Thursday, November 13, 2014

"surprised by love" by julie lessman

It's bitterly cold outside, at least in my neck of the woods. You know what goes wonderfully with a cold, dreary day? (Besides a steaming latte, of course.) A good book! And I have just the one you need—it'll keep you reading day and night!

She can turn the head of the man who spurned her—but can she turn his heart?

When Megan McClare left San Francisco to study in Paris, no one would accuse her of being poised and pretty. But on the other side of the Atlantic, this wallflower blossomed into a beauty with big dreams. When she returns to California and accepts an internship at the district attorney's office, she's thrilled that her life is taking shape. But the exciting opportunity quickly loses its glow when she discovers she'll be working alongside Devin Caldwell, who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored. 

Bram Hughes is the best friend to whom Megan has always turned for support and advice. But when she seeks his counsel about working with Devin Caldwell, Bram's vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a little sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man? 

Author Julie Lessman draws a romantic triangle that will touch your heart in this glittering Gilded Age tale of transforming love.

Several years ago, I read Julie Lessman's A Passion Most Pure, and I liked it quite a bit. (It was a Kindle freebie, and it's free now, too.) Since then, I've picked up the Kindle versions of several of her books, but I haven't read any of them. When her latest release showed up in my inbox as a possible review book, I jumped at the chance to read it.

Surprised by Love is book three in Lessman's "Heart of San Francisco" series, which follows the McClare family. From page one, I was captivated by this novel and its characters. Though I did struggle a bit to keep up at first, due solely to my own lack of knowledge from not having read the first two books in the series, I soon had everything straight and was flying through the pages at warp speed. I simply could not put the book down—I had to know what would happen next—and I read the entire book in one afternoon and evening. (Good thing I didn't have anything important going on!)

While the Megan/Devin/Bram triangle is the heart of the novel, Megan's mother Cait has her own love triangle, which I think will be particularly satisfying to those who have read the first two books in the series. (I enjoyed it, too—but those who have been with the series from the beginning have been waiting a long time for Cait's love story to resolve.)

I also loved the spiritual content of this novel. It's not over the top/in your face, but it feels realistic. Faith plays a large role in Bram's life, and also in Logan's life. (Logan is one of Cait's suitors.) Letting go and trusting God is a prominent theme in the novel, and as I read, I stopped to consider some aspects of my life. I love when fiction becomes more than a story and touches my own life!

Over the years, Lessman has taken some heat for the sensual nature of her books, and while it's true that her books are more passionate than much of what's available in the Christian market, there is nothing in this novel that crosses the line of decency—in my opinion, there's nothing that's even close to the line. I loved Surprised by Love, and I look forward to reading more novels by Lessman. I think I'll start with those books I already have on my Kindle! 5 stars.

Buy the book.

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston series, the Winds of Change series, and The Heart of San Francisco series. The recipient of seventeen Romance Writers of America and other awards, Lessman was chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 and 2012 Readers' Choice Awards. She resides in Missouri with her family. Learn more at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell through the Revell Reads program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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