11 November 2014

Noela Nancarrow reviews SURPRISED BY LOVE by Julie Lessman

Surprised by Love

Revell (October 21, 2014)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

Simply Sensational!

Truthfully, I was already smiling before I’d opened this book. The prospect of beginning another book by Julie Lessman already guaranteed sky-scraping levels of enjoyment and entertainment, but even so I was honestly unprepared to be so stunned by the soaring standard of the inspired prose, the irresistible, wise-cracking and affectionate characters within, and the enrapturing story-line that this book delivered!

Taunted and teased relentlessly as a young girl owing to her braces, glasses and weight issues, Megan McClare has arrived back after a year in Paris, totally transformed in looks and in confidence. She now mirrors her shining inner beauty, triggering fast-pulses and sweaty palms amongst the eligible men in her hometown of San Francisco. One of those men is her life-long hero, friend, and protector, Bram Hughes. Ten years her senior, his affectionately named ‘Bug’ is now a beautiful young woman stirring feelings within; someone he once only ever thought of as a little sister. In fighting the attraction, he encourages her forgiveness and friendship with Devlin, her handsome work colleague who at one time was her fiercest tormentor. But can Bram’s heart withstand seeing his ‘Bug’ with someone else?

We’re indulged with not only one, but two agonizing and breathtaking romances in this final book of The Hearts of San Francisco series. Megan’s mother, the widowed Caitlyn McClare and her brother-in-law, the esteemed lawyer Logan McClare, are deeply in love but have a barrier of broken trust between them. This equally endearing couple find their relationship traversing new heights and depths. Their emotions, together with those of Megan and Bram (and my own!), rose and fell like the cable cars over the hills of their bustling city, and leaving you as jolted as the lurching cars!

‘Surprised by Love’ is a fascinating journey into 1904 through the eyes and hearts of the prominent, wealthy, and philanthropic family of the McClare’s. A bygone era when families ate, laughed, and played together; makes you wish you could turn back time. Julie Lessman captures those deep bonds of family love and loyalty with affection for her characters that spill over from the pages and into your heart. Expect to drench a few tissues but anticipate even more smiles and chuckles. The hidden jewel in this novel however, were the sage words and inspirational, spiritual lessons covering real-life issues such as dealing with fear, low self-esteem, pride, and forgiveness. Rippling with passions, romance, drama, and evolving faith, this exquisite novel has already topped my list of favorites for the year! 

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


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

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73 comments:

  1. Surprised by Love! Perhaps my favorite of this series. I could not put it down. I just finished one all-nighter read, had breakfast, and enjoyed a snowy day read of this book. I hope Blake's story will be written to continue this series!
    Great review, Noela!
    Fingers crossed for a win.
    Debbie

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    1. I think I might have to agree with you on that DEBBIE, this one just about blew off my socks off! (Had I been wearing any, lol!) Absolutely loved it!! Thanks for coming by Debbie, blessings to you!

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    2. HEY, DEB ... BLAKE'S STORY COMING IN A SPRING NOVELLA IN ANOTHER SEEKER COLLECTION!!! ;)

      THANKS, SWEETIE, FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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  2. I'm sure that it will be a wonderful book because all of Julie's books are just great! I haven't had the opportunity to read this book and would love to win a copy.
    Battles2001@hotmail.com

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    1. Oh you're gonna love this one MELISSA!! ;) Your names in the hat so to speak, so here's hoping!

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    2. THANKS, MELISSA ... GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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  3. OH. MY. GOODNESS!! That is possibly one of THE BEST reviews I have read on ANYONE'S book, much less mine. WOW, Noela, not only did you blow me away with your incredible praise for SBL, but the words you used to do it as well!

    "Their emotions, together with those of Megan and Bram (and my own!), rose and fell like the cable cars over the hills of their bustling city, and leaving you as jolted as the lurching cars! "

    Oh, honey, can you write a review or WHAT???? That's one of the first lessons of good writing -- to incorporate description that reflects the actual book. MASTERFUL!!

    Thank you SO much, Noela, for ALWAYS putting a smile on MY face!!

    Hugs and more hugs!!
    Julie

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    1. Ditto on putting a smile on the face lol, that's like one of the best comments ever!! :-) So blessed you enjoyed the review because Julie, it was such a joy to read this incredible story and therefore a blessing to let everyone know how incredible it was!! Much love and hugs back!!

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  4. What a wonderful review. This looks like a wonderful book. I have enjoyed Julie's previous books. Thank you for sharing.
    eppersonkatrina(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you KATRINA! Katrina as you've enjoyed Julie's previous books, you know exactly what a talented author this lady is, but even so... This story will blow you away!! ;)

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  5. I agree with JULIE! You have an awesome way with words, NOELA, and certainly did this spectacular book justice with them! What a fabulous read this was, indeed!

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    1. Absolutely fabulous, DIANA! As I was a little ahead of you in reading Surprised by Love, I LOVED hearing about your reactions as they were so similar to mine!! *Cough*... We have such good taste don't we?!! lol Thanks for the sweet words too!

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  6. Great review, Noela! I love Julie's books and this one sounds wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway. :) writer_weaverATyahooDOTcom

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    1. It sure is wonderful, ANNA! Thanks so much for coming by OWG to read about it! God Bless you!!

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  7. I absolutely love Julie's books! Can't wait to read this one. Nancycooks4u(at)gmail(dot) com

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    1. Right there with you in loving Julie's books, NANCY! And knowing how good this one is, I can't wait for you to read it either!! ;)

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  8. I always love reading your beautiful reviews, Noela!! Thank you!!

    And - I wholeheartedly agree with every wonderful statement you made about Julie and her writing. Just as with you, I'm forever smiling at the mention of a new book from her as I know before even opening it - that warm family coziness, beautifully inspiring story line and realistic characters will steal my heart and give me fond reading memories to embrace and revisit.

    Julie truly is one of the few authors whose writing for which I can never find enough accolades!! "Surprised by Love" is such a beautiful ending for the series and I can't wait for Julie's new contemporary series. I'm touched and inspired that she, herself, is even more sweet and inspiring than her books!!

    Shared post!!

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    1. Thank YOU for your kind words BONNIE. :-) It's always easy and a blessing too I might add, to write about such wonderful books that have touched me so deeply. And to top it off, as you say, Julie truly is one of the sweetest and most encouraging people around!!

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  9. I would love to win one of Julie's books. Julie, I finally read "A Light In the Window" and really enjoyed it. I promise I will read the rest in the series!

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. You have so much to look forward to WENDY!! :) Blessings to you!

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  10. Thanks, Noella......Julie is my favorite girl......love her and her books! I can't wait to read this one, and several of you said it is the best......wow, THAT is exciting! Thanks for the giveaway.
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh yeah JACKIE, you are gonna LOVE it!! ;) Absolutely loved each book in this series, but there was something about this one that gave it a double wow factor! Blessings!

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  11. I haven't read any of this series but I'm willing to start at the end and work my way back!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. Well my advice sweet lady, would be if you won this book to hold tight onto it until you picked up the other two! ;) I think it would be like getting to eat the whole cake so to speak, lol. Sooo hoping you get to read this incredible series MELODY!! God bless!

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  12. what a great review~ it certainly has me wanting to read it.. AND the cover is stunning :)

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    1. Thanks and YES, how beautiful is that cover!! That stunning girl also truly fits the story... I don't know how they manage to do that so well sometimes but it sure worked amazingly in this one! :)

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  13. Adore all of Julie's Books...Would Love to win...Thank You :-)

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    1. You're a girl after our heart SANDRA! We all on the OWG blog absolutely love Julie Lessman and her books also!

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  14. Noela! What an awesome review! My goodness, your descriptions of the book are fantastic. I think you need to give some thought to writing yourself. ;) Love, love, love Julie's books and I've heard so many wonderful things about SBL. I can't wait to read it! (Of course all of Julie's books are good!) I'm excited about Meg and Bram's story, but honestly, I'm chomping at the bit to read more on Cait and Logan's story! Hoping to get my hands on it soon! Thank you for the opportunity to enter the drawing! Hugs!

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    1. Haha thanks sweet ANGI!! Yes you definitely need to read this one asap, and you are going to love Cait and Logan's story as it plays out! We've all been way too patient with those two. Honestly I was ready to jump back in time to shake some sense into Cait! ;) All the best in the draw Angi and big hugs back!

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  15. Great authors write great books! This is a winner to me!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Very true MELANIE, and this one is a sure-fire winner!! ;) Blessings!

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  16. I'm sorry to say I haven't read any of Julie's books but I always thought they looked amazing, and in interview when your talking about her books you make me really want the chance to read her books!!! Thanks for the interview Noela!!! I would love the chance to win!!! I love reading Christian fiction like, Christian Romance, Historical fiction, Mysteries and some others! :) Thanks for the awesome giveaway and God Bless you!!!
    sarahrichmond(dot)12(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. You're so welcome SARAH and I'm so stoked that my review made you want to read Julie's books!! I can't recommend them highly enough and if you haven't read any yet, well my friend you have a lot of superb reading ahead of you! :) I'm love you to win one of Julie's books Sarah so all the best, and God bless you too!!

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  17. This is awesome... I love Julies book and cant wait read to it

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    1. I'm guessing this is JENNIFER Davis that's below? If so, gotcha and thanks for coming back to leave your details! If not, well you'll know what to do. ;)

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  18. I look forward to reading this book. I have loved reading Julie Lessman's books and the Heart of San Francisco series has proven to be one of my favourites :)

    I can't wait to find out what will happen with the characters next!

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    1. I found it quite hard leaving behind Julie's first family, the O'Connors, but it didn't take me long to warm up to this new family and the great stories surrounding them! I promise you will adore this final book in the Heart of San Francisco series, STARLIGHT!! :)

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  19. Jennifer Davis is my name, since it is making me post anonymous. My email is moseylion@aol.com. I would prefer an ebook if I win if possible. I am only missing 3 if Julie's books. Love them

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    1. Thanks for coming by OWG, JENNIFER!! I sure hope you get to complete your Julie Lessman collection soon and enjoy some more great reading! :-)

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  20. I see a lot of reasons why I need to read this book. The inspirational spiritual lessons look like some that I need to hear. I love books that make you laugh and cry too. fishingjan [ at] aol [dot]com

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    1. JAN, this book has all that in spades, and more! :-) All the best with your entry and God bless!!

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  21. I love all of Julie's books but haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of this one yet. Your review makes it that much harder to wait, Noela!

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    1. Haha sorry for adding to your torture, but hopefully you won't have to wait too much longer!! ;) Blessings!

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  22. I love all of Julie's books. I have Dare to Love Again waiting in my to read pile. I want to have Surprised by Love (which is on my wish list) so I can read them back to back. Thanks for the chance to win.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. I hope your wish is granted soon PAM, they are wonderful books and it would be a real treat to read them back to back!! :)

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  23. Noela What a great review! It catches your attention and desire to read yet another amazing book by Julie Lessman.

    drendon777(at)AOL(dot)com

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    1. Cool, thanks DRENDON! I'm sure it doesn't take too much though to get excited about a Julie Lessman book lol! Bless you!!

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  24. I so want to read this novel! Thank you for the opportunity to win!

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    1. It's a great one JUANITA, I hope you get to read it soon!! Blessings to you!

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  25. Thanks Noela for a great review. Her book sounds very interesting. I would love to win it, then maybe someday I could have the paperback to go in my bookshelves.Thanks to my sweet OWG gals for having a great place to be a part of.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. Thank you MAXIE, I do hope you get to read Julie's wonderful book! You are so sweet and just so you know, we love you and love having you a part of OWG!!

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  26. Great interview. Thanks for a chance to win. Kim

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  27. With Julie's books you know you have a winner before you even start!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Patty, I totally agree! I'm reading Julie's novella that just released as part of the Seekerville collection! It's great--as is this book and Noela's review! Thanks for coming by!

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  28. You really have a way with words, so to speak Julie. You really do ! Your stories are such a joy to read. They just make me feel good and happy. I would love to read this next book in the series.

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    1. She certainly does have a wonderful way with words, doesn't she DEANNE! :-) All the best!

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  29. HOLY COW, NOELA ... I CAME BACK TO RESPOND TO COMMENTS AND ABOUT FREAKED OUT THAT THERE ARE OVER 50!!!

    SO I DECIDED TO LEAVE A UNIVERSAL COMMENT HERE, NOT ONLY THANK YOU AGAIN FOR A FABULOUS REVIEW, BUT TO ALL THE WONDERFUL READER FRIENDS WHO HAVE LEFT KIND COMMENTS -- THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, AND I WISH YOU ALL COULD WIN!!

    HUGS AND MORE HUGS,
    JULIE

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    1. Lol thanks for that wonderful universal comment JULIE. You, and your books are VERY much loved by everyone who reads them and gets to know you, so really, it's a given we always have such a great response! ;) I'm with you in wishing everyone could win also!! Hugs to you too Julie, and all our reader friends!

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  30. Rippling with passions, romance, drama, and evolving faith! !! You have my attention...

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    1. Haha I'm glad for that DEANNA, this amazing book is well worth your attention! :)

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  31. What a great review! I would love to win a copy! d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Thank you DONNA, all the best and God bless!!

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  32. This book sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it. I know Julie is an accomplished author, and as usual, Noela, you've written another review that reeled me in :) Julie, may God place His favor on all your books! Hugs and blessings to you both from Texas!

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    1. Thanks, you're awesome too CARYL!! And AMEN to your prayer to Julie! Blessings and hugs, Caryl!

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  33. How lovely! Thank you so much for sharing your review with us, Noela. It was a enormous pleasure to read and I cannot wait to read Surprised By Love!! ~ Blessings, Juli emeraldelena@hotmail.com

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  34. I love that there is a demand for Christian Historical Fiction. I love all the authors and it blesses me when I read these books! Thank you to all who write what their heart and faith leads them to write!!

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