After reading A Passion Most Pure and A Passion Redeemed I was very excited to read this book! I loved Brady, from Collin and Faith's book, and Beth (who now goes by Lizzie) was so sweet. It's fun to see her all grown up and learning what it means to be an adult.
Lizzie has loved Brady almost since she met him. For her teen years he was her spiritual mentor, someone she looked up to, and idolized. He was her "ideal" man and she fancied herself in love with him, especially after reading Jane Austen's books about "true love." The question is: what are you supposed to do when the man you love, won't love you back? But Lizzie doesn't let this hold her back, instead she does her best to change his mind.
Brady is determined to remain a bachelor all his life and refuses to even consider a relationship with anyone, much less his "little sister" as he still sees Lizzie. He even still calls her "Beth," which drives her crazy. He tries to continue mentoring her, but finds his affections changing and can't allow that.
I loved having Collin, Faith, Charity and Mitch back, continuing their stories, even as we read Lizzie's. Collin's point of view adds depth and understanding to Brady. We see him through the eyes of his best friend. I also love the new character added, Cluny. He was so cute!
My only complaint is that it sometimes seemed a little repetitious at times. Brady and Lizzie seemed to have the same argument every couple chapters for the first little while. Then they would move on, but would occasionally revisit that disagreement, again.
Watching Brady overcome his fear and guilt, may have been my favorite part. I was rooting for him all the way and kept wanting to slap him when he would backslide or push Lizzie away. He, like Charity and Mitch, had to learn what it means to be redeemed by God. Brady continued to punish himself, even though God had forgiven him. I wanted to jump and yell "yes!" when he finally got it! You know it's a great book when the characters can bring out such strong emotions in you!
I also really enjoyed watching Lizzie grow and come to understand what true love is. It's loving someone no matter what. Her love for Brady had boundaries and when he disappointed her, she had to accept that he would hurt her sometimes. It wouldn't be intentional, but he's human. She had forgotten that God loves us endlessly and His forgiveness is infinite. He requires the same of us, that we love with His love and always forgive.
The ending was great! I love how Julie brought it all together in the end!
While this is the last book in the Daughters of Boston series, it is not the last of the O'Connors! If you loved these books, then you will also love Julie's Winds of Change series, where we pick up the O'Connors story again.
"A Passion Denied" is the story of Elizabeth O'Connor, and her quest for the love of John Brady, whose secrets from a painful past threaten to destroy a friendship, keep him from loving her - and kept this reader on the edge of her seat!!
"A Passion Denied" - set in 1922 Boston - is third in the Daughters of Boston trilogy, by award-winning author Julie Lessman, and is followed by the Winds of Change trilogy - each book, a story of a member of the O'Connor family.
Julie Lessman pulls "all her guns" out in this story of romance, family, true love, betrayal, guilt, deceit, forgiveness, and redemption. She is a master at unexpected story "twists-and-turns", description, realistic characters with whom you hate to part, passion and angst, emotion that has you laughing one minute and crying the next, and happy endings.
A love for God and following His will for one's life is a central theme in Julie's books. Each book I read becomes my "new" favorite, and leaves me with sadness that the book has ended, joyful anticipation for the next one, and a spiritual warmth.
Ok I'm pretty sure this is my favorite book in this series! From the first time we met Elizabeth O'Conner in A Passion Most Pure I knew I was going to love her since I could identify with her shy quietness and her love of books. And I also loved Brady as soon as he came on the scene being Collin's friend and helping lead Him to God. So needless to say I could not wait to see how their story would play out!
I think one of my favorite things about this book was the fact that both Brady and Lizzie had a passion for God from the beginning and they both strove to honor Him with all that they did. I loved how close Brady's relationship with God was, how he lived it out all the time, and how he seemed to be constantly drawing others to Him. Brady is just one of the very best heroes ever written and I actually cried when he thought he had done something awful when he was younger because he was just that close to God that the thought of his sin crushed him. Ok I better stop but I really could go on about Brady for quite awhile!
Lizzie, she is so innocent, sweet, and kind that you really just can't help loving her. My heart broke for her as she dealt with rejection from Brady and then the pain of some truly awful discoveries. But through it all she still remained the Lizzie we knew and loved with a few moments of Irish temper thrown in.
Once again the secondary cast of characters was amazing! I loved Father Mac and his unique ability to mix being a priest and a friend. And Cluny McGee was such fun especially with knowing how he was going to grow up! And of course the O'Conners, McGuires, and Dennehys were fantastic!
Like Julie Lessman books often do this book made me cry at some points and at others left me with a huge grin splitting my face! So in short it was simply amazing!
A Passion Denied, the final book in the Daughters of Boston trilogy, is full of angst, misunderstandings, passion, love, and so much more! The main story revolves around Beth, who now goes by Lizzie, and the man she has loved since she was thirteen, John Brady. Beth has built John up in her mind to be a prince charming. While it is true that John is a man devoted to God, he has been too scared and ashamed to tell anyone about his past. This hinders any possible relationship that he could develop with Lizzie and opens the door to his twin brother Michael and his attempts to woo Lizzie for himself.
There is also an extremely interesting side story concerning Lizzie's parents, Marcy and Patrick. We learn some interesting details about their beginnings. Although painful truths are learned that have the ability to tear apart a long-standing marriage, I found myself intrigued with this storyline and felt it was very well done.
I must admit that John and Lizzie's story frustrated me a bit, but I feel it was mostly because I was impatient to know the full truth of John's past. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author wrapped this story up at the end of the book, as well. Another well-written story.
It's rare to find an author who can consistently deliver great books, and so when you find them, you try to read everything under the sun that they've written. Julie Lessman is one of my new favorites and so I'm cruising my way through all of her books. I enjoyed this one, probably not my very favorite so far, but still definitely worth the read! Lizzie and John's story was a little frustrating for me since it took them awhile to put aside their pride and get anywhere, but the plot took some unexpected twists at the end and I was certainly engaged throughout the whole book.
Julie is a fantastic writer and I highly recommend her books although, I'd not encourage young teens to read them as the married couples are quite passionate and Julie is a master at showing desire in couples. It is Christian fiction, but still, there is a time and place for everything...