DARE TO LOVE AGAIN
JULIE LESSMANSpunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast, she quickly discovers she’s no match for the unsavory characters that haunt the dark streets. Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite self-defense, but it seems he has little choice. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But is he just a fraud like all the rest of the men Allison’s cared for? Or is he the one who will let her dare to love again? Award-winning author Julie Lessman brings the glamour of Gilded Age San Francisco to vibrant life in this journey to find a love that never fails. “With memorable characters and an effervescent plot that’s as buoyant as it is entertaining, Dare to Love Again is Julie Lessman at her zestful best.”–Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of A Lasting Impression and To Whisper Her Name “Nobody pens a more splendid romance than Julie! The expert on dazzling dialogue, engaging characters, and wonderful romantic plots with a twist wins my heart over every time.”–Maggie Brendan, author of Heart of the West and The Blue Willow Brides series “Julie’s ability to thread romance and longing, deception and forgiveness, and lots of humor are unparalleled by anyone else in the Christian market today.”–Rachel McRae, LifeWay Stores
♥♥♥♥♥ FIVE STARS ♥♥♥♥♥
Applause! Applause!! Applause!!! Julie Lessman just keeps on writing a new favorite to replace an older favorite and a yet older favorite. Personally, I hope it never ends! My recent visit with the McClare family in 1903 San Francisco was so much fun even though we faced some fiercely intense moments sitting together in the parlor on Caitlyn’s loveseat praying and waiting for one crisis to subside before facing whatever came along next. Reading one of Julie’s novels is a marvelous release mechanism…..all my giggles over Lessman-style humor released endorphins that caused me to feel great; or releasing pent up emotions through easy tears that flowed along with Caitlyn’s. All those tears caused an enormous pile of tissues for Rosie the housekeeper to sweep up with an audible “tsk tsk,” and slight shake of her head.
Dare to Love Again is the perfect title for this Julie Lessman novel. The title is a story in itself, so to speak, because Allison, the eldest daughter of Caitlyn McClare, has been jilted and left disappointed four times causing a jaundiced eye toward romantic love. The hunky lead hero Detective Nick Barone becomes the big dare for Allison. Nick will not allow himself to dare fall in love with a rich Nob Hill debutante. Both characters are well equipped with mixed emotions about each other and their sparring is comical and typical of independent personalities. Brother-in-law Logan McClare continues to dare hope that his widowed sister-in-law Caitlyn would dare love him as she did in their youth and accept his proposal of marriage. Will Nick and Logan dare to believe in God? Ms. Lessman brings her characters so close to taking the dares and so far away again; that I do not attempt to dare guess what happens next.
Julie Lessman stories encompass everything from romance, danger, bad guys, good guys, secrets, smells, tastes, vivid scenery, laughter, mystery, trauma to a fascinating script. Most importantly being the lessons learned through human error, confession, forgiveness, and accepting God’s love. Warm feelings among some characters occur where negative attitudes had been the mode. Certain new personalities added to the story are quite endearing….fall in love with La-di-da, and Miss Penny. Who gets nauseous riding the streetcar? What do animal crackers have to do with anything? Some shocking information is revealed about members of the McClare Clan in this second episode of The Heart of San Francisco series. Historical facts and location research appear as a natural part of Ms. Lessman’s innate writing gift to render the beauty in words meaningful. She writes page turners for avid readers who would not dare put her book down. There is no less in Julie Lessman. She owns it all where word art is involved.
It is not this reviewer’s intent to detail excess information about the characters and subject matter, the back and front cover is capable of drawing reader interest. Revealing too much might prevent one from an intriguing read and my intent is for curiosity to take the dare and enjoy my personal recommendation. Julie Lessman has caused me to fall in love with San Francisco all over again.
Through her faith in our loving Abba, Julie Lessman dares to write as she does. Dare I ask Julie why she has won many awards and trophies? She will give our Lord all the credit. Ok, the dares are dropped….anyone taking bets that Julie’s next story will be the most read yet? My bet is yes, it will….and winner take all! Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN…….
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”
Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Historical Fiction Author of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #4 Novel of the Year and #3 Series of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series—A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Book 1 in her “Winds of Change” series A Hope Undaunted ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.
NOTES OF INTEREST FROM JULIE ABOUT HER CHARACTER PERSONALIZATIONS…..
Angi Griffis, gave me a great idea. You see, she’s currently reading Dare to Love Again and asked me if I had any pix of celebrities I had pegged to play Alli and Nick. And, OF COURSE, I do and can hardly believe I haven’t posted them before now! So … without further ado, here are the shots I pictured while writing the story.
Allison McClare: Alli McClare is petite with curly black hair in the typical Gibson Girl style of the day, usually up, as indicated in the 2nd pic below. She has eyes that are a very deep green with creamy, porcelain skin. She is fun and adventurous and has a flair for drama. She wants to be an independent woman so she learns jiu-jitsu and carries a large hat pin to protect herself when she takes a notion to explore the Barbary Coast. She has a dry sense of humor, is down to earth and doesn’t trust men because she’s been engaged and brokenhearted by three men who were fortune hunters and frauds.
The first pic is what I sent to Revell of a model whose name I do not know, and the next four model pics are the model Revell hired who actually appears on the cover of the book.
Visit Julie’s Journal Jots to see the pictures http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots1/
Next … we have Detective Nick Barone, or as Alli calls him, Mr. Ga-roan! Nick Barone is a six-foot-four Italian and 30 years old with green, almost hazel eyes and dark hair that tends to curl. I see him as a the unnamed model below or a younger George Clooney. He is a no-nonsense, hard-nosed plain-clothes detective with a hair-trigger temper and an axe to grind with the upper class. He’s smart, good-looking and a bit on the grouchy side, but ALWAYS has his shoes polished and animal crackers in his pocket (and on his breath).