I was so excited when I saw this was Katie and Luke's book! I loved their relationship from A Passion Denied and couldn't wait to see where it would go from there. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed in the least!
As always, the writing was superb and Julie really draws you into the story from the first page. This is a book I didn't want to put down!
I love Katie! She's strong willed, stubborn, and doesn't back down from an argument (something I can connect with), but when it matters the most, she'll release her pride and step up. She obviously loves her family, though she often knocks heads with Patrick. She is the O'Connor who doesn't believe in God, it was interesting to see how Julie would weave that into the story. I enjoyed seeing Katie grow up and learn that she doesn't always know best, but rather God does and His plans are always for our good. I also liked seeing her lose a bit of that pride and Miss Know-It-All personality.
I enjoyed how she and Luke meet again (no, I won't spoil it for you), and was laughing for most of it. Then cringing for other parts right along with her. I felt kind of bad for her, but based on some of the things she puts him through, I couldn't help but feel she was getting her dues.
I loved Luke, too! He was the perfect foil for Katie. Just as stubborn and determined as her and I enjoyed seeing him put Katie in her place and remind her what is important. Their sparring was entertaining and it was always interesting to see who would win the argument. He is sweet, loyal, and honorable as well as being the kind of heart-throbbing hero that we have come to expect in a romance novel. I loved his kindness to Betty and Gabe, as well as to Katie.
Gabe (Gabrielle) is a great new edition to the series! She is precocious and the kind of child you just want to hug. I can see why Marcy was so taken with her. I kind of wish Julie would write a book for her, but I think if she did that the series might be unending. As it is, it ends with Steven's book, A Love Surrendered (which I have yet to read), and it should probably stay that way.
As usual, I appreciate having the book come from several different points of view. There is almost a story within a story that follows through each book, and I really like that. It ties them all together.
From the moment Luke and Katie met in A Passion Denied you knew their relationship was going to be a fun one! They butted heads from day one but there was always an underlying of more-and oh boy what a "more" it was!
I absolutely love Luke! He was a scrappy little boy living on the streets who worked hard, never gave up, and became a man who was a champion of those who'd grown up like him. It would be impossible not to love Luke. His determination to do the right thing, his love of kids, his fierce love for those close to him, and his relationship with God, all serve to make him one amazing hero. Of course he does have his faults but he tries so hard to be the man he is supposed to be, and he truly is a man to admire!
As for Katie, she's always been a determined one who doesn't like being told what to do and it was amazing to watch as she let God into her life and really grew up! She goes from being a spoiled little girl to a woman who is willing to do things God's way.
The two of them together cracked me up so much as they constantly baited each other and jokingly bickered. And while I laughed out loud too many times to count this book also made me cry several times! I won't spoil anything but suffice it to say there was a lot of heartbreak in these pages!
And I know I keep saying this but the secondary cast of characters was awesome! Parker with his gentle strength and his friendship, Betty with her caring and friendly heart, Bobbie Sue with her no nonsense ways, and Gabe with her rebellious heart just looking for love! And then of course there are the characters that have been around for awhile, the rest of the O'Conners, the McGuires, Dennehys, Bradys, and Emma.
So even though this book put me through an emotional roller-coaster I loved every minute of it and can't think of this book without a smile on my face!
I liked this book. It kept me guessing all the way through. It was more about real life than some Christian books. And it shows the trouble that can enter your life through sin. That is something that I can relate to in my own life. I am 60 and even though I would have enjoyed it more if I had been younger, I was young once and would recommend this book.
We are reading this book in our book club and I'm surprised that it is getting such a high rating because we all think it's rather racey for a Christian novel. The story line is good but lots of passion, sexual suggestiveness and anger. Not a book I would recommend for teens. We don't think we will be reading any more of her books.
Well to start off, let me say that Julie Lessman is a brilliant writer who has truly mastered the art of Christian romance. I have read almost all her books, and she just keeps getting better and better! This book was no exception!
Personally, I always loved Cluny McGee, and so seeing him transform into a man was nothing short of wonderful! Katie is as spunky as ever, and although we know how it ends, the story takes so many twists and turns that it's impossible to put down.
I would HIGHLY recommend reading the books prior to these, but they are all great stories whether you've read them in order or not. If you haven't read anything by Julie before, allow me to give you a few tips... First of all, I wouldn't give these to a young teen as they tend to be a little on the passionate side! Secondly, do not start her books late at night as they are riveting and impossible to put down and you will lose a significant amount of sleep. They kept me up into the wee hours many a morning... :)
To all lovers of romance, these are NOT to be missed! Well worth every sleepless night!!!