Always on my Mind by Susan May Warren

Book description:

After a failed dig in Honduras, aspiring archaeologist Casper Christiansen heads home to Minnesota to face his unresolved feelings for Raina Beaumont, the woman of his dreams. But when he arrives unannounced on her doorstep, he receives the shock of a lifetime: Raina is pregnant with someone else’s baby.

Heartbroken, especially when he discovers the identity of the baby’s father, Casper tables his dreams and determines to be dependable for once, helping his older brother, Darek, prepare the family resort for its grand reopening. Casper longs to be the hero of at least one family story, but a never-ending Deep Haven winter and costly repairs threaten their efforts—and the future of the resort.

Worse, one of Casper’s new jobs constantly brings him into contact with Raina, whom he can’t seem to forget. A tentative friendship begins to heal fresh wounds, but can they possibly overcome past mistakes and current choices to discover a future together?

My review:

I have read and enjoyed all of the Christiansen Family novels, but this one if far and away my favorite.  What isn’t there to love about the Christiansen family?  They have always been a close-knit family that sometimes make mistakes, but pull together and everything comes out right in the end.  Sometimes they seem a little too good to be true, but they are fictional characters after all.

However, in this book, readers get to see another side of the Christiansen family.  One in which the mistakes have a higher price and one in which there isn’t a clear cut right way to resolve the problems.  In other words, a book in which the messiness of life shines through.  That is what makes this book so much better than the others.  It isn’t neat.  It explores the messiness of life, with secrets and high-stake decisions that don’t have easy answers.

This is a great book, not only for the plot and the characters, but most importantly for the message.  Readers encounter sacrifice and real love – love that chooses to love, even when it is painful or inconvenient.  We read about people that put others before themselves and their wants.  It isn’t always pretty, but it comes together into a wonderful book.

If you’ve read the other Christiansen Family books, you won’t want to miss this one.  If you haven’t read any other books in the series, you can pick up this one and read Casper’s story and then go back to read about the others.  Each book is strong enough to stand on its own.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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