***** REVIEWS FOR TYNDALE: THE WONDER OF YOU BY SUSAN MAY WARREN - 30 PB (U.S. ONLY) - ADDRESSES SENT 7-24-15

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ABOUT THE BOOK (413 pages):  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?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Growing up in Minneapolis and attending the U of MN, I learned to love city life, although I'm a woodsy girl at heart. Or maybe I'm an adventurer -- having lived and traveled all over the world, including Siberia Russia as a missionary for eight years. Probably that's why my characters can't sit still, and seem to get into one scrape after another -- they're too much like me! I love God, my family, my country, my church, and feel privileged every day to be able to write stories, that I hope inspire and entertain!

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Deana Dick Amy Smelser
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Victoria Brinius Kris Markovich
Becky Lewis Britney Adams
Sonnetta Jones Jackie McNutt
DM Webb Jacqueline Robertson
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Tina Rice Karen Dean 
Paula Young  Julie Robinson
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Got to read this book earlier ~ thanks, Susan, Tyndale, & Fred. Here is my review ~

“Okay, here’s the deal. We start over. From the beginning. I want honesty every step of the way, no games. If you lie to me, even once, we’re over. Can you live with that?” Amelia demands in Susan May Warren’s love story, The Wonder of You.

Complete review: https://connywithay.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/the-wonder-of-you/

This review will be posted on Tyndale, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

The Wonder of You is by far (as of this date) the most emotionally stirring book yet in Susan May Warren's Christiansen Family Saga. Who can't help but be wooed by a top-notch Brit?

The dance between Amelia and Rourke was astounding, each wanting to love and each afraid to love. Both sides of the story were laid bare and so were their hearts. The subplot between Grace and Max so beautifully written had the ability to tear the reader's heart.

I enjoyed reading the foreshadowing knowing that the next book would be about Owen and knowing that Casper is determined to make amends with his wayward brother.

With this book, reading it and losing myself into the story, wanting to know how in the world is this guy going to win the youngest Christiansen's heart, it was beyond compare. Tight writing, smooth scenes, emotional dialogue, and above all a book that truly brought glory to the Lord.

The faith thread in this book wasn't preachy; it was natural. This is a family who loves Christ and it shows in their lives. A definite keeper and a definite winner, Susan May Warren knows how to really write a book.

Amelia Christiansen   and Roark St. John are two lost souls learning that no matter how far you run, you will not out run God.
I like this series and I will be sorry that it will have to end someday. The Christiansen’s are a wonderful family. They love God and that reflects in everything they do.
This is a story about accepting that God loves us warts and all. There are no secrets from Him. God will allow situations to happen to us so that our hearts are revealed. He loves us enough to not let us settle in what is comfortable.
Roark had to overcome his past to fully embrace the future that God has planned for him. He learned about the true meaning of forgiveness.
Amelia learned that yes you can always go home but you do not have to stay there. What God is calling us to do He has equipped us to do.
Max learned the meaning of enjoying life while you can. Life is too short to live with the fear of death. You can not enjoy life when you are constantly worried about the ‘’what if’s” in your life.
God wants to understand that his love for you is not measured by your actions and inactions. You cannot stop him from loving you and wanting the best for you. You need to learn that he must come first in your life.

I think the title of the book can apply to God also because we are in awe of who he is and how much he loves us.

I posted my review on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, DeeperShopping and Goodreads.

I love reading the stories about the Christiansen family in Deep Haven, Minnesota! This is the 5th one – the story of Amelia, the youngest Christiansen. She dreamed of leaving Deep Haven and spending a year in Prague, becoming a professional photographer. “Go big…or go home.” Yet, she ends up back in Deep Haven – having broken her heart over British playboy Roark. But Roark follows her to Deep Haven, wanting desperately to prove his love for her yet afraid at the same time that God is punishing him. Meanwhile, former boyfriend Seth, the good looking lumberjack who she “shared (her) dreams and unraveled her fears with” for so many years wants her to marry him. What’s a girl to do? Does Roark really love her? And what secrets does he have? Fortunately the reader learns the secrets long before Amelia does so they can root for the guy with the British accent!

I love how Susan May Warren not only brings the characters to life but also the situations and experiences they have. At one point Roark talks about being a missionary kid and growing up in Russia. Ms. Warren also brings a lumberjack contest to life as she describes the different events and how each one is done. The attachment disorder a young Ukraine orphan Yulia experiences is so real. And the desire of the family to seek Christ is so uplifting, even as they live imperfect lives. Amelia’s words to Roark seemed so amazing to me – “When I finally realized that this call was what I’ve been afraid to say yes to, that all I have to do is point my eyes at Jesus and focus on Him, it all came together. …I think your whole life you’ve wanted to be a missionary. That’s way you were so happy in Uganda. But you are afraid to let God down. And I think deep down you’re afraid to walk away from all you have, only to fail.”

Although this is part of a series – and I loved reading the bits about the siblings who had their own books earlier – it focuses mostly on Amelia, her romantic interests (Roark St. John and Seth Turnquist), and failing. The author explores different kinds of failures – failing ourselves and failing God – and the need to seek forgiveness. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it and I can’t wait to read the next one! I received this book from bookfun.org in return for my honest opinion.

The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren is an exciting Christian romance that will keep the reader’s interest until the end.  It is the 5th in a series that I was unfamiliar with before now but am definitely interested in going back and reading the first four books.  The Christiansen clan is a large close family that lives near the shores of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota that run a resort for tourists.   Amelia, the youngest, had dreams of accomplishing something big after graduation and leaves the small town of Deep Haven for a photography course in Prague.  There, she meets a seemingly poor photography student from Brussels with a dreamy British accent, Roark St. John,  who is really an heir to a European hotel dynasty with a haunted past.  Thus, begins their whirlwind relationship in Europe.  After a misunderstanding, Amelia feels betrayed and returns home to her hometown and high school boyfriend.  Roark travels across the Atlantic to try and make amends for their misunderstanding, but her protective family “boot” him out of their home.  Refusing to leave the Lake Superior area, he rents an apartment  in Deep Haven and obtains a job in hopes of winning Amelia’s heart back.  Who will Amelia choose – Seth, the rugged reliable hometown boy or Roark, the handsome exciting worldly man?  Amelia wants to follow God’s plan for her life if she can ever figure out what that may be.  What life is God calling Roark and Seth to live?   Which of these suitors will compliment her as a soul mate in her spiritual quest?  The writer interweaves the beautiful Lake Superior area of Minnesota throughout the setting of this book.  The characters are well developed and personable.  The plot is exciting and  twists and turns with adventure and love.  I literally couldn’t put the book down until I finished reading it.   I received a copy from the author and publisher of The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.  Also, I have left reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Booksamillion, and Christianbook.com.

Characters Wrapped Themselves Around My Heart..

Susan Mae Warren has amazed me again. Every time I pick up one of her books in the Christiansen family series,in this case The Wonder of You, I am positive I will be bored with this extended family. Yet every time, Warren introduces her characters and makes them so realistic that their lives are tentacles, inexplicably entwined around my heart.

Who wouldn't thrill and agonize with Amelia as she sorts through her feelings for Seth, the high school boyfriend, and Rourk, the European sophisticate? Amelia bounces back and forth until she finds her true center in neither...which then allows her to see clearly which path to follow.

I loved the "side story" of Amelia's sister,Grace, and her husband Max and their struggles for normalcy amidst heartache. How fun to watch little orphaned Yulia, as she slowly but surely opens up to the least likely of the clan.

While the book has its moments of straight-out faith and truth, they are in small sound bites and natural in the contexts of conversations. At one point, John, the father, says to Rourk, "God wants you to obey Him not because of what you get in exchange, but simply because he asked. To give up everything simply for the wonder of knowing Him, experiencing Him, believing in Him. The Wonder of chasing after Him and abandoning all for Him." Interestingly enough, God used Rourk's own pursuit of Amelia to teach Rourk about Himself.

I am always happy to recommend a book in which the romance is good and clean, the characters irresistible, and life lessons from the Word of God are embedded in a natural way.

I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review. I have left reviews on Amazon, B&N, BAM!, CBD, DeeperShopping, FamilyChristian, GoodReads,LibraryThing with links to FB and Twitter, NovelCrossing, and Powell's. My reviews post under my name and Babbling Becky L.

I posted the following review on CBD, Amazon, and Goodreads:

Having just finished Susan May Warren's The Wonder of You, I must say this series keeps getting better and better.  Featuring the youngest Christiansen, Amelia, the book picks up right where the previous one left off, filling in more family details and continuing on with the Christiansen saga.  And while Amelia was the predominant focus of the novel, I loved how Grace and Max were also emphasized.  Their story continues to be my favorite of the series, and I appreciated a closer look at their journey. 

 

 

As always, Warren does a fabulous job of fleshing out extremely flawed, relatable characters.  I love that the struggles featured in her characters are ones I can readily identify with and learn from.  The message of making God our only vision and accepting his marvelous grace comes shining through.  Not preachy in the least, Warren gently takes her characters through this spiritual lesson while challenging me in the same area.  Her message is certainly resonating beyond the pages of the book.

 

 

I greatly enjoyed this latest installment in the Christiansen series and am anxious to discover more about them.  Aside from the fact that I just love this family, and would read the next book for that fact alone, Warren has further grabbed my interest by closing The Wonder of You with a cliffhanger of the unresolved Owen and Caspar issues, which have been rising throughout the entire series.  The next book can't come out soon enough!

 

I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review.

The “Wonder of You” is a wonderful Christ centered love story between Amelia and Roark.  Along came another suitor who has loved Amelia since school days.  As they understand God’s calling on their lives, a wonderful story is evolving.

I found out after I ordered this that there were 4 books before it.  However, I still found it to be a very good book.  Now I need to go back to the first one and get the WHOLE story!  I find Susan May Warren’s books wonderful to read as she develops the story line in each of them.

I got this book free from Bookfun.org for my honest review.  I am also posting this review on Amazon, CBD, Good Reads and Deeper Shopping.

Sometimes plans we have for our lives are quickly set off course. Sometimes we have no idea what path to go on and God directly places us where we didn’t necessarily want to go. These are just some of the scenarios Susan May Warren created for us in book #5 in the Christiansen Family series, The Wonder of You.

“‘Wise men say only fools rush in…’” Amelia wanted to wince at the way the lyrics rubbed along her conscience, hitting her choices from the past year and, most recently, the blow up at the Christiansen family home. ~quote from chapter one

I enjoyed Amelia’s dilemma of what to do with her life, how to do it, and with whom. Oftentimes others map out a youngest sibling’s life, but Amelia has a strong inner spirit and wants to blaze her own path—go big, or go home.

Although I’m not the youngest of my siblings, I relate to Amelia’s predicament. I was the youngest for ten years and found myself trying to please my older siblings and do what they wanted for my life. I know the fear, the failures, and the triumphs of making that turn and going another route. God instills something within us that gives us the strength and willpower to do so. It’s His plan, after all, that we must follow.

The characters and the overall feel of this story make me want to visit Deep Haven, Minnesota. The setting is a beautiful backdrop for this story centering on love, faith, family, following God’s plan.

5 Stars

Cover: Like it
Title: Like it
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Pages: 416
Pace: Steady
First Lines: The danger of living in a big family was that to do anything of notice, a person had to go big or go home. Amelia had leaped, hoping to grab ahold of her dreams, show every one of her five siblings that she was just as amazing as the rest of them.

I received a Review Copy from BookClubNetwork. I was not required to write a positive review and the options I have expressed are my own.

“the gleam of the moon spearing into the cool darkness of her bedroom dissected Amelia’s thoughts, laying bare one clean, clear realization.”

Amelia is afraid. Should she risk again, just like her trip to Prague? Risk another mistake? Or should she play it safe? Safe like her long-time boyfriend Seth. Seth, who is built like a lumberjack and has always taken her breath away. The only trouble is… Roark, the mysterious, sophisticated, world traveler she lost her heart to in Prague has arrived in her hometown where she retreated after the Prague incident. And he is determined to win her back.  Roark saying, “extreme doesn’t begin to describe what I’d do to win you back,” echoes in Amelia’s mind. Amelia faces the wrestle of her calling and purpose, all the while weighing the pro’s and con’s of both men and peering into both of her possible futures.

Deep Haven, Minnesota, a logging-tourist town and it’s traditions were appealing and I was drawn in. I liked a surprise towards the end (won’t give it away) because I was ready for Amelia’s decision to be made before she was.  I connected with Roark the most; he saw Amelia’s fear and greatness and that resonated in him.  Amelia’s brothers’ interactions in the drama/dilemma were amusing. I never did understand Owen with this being my first read in the Christiansen series.  Great writing with a vacation get-away vibe and a good plot.

I received a complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers and The Book Club Network at bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1334315459

amazon, barnes & noble, deepershopping, tyndale 

I adore the Christiansen family!  They are one of my very favorite fictional families and I love reading their stories.  Although each book in the Christiansen Family series can be enjoyed independently, I encourage you to read this series from the very beginning.  I think you’ll fall in love with this special family, too! 

Amelia Christiansen’s story is dramatic and filled with emotion, as she tries to sort out her feelings while contending with two men vying for her affections.  I loved the complexity of the characters and the spiritual and emotional growth they displayed.  In addition to Amelia’s story line, Max and Grace’s story is continued in a secondary plot, which I really enjoyed.     

Susan May Warren writes with such beauty and heart, and The Wonder of You is another Christiansen story that is not to be missed! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for an unbiased review.  All thoughts expressed are my own.  I have posted my review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook, DeeperShopping, and Goodreads.  

 
     "The Wonder of You" is a beautifully written novel by Susan May Warren. This is book five in the "Christiansen Family" series. While it stands alone well, I did wonder what happened to Owen, another family member, that they referred to several times.
      This book is based on Amelia, the youngest sister. She has a sense of adventure and a love of life, but after a semester of college in Prague, she returns home feeling sad and defeated. As she searches to understand what her place is in her family and as a young adult she reaches out to God and to friends. While her family is extremely supportive and close, they are also capable of making her feel suffocated. Her high school boyfriend is also pressuring her and she just doesn't know which way to turn! Enter Roark, the man she met in Prague, fell in love with, and then ran away from. Amelia needs help! These two men are ready to come to blows, each of them trying to win the girl.
     I enjoyed the fun, camaraderie, and high morals of the Christiansen family. "The Wonder of You" is clean, often funny, and full of various adventures. God plays a role in the story as does the close relationship and respect the (adult) kids have for their parents.  Warren does a great job of making her readers feel many emotions while reading!
      I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

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