Friday, January 24, 2014

Dawn Crandall's Review of “Love at Any Cost" by Julie Lessman

{My Review}

It took me nine months to start reading this book. I'm not sure exactly why, but it might have had a lot to do with how crazy a year 2013 was for me. And I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from a NEW series from one of my favorite authors. Up until this week, the only books she had out were about the O'Connor family of Boston which were set from the time of WWI to sometime in the 1920s. I knew what to expect every time I opened one of those six books. I knew the characters already since it was about a huge Irish family in Boston. I didn't need to work to learn many new faces--and even when I did, I sure didn't mind because it was usually a relatively "already known" hero or heroine who NEEDED to end up with one of the O'Connor siblings.

And now suddenly I'm being sent to San Francisco, California in 1902? The heroine is from Texas is visiting her extended family in California to escape the painful memories of being jilted by a fortune hunter when her daddy's oil wells had turned dry? Well. That took some time getting used to.

But you know what? Once I got used to Cassie McClare and her California cousins, I couldn't put the 400+ page book down--just like the rest of them. I was kind of glad that Cassie didn't keep up the over-the-top "I'm from Texas, and this how we Texans talk" jargon throughout the book... which was rather realistic now that I think about it. Her speech would have conformed from spending months on end in another part of the country. And, of course, Jamie MacKenna was everything a Julie Lessman hero always is. :)  

This book ended up including everything I could have asked for from a Julie Lessman book. True, it was not nearly as complex or time-consuming of a plot, but it still delivered in all the right ways. And I should probably add that "not nearly as complex of a plot" doesn't mean it WASN'T complex--only that it didn't involve one of the main characters becoming either engaged or married to someone else in the story before all was (quite) amazingly pulled together for the hero and heroine's happy ending. 

Love at Any Cost currently has a rating of 4.15 out of 5 stars (from 398 ratings) on Goodreads. I won a copy of this book from a blog contest... but I would have bought it if I hadn't.


{About the Author}

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”

Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her “Winds of Change” series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.


{The Heart of San Francisco Series--so far...}

Released April 2013.... and January 2014

 {A Sneak Peak at Dare to Love Again}

[courtesy of Goodreads] Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he’s a fraud just like all the rest of the men she’s cared for. Does she dare love again?

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