In the third in the Christiansen saga, Grace goes to Hawaii to a cooking school, compliments of her family. They want to inspire her, recognizing her amazing ability to create incredible foods. She is hesitant to go – she's content at home. But she finally agrees to go and it changes her life.
Also at the cooking school is Max Sharpe, pro hockey player, lover of gourmet cooking. He lives for the three weeks of culinary vacation he takes each year. When he is paired up with Grace for a cooking competition, emotions are stirred. So is his prior relationship to Grace's brother Owen – a relationship that ended Owen's hockey career.
This is a good novel of character development. Grace has the opportunity to grow through all her insecurities, with Max helping. Max struggles with his guilt over his part in the accident that ended Owen's career. They both must rely on their Christian faith to make it to the future God has planned for them.
I appreciate a thought provoking novel and this one makes you think about love, marriage, and life. Would you marry someone knowing they had an incurable disease? What do you do when your marriage doesn't turn out as you'd thought?
I also appreciate a novel where I learn something and in this one, it was about a cooking school and the ensuing contest. Be given a certain number of ingredients and create something tasty from them? Amazing.
I have to admit I was put off by Owen's behavior near the beginning of the book. There was a one night stand with no guilt or remorse from Owen. I know it happens in “Christian” families, but it was just hard to read. I certainly hope Owen finds salvation in a sequel.
A Discussion Guide has been included and there would be much for a reading group to discuss in this novel.
You can find out more about the book and the author's thoughts on writing it here.
I am taking part of a blog tour of this novel and you can read other reviews here.
Susan May Warren is the best-selling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels. She served with her husband and their four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years. They are now in the State and she writes full time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. Warren loves to teach and speak at women's events and also runs a writing community for authors. Find out more at http://www.susanmaywarren.com/
Tyndale House 378 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of an independent and honest review.