Saturday, June 23, 2018

My Bookshelf: Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren

 Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants—except a happy ending. Or at least that’s what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.
 Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.
 When the PEAK chopper is damaged and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.
 It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra’s relationship.

 Troubled Waters is the fourth book in Susan May Warren’s Montana Rescue series, coming after Wild Montana Skies, Rescue Me, and A Matter of Trust. I have been a pretty big fan of Susan’s for quite some time, and I typically read her new releases as soon as I can, and this novel is no exception. Although it did come out a few months ago (five to be exact), I actually hadn’t purchased it until a little more recently, so it was still a soon-after read for me. I have really been enjoying this series as a whole over the past three books; I just love the way that Susan brings all her characters in and focuses on different ones in different novels, even when they are not necessarily their own. Take Troubled Waters for instance. While this book primarily focuses on Ian and Sierra, we also get a little taste of Pete and Jess and what is happening in their lives as well. I really enjoy series like that because it makes it all about the group of characters and not just one or two in each book, and it piques my interest and makes me even more excited for the stories to come that actually do focus on those particular characters.
 Anyway, I also really enjoyed this novel for so many other reasons. Ever since the very first novel in this series, I have gotten bits and pieces of Ian and Sierra’s story and all the heartache that they shared, so I have been dying to finally find out how their story would end. The fact that they let the whole situation with Esme come between them just broke my heart, and I was so curious to see how they would finally overcome that, especially with all the secrets Esme told Sierra that she had to keep from Ian. And I must say, I was not disappointed. The drama, the unexpected, the surprise ending, all came together to make this a novel I just could not put down. I wish I could tell you all that happens, but suffice it to say, not one part of this story was ever boring. But that’s what I know to expect from one of Susan’s novels.
 I would be remiss if I didn’t also address the more serious themes in this novel. Since Susan writes Christian fiction, it wasn’t a surprise to find mentions of Sierra’s faith and Ian’s choice not to believe the same. However, the Christian emphasis didn’t just end there, and that is something I am growing to learn—and love—about good Christian novels. Oftentimes I read “Christian” fiction and I find that the only thing making it “Christian” is that there isn’t anything bad in it. And I like that, I am glad to know I can always look to that genre to find clean fiction. But there isn’t any weight, any true focus on Christianity and the way God works in our lives in those kinds of novels. While I noticed that before, I just didn’t realize how much I missed that until I started reading so many books that do have that kind of focus. And I am loving them.
 All that is to say, the way Susan really brought together Sierra’s faith and the things God was teaching her about herself with Ian’s struggling to believe worked perfectly, and it really brought this novel to a whole new level it never would have reached without that. Because while I loved reading about how Sierra and Ian got “shipwrecked” and how they were learning to possibly love each other once again (if they had ever stopped), one of my favorite parts of this book were the parts where God worked through the trials Sierra and Ian were facing to teach them about themselves, and about Himself, and His place in their lives.
 Because of this, and everything else that I’ve gone on and on about throughout this review, I can easily say that I am more than happy to give Troubled Waters all five bookshelves, and a place on my all-time favorites list. Susan will continue on being one of my absolute favorite authors, and this series is easily inching up towards being my favorite of hers. The Montana Rescue action mixed with God’s redeeming love and Susan’s completely relatable characters makes this a series well worth reading, and one I HIGHLY recommend.
 Go check it out, what are you waiting for?
 Happy reading!

To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Susan May Warren and Revell Publishing.

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