Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman

About the Book
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?
The lushness of the glorious Gilded Age beautifully showcases Lessman's passion as a writer in this engaging love story written with humor and heart. From the glamour of San Francisco's Nob Hill to the seedy gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, Dare to Love Again is a journey to find a love that never fails. Fans will love revisiting the world of the cousins McClare, and new readers will seek more of Julie's passion-filled novels.

My Thoughts
After loving the McClare's in Love At Any Cost I was extremely excited to dive into this next book of the story! And it was just as amazing as the first-not that I had any doubts!
Allison was fantastic in book one so I knew she would be even more amazing as she took center stage and I was right! I loved her so much! He fierce streak of independence, her kind heart, her care for all those in her life, and her temper that seemed to only flare up when a certain gentleman was in the room all served to make her one awesome heroine! I loved how she stood up to Nick and gave what he dished out back to him! I also loved how she didn't let having her heart broken several times change her from being the sweet person she was, sure she was wary of men but that is to be expected!
Nick was pretty great too! His grumpiness was actually kind of funny especially with how all the women in his life teased him about it and it was cool to watch Alli soften him, both towards people and towards God. The constant stating of the pronunciation of his name got slightly annoying, but I did like that we were actually told how to pronounce it since often we are left to just guess, and there were times when it was funny!
I thought it was really cool how jiu-jitsu was incorporated into the story with Nick teaching it to Alli and I really loved watching her put it into practice, especially when she tried her new moves on Jamie!
Nick's past was such a mystery throughout the book and I honestly had no clue as to what it was going to be, but it was well executed and perfectly played out!

Again I loved all of the other characters from the previous book, the McClares, their staff, Bram, Jamie, and the new ones like Miss Penny, Nick's landlady and mother figure, and Lottie, the sweet little girl who had Nick wrapped around her finger! It was also cool to get more of Cait and Logan's story which I'm very interested to see play out! All in all it was another Julie Lessman hit that I adored!

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!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of the Julie Lessman book of your choice!

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I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Lady DragonKeeper said...

Good job on the reviews over the week!

I didn't realize that Asian martial arts had spread over to the US by the early 20th century ... then again, I know in my art history class, Japonism was a big trend in the mid-late 1800s, so I guess it shouldn't be surprising that interest in other aspects of Asia would occur. =)

I can't wait to get my hands on "Dare to Love Again" ... makes me wonder what Jamie did to get Allie to use jiu-jitsu on him! =P

Janka H. said...

For some reasons this one speaks directly to my heart.

Abbi Hart said...

Lady DragonKeeper-Thank you! Yeah it was a bit surprising to me too but it was cool! I hope you get to read it soon!


Elyssa said...

Great review, Abbi! I'm SO excited to read this one... Allison was great in LAAC, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what Julie has up her sleeve for her. Nick sounds like a great character, and I can sympathize with him because most people mispronounce my name. ;)


Anonymous said...

looks awesome!

Heidi Reads... said...

This book sounds intriguing! Thanks for sharing what you liked about it!

Unknown said...

I have so enjoyed your reviews this week, and getting a peek inside each of her wonderful stories!! I can hardly wait to delve into each one!!


Abbi Hart said...

Elyssa-Thank you! I hope you get to read it soon since it's amazing!

Anonymous-It is!

Heidi-It's awesome and you're welcome!

Micaela-Thank you! I can't wait for you to read them either!

Anonymous said...

I love your review Abbi! Though now I want to read it so, so much! I've been anticipating it since reading Love at Any Cost and reading all the reviews and excerpts are just making me more excited! I hope I get to read it soon! Or else I might burst with anticipation! lol :)

Abbi Hart said...

Sarah-Thank you! I hope you get to read it soon-we can't have you bursting!!

Bonnie Roof said...

I have SO enjoyed ALL of your reviews of Julie's books, Abbi! Thanks SO much!

I especially love the cover on this one - love the color of the dress, and the model has beautiful skin and eye coloring! Julie has real-life pics of her on her blog (in the last Journal Jots). I was surprised that martial arts were being studied in the early 1900's - I think I read in one of Julie's reviews that Teddy Roosevelt (?) was responsible for bringing them to the U.S..

I'm currently enjoying a reading marathon of ALL of Julie's books - finishing book 5, with 5 more to go! What a pleasure to be able to read them back-to-back, without interruption!! I have LOVED every one, and am SO glad you whet my appetite with your reviews, yet didn't give away too much of the plots.

I can see why Julie has been tagged the "Queen of Romance" who writes "Passion With a Purpose" - some of the best books I have ever read, and the most spiritually inspiring! She is just as inspiring - herself, and never fails to let her readers know how much she appreciates, and loves, them!!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your review of this book and thanks for the giveaway! :)

Abbi Hart said...

Bonnie-Thank you! This cover is gorgeous and I enjoyed seeing the pics on Julie's blog! That was a little surprising to me too. And from what I read in the book that's what it sounded like-he was at least the one that brought it to America's attention! I loved reading them all back to back and I'm glad you are loving it and them too! Also I'm glad I didn't give too much away! I hate spoilers so I always do my best to omit them from my reviews!
Love your comment about Julie and completely agree!

Rachel-You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

Love the cover - can't wait to read my copy!

Sparks of Ember said...

I remember watching The Happiest Millionaire years ago and being surprised when one of the characters was teaching jiu-jitsu. I think we tend to forget that the world was already growing smaller back then and that such things aren't only common today. It's fun to read and have our eyes opened.

Abbi Hart said...

worthy2read-Me too! I hope you get to read it soon!

LadySaotome-We do tend to forget that and it is fun having our eyes opened!

Julie said...

Loved this book! Can't wait to see how Logan and Cait get together ;)

Abbi Hart said...

Julie-Me too!!!!

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