LOVE AT ANY COST – BOOK ONE
Fooled by a pretty boy once,
shame on him.
Fooled by a pretty boy twice,
shame on me.
Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassady McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who just as soon hogtie a man as look at him … until Jamie MacKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well lassoes her heart. But when Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than him, Cassie finds herself bucked by love a second time, sending her back to Texas to lick her wounds and heal her heart. In her absence, Jamie discovers money can’t buy love, but love built on faith can set a heart free, a truth he discovers a little too late … or is it?
“Heart of San Francisco“
From the glitter and glamour of San Francisco’s Nob Hill and Napa wine country, to the seedy dance halls and gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, “The Heart of San Francisco” series is a study in contrasts between the haves and have-nots, and barriers between rich and poor that only faith can transcend.
The story of the McClares, a wealthy political family in 1902 San Francisco, not only highlights the struggles of faith and heart of three cousins, but of the matriarch of the family as well, Caitlyn McClare. A widow of strong faith and beauty, Caitlyn butts heads and hearts with her handsome brother-in-law Logan McClare, the fiancé who betrayed her before she married his brother. In a breathtaking city where the Irish were predominant in the early 1900s and wielding power in both politics and wealth, the story of the McClares is a glimpse into beauty and degradation, poverty and promise during a riveting time in our nation’s history.
Beware! This book is highly combustive! Be warned of flying sparks that will ignite your passion and warm your heart. Julie Lessman is no less, and by far more –(less is more) skilled than ever shaping and sculpting the clay of this story into fine porcelain. Julie’s novels are true classics in the making. By the time you finish this fantabulous story – you will understand Julie’s title, Love at Any Cost, proving it can blaze upward to expensive heights.
We all remember and love the O’Connor family in Boston, and now we enjoy being in beautiful San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century and meet the McClare family with much unrevealed history. Prepare yourself for future shock and don’t say you weren’t warned. Julie takes you deeper into suspense and mystery than usual and you’ll be pulled in like taffy with delicious scenes of life’s trauma and drama in the life of the McClares.
Cassidy McClare, spirited personality in more ways than one, deep faith in God and gutsy in a prideful Texan cowgirl way, steps off a train in San Francisco during May, 1902 and immediately is knocked on her behind, literally by Jamie McKenna. Thus begins the story with Cassidy’s first thought “Sweet thunderation – deliver me from pretty men!” of which she has a proclivity. Cassidy, just burned when Mark her pretty boy fiancé’ in Texas broke their engagement when he learned that her family oil wells had dried up, their cattle sold, and their ranch up for auction – leaving the Texas McClare’s much less wealthy and a disadvantage to the purpose of the engagement, in Mark Chancellor’s plans.
Julie writes in vivid Technicolor, dialogue witty and humorous, evocative and eloquent and plot within plot that tantalizes ire and empathy toward characters at the same time. Ms Lessman gives each individual in the cast a definite personality with their own thoughts italicized conveniently for the reader. A great style! We were introduced to all through vast description from Rosie the housekeeper and Hadley the deaf butler, right down to Miss B the family pet parrot. Jamie McKenna is definitely a “pretty boy” who considers himself the last coke in the desert to a wealthy woman looking for love. Julie does a great piece of work with Jamie’s story.
Julie Lessman writes from her personal relationship with God. How could anyone not understand who He is from her words of praise telling of his holiness and grace? Will those prayers of the believers for the unbelievers be answered? There is true test of wills of everyone in this story that lead to miracles and big changes through prayer and faith.
You might have noticed the main storyline hasn’t been outlined in this review, in fear of inadvertently adding spoilers. I can say again to prepare for shocks and sparks flying in the last few chapters that are not the usual Julie Lessman style – at least not in prior series – and I am favorably impressed with Julie’s sparkling imagination in this novel. I hope to see more in her future writings. I’m not telling any secrets, I’ve pleasantly devoured this book and I know them all. I’m sure Miss B knows them all too, and she’s not telling!
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.
Well, friends – there you have it! The best novel thus far by writer Julie Lessman. I sincerely hope you will enjoy what you’ve read above and be encouraged to get a copy of the book and be blessed enough to scorch the clothes off your back. LOL! Just kidding about being scorched….so I hope you’ll feel the desire to read this book of Julie’s and love it as much as I do.
Blessings Today and Every Day…..