15 September 2011

Diana's Corner - Review- A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman




Book Review by Diana Flowers


A Hope Undaunted -Winds of Change Series Book 1
by Julie Lessman
Published by Revell
5 stars~ *****

Romance Julie-Style!










I absolutely loved this book! The main character, Katie O'Connor is like so many of us when we start emerging into adulthood - self-centered, self sufficient, and thinks she has the best laid plans for herself! However, Katie has a vulnerable, self-conscious side that stems from her childhood and a certain young rascal named Luke McGee. She feels that the "perfect man" and the "perfect job" will fulfill her and bring her happiness in her life. However, Katie must find out the hard way, that true happiness comes from following God's plans for her life.

Her good looking boyfriend, Jack, has all the makings of a "perfect" husband...he's wealthy, successful, and most of all he adores Katie! Then she is forced to spend the summer with Luke McGee, the childhood "thorn in her side" whom she swore to despise forever. Will she?

I love the way Julie interwove the characters that we loved and missed so much from her previous Daughter's of Boston series. I laughed and I cried throughout this entire book (normally I reserve the tears 'til the very end.) 


Julie Lessman has done it again! I can't wait for the release of her next novel!


Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of one of Julie's books in your choice of format.





62 comments:

  1. DIANA!!! WOW, thank you SOOO much for the great review -- MUCH appreciated, my friend!! And YAY, sooo glad I could pull a few tears and chuckles out of you throughout the book as well as the end -- that's my goal, you know! :)

    I don't know if you and Carrie post your reviews on Amazon.com and CBD.com, but I sure hope so because I would love to see them there!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  2. I also LOVED this book and ALL of Julie Lessman's... can't wait until the next one!

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  3. Oh, anonymous please come back and leave an email...because without a name or an email, you really are anonymous, sweetie! Thank you for your kind words about Julie's books!

    Julie, you can be assured my review of A Heart Revealed will be posted on CBD and Amazon after I read it! My very first reviews that I ever did, this being one of them, are so puny, I'd be embarrassed for you to read them! All 5 stars, though!

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  4. All Julie's book's so far have been great I just received my copy of AHR last week and plan on posting a review for Revell's tour next week. I already own signed copies of Daughters of Boston and have read or own all five books released so far so really don't need any more of her books unless of course it would be a promise of book 6 or a signed copy of AHU or AHR to replace the unsigned ones I already own which I would then give away to someone else.

    Email forest_rose [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  5. JULIE!

    You had to know I'd show up here, dear one!

    Either way - ONE WEEK!!!! I'll have AHR in my hot little hands at ACFW. It'll be the first thing in my basket [if I haven't managed to win it somewhere before then].

    Then will have to have my carpool friend hide it in her room so I won't stay up all night reading... :D

    Can't wait to see you.

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

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  6. Looking forward to reading this one! It's currently on my Kindle! :)

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  7. ANONYMOUS!!! I agree ... get your name in there, girl, for a win, okay? Thank you for your kind comment -- it blesses me HUGE!!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  8. MELISSA!!! Long time, no see, my friend -- hope all is well!! I have a feeling you are realllly going to like AHR because I believe APD was your fav, right, because you relate with Lizzie? Well, just wait till you get into Emma -- you remind me of her in so many ways, so I am anxious to see what you think of her kind, deep spirit. :)

    Good luck in the contest, my friend!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  9. CAROL!!! Yes, only ONE MORE WEEK till I can crush you in a huge hug, my friend!! Get ready!! And, YES, I suggest you hide AHR till you get home or on the way home, okay?? Way TOO much going on at ACFW to compete with that, you know???

    BUT ... maybe you'll win it here first, so you will HAVE to wait for Carrie to send it to you ... :) Good luck, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  10. HOLLY!!! BLESS YOU, my friend, for buying AHR -- I hope it's worth the cost and the wait. So far the reviews have been VERY kind, so I am hoping you will think so too. :) Happy reading and thank you again!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  11. Diana, loved your review...you make me want to read these books...

    joan

    goangaz@aol.com

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  12. I love all of Julie's books, but my favorite thus far is definitely A Hope Undaughted (who knows if it will change once I finish reading "A Heart Revealed"?!). The characters' joys and sorrows were so real and I adored the storyline. Julie's books may not be the typical Christian book for some, but as Christians we know that our faith walk is far from perfect and there are things that each and every one of us struggle with. Julie's books reveal that there is always time and hope whether you are saved or not. Thanks Julie, once again, for allowing us to find hope through your wonderful books. God bless.

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  13. Emma sounds a lot like me so I will be excited to read AHR.
    llmarmalade @ yahoo dot com

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  14. Thanks so much, my dear friend, Joan! I wish you had a Kindle so you could download this one for free (hmmmm...maybe Santa will have one in your stocking this year)!;-) Here's hoping for a win!

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  15. Catia, what a lovely name to go with your lovely comment! I agree with you about Julie's books bringing hope to many...for we are all indeed human, and Julie's characters are just that! Bless you, dear!

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  16. llmarmalade, I think we can all identify with any number of characters in Julie's books. I wish I could say Faith from A Passion Most Pure sounds alot like me, but that would be telling a story. LOL Lots of luck in the giveaway!

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  17. Yes Julie you remember right that APD is my fave because I relate to Lizzie. Partly because she is a bookworm like me. I'm sure you'll hear what I think of Emma since you always check out the reviews and there will definitely be one going up next week for AHR. Yes long time since we've talked. Geralyn mentioned it had been a long time since she'd emailed you too last weekend when I told her I'd gotten my review copy of AHR.

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  18. Am I too late?! You know I want to read this book :) Thanks for the giveaway! I'd write more but I just got home after 10 hrs at the hospital with my in-laws. Tired and hitting the zzz's.

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  19. This is a great book, as are all of Julie's books. I just love the O'Connor family.
    Thanks for having the giveaway.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  20. Oh my, Anne, hospitals are tiring to be sure! I hope everyone's doing well in your family. No, you are not too late as we're having Julie as our special guest the whole week! Thanks, Anne, for coming by...now go get your zzzs!:-)

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  21. Diana I absolutely LOVE this series of Julie's. I cannot wait to read the lastest one. Would be nice to win one! tsmathews61@gmail.com

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  22. This comment is from my sis-in-law who is unable to post a comment:

    I have never had the pleasure of reading a book by Julie Lessman, but I would love to win one! I don't own a Kindle so if I win I would like a paperback version! Thank you for the opportunity!

    ~Barbara Smith

    thatoldgal@gmail.com

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  23. Pam, I'm with you...love the O'Connor family as well and I'm so glad Julie incorporates the whole family in each of her books! Here's hoping for a win!

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  24. Hey, Teresa! Julie is awesome isn't she? Throwing your name in the hat, gf!

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  25. JOAN!!! Then Diana did her job because I DEFINITELY want you to read this book too, so good luck in this contest. And, boy do I have a deal for you!!

    Right now you can actually DOWNLOAD A Hope Undaunted (book 1 in this series) FREE on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook and Sony e-reader.It's only available for a limited time and can be downloaded on PCs, Macs, Droids, i-Phones, i-Pads, etc., so GO FOR IT!!! And if you like my style, then good luck in the contest!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  26. CATIA!!! Whoo-hoo, I'm with you -- my fave is A Hope Undaunted too, so I always get thrilled when a reader agrees with me on that. Is Luke McGee not a total hunk in that book??? HUBBA, HUBBA!! Thank you SO much for your kind words and your encouragement -- means more than I can say. And GOOD LUCK in this contest, my friend. I've been hearing from lots of reader friends that A Heart Revealed is now their new fave, so I'm anxious to see what you think ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  27. LLMARMALADE ... if Emma sounds like you, then you will LOVE this book, I suspect. She is an AMAZING character -- so kind, loving and selfless. My husband LOVES her and says she's the best heroine I have ever written, so I hope you think so too.

    And if you have not read the prior book in this series, A Hope Undaunted, it's now FREE as an e-book on Amazon, CBD, B&N, etc., so go for it, okay?

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  28. MELISSA ... PLEASE tell Geralyn "hey" for me, will you?? Life is just TOO crazy to keep up with everything, isn't it?? Thank God these books come out once a year so you and I can connect, right??
    Anxious to get your take on AHR, my friend ...

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  29. Goodness, ANNE, I hope everything is okay with your in-laws, sweetie. Saying one for them RIGHT NOW, my friend ... and for you too! Get some sleep and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  30. PAM ... ALWAYS great to see you here, my friend and here's to a win in this contest because you are going to LOVE A Heart Revealed, I have a feeling ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  31. TERESA ... THANK YOU, sweetie, for your kind comment -- MUCH appreciated and here's hoping it nets you a win, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  32. I hope all of you night owls will keep right on coming...but for now I'm going to say, "Goodnight Carrie, goodnight Julie, goodnight John Boy, goodnight Elizabeth, goodnight, Mary Ellen...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

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  33. WOW!! I just finished "A Hope Undaunted" and just have to say it again...WOW!! I am so thankful to find a new-to-me author with such a passion for Jesus intertwined in her writing! I was drawn into Katie's zest for life. I have felt like Luke so many times...feeling like I'm never gonna be good enough. I love how Brady is always there for him, showing him the way to Jesus yet again (so thankful for my dear friend who does the same for me!). I laughed, I cried, and prayed right along with the characters! I will most definitely be finding the first three books to read about the older O'Conner women and I hope to win so I can ask for the newest, "A Heart Revealed". Thank you for the giveaway andthe chance to win! Julie, thank you for writing your heart!

    Blessings,
    Kelly Y in Virginia
    kelly*at*dkcountryarts*dot*com

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  34. Kelly, what a wonderful "review" of AHU! Julie will be very pleased, I'm sure! You will LOVE the Daughters of Boston Series...now you will be able to read one right after another, which at the time, I had to wait a year.:( Thank you so much for your lovely comment and hoping for a win for you, friend!

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  35. LOL, DIANA ... I was swept back in time to Walton Mountain, girlfriend, and I sure didn't think you were old enough to even remember that ... must be the reruns on the TV channel! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  36. Um, yes, the OTT team can remember The Waltons. Not reruns, the original LOL. Miss Diana is (gasp!) a grandmother. Who looks about 30 in person!

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  37. KELLY!!!! What a GREAT comment to wake up to, my friend -- BLESS YOU!! The passion in my books is escalated, yes, but SO is the passion for God and the spiritual themes, so I am blessed they ministered to you. Trust me ... God blessed me through them when I LIVED them, and it's good to hear He can bless you through them when I write them in a fictional format.

    And THANK YOU for considering buying The Daughters of Boston series -- I know you can buy them cheaper in triplicate on CBD.com. And if you do purchase them, PLEASE start with book 1, A Passion Most Pure, which won American Christian Fiction Writers Debut Book of the Year (can you tell I'm VERY proud of that???) because it really lays the groundwork for this very passionate family. My only regret is that there are two big surprises in APMP that you obviously already know, but no biggie.

    Thanks again, Kelly, for your kind comment -- it is actually more of a blessing than you know.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  38. Carrie, you and Julie, gave me quite a little chuckle this morning. Julie, I can assure you I watched the real deal and realized just how old I really am when Mary Ellen got married and had a child. Yikes! I look 30, Carrie? Must have been because of the dark, cloudy day we met...you couldn't see all the wrinkles. LOL!

    I really appreciate all the encouraging comments to Julie and the time that people took out of their busy schedules to come over and visit. Julie is a wonderful author, and works very hard and deserves every word of encouragement and praise she gets, and we know God gets the ultimate praise for blessing her with the talent she has and the willingness she has to share that with us! God bless you, Julie Lessman, and thank you for blessing us with such spiritual, wonderful, fun books that take us away from it all for awhile!

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  39. I also wanted to add that I will be reading A Heart Revealed on Kindle. And that when when I have to clean house or iron (YUK), or even put my makeup on, I can have the Kindle read to me! I mean how can cleaning the house be boring listening to a Julie Lessman story? Sooo love my Kindle!

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  40. I'll be sure and tell Geralyn you send your greetings when I talk to her next time Julie. Might be a couple weeks even though we only live an hour apart since she is busy as usual. I'll have to get around to sending you an email with the news from the two of us soon. And yes it's nice the books come out every so often so we have a chance to "reconnect".

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  41. Aw, Diana, thank you for your kind words, my friend -- they brought tears to my eyes, admittedly not a hard thing to do to this CDQ, but I am blessed nonetheless by both your words and your precious friendship.

    And, OH, how fun!! I had heard that Kindle had a speaker to read the book to you, which is SO cool!! Gosh, I'd love to hear what that sounds like. Can you pick the voice (i.e. a man or a woman??).

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  42. Aw, you're welcome, Julie, payback time for all the tears I have shed reading your books. haha I am so truly blessed by your friendship as well.

    And yes!!! You can pick a male or female voice, and pick the rate of speech...faster or slower. So cool!!...and sure takes the dreariness out of housework!

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  43. A Hope Undaunted was super, I am just now reading A Hear Revealed. I have bought all of the books and I have read them two to three times. Your books are just super Julie, keep up the good work.

    September 16, 2011

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  44. Anonymous, thank you for your kind comment! Wow, two or three times...and Julie's books are thick! You ARE a true fan! I have read all of Julie's books as well, but only one time apiece. LOL You are one up on me though, as I haven't started AHR yet. Have a couple to read for reviews before I can get started on it. Thanks for visiting with us on OTT and come back often!

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  45. Sounds like one of those books that you just can't put down! Would love to win! :) ncmom@att.net

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  46. O.K....can you smell the rubber burning as I screech in here for my chance at this great story? (Hi Julie! :)

    As far as Ms. Anon. said in last comment--Julie's books are impossible to put down--ask me, I know!

    Great review, Carrie! O.K., back to getting ready for the weekend, and more visitors....blessings to you both, ladies!

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  47. Hey, my pretty niece! Cathy, if you have never read any of Julie's books, A Passion Most Pure is the first book, which will introduce you to Faith, her sisters, and the whole family. Each book has the whole family in it, but centers on one character in the family. You can read A Hope Undaunted alone without reading the others, but so much better to start at the beginning! I loved them all!

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  48. Hey, Pat! You made it just in time, lady. Just kidding! haha Have a great time with your visitors and thanks for swinging by! Wishing you luck in the giveaway!

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  49. Oh-h-h Diana--am so sorry; read the review then saw that it was posted by Carrie; scrolled down to the review like a mad woman and automatically attributed it to her--my apologies! Thanks for doing the review though. They're much more difficult than an interview.
    Well, have a lovely evening anyway! :)

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  50. Pat, it's ok, honestly! I'd like to give the credit for this review to Carrie, but I don't think she would take it! LOL! It was one of the first, if not THE first review I ever did and it's rather puny! haha But I meant every word of it, and that's what's important...that and the 5 stars!:-) Thanks, Pat!

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  51. I just finished this book too and LOVED it! Such an exciting and engaging read. Love your style Julie, looking forward to reading more!

    helenblogspot[at]gmail[dot]com

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  52. DIANA SAID: "payback time for all the tears I have shed reading your books."

    LOL!!! Well then, I guess I do deserve to cry, don't I? I seem to elicit a lot of emotion out of some people with my books -- I can't tell you how many people have written me to say they threw or almost thew my book across the room!! :) What can I say, I'm a CDQ who likes angst, drama and PASSION in everything I do ... ESPECIALLY in writing my books! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  53. Good morning, Helen! I couldn't have said it any better myself! Throwing your "name in the hat" for a win, my friend!

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  54. ANONYMOUS!!! Thank you SO much, my friend, not only for your kind words, but for reading my books over and over -- VERY COOL!! My fave is A Hope Undaunted, but I honestly love them all because bottom line? I write what I want to read, so I reread them, too, every year before the next one comes out ... :) Why not? To me, they're family!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  55. NCMOM(at)ATT(dot)NET!!! Thanks for coming by, and if you would like to read one of my books FREE to see if you like my style, right now you can actually DOWNLOAD A Hope Undaunted (book 1 in this series) FREE on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook and Sony e-reader.It's only available for a limited time and can be downloaded on PCs, Macs, Droids, i-Phones, i-Pads, etc., so GO FOR IT!!! And good luck in the contest!!

    Oh, and I want to alert you to something, my friend -- when you leave your e-mail address, PLEASE leave it like I did in beginning of this comment because spammers will find your e-mail the way you wrote it, and you don't want that, okay?

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  56. PAT!!! LOL ... yes, I CAN smell the rubber burning, sweetie, and you sound like you're on the same fast track as me, so thanks for taking the time to come by. After spending a week with you, girl, I actually miss you -- isn't that weird???

    Are you going to be at ACFW by chance??

    Thanks again for VERY kind words -- you are a doll!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  57. DIANA ... honey, do NOT put this down review down in any way, first review or not -- I LOVED IT!!! Anytime a reviewer tells me they "laughed and cried," it puts a big smile on my face, so THANK YOU!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  58. WHOO-HOO, HELEN!!! That's what I like to see -- the word "LOVED" all in caps!!! :)

    Soooo thrilled you enjoyed it, my friend, and I'm looking forward to you reading more, too, so here's to a win! Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  59. Diana - thanks and good morning to you too ... err, well ... good night for me actually! Hope you all have a lovely Saturday :) Mine is over now lol.

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  60. Julie - I will be writing and posting a review next week, I'll let you know when it's up :) I'm so itching to read the three earlier books now! And of course the new one!

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  61. HELEN ... Yeah, you're one of my Aussie friends that I love!! Thanks for stopping by before heading off to bed, and good luck in the contest, sweetie.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  62. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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