Monday, October 1, 2012

A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman: Book Review

ISBN: 978-0-8007-3417-6
Revell - $14.99
Release date: October  2012

About the book:  Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy moves to Boston to stay with her spinster aunt. She 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?

My thoughts: Set during the 1930s Prohibition era in Boston, the story gives the reader a look into the decadent life of speakeasies, bootlegging, wanton living, easy women, and callous men.  We also are given a good look at the strength of an extended family that shares faith in and love for God and their interaction with each other and their reaction to the challenges of daily life as it is well presented by the author.

Our leading lady, Annie Kennedy is straight from small town life and she wants to experience a more exciting life than she has known thus far.  In fact, her older sister had previously lived in Boston and shared all the glitz and glitter it had to offer the young and uninhibited.

Older sister Maggie had previously been involved with Steven O'Connor who is now the man of interest in the young Annie's life.  But he declares himself as having only a big brother interest in Annie and tells her not to be involved in the wild life that Boston offered and to protect her innocence.

There is lusty magnetism involved between Steven and Annie and they both struggle to maintain control of themselves. 

The strength of family and faith in God of the O'Conners, extended family of the older Marcy and Patrick, is encouraging to read.  However, I found that in my opinion the book contained too much detailed lust and struggle with passion for the Christian fiction market.  Though there were no overtly graphic scenes in the book, I personally would not encourage this as a read for a young high school girl.  Realistically, I know this is "what is out there," but I prefer a more gracious rendering of the story rather than the passionate kisses and touches that we should be encouraging the young Christian to avoid.

The story evolves with a good ending in that the couple comes to grips with surrendering their lives to God and to His leading instead of surrendering themselves to the heat and passion of the moment.  Hence the title A Love Surrendered! It is a well written book with very nicely developed characters who you could almost see and hear as you read their story.  

About 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.”

DISCLOSURE:  I was provided a complimentary copy of A Love Surrendered by Revell a Division of Baker Publishing in exchange for a review expressing my honest opinion.  I was under no obligation to render a positive review.

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