9.25.2010

A Hope Undaunted -- Julie Lessman (Winds of Change, #1)






A Hope Undaunted
(Winds of Change, #1)
by Julie Lessman

Revell Publishing

Historical Romance







Back cover synopsis:

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?


What I thought:

Julie's latest release was at the tip-top of my Top 5 Most Anticipated Books for 2010 list.  I simply could not wait to get my hands on her newest 'passionate' creation so I could find out what the O'Connor family has been up to.  They have become like an extension of my own family, whom I love very much.

It was love at first sight *word* in my case.  I fell head-over-heels in love while reading A Passion Most Pure and couldn't read the rest of the series fast enough.  Julie's Daughters of Boston series has carved out their very own spot on my keeper shelf, and it looks like her Winds of Change series will have a spot to call their own as well.  While I can't say A Hope Undaunted is my favorite of Julie's books, A Passion Most Pure still holds that title, I did enjoy reading Katie's story.

As another blogger/reviewer pointed out in her review, Katie's story plays out a little too much like Faith's as far as the love-triangle aspect.  Even though it adds a hold-your-breath facet to the story, another thing I found to be similar was the drama that revolved around the "pillar" that holds the O'Connor family together -- their father, Patrick.  This being said, there were lots of new twists and turns to enjoy while Katie and Jack, along with Luke, find out what God's plans are for their lives.

The O'Connors acquire some new friends, one of which had me in stitches throughout the book -- Gabriella "Gabe" Smith.  She was the 'life of the party' anytime she played a part in Katie's story!  I also enjoyed meeting Allie Moser, who touched my heart with her tragic plight.  I sincerely hope we will be seeing more of her in Sean and Emma's story, A Heart Revealed.  Just from the brief glimpse, I think Allie would make a fabulous match for the youngest O'Connor son, Steven. *hint, hint*  ;)

If you haven't read Julie's Daughters of Boston series -- what are you waiting for?!?!  Get a move on, so you'll be all caught up and ready to start her new series, Winds of Change!

“Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

To find out more about Julie and/or her books, be sure to visit her in the various locations she can be found online:  her website -- blog -- Facebook -- Twitter.

Don't miss your chance to win at Julie's Giveaway Extravaganza! 
Click below to find out how to enter....



A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party
A Hope Undaunted Facebook Party

12 comments:

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

I loved it and I can't wait for the next book NEXT YEAR! Ahhh! LOL I love your reviews Lori...keep em coming!

XOXO~ Renee

Julie Lessman said...

LORI!!! Thank you SO much, sweetie, for such a wonderful review -- I am blessed!!

And you know, I remember reading what the other reviewer said about the similarities between Katie's story and Faith's, but for the life of me, I just can't see it. I tend to like love triangles in all of my books (makes for great romantic tension!!), but I honestly don't see the similarities between APMP and AHU, but that's just me. But it sure is fun getting different people's takes on it, I can tell you that.

Anyway, thanks again, Lori, for taking the time to read and review AHU and for your kind words, especially since I know you've cut way back on the # of books you do review.

Have a blessed weekend!

Hugs,
Julie

Lee Smith said...

Been missing you girl! It's always good to read your reviews. :o) Hope things are going wonderful for you. {Hugs}

Julie Lessman said...

LORI!!! BLESS YOU, girl, for this GREAT review -- I'm sure glad you joined the blog tour because it would not have been complete without you!!

Have a blessed weekend, my friend ... you sure helped to bless mine!!

Hugs,
Julie

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

Hey Lori!!! *starts waves enough to flag down a passing 747*
I know this new job of yours is such a GREAT blessing an all, but seriously, we've been really missing you around here!!! Blogger just isn't the same.
LOVE the review, and you brought up some great points. I don't see the Katie/Faith connection (but, I'm not the brightest lighten bug in the sky), though I could see a Katie/Charity parallel. They are very much the same when it comes to men, at least IMO.
I hope and pray your new job is just fantastic and a blessing!
Love Ya Lori!!
~Ashley

Christy--Southern Sassy Girl said...

Lori!!

As Ashley said, it's not the same without you around!!! I hope everything is working out well for you with your job...trust me, I know how hard it is to stay caught up with reviews while working 40 hours a week, not to mention just dealing with everything else life throws our way. :o)

I loved your review, and you and I came to the same conclusion about AHU being our least favorite, even though it was still a very good book. APMP probably would have to be my overall favorite if I had to choose, but that's too hard of a decision to make!!

**Big Hugs!!**
Christy

Elizabeth@In Pursuit of His Excellence said...

I can't wait to read this book and the last one in the DOB series. Yep, I'm a bit behind, only finally getting my hands on a copy of APMP in April this year. So, yes, can't wait to read the latest so I can see what you are all talking about! :)
Thanks again, Julie, for sharing the stories that God puts on your heart!!

Joetta said...

thanks for writing Julie! I only wish I had another one of your books to read right NOW!! I love the passion that exudes from each page... God has an anointing on your life!
"hot tears sprang to her eyes and she clutched him with violent devotion.

"I love you, Collin, with all my heart, and I trust you. God has used you to pour abundant blessings into my life." She closed her eyes and allowed her trust to rest in both God and her husband."

I love how Faith CHOSE to love and CHOSE to trust!!

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Thank you all for dropping by to read my reviews -- I truly appreciate it!

JULIE - GREAT to see you! *hugs* Don't get me wrong, I love romantic tension, too.

**SPOILER ALERT**

It's a little hard to explain exactly what I meant by Katie's story being similar to Faith's. Not the story per se, but the love-triangle, as you called it. With Faith it was Collin and Mitch vying for her affections, and with Katie it was Jack and Luke.

Even though the stories pull you in, you know in the end who the girls will end up with. Like Angie said, it would have been nice to see Katie end up with Parker, just to throw a monkey-wrench in the ending. You know?

I didn't want to mention this in my review, and ruin anything for other readers, but Luke leaving with Betty upset me. Yes, I understand he still had feelings for her and felt responsible, plus I really liked Betty, BUT he broke Katie's heart in the meantime. That's why I was kinda rooting for Parker in the end.

Does that make any more sense?

AWWWW! Y'all are just the sweetest gals I know! I miss y'all SO much, too! Ashley, you are the funniest thing! Please don't be flagging down 747s on my account. LOL

*BIG HUGS to everyone!*

tracysbooknook.com said...

Great review!

I also enjoyed A Hope Undaunted and am a big fan of Julie Lessman.

I found the characters to be fairly three dimensional and enjoyed the interaction between the two main characters, Katie and Luke - although at times I was surprised by Katie’s sudden abrupt turns. The O’Connor family is true to form in their larger-than-life sort of Irish personalities and entertaining as always.

I posted a more in-depth review of my own at www.tracysbooknook.com.


-Tracy

tracysbooknook.com said...

Oops!

When I said a "more in-depth review" I meant more in-depth compared to the short comment I had made.

Sorry if that was unclear.

-Tracy

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

LOL! No worries, Tracy. ;)