You’re the One That I Want (Susan May Warren) – Review

5 stars

 

“You saved me,” he said to Scotty.  “Right?”
“No more than you saved me,” she said.  But he wanted to call her a liar because he knew he’d been dying, knew his body had filled with blood.
“How did we-?”
“The Coast Guard picked us up just in time.  You had a little surgery for your punctured lung.”  She angled a glance at Casper.  “Thanks to your broken ribs.  That you got when you saved my life.
“I think the ribs were from the wave.  On the ship-”
“And made worse when you pushed me into the raft, again saving my life.
Casper held up a hand.  “Okay.  I got it.  He saved your life.  Which, yes, I’m utterly glad for.  That might make him your Prince Charming, but it doesn’t erase anything he’s done.”
“Wow.  Forgive much?” Owen said.
Casper raised an eyebrow.  “Apologize much?”
“For your information, he’s no Prince Charming, but he is a gentleman-”
“Seriously, how well do you know him?”
“Well enough,” Scotty snapped, and in the back of his head, Owen heard, A “Yes sir,” will do.
He grinned as she glanced at him with a frown.  “What are you laughing at, Eye Patch?”
This got a chuckle out of Casper.
And there is was, that stirring inside that told Owen he was going to live.  Definitely, absolutely live, at least long enough to get out of this bed and chase Scotty right into his arms.
In fact, now that they’d lived, he planned on never letting her go.

Publisher’s Overview
Owen Christiansen has been in a downward spiral since an injury ended his NHL career. But a job on an Alaskan crabbing boat offers a fresh start . . . maybe even a shot at romance with Elise “Scotty” McFlynn, the captain’s daughter.

Used to being one of the guys, to never relying on anyone, Scotty doesn’t believe in happily ever after―especially with someone like Owen. Her instinct is confirmed when Casper Christiansen arrives to drag his prodigal brother home, bringing with him a truckload of family drama―and even worse, the news that Casper is wanted for questioning in connection to a crime back in Minnesota.

But Owen is more than the sum of his mistakes, a truth both he and Scotty discover when she escorts both brothers to Deep Haven as part of her new job on the Anchorage police force. Thrust into an unfamiliar world of family, faith, and fresh starts, Scotty begins to see potential for a happy ending . . . if she’s brave enough to embrace it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My review
I’m a late-comer to the Christiansen party, although it’s a series I’ve had on my TBR wishlist for some time (yes, I actually have a waiting list for my TBR list!) So when the opportunity came up to review this novel I had a bit of a quandary. Buying all the previous books and reading them prior to this one was not really achievable (I do have to eat and sleep, after all…) but I HATE reading a series like this out of order. What to do?… In the end I took the plunge, and I’m glad I did (although I’m still going to get around to reading the other books in the series one day).

While each novel in the series is a stand-alone in terms of the romance, there are incidents from the previous books whose consequences have carried over into this one. Poor choices and some explosive emotional encounters with friends and members of his family sent Owen running from Deep Haven prior to the beginning of this book, but when he nearly loses his life trying to rescue Scotty McFlynn from the ocean in the middle of a storm, suddenly he wants nothing more than to go home, set things right, and smell his mother’s cookies again.

Unbeknownst to Owen, Casper Christiansen has spent the last four months searching for him so he can untangle one of the messes left in Owen’s wake – a mess that’s a little more complicated than Owen realises, and intricately tied up with Casper’s future happiness. When they try to leave Anchorage they learn Casper is wanted for questioning in relation to a murder back home, and by a strange twist of divine orchestration, Scotty’s first job in her new position on the Anchorage police force is to escort them back to Deep Haven. Owen views it as a second chance to win Scotty’s heart, but Scotty is determined to keep her guard up, even if she can’t resist Owen’s plea for her to stay in Deep Haven and help them clear Casper’s name.

Despite not having read any of the previous novels in this series, I never felt lost in this book. Warren did a good job of revealing the back-story naturally (ie, without info dumps) as was necessary and appropriate. If I was going to pinpoint the thing I most enjoyed about this book, I would probably say it was the interaction and dialogue between the characters. Authentic and relevant, it was sometimes times lighthearted or even comical, at other times emotionally charged.  It really brought the characters (and the whole story) to life for me – although I did embarrass myself by letting a snort of laughter escape while reading during my daughter’s ballet lesson, so be warned!

I also enjoyed the fact that this book wasn’t just about Owen and Scotty. When Casper is brought back to Deep Haven for questioning things do not go quite as expected, and this has an impact on everything he had planned for his future. Owen’s plans also get tangled in up in the mess, and it’s no longer simply a matter of what they want, but of what is best; what is right. Do they have faith in God to see them through, or will they take matters into their own hands?

The one part that didn’t quite convince me was the way in which the murder was resolved. It just seemed a little orchestrated somehow, and the subsequent court scene almost farcical.  But if you’re looking for a contemporary romance with dynamic characters, family drama, and spiritual themes, this could be just the series you’re after.

Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Buy from:           Amazon.com               Amazon.com.au

Release Date:  21 January 2016
Pages:  385 pages
Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers
Author’s website:  http://www.susanmaywarren.com/

Previous books in series:

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About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
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