Friday, October 12, 2012

Revell Blog Tour: A Love Surrendered

Here's a description of the book from Revell:

"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?

With heart-pounding romance, intense family drama, and emotional twists and turns, A Love Surrendered is everything Julie Lessman's many fans have been waiting for." 

My Rating

Spring/Summer 

My Review

Oh, drama... It certainly makes for some entertaining reading, especially when captured by the pen of Julie Lessman! There's plenty of drama in this last book of the "Winds of Change" series: a young woman wanting desperately to be seen as "grown-up," a young man held back by his past as he tries to prove himself to be a "good boy," and plenty of secondary characters (whom Lessman fans have come to love) trying to keep their marriages intact. 

A Love Surrendered is "edgy," especially as it showcases the lingering Prohibition issues of the early 1930s. Be aware that there are some alcohol references and some strong romance (not explicit, but kind of heavy). (While nothing new to those who have already read Lessman's books, this is mostly a heads-up to those just learning about her work.)

I really enjoyed this concluding installment to the O'Connor saga - more than the previous installment, and perhaps more than a couple of other books in the two series, although my favorite remains that book that started it all, A Passion Most Pure. As far as bringing everything together, it's definitely satisfying, and I think long-time Lessman fans will find this just right, if a bit bittersweet. Reading this one out of order or on its own might not elicit the same reaction, though, simply because those feel-good feelings depend on a connection with all of the characters and a longing to see them happy, regardless of whether things seem "too tidy."

After immersing myself in the lives of the O'Connors multiple times throughout the last few years, I do confess that sometimes the issues and the emotions feel rather repetitive. But Lessman's ability to write long, yet somehow still engaging scenes and her talent for creating characters the reader can care about are admirable. A Love Surrendered is a great ending to two series about a wonderful family, with its own main story that happily dragged me in and held my interest.

*With thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

10 comments:

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

I think “A Love Surrendered” is Julie Lessman’s best book. I’ve read them all and if you have read them all, you’ll enjoy eight HEAs as this six book series concludes.

There are the five continuing HEAs for the first five brothers and sisters. There is the HEA for the hero and heroine of this story. There is the very rich and rewarding HEA of the mother and father who I must relate to. And then there is the HEA for the entire family. It is bittersweet in that the father and mother lament that, as good as things are, they don’t know how many more Christmases they will live to see. But this is a very real moment and this series is an inspirational book and there needs to be an opening for happiness in the next life.

As for ‘edgy’ and ‘alcohol’ use, the hero is a prohibition enforcement agent. The story has to mention alcohol. It is important to note that both the hero and heroine resist the temptation, very strong peer pressure, to indulge in the drink. The ‘edgy’ is in the passion with which Julie Lessman writes. It is not in anything explicit. Christians can have that passion. Saint Teresa experienced and wrote about as much passion as anyone figure I know. This was a passion for the love of God. Passion is good.

Like you, I don’t know how much joy a reader of only the last book will experience. The two series represent a genuine snapshot of that trying period of American history. I see it as a history as seen from the inside and not from the outside as historians write it. I think this set of books will be read a hundred years from now because there is nothing in them that will go out of date. It’s like watching the ‘spirit’ within a historical context.

It is an excellent series and one I do feel is best read in proper order.

By the way, this is my true and sincere opinion even though there are characters in the book named, Vincent, Vince, and Vinny. Someone might know I’m a very big fan.

Vince

Amber S. said...

Vince,

Awesome! Thank you for sharing your review here in the comments and addressing some of the points I made. :)

And I have to say, I loved seeing your namesake character in there - too fun!! ;) Was that a surprise for you when you read it, or did you already know about it before you came across it?

Also, you're planning on reading the prequel, right??? It will be great to learn more about Marcy and Patrick. :)

~Amber

Rissi said...

I like this series and Julie's writing a great deal. Not sure if this is my fave book in the O'Connor saga but it's good so far. :-)

Amber S. said...

Rissi,

Me, too. :) So you're currently in the middle of it? I really enjoyed it, and I'm curious to see how the Christmas prequel is going to be!

~Amber

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

I did know that Carol and I were going to be in the next book, many months ago, but when I read the book I came upon the Vincent character by surprise. I thought: Oh, this is the book! I couldn’t be happier with the character. I always liked Faith. I see Faith as the oldest sister in “Pride and Prejudice”. I also see her as making the best wife. : )

Vince

Michelle said...

Love Julie's books! I'm reading this one right now! So glad you enjoyed it. : )

Amber S. said...

Vince,

How fun! Your namesake character was great. :) And I really like Faith's character, too!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

Julie's books are engaging, aren't they? :) Happy reading!

~Amber

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks for this review. I can't wait. My book is somewhere en route. Anxiously awaiting its arrival~

Amber S. said...

Susan,

My pleasure! :) Hope your book arrives soon!! It's fun anticipating a book's arrival, but also hard to wait to have it in your hands!

~Amber