Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On My Nightstand - A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

Katie O'Connor's plans include marriage to Jack, a rich law student from an influential family, and a career to advance women's rights. No flighty romance will derail her ambitions. She's going to control her destiny and not some man.

Everything is on track until she's forced to work with her old nemesis, Luke McGee. The contrast between the two men create a war within her soul. Will she deal with her past hurts and make right choices or pursue her own way.

Julie Lessman's books from the Daughters of Boston series left me with an eager anticipation for the continuing adventures of the O'Connor clan. This new series is called, "Winds of Change." Katie's story surprised and delighted me. The spoiled baby of the family finally grows up.

The author's expert use of conflict and romantic tension kept the adrenaline flowing. A Hope Undaunted is one of those books where you let out a satisfied sigh and smile at the ending. She leaves you wanting more.

While this is a stand-alone book, you'll fully appreciate the O'Connor family if you read the first series. I'm glad I didn't miss any of the story.

Many of you write romance or books with elements of romance. How do you keep the stories fresh and avoid stereotypical plots? Any thoughts?

18 comments:

Jessica Nelson said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure because I don't think my freshness factor is quite up to par yet. Working on that though.
I love how Julie weaves in all the family members and makes each person unique and memorable.

Julie Lessman said...

Susan!!! Thanks for your kind words -- SOOO appreciated!! Glad you enjoyed AHU -- it's my favorite so far of all the books I've written. Katie is such a pistol and Luke is ... well, drool-factor #10, if you ask me, just edging past Mitch by a nose ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Diane said...

I've heard so many good things about this book and her as an author. I haven't read any of her stuff yet. Crazy, I know.... :O)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica -

I don't know how Julie keeps all her characters straight. There are so many!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Julie!!!

You're welcome. When is the next book coming out? Which O'Connor will get the Julie treatment next? Or maybe it will be Emma?

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Diane -

You'd enjoy Julie's books. I'm totally absorbed with this family. I want to know what happens next. When she runs out of brothers and sisters, maybe she'll start with their kids.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Maria I. Morgan said...

Love your book reviews, Susan! Succinct with enough information to draw your readers to want to read the story. Sounds like a captivating series - complete with character growth! Have a blessed week!

Lily Robinson said...

Even though 'they lived happily ever after' is a cliche, it's the way an author makes his/her characters unique. When we feel we know them, we root for them, even if we do see the 'happily ever after' coming!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Maria -

Thanks for the positive words. :)

I try to keep my recommendations balanced between readers and writers.

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lily -

Julie takes her characters on quite a ride. You're not always sure there will be a "happily ever after."

Blessings,
Susan :)

Faith Imagined said...

The book sounds amazing! I would like to try my hand in a little romance writing. Maybe future aspiration for me!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

The romance genre is always popular. Publishers and readers can't get enough of these novels.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

It makes me wonder how romance writers keep the storyline fresh. THank you for doing this nice review too:)
Only the outline of your heading shows up now and I can see why it was blocking half of your post--the line goes down into it but this time I could read it all!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

My blogskin seems to have disappeared. It was fine this morning, so I'm mystified as to what is going on.

Anyone have any suggestions? Maybe it's time for a new design.

Blessings,
Susan :)

sarah said...

even though I don't write romance..I think that's a great question. I'm just dabbling with writing drama...a bit of a change from non-ficiton and finding it harder yet at the same time...more freeing.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Well, I don't write romance, so can't answer your question, but I've heard Julie Lessman is an author par exceellence! Thanks for the review, Suze.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

It's good to stretch and try different genres. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

Yes, she's an excellent writer. I'm not totally convinced these are fictional characters. :)

Blessings,
Susan