13 November 2014

Diana Reviews Surprised By Love by Julie Lessman

Revell, Oct. 21, 2014

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
~5 stars~*****
(No spoilers!)

A Breathtaking Read!
In Surprised by Love, author Julie Lessman has once again crafted a dramatic, breathtaking read -- that takes the reader on an exhilarating journey with as many twists and turns as the streets of San Francisco, in which the story is set.


Megan McClare has returned to her majestic home on Nob Hill after studying in Paris for a year. Gone is the shy, overweight wallflower with glasses, and no one is more surprised at the confident beauty standing before him than Megan's best friend, Bram Hughes. Gone is the little girl whose tears he had dried many times when she was mercilessly mocked, especially by her childhood crush and classmate, Devin Caldwell. When Devin reenters Meg's life, contrite and repentant, Bram encourages her to give Devin another chance, confused by his not so "brotherly" feelings towards "Bug" as he had affectionately dubbed her as a child. But will he be able to walk away from "his" Bug, and leave her in the arms of another...? 


To say this book is amazing is truly an understatement! In my opinion, this is Julie Lessman's best novel yet and I have read them all. Included is another angst-filled romance between Meg's mother, Cait, and her Uncle Logan, guaranteed to tear your heart out and and leave you reaching for the tissues. The romantic tension is so palatable and thick you can cut it with a knife! Such exquisite torture... (sigh) I have never stopped  reading a book and put it down because of tears and goose bumps until now...so overcome was I by a couple of shocking twists near the conclusion!! I think my hubby thought I had lost my marbles! I will miss the wonderful McClare family -- their joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures, humorous jabs and sarcastic quips, and most of all -- their faith.

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Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookstore. 

GIVEAWAY: We have a giveaway with each review of Julie's book this week! International winners - ebook only.

52 comments:

  1. What an incredible journey that Julie Lessman took us on with Surprised by Love!! I'm sorely going to miss this family also DIANA, but I am keen to also see where we're taken next! :-) Absolutely beautiful review as usual Diana!!

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    1. Thank you, NOELA! Maybe JULIE will give us a little update on what she has coming up in the future! Like you, I can't wait!

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  2. "I think my hubby thought I had lost my marbles!"

    DIANA!!!!

    I laughed OUT LOUD at the statement above, which made MY hubby think I'd lost mine too!! You are SO adorable and SO fun -- thank you for this FABULOUS review, my friend. Honestly, I don't know ANYONE'S reviews that outshine the ladies of OWG, which is why it's always such a pleasure to read them ... ahem ... especially about my books!! ;) I swear we are ALL peas in a pod in our reading tastes, so if one of you ladies puts the stamp of approval on a book, I'm pretty much guaranteed a great read!

    As far as where I am going next, you might be surprised to learn that my next published piece will be a novella bout Blake "The Rake" McClare in the Seekers's spring novella collection. I will admit, I never even considered writing Blake's story until a number of readers have written to ask me to, which kind of shocks me since Blake is SUCH a player and bad boy. But apparently he stole a few hearts along the way with his sense of humor and love for family, so he will get his day in the sun, albeit a short one. :)

    Thanks again, Diana, for your lovely review and ongoing support. I still have you on my prayer "hit list" for recovery, so give me an update, okay?

    Hugs and more hugs!!
    Julie

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    1. Thx so much, JULIE! LOL! He looked at me as though I had, but how could he possibly understand the trauma and duress I had been under!? haha

      On behalf of all of our "team" here, thank you for your kind words. I'm so blessed to be working with such talented, fine ladies here on OWG! I can't wait to read Blake's story. Yeah! But are you SURE you can write a novella length book? Lol Thx so much for the prayers, JULIE, and will keep you posted. HUGS back atcha!

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    2. Speaking of novellas, JULIE, I can't wait to read your Christmas novella, A WHISPER OF HOPE! It's only $2.99 in the Hope for the Holidays Historical Collection everyone!

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    3. LOL ... did you reallly just tweak me about not being able to write a novella length book???? I'll have you know I only had to cut 5,000 words from A Whisper of Hope, so I'm getting better.

      Although A Light in the Window started out as a novella and ended up 115,000 words. Sigh.

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    4. Sorry, JULIE, I couldn't resist! ;) And hey, I don't want you to get better -- I LOVE your looong books. It takes a lot of pages to work out all those angst-filled scenes. :P And speaking of A Light in the Window, that is one of my fave Christmas stories ever and I encourage everyone to read that this winter! You will love it!! And I'm glad it was longer than a novella! :)

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    5. YAY! Can't wait to read this novella about Blake, Julie!

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  3. I finally read my first Julie Lessman book last week and really did enjoy it. I'm just sorry it took me so long to bring one to the top of my TBR pile/list and I'm looking forward to reading some more of her books.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. WENDY, now you have to read them all! I absolutely love JULIE'S flair for the dramatic and her knack for creating romantic tension!

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  4. Beautiful review, Diana! Julie always has me sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering what will happen next with her beloved characters. They do feel like family after a while. I'm sad that this is the last of the McClare series, but I'm excited about what Julie has in store for us next! Thank you for featuring Julie and thank you for the opportunity to enter the drawing! Hugs! :)

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    1. TY, ANGI! This one is the best of the best (IMO) of Julie's! But I think she called my attention to the fact that I say that about all of them! lol It was bittersweet saying "goodbye." Good luck!

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  5. Great review Diana.
    Congratulations on your book Julie! It sounds wonderful, will have to read it soon. Your books always keep me up way into the night to "read just one more chapter".
    Blessings, Tina
    tfrice(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Me too, TINA! lol This one especially! Thx so much!

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  6. Beautiful review, Diana - thank you!!

    I'm loving reading the online comments re: "Surprised by Love"!! The consensus seems to be that this is the best of the McClare trilogy and one of Julie's best - I wholeheartedly agree, such a beautiful ending to this series!!

    Julie has a writing style all her own which touches me in a way that no other's fiction does, that passion "gets" me every time - making her one of my very fave authors!! The fact that the inspiration in the books are a reflection of her own life only draws me closer to them and her!!

    I'm thrilled that she's writing novellas about some of her past characters (and will be writing future full-length books about them, also) - as I always have a problem letting her characters "go" at the end of a series - yet, always joyful

    When I start reading a new publication by Julie, I always know I'm embarking on a journey full of laughs, tears, passion, angst, life-like characters, unexpected "twists and turns", beautiful story lines, a happy ending, forgiveness, warm-cozy families, redemption, lessons learned and inspiration galore that ALWAYS glorifies/praises God and points to Him as the ultimate director of one's life - the reasons I read her books!!

    Shared post!!

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    1. P.S. Please excuse my brain fog - have been under the weather for over a week with a virus. Part of the third paragraph is missing - the ending should read: yet, always joyfully anticipate the release of her new books/families, knowing I will become just as attached to the new characters.

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    2. You wrote that lovely post with brain fog!? I agree with every word, BONNIE, and I wish I had let you write my review for me! (wink) You have such a way with words, and speaking of brain fog please do pray for me everyone. I was under anesthesia for 4 hours during surgery and am suffering from brain fog terribly. And I wrote this review under the influence of that, so I can identify, BONNIE!

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  7. I finished this book today, I absolutely loved it! Great review! Also, hope to hear that that she is working on another book in this series!

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    1. Thank you, JESSICA! I'm so glad we don't have to let go of the McClare family just yet! :)

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  8. You're ALWAYS in my prayers, dear Diana!!

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    1. Thank you, BONNIE! You're so sweet. One of these days God is going to pour out all the answers to everyone's prayers for me!

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  9. I can't wait to see where Julie leads us, through her characters, this time! Them folks either make me fume, laugh, croak or fall in love...every time! Julie has her own little city playing in her head, and I enjoy visiting there...

    missionwife at hotmail dot com

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    1. Haha, MELODY! I love that! Julie's head must be very busy without a doubt! hehe

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  10. I never get enough of Julie books....can't wait to read this one! A novella about Blake....wow, that will be a fantastic read! Keep up the great writing, dear Julie! Thanks to you ladies for this review!! Still praying for you, Diana!
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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    1. JACKIE, bless you and thank you. You will adore this book! <3

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  11. can't wait to read Julie's new book. Hope I win a copy

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    1. DAWNELLE, welcome to OWG! You have such a lovely name...quite fitting for a character in a book. :) Tossing your name in my cyber-hat!

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  12. That is very high praise for you to say Surprised by Love is Julie's best book yet. I think all of her books are great so I'm really looking forward to reading this book if it's even better than the others. Julie keeps setting a high bar for herself but doesn't disappoint this reader. I'd love to win, so thanks for the review and the chance.

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    1. They are all wonderful, PAM, but ooh, the plot twists and angst in this one is guaranteed to leave your emotions running the gamut! I love an unpredictable read, and this is truly one of the best. I hope you'll love it as much as I did!

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  13. This will be completely off topic (not sure what I am supposed to comment on as far as topic goes) but I really hate having to comment as Anonymous. I do not belong to any of the options mentioned and would really like a "log in with facebook" option to whatever program it is that utilizes this. Oh and because I am Anonymous, my real name is Jennifer Davis.I also love Julie's books and as I have stated in every contest for a chance to "win" a book. I only need 3 of her books left and I have everything she wrote to date. Please pick me! My email is moseylion@aol.com

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    1. Hi, JENNIFER! Oh don't you just dislike that "anonymous?" I was that myself until I opened a Google account just for the purpose of being able to comment on different blogs. It's fast and easy, so that might be something to consider. But you're never anonymous to us here at OWG and we love having you. I don't know of any blogs that will let you comment with fb, but there may be some...I'm not sure. Hoping you get those 3 books!

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  14. Lovely review, Diana! Looking forward to getting a copy of this one soon! Or winning one! :)

    Writer_weaverATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Hi, ANNA! And thank you! Keep those fingers crossed! ;)

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  15. I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    Nancycooks4u(at)gmail(dot)

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    1. You're so welcome, NANCY! Thx so much for coming by! :)

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    2. NANCY, you won't have too long of a wait! You are our second winner of one of Julie's books! Congrats! :)

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  16. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! The more I read about it, the more my appetite is whetted for the real deal.
    pinkbonnie93(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. DANA, you will LOVE the real deal! Be sure to put this one at the top of your wishlist, and lotsa luck in the drawing!

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  17. To say that you have me dying to get this book is an understatement!!! All the reviews are making me want it more and more!!! Ssoooooo have my fingers crossed for this! Thank you again for the winderful blog! Love ya!

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    1. You have me LOL, CHRISTINA! Maybe random number.org will sense your desperation and pick you! lol You're too cute. Love ya back, gf!

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    1. Thank you, DEBBIE, and good luck in the drawing!

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  19. I love Julie's books. I can't wait to get this one.

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    1. I believe you will be delighted with this one, CONNIE! God bless!~

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  20. with a review like this: with tears and goose bumps - has to go on my TBR list :)
    dkstevensne AT outlook dot COM

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    1. DEANNA, do put this one at the top of your TBR list. You won't regret it! :)

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  21. Now I want to read this book. Thanks for the great review.
    Tonja
    Tissakay at aol dot com

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    1. Thank YOU, TONJA! I hope you get the chance to read this one soon -- I know you'll enjoy it! :)

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  22. I can't wait to read Surprised By Love, it sounds wonderfully romantic and sassy!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. Ohhh, MERRY! You have got a surprise in store for you! Hope you get a copy ASAP, dear friend!

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  23. Thank you for sharing your review with us, Diana! This is one book that I have been looking forward to reading. ~ Blessings, Juli emeraldelena@hotmail.com

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    1. JULIANNA, your name should be used in a book...it's so lovely! You're very welcome and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did! :)

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