Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman

About the Book
She's hoping to find her first true love.
He's hoping to forget his.
Will her secret come between them?
Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy has moved to Boston and is embracing the city life, with a new name and a wide-open future. When she gets involved with a fast crowd at Ocean Pier--one that includes the handsome Steven O'Connor--she is pulled deeper and deeper into a world of rule breakers and mischief makers. She finds herself drawn to Steven and the whole O'Connor family. But a secret Annie is keeping has the power to destroy her best-laid plans.
Will Steven ever see her as more than a sweet country girl who needs protecting? And will he break her heart when he finds out who she really is?

With heart-pounding romance, intense family drama, and the emotional twists and turns Julie Lessman fans have come to expect, A Love Surrendered will ignite your senses and inspire your spirit.

My Thoughts
This book is hard to read. Not because of anything to do with the actual story though! What makes it hard is that it's the last of the O'Conner books! After 7 books and 3,248 pages we have to say goodbye to this family that has embedded themselves in our hearts and it's quite painful! Also this book is 100 pages shorter than the others which is a little sad (mean publishers), I think this is the only almost 400 page book that I found too short! And lastly I was sad that we don't get to see any of Steven and Annie after their marriage like we did with all of the others!
But now that I have all that out of the way I can commence the gushing about how much I love this book! And boy did I love it! Like all the others it is simply phenomenal!
From the moment we meet the quiet eight-year-old Steven in A Passion Most Pure I knew I was going to love him and I wasn't wrong. Growing up he was always the good child, rarely getting in trouble, doing what he's told, getting good grades, and just generally being the model child. Then in college that all changes and starts hanging with the wrong people and disobeying his parents at every turn. But when his rebellion threatens the life of his father he does a complete 180 and turns into the law-abiding prohibition agent is riddled with guilt and constantly trying to redeem himself. My heart broke for him as he struggled with his guilt, with trying to do the right thing, and with trusting God and letting Him change his life. I absolutely loved the conversations Steven had with his father and Sean and I was so happy when he began to take their words to heart! It was so cool to see the transformation and even though I loved him before he became so much more awesome after!
And Annie! I loved her so much!! I loved how strong she was and how she let her relationship with God cover every aspect of her life! I was so proud of her when she was willing to let Steven go if he tried to push her past her boundaries and later in the story when something life-shattering happens and she finds the strength to forgive those who hurt her (I don't want to spoil anything but those of you who've read the book know what I'm talking about!)! I could go on for quite awhile about how much a love Annie, her kindness, her innocence, her heart full of love, and so much more!
There weren't as many new secondary characters but I did love Glory, Aunt Eleanor, and Frailey! And I once again loved Patrick and Marcy, Collin and Faith, Mitch and Charity, Brady and Lizzie, Luke and Katie, Sean and Emma, Gabe, and all the grand-kids!

There were hard moments, funny moments, and sweet moments in this book all of which created a story I will never forget! And even though I was sad to see it end the epilogue left me with a huge grin on my face! I love the O'Conners so much and I'm sure I will visit them again soon!

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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23 comments:

Janka H. said...

Sounds lovely ! I like the theme of forgiveness !

Elyssa said...

Abbi, you were once again able to express my thoughts exactly! I was SO sad when I found out that this book was smaller than the others, but that certainly didn't mean that it was a disappointment! I absolutely loved Steven and Annie's story, and couldn't help but smile as I watched both of them grow and draw closer to God. It was so inspiring to watch as Annie forgave her sister, and to see that even as she struggled, she was willing to do the right thing. The twist once again killed me, but as always, Julie was able to work everything out that left you feeling satisfied. Like you, the only problem I had was saying goodbye to the O'Connors, and not being able to see Steven and Annie's married life!

lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

Booklover said...

Now I want to read this book even more than before! And that's saying something, 'cause I really, really, want to read it! I was so excited for Steven's book and then I found out I couldn't get it anywhere (can't afford it, right now), I was so disappointed! :(
Hopefully, I will get to read it soon.
~Sarah

P.S. Oh, am I supposed to be including my email? I didn't realize! Sorry! bookluver1492[at]gmail[dot]com

Kate said...

I have the first two books of this series waiting for me to read. I keep hear wonderful things about these books. I need to make time to read them! :-)

Micaela Wood said...

Eeeppp!! I just love your reviews of Julie's books.....now I'm all excited to read them ALL!!! :D

my email is bookworm9404(at)gmail(dot)com (in case you need it :) )

Abbi Hart said...

Janka-Me too!

Elyssa-I love that we had the same thoughts!

Sarah-I had the same problem! I read all the other books and then couldn't afford this one for awhile and the wait was awful! I was so happy to get it and I hope you get to read it soon!

Kate-They are amazing and well worth making time for! They are long books but you get through them so fast because you get drawn in!

Micaela-Thank you! I hope you get to read them soon!

Heidi said...

You have a great way of writing reviews. Looking forward to finishing this series!

Abbi Hart said...

Heidi-Thank you! It's a great ending!

Bonnie Roof said...

Loved the review, Abbi!

It IS so hard reading "A Love Surrendered", knowing it is the last published book about the O'Connor family. Julie paints such realistic, and endearing, pictures of her characters - they seem like "family" to readers. Like you - when reading "A Passion Most Pure", I - also - knew I would love Steven.

I love that Julie has promised to, eventually, write more books about the O'Connor family - for now, we will just have to re-read the ones already published. A heads-up to BOOKLOVER, KATE, MICAELA, and HEIDI: you will really miss out on a blessing, if you don't read ALL of Julie's novels!! Each one is just as good as the one before it - she NEVER disappoints!!

bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

Abbi Hart said...

Boonie-Thank you! Yeah the O'Conner's definitely become like family! I didn't know that she was planning to write more O'Conner books in the future but that would be cool! I'd love to get stories about all of the cousins and Gabe! And I second your last comment!

Bonnie Roof said...

The cousins and Gabe ARE who she said she would be writing about, Abbi!

bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

Abbi Hart said...

Bonnie-Awesome! Now that I think about it I do vaguely remember her saying something about that!

Julie said...

This one! Yes, this one was my favorite out of the whole series(next to the prequel A Light in the Window).

Abbi Hart said...

Julie-It was an amazing book wasn't it!?

LadySaotome said...

Your description really makes me want to read this one. I'm dying to know her secret, too!

Abbi Hart said...

LadySaotome-Glad I could make you want to read this!

Salyna xD said...

I totally agree! I wish Julie could make another that has a little of Steven and Annie's future in it. This wasn't the last one for me, seeing as I read A Light in the Window last, but it was still sad for me because I was nearing the end. I also wish that it would have been just as long as the rest in the series, but even though it was shorter Julie still had just as much, humor, heartbreak, and emotional drama as the rest. Lol I had done a character casting for this series on my blog, Kissed Books, and had casted Paul Walker as Steven. R.I.P.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book!

Thea C. said...

I really want to read this book!! I haven't had the opportunity to read it yet but reading this review makes me want to read it even more then I already did! Thank you Abbi for sharing your thoughts on this book!!

Abbi Hart said...

Salyna-I technically read ALITW after all of them too but I then proceeded to reread the rest! She did do a good job of fitting it all in to a smaller page count!! Paul Walker would have made a pretty good Steven! You're welcome!

Thea-I hope you get to read it soon and I'm glad my review made you want to read it more! You're welcome!

Lady DragonKeeper said...

If I remember correctly, I didn't feel that Annie and Steven's story was cut short, but I think there were sidestories with the other O'Connors that got chopped with the page number reduction for this one (I was sad too, 'cause I think there was a Colin/Faith story that was pulled) ... =)

Abbi Hart said...

Lady DragonKeeper-Yeah Annie and Steven's story was complete and it was the side stories that got cut! Faith and Colin had a side story it was Charity&Mitch, Brady&Lizzie, and Aunt Eleanor and her old fiance's stories that were cut out!

Lady DragonKeeper said...

That's right! I haven't read ALS since it came out ... Haha. :)

Abbi Hart said...

Lady DragonKeeper-It can sometimes be hard to keep track!

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