was unique, yet totally unpredictable but gripped my attention from the opening chapter. Warren did a good job in this book, which is a great addition to the Christiansen family saga. While Amelia jumped between the affections of Seth and Roark, it flowed naturally over the course of the story and provided plenty of sparks and attraction to appeal to majority of contemporary romance fans.

One of my favorite aspects of Warren’s writing is her ability to draw her readers into the story world. The story takes place in Deep Haven, Minnesota, which is a fictional town in northern Minnesota. I loved how this makes the twelfth book which takes places in this fictional town. Warren showcases her love for the Minnesota wilderness and the characters who populate this small town set against the crisp waters of Lake Superior. Her setting shines on every page with
Warren’s attention to the tiniest detail like the wind whistling through the pine trees. I felt like I was in Deep Haven.

Warren allows John, the paternal head of the family, to convince Roark to change by allowing him to truly grasp that God wants everyone to obey Him, not because of what God has given you, but simply because he asked. This is a hard lesson for everyone to believe, but Warren weaves this spiritual truth through the conflict on the pages and in the lives of Amelia and Roark as they struggle with their romantic tanglements. Warren does not preach at the audience. It came across natural sounding and fit the proper moment at the climax.

This book will appeal to readers of all ages. There is nothing questionable about the content. I believe it is a great tale for the younger ladies to read and discuss how true-love should act. True love is worth fighting for. Fans of Nicholas Sparks, Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg, Beth K. Vogt, and other writers of contemporary romance will enjoy The Wonder of You.

Always comfortable, Susan May Warren invited me to return to the familiar setting of Deep Haven in her latest addition to the Christiansen family saga. With another impressive blend of memorable characters, tingling romance, and nail-biting tension, The Wonder of You is an emotionally gripping story about learning to do what God asks without questions.

I received a complimentary copy of The Wonder of You from Tyndale Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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