Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Review of A Passion Denied

Here's a description of the book from Revell:

" Has she fallen in love with a man who cannot love her back?

Elizabeth O'Connor has been like the little sister John Brady always wanted, sharing his love of literature and his thirst for God. But in the throes of the reckless Roaring Twenties, Lizzie has grown up. Suddenly she wants more from the man who has been her friend since she was a child. When this shy little bookworm blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving John, she discovers that his past won't let him return that love. But Lizzie refuses to give up--until his shocking secrets push her away.

Can true love survive the betrayal and deceitful of a painful past . . . or will it be shattered like the fairy-tale dreams of a girl in love?

Brimming with romance, longing, and redemption, A Passion Denied, will quicken your pulse and gladden your heart with a riveting story of the true power of love."

My Rating: Summer

My Review:

Julie's characters are so real that her books sweep you away to another time and place! The pain, the broken hope, and the passion of this story allows the reader to truly sympathize with the characters and want the best for them. And as a reader of Christian romance, I couldn't help but feel a connection with Lizzie and her desires for true love. But one of the many lessons of this book demonstrates a valuable point: only God is perfect, and we must learn to forgive and love as we have been forgiven and loved by God. No husband or wife can ever fully satisfy his or her spouse, because only God can truly fulfill us.

That being said, though, this book also acts as a reminder of how wonderful relationships--whether between lovers, family, or friends--can be when the people in them seek after God. Julie does a fantastic job of creating a family that readers cheer for and feel a connection to.

While I confess that this is not my favorite Julie Lessman book, especially with how hard it is to read about "a passion denied" over and over again, this definitely is a powerful story that makes me want to read even more about this family and about the romance that awaits the younger siblings. This is a great bridge between the end of one series and the beginning of another, and I am most eager to read Katie's story in A Hope Undaunted!

Note: As some of you know by now, I am back home from Washington D.C.! We spent most of Friday on various planes, but we made it back safe and sound. =) Thank you all for keeping up with my dad and I and taking the time to read the posts and leave comments. I really appreciate it!

Another Note: "Christmas in July" is about to start! Be looking for some giveaways, and turn on that holiday music to get in the mood for some yuletide cheer in the summer!

10 comments:

Julia M. Reffner said...

Great review! Thanks for not giving spoilers, as I want to read this soon. I hope I can get to the second two before A Hope Undaunted.

Why do I commit myself to far too many "deadline" reads keeping me from books I really want to get to :(??

I'm glad your back safely and had an unforgettable time.

Sara said...

Nice review! I loved this book, as I did the others in the series.

Amber S. said...

Julia,

Thank you! And you're welcome. :) I guess I tend to stick to the general feelings of the book when I write reviews, so I'm glad to know they still work!

I hope you get a chance to read the next two before A Hope Undaunted, as well! And I think I saw a comment with that question on Operation Encourage an Author... ;) I totally understand! It's different reviewing for book review programs instead of just reading for fun. But I hope you still can get some of that "reading for fun" in, too!

Also, thank you for your kind words about my trip! :D

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Sara,

Thank you! This whole series is outstanding, and I'm eagerly awaiting her next series! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

~Amber

Julie Lessman said...

AMBER ... thank you SO much for taking the time to read and write a review for A Passion Denied -- I appreciate your kind words and your candor more than I can say!

It's fun to see how the different books affect different readers. A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Denied seem to be neck in neck as far as reader preference, but A Passion Redeemed is actually my favorite of all three, so go figure. I do tend to like a lot of drama and angst in my books, and A Passion Denied is certainly loaded with it and definitely the most "passionate" of all three books as far as romantic tension, which some people tend not to prefer.

I have to say that my favorite parts of Denied were Marcy and Patrick's story, Collin and Brady's close friendship,the ever lovable Cluny McGee and the wise and affable Father Mac.

Thanks again for posting a review, my friend.

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

Julie,

You're welcome! And believe me, it was my pleasure! :)

I think A Passion Most Pure is my favorite so far, but I am really excited for A Hope Undaunted! There definitely was a lot of tension in A Passion Denied, but the feelings are very realistic.

And I agree that Marcy and Patrick's story, Collin and Brady's friendship, and Cluny McGee and Father Mac were all fabulous parts about the story! Father Mac sounds like a wonderful spiritual mentor, and I can't wait to read more about Cluny! ;) I also really enjoyed reading more about Faith and Collin. :)

Thank YOU for stopping by, and I'm REALLY excited for your next series!

~Amber

Amanda said...

Welcome home, Amber! I wasn't sure when you were getting back, but am SO blessed you got home safely!!

And you did a marvelous review for "A Passion Denied"!! You captured the book so well and completely- AND you did is all without spoilers, like Julia said ;)

I LOVE all of Julie's books, but I agree with you, her first book, "A Passion Most Pure" is my favorite so far- though I think that might change when "A Hope Undaunted" comes out, LOL!

I also felt a connection with Beth, and out of her, Faith and Charity- she's the one I'm most like :) I will say out of all the DOB books, APD had the most family interactions and sub-stories going on, so I really loved that. Honestly, each book is dear to me in it's own special way. Like, "A Passion Redeemed"- even though there was a lot of drama, it really touched my heart with the theme of redemption and the saving grace of an all-loving God able to heal all wounds and transform any life. And it also encourages you to see people through the Lord's eyes and not judge them, because we don't know what took place in the past of a person, so we are sometimes blinded by and can't see past their present. People are the way they are for a reason and only Christ can save, change and transform them. It's up to us to pray for them and love them like Jesus.

Thanks again, Amber! OH, and I can't wait to read about Cluny and Katie, too!!!!

Praying you have a beautiful rest of the day :)

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Thank you for the welcome! The trip went by so quickly, but a lot happened in those few days! ;) What a journey!

And thank you for the kind words about my review! Julie's books are exceptional! And I couldn't agree more about your choice of favorites and your statement about A Hope Undaunted. :) All these teasers are making me wonder if this next book just might become a new favorite... It wouldn't surprise me!

What great words about the whole series! It is so true that we have no room to judge others, for only God can see our hearts. I'm so glad that God is merciful, and that He knows each one of us and loves us through all of our struggles, pain, and difficulties. His love and understanding are beyond comprehension!

Hope your day has been beautiful, too! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my posts! :D

~Amber

Kav said...

I honestly can't say which Julie Lessman book I liked the best...I guess it would have to be the one I'm reading at the time. LOL. I get on edge when I read her books because of the angst and I find i'll get kind of weepy over things in my own life for no reason other than the emotions carrying over from the characters in the book. (rolling eyes, yes I've been told I take my book reading too seriously)

I will say that I've loved Patrick and Marcy's storyline through out all the books because it shows the struggle and commitment it takes to stay in love after falling in love.

Amber S. said...

Kav,

That's too funny! I can see how it would be hard for many to choose a favorite--I guess A Passion Most Pure just holds a special place in my heart. :) Maybe part of it has to do with when and where I was reading it, too. I just love Faith's story, though!

Anyway, it's so easy to be drawn into a book, isn't it? And I agree that Patrick and Marcy's story throughout the whole first series is wonderful and inspiring!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

~Amber