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The Perfect Match

The Perfect Match

The Deep Haven series
The Perfect Match
Tyndale, 2004
Romantic Suspense

Ellie Karlson knows she’d make a stellar fire chief. Now she just has to convince the town of Deep Haven, and especially her crew of chauvinistic firemen, starting with the town pastor, Dan Matthews. But the Pastor Dan isn’t the one she has to worry about – especially with an arsonist on the loose. Or maybe he is, because someone is about to get hurt, and Dan isn’t about to lose another woman he loves to the line of fire.

read chapter one | buy the book


  • 2004 American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year
  • A Romantic Times Magazine TOP PICK – 4½ stars


Romantic Times Magazine:
Vibrant characters and vivid language zoom this action-packed romance to the top of the charts. This is a one-sitting read –once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down.

I was first introduced to Susan May Warren’s work when a friend recommended her book Happily Ever After to Me and shortly after starting it, I was blown away. I have been an inspirational reader for years but no book has touched me in quite the way this one did. Susan’s knowledge of the bible, her faith in God and her powerful use of words was enough to have me carrying the memory of the story with me for weeks...So take a run –not a walk– to your nearest Christian bookstore and grab a copy of this book. Be sure to visit some of the other residents of Deep Haven that we’ve met in the past. Stop by the bookstore for a cup of coffee and a look around. Before you leave, you might even get to attend a wedding of some familiar characters. This is one summer book that will be sure to please.


"Susan's characters deliver love and laughter and a solid story with every book. The Perfect Match is a great read!" —Lori Copeland author of the Brides of the West series and A Case of Crooked Letters

Behind the Pages

In my author’s note in Tying The Knot, I wrote of my journey to understanding the depth of God’s grace and how embracing that gave me the courage to surrender my future to God, including committing to return to the mission field in Russia, if He chose. Indeed, on New Year’s Eve 2002 we decided to return, and by the time March rolled around, I had filled containers with supplies and even felt an excitement building for the next term. I knew in my heart that God had good things planned.

I just didn’t expect how He would accomplish them.

Over our plans to return hovered the increasing threat of changing visa laws, continued violence, and our children’s emotional needs for security. We knew that life might be difficult, but we clung with tenacity to our plans. Even when missionaries began to be ousted from the country, we gritted our teeth and said, “We will return!”

Perhaps that is why it felt like a knife to the chest when God said no. He slammed one door after another to our return and miraculously opened the door to a new chapter to our lives in northern Minnesota, in a tiny town where we’d always dreamed of living. We stumbled toward this new opportunity like confused children, looking back over our shoulders asking, “Are You sure?” But God put peace in our hearts, confirming His plans. More than that, he gave us a place to live where we could dig roots, heal, and recharge. He sent us to our very own Deep Haven.

However, it was in this peaceful place that questions began to simmer in my soul. I’d been a missionary, either training or in the field, for fifteen years. My life plans had been to be a career missionary. Now what? Did my fifteen years of sacrifice etch any foothold in the kingdom of God? Did I still matter to God if I didn’t live my life on the cutting edge of evangelism, my life poured out for that one purpose?

Again, God spoke to me through writing. Yes, He said. You matter. Your life matters, your sacrifices matter, your dreams matter. Because you are My beloved child. And your dreams of making a difference in your world will be accomplished through Me, as you abide, one day at a time, in My love. For apart from Me you can do nothing.

Like Ellie, I’ve surrendered loved ones and precious moments for the sake of a goal. Like Dan, I’ve looked back, wondering if I made an impact, wrestling with past choices or how I could have served better. And through writing The Perfect Match, God showed me that only by turning my eyes on Him and letting Him feed me is there any hope of bearing fruit.

I hope that this thought encourages you. Life with Christ bears fruit, whether you serve full-time missions proclaiming the gospel overseas or full-time missions wiping runny toddler noses in the middle of Iowa. And this fruit, my friends, is eternal.

Thank you for reading The Perfect Match. I’m blessed that you would spend time in Deep Haven with me. May you find the joy and hope of abiding in Christ, and may the truth of His love for you radically impact your life.

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