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on September 15, 2004
Wow! This book was great! I have read all of Warren's Deep Haven novels now, and while I have really enjoyed them all, this is my favourite so far. The story was faced paced and action packed from the first sentence to the last. I couldn't put it down! It was also unique in that it delved into the question of the role of women in certain professions (such as firefighting) confronting common stereotypes on the issue, but from a Christian perspective. And, once again, Warren has demonstrated the ability to integrate a quality story line that intrigues and delights with solid biblical truth. That is definitely one of the things I love about her writing. Although she's writing romance, her stories are never just fluff. They are stories about the transforming work of Christ in the lives of ordinary people who face common struggles and confront common misconceptions about the true character of God and his love and grace. With every one of Warren's books I seem to learn more about who God really is, and that, to me, is the mark of good Christian fiction. The fact that Warren is able to weave that into a story that is so intriguing and enjoyable that non-Christians would also enjoy it is a mark of her skill as a writer. Overall, this book is a great read and I highly recommend it!
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on July 5, 2004
I thoroughly enjoyed The Perfect Match, Book 3 of the Deep Haven Series. Susan May Warren is an extremely gifted story teller, always keeping her readers in suspense to the end. Her eclectic cast of characters layers this fascinating story with diverse relationships and unexpected plot twists - always a treat for voracious readers! Through main character Ellie Karlson, we take an adventure into the unique and dangerous world of firefighting, complicated all the more since Ellie is the new captain of Deep Haven's all-male volunteer fire station. Through Dan Matthews, we experience the life of a single pastor in a small town -- who also happens to be a firefighter. The stage is set for a troubled road for these two when the town is sabotaged by an unknown arsonist. The sparks that fly between them (pun apologies) make us wonder if they'll ever be able to break through the past and present obstacles to make this relationship work.
Susan May Warren's books are guaranteed to entertain, thrill, and inspire. Without question, they fall in the Can't-Put-Down category! I'd also like to commend Julie Chen's creative artwork on the covers for making all Susan's books jump off the bookshelf. Outstanding!
This is a trilogy you'll want to own and share with all your friends. It's that good!
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on May 22, 2004
Assigned to serve as Deep Haven's interim fire chief, Ellie Karlson arrives in town just in time to witness the fire department in action. The team's haste and confusion handling a house fire lead to mistakes that throw a firefighter from a second story perch. Pastor Dan Matthews, volunteer firefighter, lands at her feet and in her heart when he dazedly asks "Are you a dream?"
But all delusions of romance shatter when she visits his hospital room and informs him she's his new boss. His "over my dead body" retort epitomises the chauvinistic attitudes she has faced her entire career. Nevermind that she knows more about fighting fires than the scraggly volunteer squad and can outperform them physically too.
She's determined to prove her merit and earn a place of respect in Deep Haven, but a string of arsons and resistance from her crew has Ellie questioning herself, her career and her faith. Can she find the arsonist, salvage her career and deal with the sparks Dan has ignited in her heart?
Another terrific story from Susan May Warren! I highly recommend The Perfect Match, along with the other two books in the series, Happily Ever After and Tying the Knot.
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VINE VOICEon June 26, 2011
This was the third book I read in the Deep Have Series. I really enjoyed it. I couldn't put it down. It was fast paced and held my interest from the beginning. We had met Pastor Dan in the two previous novels, but his character was fleshed out in this one. While fighting a fire, he is rescued by a pint sized, female, newcomer. It turns out that Ellie Karlson is the new Interim Fire Chief and Dan's boss. The story builds when Deep Haven seems to have an arsonist. Ellie has to find the arsonist and fight for her position in a man's world. This was a great story and you could tell the author did a lot of research in fire fighting. The fire descriptions were very detailed and knowledgeable. I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to other books by this author.
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on December 27, 2015
Ellie Karlson is a strong, brave heroine who does what I only wish I were courageous enough to do. She comes into Deep Haven already behind the eight ball because the local "good ol' boys" club doesn't think a woman can hack it as fire chief. With beloved Chief Halstrom retired, she's got big boots to fill, but she does it with aplomb. Ellie is a fair, kind woman, but no way does she take crap. That's why she's thrown for such a loop when she becomes attracted to gentle Pastor Dan Matthews, a man whose job and faith revolve around forgiveness and turning the other cheek.

Well, I should probably amend that. Pastor Dan is a wonderful shepherd, but he is in no way weak. In fact, he shows the courage of a veteran firefighter in one of the first scenes, even though in Ellie's words, he panics like a probie. He's there for his flock whenever they need him, yet he's intelligent and caring enough to help people deal with tough issues one-on-one. I fell hard for this guy and I'm not afraid to admit it. In fact, if Deep Haven were real and I were a resident, I'd have probably given Ellie a run for her money.

I loved Susie's commitment to research in this book. She described firefighting and used terminology in a way that kept me truly interested. I closed the book feeling like I learned something, which made it all the easier to root for the Deep Haven rescue services. I also loved the arson plot--I was definitely not expecting the culprit to be who it was, or for his motivation to be so complex. Bravo, Susie!

The spiritual aspect, once again, is great here. Ellie learns some valuable lessons, and Dan isn't exempt either, pastor though he may be. Seeing a pastor who doesn't seem perfect was actually a refreshing change. There're also some touching spiritual moments between familiar characters that could've been overdone but are deftly handled. Susan is three for three with this book.
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on January 17, 2014
** “Sometimes [Dan] didn’t understand God. Why did He allow us to hope and love, only to yank it away? It was in these bleak moments that Dan had to grab a death hold on his faith. On his belief in a good and loving God. Was it Isaiah who said, ‘If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all’? And yet, despite Dan’s head knowledge of a sovereign God, he knew what it felt like to have life swirl down the drain and wonder why God had pulled the plug.” **

Once again Susan May Warren writes a novel full of real, raw, flawed, relatable characters trying to overcome the obstacles in their lives while growing closer to God in “The Perfect Match,” another installment in her “Deep Haven” series.

Characters in “Perfect Match” struggle to find purpose in their lives. This book teaches us lessons on caring, protecting and being a good neighbor, filling the holes in each other lives, and allowing God to fill the ultimate hole in our lives. Trust, faith, hope – they are all there in this book, as well as the proverbial laying our lives down for a brother.

Pastor Dan Matthews is the community pastor in Deep Haven, as well as a volunteer firefighter. The book opens as he’s helping fight a fire at the home of Leo Simmons, a man we met in an earlier book who had gotten in trouble for arson.

While fighting the fire, he meets Ellie Karlson, interim fire chief. Dan is both mesmerized and baffled by her presence. And many in the town aren’t happy to see a woman in the fire chief position either.

Ellie must battle the town’s opinion while trying to solve the mystery of several arsons that occur under her watch. Dan and Ellie must both learn to let go of their past trials and learn to trust and lean on each other, as well as trust in God’s plan for them. Ellie eventually learns she doesn’t need to stand on the fringe of God’s love and that “nothing we do with God is wasted.”

Susan May Warren always brings an interesting and exciting tale (this one is non-stop action with several fires and accidents), but she always brings home the message of God’s love for us. Another great read!

Five stars out of five.
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on September 21, 2015
What an excellent book! This is the third book in the Deep Haven series and each one has been excellent so far. Even though this is a series so far I have seen that you can read them in any order if you want. Susan does a great job of bringing characters from the other books in to tie the books together but the story isn't dependent upon knowing the whole story. Looking forward to starting book number 4!!
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on March 30, 2006
The Perfect Match was the perfect ending to the Deep Haven series. Not only was this well thought out story wrapped up with beauty, we got to check in on the couples from the previous books, "Happily Ever After" and "Tying the Knot."

With this series, Susan May Warren climbed her way right onto my list of favorite authors.
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on August 7, 2013
This book is entertaining, contains moments of sigh-worthy romance, delivers a few solid morals and faith lessons, includes a few interesting twists and turns, but I don't know how to rate it. Overall, it was a nice fluffy read with one big caveat: sexism.

While there is a little sexism in all of Susan May Warren's books (the little fragile woman needs to be saved by the big strong man), this book has some of the most dangerous generalizations of any of her novels I have read. The novel features a woman fire chief--the idea of a strong female lead doing work that goes against her gender stereotype attracted me to the book, but as I read I noticed many disturbing sexist themes. 1) The woman is of course small and fragile looking. Of course having a tall bold woman, or even and average size woman would be out of the question! 2) The female lead, Ellie, falls apart as soon as challenging situations arise and thus needs constant rescuing and reassuring by the male lead. Then she sulks about the fact that most of her all male crew doesn't respect her. C'mon would you take a leader seriously--one who literally has your life in her hands--if every time you saw her she could barely keep her emotions under wraps? Ellie cries and pouts and looks sad and vulnerable all the time and yet the audience is supposed to believe that this woman is a competent fearless trailblazer who stares down danger on a regular basis! 3) The most dangerous theme in this book is that a woman should give up the thing that she is good at, the thing that forms her identity and makes her unique in order to garner the affections of a man and raise a family. In her conversation, Liza, a business woman and local artist has this to say, "I can't imagine doing anything other than [her craft and business] but if I met the right man, I might consider surrendering it." Really this is the message to women!!!! The problem with this book is that it pretends to be progressive all the while delivering a triple shot of outmoded gender roles and gender limitations.

This book is a missed opportunity. Instead of crafting a character than oozes the inner strength, competence, and confidence needed for a difficult job, Susan creates a character than cries, pines, and whines her way through the story. Sure, she says some strong things, but in the end she NEEDS a man in order to meander through her messed up life.
The overarching message seems to be that yes, women CAN do any work that men can do, but that they SHOULDN'T! They need to get back to their pre-assigned gender boxes and stay there. When he sees Ellie mopping the floor, antagonist Mitch says, "Now that looks more like women's work." His comments are intended to capture the chauvinistic attitudes of the fictional world of Deep Haven, but they end up becoming a major motif in the book: THAT is a woman's first place and anything else she achieves is just extra. To drive the point home, when the mayor suggests that a woman leader makes things uncomfortable for a male crew and that Ellie was essentially responsible for her own abduction simply because of her gender, Ellie agrees with him, takes off her fire chief hat, and thanks him for his chauvinism.

Women readers don't need to support writers that stereotype women. And women writers, even romance writers, need to learn how to create strong heroines that are feminine, yet confident, respectable, bold, and secure--whether they have a man or not.
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on August 13, 2015
Another good read from Susan May Warren! I love that she has the characters deal with real life faith struggles. As a pastor's wife, I appreciated a novel that shows that a pastor is no different from anyone else and has questions and doubts his abilities.
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