My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing
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?
The emotion that makes me connect with the characters is the biggest reason I'm in love with the Christiansen Family series! Amelia doesn't know where she fits in the world or what she wants out of life. It was hard to see her waffling between the choices she saw for herself- hometown settling or unknown adventure, Seth or Roark. She wants to follow God's will for her life, but how does she know what that is when both paths are good ones? Her questions and hesitancy are no doubt elements that many readers can relate to. Roark has his own traumatic history to overcome, and Amelia's strength and faith lead him to search for peace. It was interesting how he is initially perceived as the bad guy, but one by one the family warms up to him as his admirable qualities are given a chance to shine. Amelia and Roark share several memorable experiences in Deep Haven that remind them why they fell in love and also see hidden strengths that deepen their relationship.
A secondary plot that is incorporated is the struggles of Max and Grace from When I Fall in Love. Max's hereditary gene for an incurable disease prevents him from wanting a family, but hates to deprive Grace of that life. A Ukranian orphan finds herself in temporary custody of the Christiansens and both Max and Grace have the opportunity to glimpse the love and sacrifice children would bring into their hearts.
I highly recommend reading this series! I've rated all of the books (including novellas) 5 stars, and I while I love a good deal, they are definitely worth paying full price for! They can be read as stand alones but for full enjoyment read them in order.
(Thank you to the author and Thomas Nelson Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)