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Barbara J. Shelton’s Review of “A Love Surrenderd” by Julie Lessman

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A Love Surrendered

Winds of Change, #3

A Love Surrenderd

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 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.

JUST SAYIN…….

Time:  1932, Boston, Ma.  Prohibition was about to be repealed by the 18th Amendment.  Some concerns of that era…prohibition, politics, war and as in any year, belief in God.  The young crowd wanted good times and were expert lawbreakers to do so.  Times were hard….and that’s not exactly what Julie Lessman’s story is about…but difficult times there were.

A Love Surrendered is the third book in the Winds of Change Series.  It is the continuation of the O’Connor family saga through each of the 7 children born to Patrick and Marcy O’Connor.  Stories previously began with the Daughters of Boston Series.  The children – whose stories update naturally through each novel are: Faith, married to Collin McGuire; Charity, married to Mitch Dennehy; Lizzie, married to John Brady; Sean, married to Emma; Katie, married to Luke McGee: and Steven, the youngest and still single.  A foster daughter, Gabe (Gabriella Dawn), has appeared in Marcy and Patrick’s lives through the romance and marriage of Katie and Luke McGee in A Hope Undaunted.  This reader has enjoyed the pleasure of devouring each one of these books, except for Sean and Emma’s story which will be rectified soon.

To begin, I am including some of the summary from the back of the book to familiarize my followers with the gist of the story.  I add that this is Steven O’Connor’s story – and it is wonderful! A Love Surrendered – The very best of Julie Lessman’s writings so far in my estimation.  Julie’s stories touch my very soul in that I personally relate to many of the problems and struggles, blessings of God’s grace, and surprise events that occur without warning in this story as well as real life.

The love interest involves sisters – but that’s all I’ll reveal about that.  Steven is a Federal Agent as is his best friend Joe, which leads to much tension and comedy among the book characters.  One leading character is a natural at drawing others to Christ – which I feel is the most important factor in all relationships, real or imagined.

Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy moves to Boston to stay with her spinster aunt.  She gets involved with a fast crowd at Ocean Pier – one that includes the handsome Steven O’Connor – she is pulled quickly into a world of rule breakers and mischief makers.  Annie, actually Susannah Grace Kennedy, longs for romance to fill the void left by her parents’ death. But when she falls hard for Steven O’Connor, the man who broke an engagement to her sister, Annie is worried. Will he break her heart too when he discovers who she really is? With heart-pounding romance, intense family drama, and emotional twists and turns, each page and chapter leads to faster page turns as the story bends and shapes.

Julie’s creative use of similes and metaphors paint a vivid picture in my mind of the action in each scene.  Playing as a movie in my head, her words exploded my imagination wide open. She describes each story character in detail – from a tic in the jaw to the color of the hair on a man’s chest.

Ms Lessman has perfected the art of writing around and through a “steamy” romantic scene of passion and desire without relying on heavy emphasis of “overwriting” actions as might a secular novelist.  Smut and profanity is not found in Julie’s books. Her words don’t prompt embarrassment and shock over titillating phrases – much more educational than four letter words blatantly shouting from the page.  Julie seems to train your focus as a bystander. As a reader, I appreciated the non-explanation of spice and ginger in love scenes; my imagination works just fine in that category.

Ms. Lessman’s natural spirit of humor, effectively used in tight places, never backs the script in a corner without an opening for resolve.  She is brilliantly funny and I laughed, cried, snorted and hungered for more.  Speaking of tears reminds me of the deep emotions Julie’s story emitted from my subconscious memories, oh so many.  My throat in a constant lump, caused easy tears and prayers to emanate from my consciousness.

The expressions Julie inserts…”Sweet Saints,” “Knickers in a Knot,” “bees knees.” among others were familiar to me…although I faintly admit it.  Did they wear Keds back in 1932?  What are Sardines, Ghost Game and a couple of other unknown games kids played?   The music and movies are quite nostalgic to my early years of childhood. Even the pets had great names…Mr. Grumpy, the Basset Hound that belonged to Annie and Glory;   Cats….ah, guess you’ll need to read the book to find out.  LOL

The O’Connor grandchildren grab your heart instantaneously – and there is always one mischievous kid in the bunch that makes the others all appear angelic.  Of course, food fights and everyone loves coming to grandparents house to be pampered with their special love.

When God created Julie, he must have added teacher or preacher of His truth and Word to her genes.  Her first name could well be “Charisma” sparkling with glitz and glitter on the cover of her books.  She pulls the reader in with such light that sparks fly from every page in the name of Jesus.  I wish Julie would write an advice book for teens, young adults and even the seniors about God’s will regarding romance, engagement and marriage.

Julie Lessman

A Love Surrendered is everything Julie Lessman’s many fans have been waiting for and it ends on promises to come.  Thank you, God, for sending Julie to our time and place.  I’m so thankful we are friends, and speaking for myself, I adore you, sister Julie Lessman

A Love Surrendered is available now at Amazon for KindleAudio, and Paperback. Also available @B&N!