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.
I haven't read the first book in the Heart of the San Francisco series, but if Love At Any Cost is half as good as Dare To Love Again, I would still consider it a great book. Julie Lessman has developed a storyline in Dare To Love Again that is an exciting and entertaining story of romance, intrigue, deception and forgiveness encompassed in humor and Christian faith.
I loved the characters of Alli and Nick. Alli, "Miss La Di Da" or "Whack 'Em Till They Weep McClare" as Nick likes to call her, is a spitfire that is fiercely independent with a temper to match, yet she's kind, loving and full of a compassion for others that is rooted in her Christian faith. Her "terms of endearment" for Nick are even more humorous than Nick's are for her.
Nick, aka "Mr. Cranky Pants", "Mr. Pinhead", and "Mr. Personality", is grumpy and hard on the exterior. Surprisingly, he reveals a soft spot for the little girls at Ms. Penny's house for orphans and has touching memories of his Gram and his mom and dad. These "softer" qualities give his character a depth that you wouldn't expect and also make you wonder just what his past has been. The mystery of his past plays an important part to the story line and author Julie Lessman executes it perfectly.
All of the characters in this book, the McClares; Jamie, Bram, Meg, Maddie and especially Cait and Uncle Logan (I can't wait to see how the relationship between Cait and Uncle Logan plays out), the McClare's household staff (Hadley and Rosie gave me quite a few chuckles), Nick, the grandmotherly Miss Penny, and the 6 year old orphan Lottie (who has a touching love for Nick), are endearing and add to the enjoyment of reading this book. I can't imagine the book without even one of these characters in it.
I'm extremely glad I had the opportunity to read this book and meet these wonderful people! Dare to Love Again: a great story line + great characters = an overall great book.
Read it. I know you won't be disappointed either.
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Julie Lessman's Dare to Love Again is another home run! The second installment in the McClare family saga, readers get to know Allison McClare better and catch up with the rest of the family as well. Lessman does a beautiful job portraying a contentious relationship between Allison and Nick. They both struggle to overcome past hurts and rebuild their relationships with God. I loved watching the two happen simultaneously! The romance was so sweet too!
The other thing I love about this series is that the entire family is part of the story. I loved being able to continue reading about Jamie and Cassie and the rest of the siblings and am anxious to see if Caitlyn and Uncle Logan will ever find their way to each other! I loved that Lessman centered so much of this book around the McClare's new school in the Barbary Coast, and Miss Penny and the orphans under her care (especially Lottie!) were a nice addition as well.
I'm so looking forward to reading another book in this series and am wondering who will be featured next time. There are so many wonderful possibilities to continue this series!
Fans of historical romance/drama and/or family sagas will enjoy this series. I highly recommend! [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my fair and honest review.
When you pick up a Julie Lessman novel you are guaranteed:
and Romance! Oh, the romance!
Alli McClure has been bit by the romance bug three times and lost, will the fourth time be the charm?
Nick Barone (long e) dislike's the upper crust with a passion. When he and Alli meet sparks fly, or rather her pointer does.
Alli has joined her mother in teaching disadvantaged girls on the Barbary Coast of San Francisco. Nick Barone (long e) is a detective and he is determined to keep the girls and those that work at The Hands of Hope school for girls safe. Alli wants independence and she is going to get it no matter what it takes.
Barone (long e) or as the girls that live at Miss Penny's home call him Mr. Cranky Pants, Alli calls him Mr. Grunt and Garaon.
When Nick is offered the opportunity to teach Alli self defense he reluctantly agrees.The more time he spends with this snarky little teacher, a deep friendship begins to develop, and Nick realizes his heart needs some protecting too.
Along with Alli, and Nick there are returning characters from Love At Any Cost. Cassie, Cait, Uncle Logan, Jamie, Rosie, Mr. Bigley, Hadley, Maddie, and new ones that will melt your heart, like little Lottie who will just steal your heart. When she grabs Nick's face with her little six year old hands and tells him "We're family" you want to just hug her.
True to Julie she weaves a story not only rich in sass and romance, but one rich in godly principals. Seeing Uncle Logan come face to face with what was keeping him from a relationship with Cait McClure was pure God, because no one can change someone's heart but God.
Dare to Love Again is a book that will stay with you long after you close the last page, and then you will want to start the book all over again, because you will have left your heart in San Francisco.
Allie McClare had her heart broken more than once, so she's been in a fight to guard her heart over the last two years. Becoming a teacher in the new Hands of Hope school that she and her mother and cousin have opened for young girls living in the Barbary Coast of San Francisco, Allie desperately strives for independence regardless of the neighbourhood dangers.
Nick Barone is a bitter and grouchy young detective that is holding a massive grudge for the rich socialites of the community. Betrayed by his former debutante fiance' Nick has no patience for the likes of Allie McClare. Not given a choice, Nick is assigned to protect Allie and to teach her self-defence as part of her becoming independent.
When Nick Barone comes into Allie's life and unintentionally into her heart, will Allie dare to love again? Nick carries dark secrets, so if Allison dares to love again, can she survive another heartbreak if these secrets were to unravel?
I loved the humor in this book, but overall this wasn't one of my favorite reads. In the beginning of the book, Alli got on my nerves, her naivete was annoying at times, and I lost interest in the story when the action slowed down about halfway through and I struggled to finish reading it.
I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing, in exchange for my honest review.