Dare to Love Again is my first book I have read by Julie. Right now, I am wondering why that is. If her all her books are like this, then I definitely need to pick up all of them. She definitely has a new fan here. From page one of this book, I find myself literally laughing out loud. It is sweet, fun, entertaining, and romantic.
If you are looking for a great, inspiring, and humorous read, then this one if for you!
Julie Lessman returns with her unique brand of historical romance with her second Heart of San Francisco novel, Dare to Love Again, a sassy and engaging tale of two people seeking justice in differing ways. Allison desperately wants to make life better for the children she teaches and Nick has a personal mission that dictates his choices and colours his outlook on life. I really enjoyed these characters - in true Lessman style, their flaws are authentic and frustrating, leading to both funny and entertaining moments. Allison's feistiness and Nick's irritability make this couple a favourite of mine, their interactions are never dull and take twists you don't anticipate. While I struggled with a few elements and characters in Julie's previous novel, I have no such issues with Dare to Love Again. This book is a winner from start to finish!
This is one of those stories! The type of story that adheres you to its pages, shackling you as its willing captive. The type that invades your thoughts and your heart with its arresting characters, the rousing and invigorating plot, and the faith-building, inspiring voices within. And the type that has you exclaiming upon reaching the end, "Wow, now THAT was an incredible story!"
High-spirited Allison (Alli) McClare is fighting two battles. She desperately wants her independence regardless of the neighbourhood dangers; and after having her heart utterly broken by a money-hungry fraud in the past, she's been in a fight to guard her heart over the last two years. That is, until the handsome yet surly Nick Barone comes into her life and unintentionally into her heart. Nick has some monumental secrets however, so if Allison dares to love again, can she survive yet another heartbreak if these secrets were to unravel?
Dark-haired Nick Barone (must be said with a long â€˜e'!) is a grouchy detective that is holding a massive grudge for the rich socialites of the community. Allison seems to fit into this mold, so when Nick is forced to teach her self-defence and see to her safety that she may have some independence, he is furious! In time, Nick sees that there is much more to this little spit-fire than he originally thought and soon this begrudging relationship, sparks and all, grows into something much more intense. Nick has plenty to overcome for this to work. Will the secrets of this angry and vengeful detective kill their hope and future before it even begins?
This is a not-to-be missed Julie Lessman masterpiece! In this second book of the Heart of San Francisco series, the lively characters we all fell in love with in the first, are right there along with Alli and Nick, providing extra scintillating dialogue and a powerful heartfelt subplot. I'm truly in awe of the author's ability to create not only the most engaging and animated conversations that have razor-sharp wit and discourse so raw and believable, but she also manages to generate romantic tension so passionate and spring-loaded that you're left breathless!
My only grievance with this story was that it came to an end. I wanted more as I wasn't ready to give it up. The good news is - there will be another following. The bad news is - I will have to wait. However this highly recommended story is easily read again in the meantime!
I've seen Julie Lessman's name in Christian fiction circles, but had never read a book by her before Dare to Love Again. If this book is a good representation of her storytelling, I certainly look forward to reading more.
From the very first page, the characters were fun and interesting -- all the way from Allison and Nick to sweet little La-di-da. The romance and plots twists kept the interest level high throughout the story. Historical fiction has recently become one of my favorite genres, and I really enjoyed this first-time look at the Barbary Coast as a setting.
Although this was the second book in a series, I had no problem jumping into the storyline or getting to know the characters. I do look forward, though, to reading more in this series by checking out the previous book.
Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of Dare to Love Again in exchange for my honest review.
Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength.
Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he's a fraud just like all the rest of the men she's cared for. Does she dare love again?
The lushness of the glorious Gilded Age beautifully showcases Lessman's passion as a writer in this engaging love story written with humor and heart. From the glamour of San Francisco's Nob Hill to the seedy gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, Dare to Love Again is a journey to find a love that never fails. Fans will love revisiting the world of the cousins McClare, and new readers will seek more of Julie's passion-filled novels.
I personally enjoyed the romance between hero/heroine a lot. I know I'm a sucker for the typical Christian romance, but the formula works on me every time. In this story, the characters had depth and were interesting people. The plot line had friction between Nick and Allison, and I have to admit that while that seems slightly overused, it really does work in real life. I loved how Lessman wrote all the relationships into her story; none of them were forced, far-fetched, or ridiculous.
The historical value of this novel is priceless. Lessman not only portrays San Francisco in 1903 with flair and accuracy, she brings the city to life. It has never been a particular interest of mine to learn about Chinatown, but the author did such an excellent job of giving me a peek of the past, it genuinely got me interested in learning the history of this magnificent city and it's people. A wonderful story that was well rounded, satisfying, and enjoyable.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.