Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review: A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

A Hope Undaunted
(Winds of Change, #1)
Adult Christian Historical Romance
by Julie Lessman
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Published by: Revell Books
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.00
Pages: 505

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

What happens when the boy she loved to hate becomes the man she hates to love?
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 eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Relevant Information: I received the third novel in this series for review, and then I loved it so much that I went back to read the first two. This is the companion series to the Daughters of Boston series. 

Overview of Novel: Katie has been known as the feisty one in her family, the one who made her sister Charity look tame. Katie has seen all of her older sisters get married and then be controlled by a man. She refuses to fall into that same trap.

When she gets married, she plans on wearing the pants. She's going to be a lawyer and fight for woman's rights and marry well at the same time. And that's where her boyfriend Jack comes in. He's perfect; everything that she wants in a man. She's not head over heals for him. She's perfectly in control of her emotions and that's the way she wants it.

And then Luke McGee moves back to town. Luke made her childhood a living nightmare and now he's back, she's determined not to give him the time of day. But when her dad decides to punish her for missing curfew by making her work at a charitable organization, Katie is furious. But when she learns her boss is going to be Luke, she's even more furious. 

Luke knows that Katie has always viewed him as the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. She's stubborn, proud, and oh so fun to torment. So when she starts working for him, he's determined to rile her up.

But as these two go head to head, they may just discover that the attraction between them might be more than just that of old "friendemies" 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I loved the Daughters of Boston series and so I had high expectations for this one. I wasn't disappointed.

I loved Katie and I found myself being drawn into this story from the get-go. Seriously, the first line said that she was glad that she wasn't falling in love that she'd rather be sane and keep her wits about her. Seriously, from that point on I was waiting for her fall head over heels. 

Katie was spunky, fiesty, and oh so fun to read about. The chemistry between Katie and Luke was undeniable. I've loved all of the O'Connor's relationships, but this relationship might have been one of my favorites.

Julie's writing was as beautiful and poignant as always. Her characters always take on a life of their own. Katie ranks as one of my favorites.

Julie does have a standard plotline and so I can usually guess what is going to happen. Girl meets boy and girl likes him even though she won't admit it. Boy doesn't like girl. Boy starts to like girl. Girl admits she likes boy. Problem arises that separates them. They then work out problem and get together. It's a simple plot really and yet there are so many different variations on it that it never bores me. 

Seriously, every single book I'm completely sucked in. Julie develops that plot line so well and does so in several different ways that I'm still absolutely hooked. 

However, I will admit that this variation of the they aren't getting together did bug me more than the others. I won't give anything away, but it just made me so sad.

This book wasn't quite my favorite by Julie Lessman, but it was still really good. Luke and Katie might just be two of my favorite characters in the entire series. I definitely can't wait to see what happens with Sean and Emma in the sequel. 

So why 4 stars? I really loved this one, but it wasn't my favorite in the series. Katie and Luke's relationship was my favorite, but the novel just made me so frustrated. I wanted them to get together so badly and stuff kept getting in the way. It probably should be another 5 star book, but I was just too frustrated to give it a 5. 

Side-notes: Julie's books are passionate. She's talking about people who are very much in love, but she never crosses the line. I actually loved how passionate her books were because they were clean and talked about these matters in an appropriate way. Her book isn't edgy and her message about dealing with this passion is very appropriate and clean.

In Summary: A great book with beautifully developed characters. If you like a spunky heroine, then check this one out. You won't regret it. 

The Wrap-up: Julie Lessman is a master at writing. Her characters are always so unique and each story is as well. If you love reading a series with interconnected characters and story lines, then this one is for you. 

Love, Danica Page

Up Next: A Heart Revealed (Winds of Change, #2) by Julie Lessman

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