Love at Any Cost, The Heart of San Francisco Series #1
Excellent start to a new series!
When I started Love at Any Cost I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt sure how much I would like it. I had fallen in love with the OÃ¢ÂÂConnors from her other books and didnÃ¢ÂÂt know if I would be able to connect with a new family. I am happy to say that I love the McClares! I canÃ¢ÂÂt wait to read the rest of the series!
Cassie McClare has been burned before and wants nothing to do with another Ã¢ÂÂpretty boyÃ¢ÂÂ as she calls them, so imagine her surprise when one literally sweeps her off her feet when she gets to San Francisco! I loved CassieÃ¢ÂÂs character! She was so sweet, but sassy too. I enjoyed the sparring that went on between Jamie and her, and watching her stand up for herself. She was so determined to keep Jamie at a distance, but he was equally determined to change her mind. My favorite part was when she came to the realization that she didnÃ¢ÂÂt need a man to make her feel loved, because God already loves her.
Jamie McKenna was also a favorite! He was so dogged in his pursuit of Cassie, not taking Ã¢ÂÂnoÃ¢ÂÂ for an answer (which was slightly annoying at times). Everyone thinks of him as a rogue, but as I got to know him, I found he wasnÃ¢ÂÂt that much of one. He was just so sure that he alone had to provide for him family, that he was willing to do anything to make that happen. I loved how sweet he was, especially with Jess, his sister. I quickly fell in love with him too! Jamie had to learn that he does, in fact, need God. I enjoyed seeing him go through a transformation during the story, as this truth finally began to sink in. HeÃ¢ÂÂs one of those characters that you just want to cheer for, when they finally get it!
I also fell in love with all the other characters - Cait, Logan, Allison, Bram, Blake, Maggie, Meg, Rose, Hadley, and Jess! They were all so real and very well rounded, even those that didnÃ¢ÂÂt get much page time. I very much enjoyed the secondary story between Cait and Logan, and I canÃ¢ÂÂt wait to see where that goes in the following books!
As always, JulieÃ¢ÂÂs books are well researched and written and this one is no exception! The descriptions were so vivid, bringing the early 1900s and San Francisco to life! I enjoyed the differing points of view, which I feel really brought the story to life. I canÃ¢ÂÂt wait to read AllisonÃ¢ÂÂs book, Dare to Love Again, which in next in my TBR pile! IÃ¢ÂÂm not sure how it could top this one, though Julie always manages to surpass my every expectation!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a wonderful romance with characters that jump off the pages and into your heart!
March 11, 2014
"JULIE LESSMAN = WRITING PERFECTION !!"
In May 1902, Cassidy McClare - cowgirl, and Texas oil heiress (whose father's oil wells had run dry) - visits her wealthy cousins in San Francisco in hopes of forgetting her heartache over a jilted relationship with a fortune hunter. Although not wanting a relationship with another charming "pretty boy" - she falls in love with family friend, Jamie MacKenna, not realizing he's another fortune hunter, hoping to provide a better life for his mother and sister and the surgery needed by his sister - to heal from an accident for which Jamie feels responsible. Unbeknownst to Jamie, Cassie has even less money than he.
Cassie is a "spit-fire" who had me laughing one minute and crying along with her - the next!! Jamie's family situation tugged at my "heart strings", and even more so when a "bombshell" was dropped - late in the novel. The love/hate romantic relationship between Cassie's Aunt Cait and Cait's deceased husband's brother, Logan - adds "spice" to the story, along with the humor of a talking parrot, a butler with hearing problems, a "crotchedy" cook, and numerous delightful cousins.
"Love at Any Cost" is the first novel in the Heart of San Francisco trilogy by award-winning author, Julie Lessman. It is a departure from Julie's Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change trilogies - a lighter, shorter, less complicated novel, with less romantic and spiritual passion (the trademark for which her novels are known). However - there is more than enough passion to satisfy, the characters are realistic and endearing, the central theme of releasing one's life into God's hands, and trusting Him for the best solutions to life's trials and tribulations - is present, as in all of Julie's novels, and there is the, as always, happy ending. "Love at Any Cost" is a wonderful story of faith, regret, redemption, forgiveness, love, and hope.
I found myself regretful at finishing the reading of "Love at Any Cost", and eagerly anticipating the next novel in the series, "Dare to Love Again"!! Julie's novels always stir my emotions, inspire my faith, speak to my heart with her touching, warm, family settings and realistic characters, and leave me wanting more - she never disappoints!!
March 7, 2014
Great start to a new series!
After adoring the O'Conners I was slightly worried as to how much I would like this new series. I shouldn't have worried though since I ended up loving it! I loved the McClares from the get go and I can tell I'm going to love reading all of their stories!
Cassie was such a fun heroine! I loved her spunk and down to earth ways! I also loved how wow she was sweet and fun when she wanted she could be tough and no nonsense when needed! And another favorite thing about her was how strong her faith was and how she refused to lower her standards! I felt so bad for her with all the pain she went through but I was greatly impressed by how strong she stayed through it all!
Jamie was great too! Though I was a little annoyed with how he wanted to marry rich I did understand where he was coming from since he wasn't thinking just about himself but rather about his mother and sister. I really admired his love and care for his family and how dedicated he was to making a better life for them. I also really liked the fact that he held himself to a pretty high standard when it came to drinking and women. It was really cool to watch as he learned to give God the control and trust in Him rather than doing everything himself.
As I said I loved the rest of the McClares as well, from kind and motherly Caitlyn, to stubborn rogue Uncle Logan, and Cassie's cousins Blake, Allison, Meg, and Maddie. I also really liked Bram (side note: I love that as a nickname for Abraham!) with his quiet faith and his friendship with Jamie. And then there were Hadley, the old butler with the bad hearing, Rosie, the gruff but sweet houskeeper/nanny, and Miss Behave, the parrot that they taught to say funny things, all of whom I loved.
So suffice it to say I thoroughly loved this first book of Julie's new series and I can't wait to read more!
January 20, 2014
Light-hearted feel, but a deep story.
I became a fan of Julie LessmanÃ¢ÂÂs writing earlier this year when I read her Daughters of Boston series and the novella, A Light in the Window. I had heard that Love at Any Cost was a little different than the previous books she had written, a little lighter feel perhaps. I have to agree. But I must say that although Mrs. Lessman has lightened the mood a bit with fun Texas sayings thrown in, this is still a deep story. It is full of interesting characters that I am now completely invested in! I am so happy that Dare to Love Again arrived in my mailbox a few days ago and that I can now begin reading it this week and follow the next stage of this story.
Cassie comes to San Francisco to visit her cousins for the summer. She is escaping a devastating broken engagement and the fact that she was dumped because her familyÃ¢ÂÂs oil empire is crumbling. She is a funny character in one sense, spouting funny Texas colloquialisms, but is also a very hurt young lady.
Jamie is a young man with a heavy weight on his shoulders. He has worked his way up from the slums of the Barbary Coast area and is desperate to help his sister get an operation she needs. He has decided that if he is going to fall in love, it might as well be with a rich young woman. So, can you as a reader feel for a man who is basically a fortune hunter? I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt sure how I would feel about Jamie at first. I was frustrated with his decisions, of course, but the way Mrs. Lessman lets you see inside her characters, I was able to understand where he was coming from.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and at one pivotal point in the book (much to my husbandÃ¢ÂÂs surprise) sat up and yelled, Ã¢ÂÂI knew it!!! I thought this might be a possibility, and I was right!!Ã¢ÂÂ I will say no more, as I donÃ¢ÂÂt like spoilers. I will just stop here and say, Ã¢ÂÂI loved this book!Ã¢ÂÂ (5 stars)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
January 13, 2014