Ahhh…the latest addition to the Christiansen Family series. Sigh…I just can’t get enough of these characters! As soon as I finish one book, I am eager for the next. Always on my Mind continues the wonderful story of this complicated family. The author has put in enough information from the previous books to help a reader if they have not read the other novels, but I think to truly understand and appreciate the storylines that are going on in this book, you need to read the entire series.
Always on my Mind is primarily Casper and Raina’s story, and it is quite a volatile one. I wondered how the author was going to be able to lead these two complicated people through their trials and provide a happily-ever-after for them. It just seemed like there was too much to overcome. But, she did it. Although painful at times, Raina did some serious growing and learning in this book. She has to make decisions that rip her apart inside and she takes quite the journey as she learns that God actually does love her.
And speaking of pain…Casper certainly has his fair share of it! He is in love with a woman who he discovers is pregnant with his brother’s child. Casper always feels that he is everyone’s second choice, and now it seems that he isn’t even that to Raina. She wants nothing to do with him. But, Casper learns that if he truly loves Raina, he must love her as God loves us. He must pray for her, expecting nothing in return. His ability to act in such a selfless way brings him close to God and is just a beautiful part of the book.
I loved that there is a mystery and treasure hunt that must be solved. Watching Raina and Casper work together to piece together the clues, while slowly piecing together a friendship, was so enjoyable. The secondary storyline between Darek and Ivy, the main couple from the first book in the series, was also a very emotional one that added so much to the book. This author does a great job of showing how ordinary people sometimes make great decisions and sometimes they don’t. In fact, they occasionally let life overwhelm them and feel unable to dig themselves out of the situation that they are in. What a great way to highlight our continual need to seek God in all parts of our lives.
I loved this book from start to finish and highly recommend the entire Christiansen Family series. (5 stars)
I would like to express my thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book that I was given in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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?
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!