October 13, 2012 5 Comments

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About the book:
Author: Julie Lessman
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: 2012
Find the Review Elsewhere: Amazon | Goodreads
Find the Book Elsewhere:  AmazonGoodreads
Series: Winds of Change, book 3
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical
Rating: 4/5

A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman | Book Review 

THE STORY | Annie Kennedy may be in over her head now she is living in Boston. A city that differs from the pace of small-town Iowa where she grew up. In the hopes she’ll lose herself to adventure, she dreams her life will imitate that of her elder sister, Maggie. You see, Annie is ready to fall in love. Living with the aunt who never married disallows her from showing affection, but the recent loss of her father leaves Annie longing to fill the void.

Things become complicated when Annie falls under the spell of Steven O’ Connor. Ever since he nearly lost his father, Steven has cleaned up his act. He’s an FBI agent who no longer dates “good girls.” His logic being he can no longer stop himself from falling hard for anyone like Maggie, the picture of innocence. Then he meets sweet Annie – another girl who reminds him of his first love. What he doesn’t know is that to love Annie may mean more heartbreak will follow.

REVIEW | I don’t think I usually credit Lessman enough prior to cracking open one of her books. Usually, her name splashed across a cover means there’s immediate recognition and acknowledgement that this is a story I’ll enjoy. What I never seem to realize just how deep that enjoyment will extend. In this, the sixth and final novel in the O’ Connor’s saga, we are again given a story that is a delight to read and leaves us with a happy sigh by the time we have reach the final page.

Steven is an interesting hero, but he is also one I found myself in constant doubt of his sincerity. Obviously, this isn’t a feeling I like. Discovering he was a law man made me ridiculously happy (because I love my law men good guys). As the novel progresses, it seems to suit his character more and more, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of disappointment in some of his choices. So much of his personality is a contradiction. We’re asked to believe he is a gentleman, but then his POV leads us to think the worst of him. It’s a challenge I wasn’t all that fond of. Then there is Annie who is, another story, altogether.

Judging by my limited book knowledge, the roaring twenties is the turning point in society as a very promiscuous era. It seems appropriate then that the thirties, which this story takes place in, would follow suit. Annie is an eighteen-year-old novice who desperately tries to shed her naivety. What the girl doesn’t realize is how precious this quality is. The scenario is a perfect example of what the wrong crowd can do to an otherwise, intelligent, “nice” girl. Her choices as the heroine also transition into one of the book’s other plot lines, which is the tendency of characters to lie to their husbands.

Reading more about Steven’s siblings’ is lovely as their stories unfold in the the Daughters of Boston series. What I grow weary of is the secrets the O’Connor women keep. Similarly, there’s a lingering overture that suggests their husband’s may become weary of the wives they married. For me, it degrades certain characters that I love, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying this passionate story. It translates fine onto the pages though its “soft” PG13 rating is sometimes not used to the best of the character’s advantage and this is unfortunate.

Full of passion, mistaken impressions and family, ‘Surrendered’ is a story that confronts the past of those who desperately seek forgiveness. Altogether it’s a beautiful end to the saga that is the O’ Connor family.

Discover Annie and Steven O'Connor's story in 'A Love Surrendered' by Julie Lessman | #BookReview Click To Tweet

Many thanks to the publisher for providing this review copy for the purpose of writing this review

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Amber S. October 13, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Wonderful review, Rissi! I love the way you worded your thoughts – your review is great reading in and of itself, and I agree with your assessment! :)


  • Rosie October 13, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    With all the praise I've heard lately, I'm going to try the first series in a week or so. :)

  • Rissi October 15, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Amber – thank you for dropping by and reading! I appreciate it. :-)

    I enjoyed this novel quite a lot but I felt like certain of the things were "on repeat" from each of Julie's prior books. Having said that, 'Surrendered' was still a lovely read and I thought (for once!), the cover was accurate to Annie's description.

    Rosie – oooh! Cool. I liked all of the books I've read by Lessman though much of the plots feel the same. Once I finish the four books that I have for review, I plan on finishing the 'Winds of Change' series. :-)


  • Charity U January 3, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    I've read the first two books in this series, and especially loved the first one. I'm also desperate to read the second book in Julie's first series since it centers around a Charity! Glad you liked this one. :)

    • Rissi January 4, 2013 at 12:31 AM

      I've read all three of Julie's first series ("Daughters of Boston," I believe it's called) but only this one in the "Winds of Change." I'm about a quarter of the way through Katie's story but I am continually having to put it aside to read books I've committed to reviewing! :D

      Thanks for reading this, Charity.

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