That’s the Deal

Renee Ann Smith —  July 28, 2014 — 23 Comments

Why love if losing hurts so much?

Probably every one of us who ever lived has asked that question.

After four short years with the wife he lost to cancer, C. S. Lewis answered it this way,

“Why love, if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore: only the life I have lived.
Twice in that life I’ve been given the choice: as a boy and as a man.
The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering.

The pain now is part of the happiness then.
That’s the deal.”

And you can tell he’d do it all over again if he had the chance.

(If you haven’t seen Anthony Hopkins saying these lines as C. S. Lewis in the movie Shadowlands, you need to go right now to Netflix or Amazon Prime & reserve a copy. But come right back!)

In her novel When I Fall in Love, Susan May Warren answers it this way,

“When we suffer, it forces us into God’s arms.
That’s where we find not only what we need, but more than we can imagine.
We find Him.”

(Click to Tweet)

Susan May Warren

I couldn’t help but think of C. S. Lewis’s real-life love story as I read When I Fall in Love.

Both stories reminded me that love is most beautiful when its cost is great. And both stories made me thankful for the people God has brought into my life—even those I lost too soon.

But unlike the C. S. Lewis story which has reached its eternal happy ending, When I Fall in Love explores those ‘What If’s with which we torture ourselves . . .

  • What if I risk my heart & end up rejected?
  • What if the person I love leaves?
  • What if I bring children into this dangerous world & it damages them?
  • What if God doesn’t stop the things I fear from happening?

As it says on the back cover: “If love means having to sacrifice her ideal happily every after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.”

The story focuses on predictable Grace Christiansen, who likes to play it safe, and daring hockey player Max Sharpe, who will risk anything but his heart. Grace & Max find themselves paired up for a cooking class and then a cooking competition (and all in exotic Hawaii!). Though they make a perfect team, they each harbor private fears that prevent them from pursuing a future together.

How they work through their ‘What If’s and fight for love makes for a beautiful story! It’s amazing how author Susan May Warren can touch on our most deeply felt needs and fears, present heart-breaking situations, and find the romance & happy ending in it all. She always leaves me feeling uplifted and hopeful.

What I liked best . . .

When I Fall in LoveWonderfully real, relatable book people

Memorable, romantic scenes between Grace & Max

Vicarious travel to Hawaii & the Deep Haven resort

Swim buddies & hockey dads

Great recipes & descriptions of food

The preacher on the beach

The secondary storyline involving lonely but brave Raina

The charming, exasperating, break-your-heart younger Christiansen brothers

Another favorite quote . . .

Susan May Warren quote

“I think everyone who gets to have dreams should reach for them.” ~Susan May Warren~

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What you should do next . . .

Follow this link to purchase When I Fall in Love. ***Thanks to Susan May Warren & Litfuse for providing a copy for me to review.

Click on the image below to enter the cool GIVEAWAY!

Susan May Warren Giveaway

About the Author:  Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels, whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. Susan May WarrenShe served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church.

Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists.

In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women’s events about God’s amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors.

Visit to learn more.
***For any writers out there, joining My Book Therapy was one of the best decisions I’ve made yet in my writing journey. I attended the MBT Deep Thinkers Retreat and found that so many things connected for me during those five days. (I can’t wait to go again!) You should hop to the website and at least check out the free level today!

You can connect with SMW

Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I made the first graphic with an image from RGB Stock Photos & the second from an iPhone pic of Copake Lake here in upstate New York and tweaked them with PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. (Follow this link for more Free Graphics.)

This week I might be linking up with Amaze Me Monday, Motivation Monday, Playdates with God, The Art of Homemaking Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Inspire Me Monday, The MM&M Monday Link Up, Sharing His Beauty, Mommmy Monday Blog Hop,Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Modest Mondays, Make Your Home Sing Monday, Unforced Rhythms, Salt & LightBusy Monday, Tell Me a True Story, Turn It Up Tuesday,Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, What I Learned This Week, Titus 2sday Link-up, Testimony Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Imperfect Prose, WW Catch My Words, WW Ms Mystery Case, Woman to Woman, WW Books & More, WW Stacy Uncorked, Mrs. Tee WW, Raising My Boys WW, WW @PD Mama, WW Blogspot, WW 5 Min for Mom, Mama to 5 WW, Wake Up Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Three Word Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Whimsical Wednesday, Capture Your Journey Wednesday, Adorned from Above Wednesday Link Party, Whimsy Wednesday, In Him We Live, Words of Life Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Juana Mikels Wednesday Link-up,Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Throwback Thursday, Thoughtful Thursday, Booknificent Thursday, Tell His Story, Thought Provoking Thursday, From House to Home Link Party, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday,Thrive @Home Link Up, Grace at Home, Little Things Thursday, Hearts for Home Hop, Christian Connection,Christian Fellowship Friday, Faith-filled Friday Faith & Fellowship Friday,Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Essential Friday Link-up, Friday Finds, Fridays Unfolded, Everyday Jesus, On Your Heart, Anything Goes, Paula’s No Rules Weekend Hop, Blessings Counters, Missional Weekend Link Up, Saturday Sharefest, Saturday Situation,Heart Reflected, Recommendation Saturday, Still Saturday, Beauty Observed, Weekend No Rules Blog Hop, Fresh-brewed Sundays, Sunday Stillness, and The Sunday Community.


Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

23 responses to That’s the Deal

  1. I just so love the quote by C.S. Lewis. He is a favorite of mine. Thanks for sharing both the thoughts and pictures. You are so good at this. The book sounds like a good one too.
    This is a such a sweet post today. Blessings for this one!

  2. Amen! Love this post!!!

    • Love the post at your blog this week, Ashley! It really made me think—especially this line: “Christianity doesn’t wear lipstick and a dress to church, it bleeds the gospel out loud every single day throughout the week.” . . . Thanks for sharing & for visiting 🙂

  3. No one knows better than Jesus that the cost of love is high and suffering part of the deal. I enjoyed reading about this book. Thank you for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

  4. The pain of the loss of a loved one to rejection or death is heartbreaking. Lewis’ quote – “The pain now is part of the happiness then.” And I wouldn’t choose to erase the happiness, so I must turn to the Lord through the pain. He’s held me close through both types of loss, and in it I’ve found greater happiness in Him. Thanks and blessings!

  5. I did not realize C.S. Lewis suffered such a great loss, but thank you for the insight and for the review of an interesting book. My three books are short stories from my journal written to share with family and others. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” At:

  6. Great review, Renee! This sounds like a great story that I need to put on my list to read. So grateful that our suffering can have a purpose and that God doesn’t leave us to suffer alone. Thanks for sharing this with us at Testimony Tuesday.

  7. Wonderful review, Renee. And I love the two memes both for their quotes & photos. So grateful He is always with us. Blessings!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing, Renee! I’m a huge C.S. Lewis fan and I have always loved those quotes. Honestly, those are a huge part of why we foster. We had a lot of people tell us to not do it because it was going to hurt, I was going to get attached to the kids, and it was going to end badly. But, if we guard our hearts so much that we can’t love for fear of the pain, we aren’t much use to God. The pain last time I said goodbye was profound, but I would never give up the time I had with that little girl. It is how God loves us and the kind of love we are hence called to give others. Loved your post- it really spoke to me!
    S.L. Payne,

  9. What a great review! I just put it on my list to read. Grateful for encouraging testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This is a wonderful review, Renee. I am adding to my reading list. Love the quote from C.S. Lewis you shared. You have me wanting to watch Shadowlands again too. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that movie. Thanks for sharing with Three Word Wednesday. Blessings. xoxo

    • So glad you’re keeping this book on your radar, Beth. And if I’ve inspired you to watch Shadowlands again, my job here is done 🙂 Thanks for hosting us at your lovely blog each week. Blessings!

  11. lovely… am so going to read this one!

    Thanks for sharing with Salt & Light.


  12. This book looks really good, and I love how you tied it in with C.S. Lewis! Beautiful quote art, as well! Thanks for sharing this on Booknificent Thursday! Hope to see you again this week!

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