Back in February, I read and adored Jace and Eden's story.
Despite having never watched a hockey game or read a Susan May Warren novel, It Had To Be You quickly became one of my favorite stories this year.
She wrote about God's embracing love and people dealing with life's pain. Truth comes across loud and clear in her story, and it's all inside a really good romance.
So I was eager to acquire When I Fall in Love, which is Grace's story. Grace was the sister who kept pushing Eden to fall in love, and Grace seemed way too emotional and "gooey" for lack or a better word. I expected her to fall in love with romance itself, not with a human person.
And I don't think I expected that person to be Max Sharpe. Though I certainly was not disappointed... if you read Jace's story you know that Max was one of his teammates on the Blue Ox. And you also know that Max has some history with the Christiansen family... history that makes me like him more. How would you feel if you harmed your own teammate through an act of massive stupidity?
Max was involved in a hockey accident that hurt Owen Christiansen and almost ruined his career.
He was genuinely remorseful, and that carries on into this book.
And now Max and Grace end up together, in seats 9A and 9B on an airplane to Hawaii.
She's finally chasing a dream, and he's off to his chosen culinary vacation.
I made the mistake of looking at the "Hawaiian vacation" plot and thinking this would be a shallow read. It isn't. This book quickly goes deeper than I had ever expected. Sure, the story is all about whipping up delicious food and falling in love, but it's also about learning to see with an eternal perspective and continuing to share your life with others when it gets sad.
Both Max and Grace have things in their lives that they deem unacceptable and unlovable, and they think they need to hide them. And I'm not talking just minor insecurities here. I was surprised (and then pleased!) by how serious their story gets.
This book affirms all that is right with life- awesome food, beautiful Hawaiian landscapes, and a God who helps us commit and recommit over and over as often as needed. And this book also acknowledges all that is wrong with the world, and always points to our Redeemer.
Thank you Litfuse for my review copy!
I can't help be amazed at the gifts God has delighted me with - a wonderful husband, four amazing children, and the opportunity to write for Him.
I've been writing as long as I can remember - I won my first book writing contest in first grade! Over the years, writing has become, for me, a way to praise God and see Him at work in my life.
God Bless and Happy Reading!
In His Grip,
Susan May Warren