Book Review: Can’t Buy Me Love by Andrea Christenson

Can’t Buy Me Love
by Andrea Christenson
Book 2 in the Deep Haven Collection
Rating: 4/5
Release date: March 16, 2021
Purchase here.

Who doesn’t love a good Cinderella retelling? LOL. The romantic in me just loves the idea and I must say that Andrea Christenson does a good job of blending a contemporary love story in a classic fairytale complete with a “glass slipper”.

Spurred on by the tragic death of her mother, Ella Bradley is someone who wants to make a difference and has found a way to do that with the cleaning products she developed. She sets out to make a deal with the hotel conglomerate she owns a half-share in but is thwarted by a malfunctioning elevator. However, she finds the hour or so stuck with a handsome stranger a big plus until she finds out his true identity is not just Roger but Adrian Roger Vassos, the notorious but charming son of the man she plans to make a deal with. Meanwhile, Adrian’s lie may have long-lasting consequences if he wants to pursue a relationship with the beautiful and intelligent Ella Bradley, who he can’t seem to get out of his mind. His waterpark resort proposal must pass so he can prove to himself and his father that he is not a failure. When Ella discovers he plans on building that monstrosity of a waterpark in her own town of Deep Haven, she gets even more frustrated with the man. Misunderstandings and circumstances ensue and bring the two back together to do some community service in Deep Haven while Adrian and Ella try to convince each other that their own ideas are better. However, spending so much time with each leads to heartfelt conversations and realizations, which neither could confront before. Will misunderstandings continue to plague this would-be relationship? Can Adrian find his true purpose for being in Deep Haven? Can Ella escape the shame of her past and find a way to pursue her dreams?

Wow. I always love a good Deep Haven story. I was excited to receive an advanced copy of this new book. Although Andrea Christenson is a new author to me, I felt she did a good job of writing the beautiful love story with its fun quirks and antics. I found the spiritual parts not quite as emotional as Susan May Warren’s writing but they still held really good biblical truths that were relevant and genuine. I loved getting to know her new characters as they were introduced to the magic of Deep Haven. The misunderstandings that occurred with Ella and Adrian were hilarious as each just kept getting worse and worse. I enjoyed reading about the beauty of Deep Haven and the different activities available to tourists. (I wish I could go visit this beautiful place).

Highly recommend if you enjoy clean, Christian romance with humor and heart.

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: Still the One by Susan May Warren & Rachel D. Russell

Still the One
By Susan May Warren and Rachel D. Russell
A Deep Haven Novel
Rating: 4/5
Release date: January 12, 2021
Preorder here:

Welcome back to Deep Haven! Yes! I really enjoyed having the opportunity to jump back in and catch up with old friends. I laughed. I cried. I sighed. Lol. Though you do not need to read the other Deep Haven books, you really should! They are excellent entertainment and I highly recommend them.

Megan is a proud single mom of Josh and a successful wedding planner. She has dreams for expanding her business but just needs some more gigs for that down payment. When her childhood friend (dare I say crush) literally rescues her, sparks fly and it’s only the beginning. A divorced, former Army Ranger, Cole returns to Deep Haven because he must sell his grandfather’s house to pay for his grandfather’s skilled nursing facility before he can interview for a job as a Deputy US Marshal. When Megan finds herself needing his help assisting with wedding planning, Cole steps right up and gets the job done. After being burned in love before, can Megan and Cole find a way to trust each other and love again?

I think it might have been Jane Austen’s Persuasion that first introduced me to the concept of second chances. Who doesn’t love a comeback? Megan and Cole are not perfect. They are flawed but find hope in the Deep Haven community. I loved recognizing all the characters from Susan May Warren’s previous series. Both authors have a way with presenting authentic characters that need to deal with their past insecurities and trauma. Unfortunately, everyone can relate to feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. The reliance on faith is clearly laid out in this book without feeling too preachy. It has a message of hope to move beyond your past that is beautiful.

I was pleasantly surprised at how similar Rachel D. Russell and Susan May Warren’s writing styles were. I felt this book did not pull on my heartstrings as much as Susan May Warren’s previous books but the book still has a lovely impact.

So excited to read more books from Deep Haven! Highly recommend this book if you enjoy small-town Christian romance.

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: The Price of Valor by Susan May Warren

The Price of Valor
by Susan May Warren
Book 3 in the Global Search and Rescue series
Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: October 6, 2020

Susan May Warren never disappoints! If you need some romantic suspense and mystery in your life, read this book! I highly recommend reading the first two books in this series before reading this third one because you’ll understand so much more. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary but you’ll be better acquainted with the characters and the background.

Hamilton Jones and Signe Kincaid grew up as childhood sweethearts but life and their careers took them away from each other. When Ham realizes that his wife is alive and they have a daughter, he knew nothing would stop him from trying to find out the truth. Signe is a CIA operative who’s been in deep cover for years and hopes to save some lives including her daughter’s. Ham is hurt and angry and trying to build a relationship with his daughter who he missed growing up. He desperately wants to believe and forgive Signe for all that she did but he is unsure. Can he trust his wife or will he lose everything he’s sought to protect?

The author has a couple stories going on at once – which is why I recommend reading the other books so you can get more background on the other couple. The story deals with disasters near and far and I always enjoy how everything comes together at the end. The author is so clever in her craft and I can’t wait to read more from her. 

Throughout the book there is a message of faith and forgiveness. Signe feels so much shame for her past and finds it hard to accept forgiveness. She and Ham both have lots of baggage from their pasts and while Ham stayed faithful, Signe had strayed without Ham there to guide her. I can only imagine the psychological ramifications of maintaining a deep cover while keeping oneself relevant and sane. Compartmentalizing becomes your friend. I love when authors deal with real-life issues in an organic way.

I also loved seeing characters from other series that the author has written. That was a lot of fun!

I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of romantic suspense and high stakes espionage.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren

The Heart of a Hero
by Susan May Warren
Book 2 in the Global Search and Rescue series
Rating: 5/5

So I definitely lost some sleep over this amazing ride! I love how Susan May Warren keeps outdoing herself. This is the second book in the series and I highly recommend reading the first but it’s not necessary to enjoy this thrilling adventure. While her first book dealt with blizzards in Alaska, this one deals with hurricanes in Key West. We continue getting to know the main characters after she introduced them in the first book, The Way of the Brave.

“Funny that when skies were clear, he was the storm. But in the middle of the storm…He was the calm.”

As a former sniper and Navy SEAL, Jake Silver was born to help people, and being a part of Jones Inc rescue team was only the next logical step. After helping save Dr. Aria Sinclair and her friends in Alaska, Jake knows that he and Aria have formed a connection that he can’t get away from. He shared things about his past with her that no one else knows, and she shared things with him that only made him want to protect her more. Too bad she doesn’t seem to want anything to do with him. Why does she seem to be running away from a relationship with him?

While Aria can admit that she and Jake have a connection after the traumatic events in Alaska, she is not that girl in real life. On vacation was different. She could be more adventurous like her twin sister, Kia, used to be, but when she returns back home, she has to be back to skilled pediatric heart surgeon with everything under control. There’s no room in her life for Jake and the risk he has on her heart. After a difficult patient loss, Aria’s boss sends her to a medical conference for some R and R. However, things get cut short when she finds herself stuck in Key West when category 4 Hurricane Lucy hits. A misdirected text also brings Jake to her rescue but can she find it in her heart to give their relationship a chance? Can these two heroes find a way to heal from their pasts and find their true identities?

The author has such an authentic way of incorporating her faith into her stories and I love how she is not afraid to deal with hard issues regarding PTSD and all that entails. Her writing always feels so genuine and well-researched. Her characters have their strengths and weaknesses that seem to only draw the readers into their world. The action and suspense force the reader to keep going until they reach the end.

Warning: The author also has a substory with characters from her next book who are part of the rescue team, but that story arc ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.

All in all, I couldn’t put the book down and I highly recommend reading this action-packed suspense thriller with romance and a message about forgiving yourself. I also recommend reading the first book in the series before to get the full effect.

My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Book Review: The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren

The Way of the Brave
by Susan May Warren
Book 1 of the Global Search and Rescue series
Rating: 5/5

Words cannot describe how much I loved reading this adrenaline-fueled climb up and down Denali. I wasn’t ready. The love story is surrounded by the suspense found in all of Warren’s search and rescue books and does NOT disappoint. The tension never let up and forced me to keep reading till the end.

Orion’s past continues to haunt him as his friend tries to lure him to join his global search and rescue team. As former SEAL buddies, he enjoys their friendship but doesn’t want to go back to his life as a pararescue jumper. When he and his friends are called out to rescue three women stranded on the mountain, he finds himself back in the game whether he likes it or not – only this time one of the women who needs saving is the one that got away before his entire life changed. Back in Afghanistan, he and Jacie had connected but he’d never seen her after that fateful mission where he busted his knee. For some reason, she changed her name to Jenny but he’d recognize her anywhere. Can Orion and his buddies find and rescue the woman of his dreams and her friends before it’s too late? Or will Mother Nature or God just allow obstacle after obstacle to get in their way to safety?

My heart can’t take this. Haha. I loved everything about this story. If you’ve ever seen the movie, Vertical Limit, you will understand but this book is better! (The movie was also referenced in the book which made me smile.) The main characters are dealing with their own issues and fears but Warren has a way of weaving in forgiveness and redemption into all her stories that just makes me cry and laugh and stand in awe of the Savior. The technical terms she must have researched makes the story authentic but still a bit confusing since I’m not as familiar with all the mountain climbing terms. You can tell she put her heart and soul into this story. She really starts preaching near the end which I loved; she’s not afraid to share her heart and God’s heart when it comes to forgiveness and shame.

I highly recommend this book for those that love Christian romantic suspense and I can’t wait for the next in the series!

My thanks to Revell and NetGalley for an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.