Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she’d vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled—or maybe yanked—away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.
Maxwell Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.
Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.
Grace Christiansen has never wanted to leave Deep Haven. Despite her mother’s belief that she should chase adventure, Grace has always been content with her safe, predictable life. So when her family books her a spot on a cooking retreat in far-away Hawaii, she is reluctant to accept, especially after she finds out her brother-in-law has asked former teammate and regular at the cooking retreat Max Sharpe to ‘babysit her’. Spending time with Max, however, is not exactly what Grace expected, and she feels drawn to him as the days go by. Will she take a leap of faith and dream of something outside of Deep Haven, or will she be forever stuck in her safe little box of a life?
Maxwell Sharpe had no intention of babysitting Grace Christiansen. This Hawaii trip was the much needed vacation he anticipated every year, and he wasn’t letting some uptight wannabe chef ruin it. As he gets to know Grace, he finds that she’s not at all what he thought she would be, and he dares to dream of something more. When he his reminded of his personal fears, Max pulls away, leaving Grace, and himself, heartbroken. Can he face his demons and make things up to Grace, or is he destined to be alone forever?
When I Fall in Love, the third book in Susan May Warren’s Christiansen Family series, was by far one of the best books I have ever read. I expected it to be wonderful, as I have loved all of her books and Take a Chance on Me and It Had to Be You—the first two books in the series—but I didn’t expect it to be that amazing. Max is completely and utterly swoon-worthy, mainly for the way he treats Grace. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say, every girl dreams of that kind of affection. Even while he runs from her, he is still just the perfect man, and is even more so towards the end, for reasons I cannot tell you. But, as I have with LOTS of novels, especially this one, I find the picture below (which I found on Pinterest) very accurate. It also rang very true with the fourth book—Always on My Mind—when I utterly fell for Casper Christiansen. You’ll find out all about that tomorrow (wink, wink).
Anyway, while Susan May Warren is one of THE BEST at writing male characters that make you melt into a puddle in your seat, she is also great at creating captivating plots that have just enough morality in them to make you learn things you will never forget, in a good way. I loved learning—although I sorta already knew—along with Grace and Max that when you love someone, it doesn’t matter how long you have or how hard it will be when one of you dies, you love them will all that you have for as long as you’re given. You just cherish every moment because you can’t do life without them any longer. That’s just what love does.
When I Fall in Love gets all five bookmarks because of all those reasons. It’s a book that made me swoon, Max melted me into a puddle more than once, Grace inspired me in so many ways, and I was reminded just why love is so great. This book was a wonderful read, is a novel I will most certainly be picking up again, and comes HIGHLY recommended.
All credit for the above italicized synopsis goes to Susan May Warren and her publishers.