Friday, January 17, 2014

A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

About the Book
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 head over heels in love with her. 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 welllaid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever? A Hope Undaunted is the engrossing first book in the Winds Of Change series from popular author Julie Lessman. Readers will thrill at the highly charged romance in this passionate story.

My Thoughts
From the moment Luke and Katie met in A Passion Denied you knew their relationship was going to be a fun one! They butted heads from day one but there was always an underlying of more-and oh boy what a “more” it was!
I absolutely love Luke! He was a scrappy little boy living on the streets who worked hard, never gave up, and became a man who was a champion of those who'd grown up like him. It would be impossible not to love Luke. His determination to do the right thing, his love of kids, his fierce love for those close to him, and his relationship with God, all serve to make him one amazing hero. Of course he does have his faults but he tries so hard to be the man he is supposed to be, and he truly is a man to admire!
As for Katie, she's always been a determined one who doesn't like being told what to do and it was amazing to watch as she let God into her life and really grew up! She goes from being a spoiled little girl to a woman who is willing to do things God's way.
The two of them together cracked me up so much as they constantly baited each other and jokingly bickered. And while I laughed out loud too many times to count this book also made me cry several times! I won't spoil anything but suffice it to say there was a lot of heartbreak in these pages!
And I know I keep saying this but the secondary cast of characters was awesome! Parker with his gentle strength and his friendship, Betty with her caring and friendly heart, Bobbie Sue with her no nonsense ways, and Gabe with her rebellious heart just looking for love! And then of course there are the characters that have been around for awhile, the rest of the O'Conners, the McGuires, Dennehys, Bradys, and Emma.
So even though this book put me through an emotional roller-coaster I loved every minute of it and can't think of this book without a smile on my face!

Meet 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. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com
P.S. She's just an all around amazing person!

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22 comments:

Janka H. said...

Love the idea of "As for Katie, she's always been a determined one who doesn't like being told what to do and it was amazing to watch as she let God into her life and really grew up! She goes from being a spoiled little girl to a woman who is willing to do things God's way.". I, too, doesn´t like being told what to do :) Maybe I should try the other way around more :)

Elyssa said...

This was by far my favorite book in the O'Connor series! Katie and Luke were so much fun reading, especially when Katie's sass got her into trouble with Luke. ;) I loved watching Katie grow and see her need for Jesus, and how far Luke had come in the years since we'd last seen him. It really was an emotional roller coaster, especially with the twist that was thrown in there at the end... that killed me! But again, the ending was so great. =)

lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

Bonnie Roof said...

Another wonderful review, Abbi!

Janka, years ago - I was like the Katie that "didn't like to be told what to do" (and wanted to do things "my" way). My way didn't work - took me a lot of years to come to that realization, though, and a lot of disastrous, wrong, choices made. What a relief - when I decided "to do things God's way", He has blessed me in SO many ways!!

I, too, loved seeing Katie mature - and loved those "emotional roller - coaster moments that Julie always throws in her books! A Hope Undaunted is another Julie favorite!!

Abbi Hart said...

Janka-Thank you-I am not a fan of being told what to do either! But thankfully we don't have to try to do change on our own!

Elyssa-Katie and Luke were awesome and they cracked me up so often! Yeah this book had some CRAZY ups and downs-and that twist! So painful! But yes the ending was once again great! I loved his proposal!

Bonnie-Thanks! God is so good! And I loved those things too!

Salyna xD said...

Like I said before, this was the first book I read by Julie and it had me reeling! I had no idea if I could go on after reading this one with how emotional I got. Thank heavens I decided to continue and read the rest in order. This is one of my FAVorite series!

Abbi Hart said...

Salyna-I'm so glad you decided to read them all! They are definitely worth the emotional upheaval!

Micaela Wood said...

I downloaded this a while ago when it was free for kindle, and now I'm just dying to read it! However, I'm forcing myself to wait until I finish reading the Daughters of Boston series, so's I don't miss anything! ;)
~Micaela
bookworm9404(at)gmail(dot)com

Abbi Hart said...

Micaela-Yeah you definitely should wait to read it! But you will love it when you do!

Heidi said...

The cover is a turn-off for me- she looks too devious... but your review makes me want to read it! Thanks for sharing!

Abbi Hart said...

Heidi-Well since Katie is a bit devious it's kind of fitting. She gets better though and it is an amazing book!

Lady DragonKeeper said...

I had just read A Passion Most Pure and couldn't wait to read more from Mrs. Lessman, eventually I couldn't resist and read the copy of A Hope Undaunted, which quickly became my favorite! The chemistry between Luke and Katie was crazy and I've always had a soft spot for couples who knew each other as children. :)

Abbi Hart said...

Lady DragonKeeper-Her books do have that way about them that sucks you back for more! I read them for the first time late summer/early fall of last year and I was already ready to reread them by Christmas! The chemistry is amazing between these two and I have that same soft spot!

Wanda Barefoot said...

I love the way the characters in Miss Julie's books are feisty with a spitfire personality. They definitely keep you hooked! I REALLY want to read this one!

Abbi Hart said...

Wanda-I love that too and you're right they keep you hooked! It's really good and I hope you get to read it soon!

Booklover said...

This one may be my favorite book in both series! I loved Katie and Luke! Watching Katie "grow up" and start following God, had to be my favorite part! And, oh my goodness! I loved Bobbie Sue!
I have to say, reading all your reviews, makes me want to go read the books over again (and I just read them for the first time 3 months ago!).
~Sarah

Abbi Hart said...

Sarah-It is really good! Haha I loved Bobbie Sue too! Yeah these books can make you want to reread them all the time! I reread them and I only read them for the first time 5 months ago!

Julie said...

This is the book I started my O'Connor journey on! I have to say it took me a little bit to get used to Julie Lessman's writing as it has much drama and much angst! But by the end of the book I was wanting more. Katie is one stubborn soul, good thing she has Luke to keep her in line!

Abbi Hart said...

Julie-This would be a tough one to start with since I'd probably say it's the most drama and angst filled of them all! But kudos to you for sticking with it! Her books always leave me wanting more too!

LadySaotome said...

I'm a sucker for childhood enemies growing into romance. :)

Abbi Hart said...

LadySaotome-I love that plot too!

Thea C. said...

This book has become one of my absolute favorites!!! I laughed, I cried, and I enjoyed every minute of it! Reading the Daughters of Boston series, I already knew a little about Katie and Luke but this book shows a completely different side to both characters. I loved how you were introduced to Katie and Luke in the Daughters of Boston series, and even then I knew their story was going to be unlike any other. Thank you for writing this fantastic review!!! Now I am going to go and reread A Hope Undaunted.

Abbi Hart said...

Thea-I know what you mean! This book is one of the most emotional books I've read! Enjoy the reread!!

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