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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review: A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman (5 Stars)

Synopsis (From Julie Lessman's Website):
What happens when the boy she loved to hate ...
becomes the man she hates to love?

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Cluny McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face to face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

My Review:
Where does one begin to describe the amazing talent of Julie Lessman? Whether you're looking at the character development, or the intricate details of setting, you can be sure that Julie Lessman never fails to impress!

I've never been to Boston, or lived in the 1920's, but Julie makes me feel like I've been transported back in time; like I've walked right into the pages of the book. I can see the family gathered around the table, I can hear the crackle of the fire, I can feel the pain of a dear friend who has suffered a terrible loss, I can smell the sweetness of a beloved father's pipe, and I can almost taste the sweet tartness of a tall glass of lemonade. Julie's writing skills are spot on, and always leave me wanting to read more and more!

Even though the story takes place in the late 1920's, you can see how this story could take place now, in present-day America. The trials that people faced then are very similar to those that many of us face now. And even though the O'Connor family is fictitious, we can come away from the story knowing that we've been shown an example of how we're to follow God's precepts in all of our circumstances. Through the lives of the characters, we can be entertained, while at the same time nurture our soul with reminders of God's love and the undaunted hope that we can only find in a relationship with Him.

If you love a satisfying, well written story, filled with love, passion, excitement, twists, turns, and surprises . . . look no further! A Hope Undaunted is just what you're looking for. I highly recommend this book without any reservations! Just be sure to read Julie's Daughters of Boston series first before you dive into the Winds of Change series. You'll be so glad that you did!  (Written September 30, 2010)

Book Review: A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman

Synopsis (From Julie Lessman's Website):
Has she fallen in love with a man who cannot love her back?

Book 3, A Passion Denied, is the story of Faith and Charity’s little sister, Lizzie, a shy bookworm who dreams of a fairy-tale romance. It unfolds a man’s dark past and a young girl’s shattered dreams … and the God who redeems it all.

Elizabeth O’Connor is the little sister John always longed for. With a fire for God in his belly, he has been her spiritual mentor since she was thirteen, sharing her love of literature and her thirst for God. But when his gangly protégé blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving him, he refuses to act on the attraction he feels. His past won’t let him go there. Unfortunately, “Lizzie” won’t let him go anywhere else … until his dark and shocking secrets push her away.

My Review:
As stated on Julie Lessman's website, her books certainly deliver passion with a purpose! They provide the perfect balance of romantic and spiritual passion. I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire Daughters of Boston series. Julie Lessman is an incredibly talented author! She weaves her story and characters all in a way that keeps you turning the pages long into the night.

The characters, the dialogue, and the setting are all written in a way that completely draw you in. I found myself rooting for the O'Connor family just as if they were my own. Top notch writing, indeed!

Not only am I entertained with the stories, but I am drawn closer and strengthened in my walk with the Lord. God is using Julie in an amazing way to bring glory to Him.

I highly recommend Julie's books to anyone who enjoys Christian romance with a little heat! Julie's Daughters of Boston series has earned a place in my TOP favorite books category!

I will be waiting with anticipation for the release of book 1 in her Winds of Change series due out in September 2010. Book one is titled A Hope Undaunted, book 2 is A Heart Revealed, and book three is titled A Soul Restored.  (Written January 18, 2010)

Book Review: A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman

Synopsis (From Julie Lessman's Website):
No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought.

Book 2 is Charity's story, a woman who puts her faith in her beauty rather than in God. It is a story of redemption and faith rising from the ashes of temptation, desire and shame.

Depth of beauty … shallow of heart, Charity O’Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. She sets her sights on a man who wants nothing to do with her. Although the sparks are there, he refuses to fan the coals of a potential relationship with a woman who ruined his life. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won’t play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants—one way or another.

My Review:
As with all of the books in the Daughters of Boston series, I give this book 5 stars! Julie Lessman's writing is first-rate and on the mark! If you're looking for a story that marries romance, passion, and a love for Christ, then look no further. You will find this and so much more in all of Julie Lessman's books.

It's apparent that Julie has a huge heart for God, and I am thankful that she uses her writing talent to bring glory to Him. It is such a blessing to have the opportunity to read Christian fiction that has some "sizzle" to it, knowing that it won't cross the line into anything inappropriate.

Romantic passion and God's Word are perfectly balanced to me in Julie's books. You're not served one, without the other. As I like to say, they're "married" together in such a way that you're entertained with an incredible story, while at the same time, there are scriptural references that help strengthen your walk with the Lord.

It's PASSION with a PURPOSE as Julie says, and I agree with this 100% I highly recommend each book in this series!  (Written September 9, 2010)

Book Review: A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

Synopsis (From Julie Lessman's Website):
She's found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister ...

As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O’Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there’s the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin’s affections suddenly shift her way, it threatens to tear Faith's proper Boston family apart.

My Review:
I'm so glad that I read this book! I read it in record time, due do the fact that I could not put it down! Julie Lessman has created wonderful characters and a magnificent storyline. She writes in such a way that keeps you turning pages into the wee hours of the morning.

If you love passion, romance, and God's Word, you can't go wrong with this book! Make sure you have the second book in the series, because you'll want to get started on it right away.  (written November 11, 2009)