Friday, December 26, 2014

Susan May Warren's Always On My Mind ~ Reviewed

Always on My Mind (Christiansen Family Book 4)
Susan May Warren (Author)
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (December 18, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

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?


I am a fan of novels by Susan May Warren. I enjoy her stories and her writing. Always on My Mind is the 4th book in the Christiansen Family novel series. I have not read the first three books so I was a little reluctant about reading this one. But even though this is a continuing story about the Christiansen family, I was able to enjoy this one by itself. The author is skillful at weaving in important details from past novels so that you understand the story. In this story, Caspar Christiansen has been away to an island near Honduras treasure hunting but also running away from issues back home. He decides to return and confront the woman he loves and find out if he has a chance with her. But he is shocked when he finds out the condition Raina is in and what her plans are. The story explores Casper and Raina’s feelings for each other and whether or not they will ever have a chance. Also, all the relationships within the Christian family are involved to some degree. The author does a good job of juggling lots of characters yet keeping the story going. There is also a mystery from the past, which is shared through a diary Raina finds. So there is a parallel story that is told along with Raina's own story. Raina has some deep wounds she is running from. Will she make the wrong decision about which man to love? Will Caspar be able to accept the choices she has made? Will they solve the local mystery by following clues in Aggie’s diary? What about Caspar’s older brother, Darek? Will he make a decision that could hurt his family?
I enjoyed reading how Caspar handles his own feelings and struggles by learning to pray and ask God’s help as he goes. This is a story about people of faith but they are shown as real people who struggle as we all do. They make mistakes, learn from them and grow. I got bogged down at one point in the story because of a charsacter I didn’t like but that could be a sign of good writing. I am glad I finished reading the book. It is well written and has elements of romance, friendship, mystery, faith, abusive relationships, pregnancy, sibling relationships and adventure. It even has a little bit of historical fiction shown through Aggie’s diary and other historical finds. At the heart of the story is a message about God’s unconditional love and how His grace can redeem any situation. I think anyone who is a fan of contemporary romance will enjoy this story.

I received a copy of Always On My Mind to review but I was under no obligation to give a positive review.

Reviewed by: Susan Aken

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