Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book: A Hope Undaunted

Today I've got a new book for you, one I have a love/hate relationship with!  And one I've been waiting quite awhile to read.

Julie Lessman is a relatively new author, this is just her fourth published book, all in the same series, but she's already won awards for each of the first three.  I've read them all and plan on keeping them as part of my permanent collection - something that I don't do as much of these days as I read way too many to keep them all.

The stories are set in the early 1900's in Boston and revolve around one Irish family with six children.  Each book so far has featured one daughter and the twists and turns of her story to love.

Here's the synopsis for this fourth book, A Hope Undaunted. 

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 head-over-heels in love with her. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Cluny 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?

You could read this as a stand alone book as it takes place quite a few years after the first three, but there is so much back story (and really, they're so good) that I would highly recommend reading the first three first!

Things I love: Each book is at least 400 pages so there is plenty of time to actually get into the story and feel like you know the characters, yet they don't drag on forever either.  While each story focuses one just one girl and her "love story" the rest of the family are still a main part of the book so you get to continue hearing about the previous girls and their new families.

Because the stories are long and there is good character development the characters actually have real conflicts and do things that normal people would do, including making really stupid decisions and living with the consequences.  There have been a number of times when I've actually identified with a character and felt rather convicted!  Not something that normally happens with a romance novel!

The setting of the stories are well developed, from the First World War to the stock market crash in 1929, the stories don't float outside of time, but are directly tied to the things happening in the world around them.  I always appreciate authors who take time to do this because it makes the stories that much more real.

Things I don't really love: Apparently in the genre of romance you always know who the heroine will end up with and the story is how it happens.  I guess I'm not such a complete fan of this and while there are twists and turns, I sometimes wish the heroines would end up with the "other" guy.

Also, how many of us really get to pick between two guys??? :)

But I'm getting ahead of myself... I have the fun chance to interview Julie and I've asked her some questions about this... so you'll have to come back on Friday to read her answers and have the chance to win an autographed copy of this book!

Also, be sure to friend Julie on FACEBOOK - she's launched a contest and is giving away a KINDLE! She's announcing the winner at a FACEBOOK Party on October 7th! All the details will be announced on her Author Page!

A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party

Yada yada yada: I was provided with a free copy of this book for review, but all opinions are strictly mine.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't really delved into the 1920's and it's kind of nice to see a piece of fiction set in that time frame. It doesn't seem to get my "air time" and that alone makes it intriguing to me.


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