Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman

About the Book
Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known? Filled with intense passion and longing, deception and revelation, A Heart Revealed will hold readers in its grip until the very last page.

My Thoughts
Even though I adore all of the O'Conner's stories this book is probably my favorite! I just love it so much that it's almost impossible to put it into words but that's not going to stop me from trying!
I love Sean so much! He is such an amazing hero and in the words of Emma “He's the peacemaker, the buffer, the Rock of Gibraltar everyone relies on.” That really is the perfect description of Sean. He is constantly trying to do things to help others without thinking about himself. And he has that calm strength that makes him the perfect person to lean on when things go wrong. My heart broke for him as he realized he was in love with a woman he could never have but I admired how he stood strong determined to be her friend no matter what. And when we finally found out what had happened to him during the war I wanted to cry.
And Emma...where to begin! I loved her from the very start! She was such a good friend to Charity and the perfect balance for her as well. I loved her quiet strength, her kindness, and her giving heart. I hated all the things her husband had done to her. That someone would do such things to anyone let alone someone like Emma baffled me and I honestly wanted to deck him! It was amazing how she could go through all that she did and come out the sweetest person you'd ever meet. Definitely a testament to the difference it can make when you give your heart to God rather than to bitterness!
It was painfully sweet to watch their journey, two people who deserved love the most being robbed of it but not letting it destroy them. Sadly this review is sounding a bit depressing so let me assure you that there is a happy ending! I won't spoil it but suffice it to say I ended the book with a smile on my face!
And again all of the “secondary” cast was absolutely fantastic except for those few that you were supposed to not like, and didn't! I loved Bert whose grumpiness hid a soft side, and Alli with her heart of gold, and Mrs. Peep with her mothering. Then there are the characters from the previous books, Patrick and Marcy, Collin and Faith, Mitch and Charity, Brady and Lizzie, Luke and Katie, Steven, Gabe, Father Mac, and all the grand-kids, all of whom I once again thoroughly loved!

So yeah I think this is my favorite O'Conner story mainly because I love Sean and Emma so much and I loved watching them find the happiness they so richly deserved!

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
P.S. She's just an all around amazing person!

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Lady DragonKeeper said...

Ever since Mrs. Lessman started releasing hints of A Heart Revealed, I had a feeling that Sean would be one my favorite Lessman heroes. I was not disappointed!

Abbi Hart said...

Lady DragonKeeper-Yeah he is amazing! Definitely one of my all time favorite heroes!

Elyssa said...

It's always fun to see what the favorite book out of fellow readers is! I actually have a pen pal who I introduced to Julie's books, and she agreed with you- AHR is her favorite as well. =) It was nice to finally see what Sean's deal with marriage was, as well as getting to know him and Emma better. It was also great catching up with Charity and Mitch, Katie and Luke, Marcy and Patrick, and everyone else!


Abbi Hart said...

Elyssa-Yeah it is always cool to find out which book is different people's favorite! It's cool that your pen pal has the same fav! I liked finding out the reason behind Sean's aversion to marriage too and I agree it was cool to get to know him and Emma better and catch up with the rest of the gang!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book!! Julie is an amazing author :)

Abbi Hart said...

Micaela-It is and she is!

Janka H. said...

Sounds like another great book ! Loving the idea to meet all the characters from other books here !

Abbi Hart said...

Janka-It is amazing! Yeah that's one of the best parts of this series-all of the characters are in all the books so you are constantly getting more of their stories!

Faithful Acres Books ~ Linda Marie Finn said...

I love julies books and loving reading a great review of them
Linda Marie Finn

Wanda (A Book Lover's Retreat) said...

Love the review. Sean and Emma sound like characters I could grow to love. I look forward to reading this book too!

Bonnie Roof said...

Beautiful review, Abbi!

Love the characters of A Heart Revealed! Don't know if you noticed - but this book is dedicated to Julie's son Matt, who she describes as being kind, strong, and the basis of the framework for the book. What a compliment to him, as Sean is a character loved by all who read A Heart Revealed!

I worked as a 3rd shift manager of a women's shelter for a while, it was heart-breaking to see the women that been abused - coming in with their frightened children. But - SO gratifying to see the change in them after finding they were safe, cared for, and loved! Abuse, often, happens to those women most insecure, and needing love. Yes, it is SO gratifying to see the change in Emma, and others like her, who are transformed by the love of, and for, God!!


Abbi Hart said...

Wanda-Thank you! Sean and Emma are amazing and I can't wait till you meet them!

Bonnie-Thank you! I do too! I did notice that and I agree with what you said!
And wow that is so cool how you were able to work at a woman's shelter and help/watch their lives change!

Anonymous said...

I loved Emma! Sean was great too, but I fell in love with Emma in Charity's book. I was so happy how it all turned out! I was so afraid Julie would decide to end it differently! I was sad to finish it, because I didn't (and still don't) have Steven's book, so I knew it would be the last O'Connor book I would read for a while.
I enjoyed that it still followed Katie and Luke, and Mitch and Charity, that we still got to see what was happening in their lives.

Abbi Hart said...

Sarah-I loved them too and was so happy at how it ended! I hope you get to read Steven's book soon it's really good and Sean and Emma's story in it is so sweet!
I enjoyed that too!

Julie said...

I too loved Sean and Emma's story!

Abbi Hart said...

Julie-It was so sweet!!

Kissed books said...

WOW! You and me had the same thoughts! A Passion Denied was my favorite of the first series, but overall, A Heart Revealed was by far my favorite! Emma Malloy, bless her heart, had me from the very beginning and Sean didn't take long to catch up! These two characters had sparks flying in a completely different way then any of the others and it definitely got the flame going. Plus, Emma's love for God?? That is a STRONG woman!

Abbi Hart said...

Salyna-Great minds, huh? :) I loved these two so much and I agree their sparks flew in a completely different way and I loved it! And yeah I LOVED Emma's strong faith!

Sparks of Ember said...

The depth of characters is truly something. I love a couple that both bring pieces of their past to fit each other's needs.

Thea C. said...

This is one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading!!!!! I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this amazing book. Emma is such a strong women and I came to greatly admire her character. I also love Sean as well and they were a perfect match. This book showed their flaws but it made the ending resolve so much sweeter. Abbi your review on this book was right on target!!!

Abbi Hart said...

LadySaotome-Yes it is and I love that too!

Thea-I completely agree-one of the best books ever! Thank you!

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