A Christiansen Family Novel:Book 4
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?
Behind the Pages:
What do you do when you love someone who seems bent on self-destruction? Worse, when they seem incapable of listening to reason?
Pray. Hope. Love anyway.
I came upon this story idea after hearing about a woman who had inadvertently walked into an abusive relationship. She didn’t exactly know how she got there—just that one day she opened her eyes to the truth. But she’d told herself so many lies that tracing her path toward this abuser seemed almost natural. She accepted abuse because of her inability to believe she was worthy of anything else.
Those outside the horror warned her. Wanted—tried—to wave her off. And watched with torn hearts as she entwined herself in a situation that nearly cost her—and her children—their lives.
Eventually, the abuser hurt someone else—someone less afraid, less intimidated, less willing to believe lies—and was imprisoned. Justice, finally.
So often, believers are like this woman—we stand in our mistakes, our sins, our regrets, and determine that we don’t deserve love. So we accept less—even abuse—because we can’t lift our eyes off ourselves and onto truth.
Jesus stands outside the lies, waving at us to stop our self-destruction, to believe Him for freedom, to reach out for His love, to trust His justice. And he asks us, as Christians, to stand in the darkened pathways and shed light.
I wanted to write a story about a man who couldn’t escape the pull of love God had for the broken, the lost—and yet depict the agony of seeing them run away into destruction. Just as God must feel when we push Him away and stubbornly head into darkness. Casper seemed exactly the right person to shoulder this task—even though it cost him so much.
Just as it cost Jesus everything.
But Jesus, like Casper, is a treasure hunter, who has come to seek and save the lost. I love the fact that He believes we are worth the search.
And Raina—who lived always looking behind her—had to learn to look ahead, outside her comfort zone, into faith. I loved the truth that when we look at ourselves, we get afraid. After all, it’s true—how can such a wretch be redeemed? We can’t if we depend on ourselves. But if we depend on God . . .
Well, as John Christiansen says, “What does love do? Forgives. Comforts. Protects. Saves. Renews. Loves.”
Friends, look forward, your face to the wind, and live large in God’s love. Jesus say you are worth the search, worth His outrageous, unwavering love for you, despite the cost.
Thank you for reading Raina and Casper’s story. With Casper off to find Owen . . . well, it’s time for Amelia to come up with an answer, don’t you think? Can she forgive the man who broke her heart? More, will she choose her high school sweetheart, Seth, or this European blue-blood? Which would you choose?
In His Grace,