Love at Any Cost, The Heart of San Francisco Series #1
Lasso Up a Great Romance!
If there were a new literary BFF I would want to make, it would Cassidy McClare. The girl not only personifies spunk, but tells down our cocky and almost bad-boy hero, Jamie, with wit and sass. Plus the girl knows how to twirl a lasso and wrangle a steer which takes her up another notch.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a new series, a new setting, a new family of characters and I have to say IÃ¢ÂÂm eager for more books about these spunky and vivacious clan of McClareÃ¢ÂÂs. Romantic sparks and plenty of sassy dialogue fills the pages with more pig-headed descriptions of Jamie McKenna than I knew could be invented in one novel.
I love that we really get deep into the characters in Ã¢ÂÂLove at Any CostÃ¢ÂÂ. ItÃ¢ÂÂs not just a surface knowledge of these characters and sure there are plenty of romantic sparks, but the reader knows what makes them tick. What motivates their decisions. And really, for all intents and purposes, Jamie McKenna should not be a likeable character, and yet I thoroughly every scene he was in and watching him grow and change.
There is a lovely subplot between Cait and Logan and talk about a TWIST in those last hundred pages. This is the second time IÃ¢ÂÂve read the book and it still takes me by surprise. I honestly donÃ¢ÂÂt think readers will see this one coming.
Another one for the keeper shelves!
November 4, 2013
Fun, Flirtatious, & Forever
The first in JulieÃ¢ÂÂs new series delivers plenty of flirtatious fun, but she still carefully misted forever's sweet fragrance throughout this delightful story. Like a beloved girlfriend, kindred spirit Cassie McClare took me through the torrent of emotions with her: betrayal, denial, temptation, surrender, heartbreak, new hope & sweet contentment. Jamie made the perfect bad-pretty boy between his almost begging to be set straight & those knee weakening kisses. Cassie, with a heart as beautiful as her face& form, had everything required to lasso his heart, except cold hard cash. While JamieÃ¢ÂÂs desire for wealth had much to do with providing for his mother &sister, he wasnÃ¢ÂÂt entirely selfless. Besides that, he lacked the one thing Cassie sought above all else Ã¢ÂÂ a heart devoted to God. Why should Jamie worship a God who had been against him from birth? Friends & family give him plenty of reasons while sending up prayer after prayer on his behalf, but would he listen? JulieÃ¢ÂÂs special gift for creating not just a story world but also characters that leap out & steal your heart continues. The twists &turns in this fresh new series kept me gasping with both shock &delight. Every bit as well placed as the ribbons on those oh-so-lovely dresses, Julie wove stunning color, amazing historical details & rich, vibrant faith into CassieÃ¢ÂÂs journey. She also left enough family threads dangling to make me anxious for the next installment while perfectly concluding CassieÃ¢ÂÂs story with a truly sigh-worthy Ã¢ÂÂbeauÃ¢ÂÂ.
September 17, 2013
A well-written story of love and forgiveness
I had heard a great deal about this book from comments on Fred St LaurentÃ¢ÂÂs Book Club Network, then won the book in a blog giveaway.
The characterization in Love at Any Cost is well done. The two main characters, Cassidy and Jamie complement each other with their opposing world views. This sets the stage for JamieÃ¢ÂÂs spiritual growth. Secondary characters round out a loving family to be carried on throughout the series.
I am familiar with the time period, but not the Barbary Coast of San Francisco during that era. I liked the way the author showed compassion for those caught up in the lifestyle there through the thoughts and feelings of her characters.
This book sustained strong themes, such as love of family, forgiveness, the power of love, and the importance of GodÃ¢ÂÂs presence in a relationship. Miss Lessman enhanced the story with humor as well as thought-provoking moments.
I did have a problem with the references to Jamie as a Ã¢ÂÂpretty boy.Ã¢ÂÂ Somehow the use of this description made Jamie an unlikeable character for me, and it took me quite a while to warm up to him as a character even worthy of CassidyÃ¢ÂÂs consideration as a romantic interest.
I had only read one other Julie Lessman book, her debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Even though I enjoyed Love at Any Cost, I felt it lacked the intensity I found so compelling in A Passion Most Pure.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical romance, especially where a character's spiritual journey is well defined.
September 2, 2013
I was sucked into this story from the very start.
I was sucked into this story from the very beginning.
I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway that Julie Lessman held.
Cassidy McClare is broken hearted after the man she was engaged to dumps her. She leaves home to visit her cousins in San Francisco hoping that time and distance will help her heart to heal.
Jamie McKenna has worked hard his whole life to better his station in the world. His chief goal is to give his mother and his crippled sister a safe and secure home and the surgery that his sister needs.
At their first meeting Jamie knocks Cassidy off her feet, quite literally, in the Oakland Pier train station in San Francisco. Cassidy blows up and declares him a Ã¢ÂÂpretty-boy polecat.Ã¢ÂÂ
Their second meeting is when CassidyÃ¢ÂÂs family has a dinner to welcome her to town. It is just for family and a few very close friends. Jamie is one of the close friends as Cassidy finds out at dinner.
They each feel an attraction to the other within a very short time. This sets the stage for a very delightful and comedic story as they try to sort out their feelings for each other and people they have been in relationship with in the past.
The biggest problem they face though is that Cassidy has a deep faith in God. Jamie on the other hand feels that he has no need for God and that God has never done anything for him, his mother, or his sister.
How do you handle the word of God when it says that a believer is not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever? Especially when the man you love doesnÃ¢ÂÂt share your belief?
Julie has crafted an incredible story digging deeply into this problem. Her characters are marvelous and well developed. There are a lot of incredible twists and turns that take place in the story to help them navigate these treacherous waters.
IÃ¢ÂÂm looking forward to the next book in this series. I hope that it will dig deeper into some of the other members of the McClare family that we meet in this book.
July 30, 2013