Another book in her Deep Haven series, You Don’t Know Me by Susan May Warren has an uncharacteristically darker tone. In some way, this book is better described as a romantic suspense.
Annalise Decker isn’t who everyone thinks she is. A wife and mother who is involved in her community and supporting her husband’s bid for mayor, finds her world unraveling. Twenty years earlier she was Deidre O’Reilly and had fallen into bad company that resulted in her almost dying at the hands of a drug lord. To escape her own prison time she testified against him and he swore he would hunt her down and kill her. She was placed in Witness Protection in Deep Haven and had built a new life here.
But that criminal is out and looking for her. Can she give it all up? Does she leave or take her family with her? Her agent, becomes Uncle Frank, and finds that this gal who he helped really is more than a job to him, she’s family and he cares more than he should, especially for her mother-in-law.
Told in her characteristic style with two romances blooming at once, she add another minor character, Tucker, a boy from the wrong side of the track trying to live life the right way and running up against all kinds of obstacles as he really likes Annalise’s daughter, Colleen. Three love stories woven together make for one satisfying and well wrapped up novel. You’ll have to read it to find out what happens, but just don’t blame me if you lose any sleep over it.
Susan May Warren’s book, The Shadow of Your Smile is another in the Deep Haven series. These books could be read out of order as characters from other novels are not of paramount importance and only provide more of the local color of the town in which the books are based.
Noelle Hueston has been married to Eli for 25 years. The marriage fell apart after the tragic murder of their 17 year old daughter, Kelsy. Eli blames himself for Kelsy’s death, as well as that of a fellow officer who was killed that day. Kelsy’s friend Emma also carries a weight of guilt from that night too. This one death destroyed so many dreams and those left behind struggle in their faith.
Noelle has an accident that results in amnesia and she loses 25 years of her life. Could this really be the man she married? Those are her two boys? Why did she give up her dreams of painting? And how did she get fat?
Eli struggles to care for and protect his wife who he had drifted away from. He had begun an emotional affair with the fallen officer’s wife, Lee. Can he mend his broken marriage? Could the amnesia be a gift in that his wife is no longer trapped in her grief?
Emma is struggling as a musician. She had been a partner of Kelsy’s in music and she feels like she lost her one chance to do anything good. Kelsie’s brother, Kyle, who she had always had a crush on, shows up and rescues her from a brawl. Passion ignites but can they overcome the spectre of Kelsy’s death and the damage it has done to their families?
The killer who had inadvertently caused Noelle’s injury is still on the loose and doesn’t know that Noelle lost her memory. Will he strike again? Can her son, Kyle, now a deputy, solve the murder? Can Eli protector her if the murder strikes again? Can Noelle find a new life in spite of her amnesia and fall in love again with the man she married?
Once again, Susan writes a complex tale filled with emotion and depth and the interconnectedness of the two romance plots. Well done!
Since falling in love with Susan May Warren’s writing, I was thrilled to find my library had some of her Deep Haven novels. My Foolish Heart, showcases Susan’s talent at pulling off four points of view.
The main character is Isadora (Izzy) Prseley who suffers from panic attacks after watching her mother die in her arms after a terrible car accident three years prior that also left her dad in a care facility with a trach and paralyzed. Izzy has developed agoraphobia, and is terrified to even go to the grocery store, much less drive her car to visit her father. She has managed to maintain a career as a talk show host of a lovelorn program in which she is known as My Faithful Heart.
Caleb Knight had dreams of coaching football, but a stint in Iraq cost him his leg and left him scarred with burns. He snags a teaching and coaching job in Deep Haven and moves next door to the most beautiful girl. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to like him much. Struggling to figure out what to do he stumbles upon a talk show and asks for advice as Boy Next Door. Little does he know that My Faithful Heart is the woman he is pining after.
A challenge for the role of coaching leads Caleb to hide his prosthesis because he doesn’t want a job out of pity. He wants to earn it. He also wants to help his lovely neighbor overcome her fears, if she will only let him close to her. A mangy mutt bounces between both their homes giving them reasons to connect.
Izzy finds herself attracted to her next door neighbor while at the same time falling in love with The Boy Next Door who is calling her show, having private discussions with her on-line and boosting her ratings all the while highlighting to her the life she had dreamed of but could never have.
This is a complex novel with Seb and Lucy playing a counterpoint to the relationship with Izzy and Caleb. Seb is vying for Caleb’s job but has a history with Lucy who happens to be Izzy’s best friend. As the scrimmage comes closer things heat up in Deep Haven. Will they find love or will all be lost?
This was an enjoyable story that moves along at a good pace and watching the relationships of four people is fascinating. Susan pulls it off with aplomb while challenging each character in their relationship with God. A delightful story. I’m looking forward to the next one!
I enjoyed Susan May Warren’s writing when I had snagged one of her novels. So when I encountered several others at the library I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for more magic. Tying the Knot did not disappoint.
This is not a new novel. It was published ten years ago. The fact that it is an earlier work can be seen in the style of her writing. It’s still Susan’s voice, but it is not as layered as more recent offerings by this author and in some places a bit redundant. In spite of that, it was a delight to read.
Anne Lundstrom is running from her past as a former EMT as well as a pastor’s kid living in the inner city of Minneapolis. Having suffered a near-fatal gunshot wound a year before she has purposefully taken an internship as a community nurse in a small northern town, Deep Haven (future Warren novels take place here).
The last thing she anticipated was that the man who sang a hymn to her in her darkest hour would be the tool that God uses to help her face her fears. Noah Standing Bear was there that fateful day and felt like he had failed that EMT as well as the boy who shot her. As a youth pastor struggling to reach young kids before the gangs did in the inner city, he has come to Deep Haven to run a camp that could help bring those kids to Christ. Unfortunately the one thing he needs to get his funding, is a nurse, and Anne has been assigned the job.
Misunderstandings, fears and attraction all complicate things in the woods as Anne and Noah flirt with the potential of a relationship. As truths become revealed, however, could they actually form a partnership. Can Anne accept God’s gift of the same man who would in more ways than one, rescue her from her past?