Saturday, November 8, 2014

Surprised by Love (The Heart of San Francisco #3) by Julie Lessman

Title: Surprised by Love (The Heart of San Francisco #3)
Author: Julie Lessman
Pages: 416
Year: 2014
Publisher: Revell
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     She can turn the head of the man who spurned her – but can she turn his heart?

     When Megan McClare left San Francisco to study in Paris, no one would accuse her of being poised and pretty. But on the other side of the Atlantic, this wallflower blossomed into a beauty with big dreams. When she returns to California and accepts an internship at the district attorney’s office, she’s thrilled that her life is taking shape. But the exciting opportunity quickly loses its glow when she discovers she’ll be working alongside Devin Caldwell, who mercilessly mocked her at school – and with whom she was hopelessly enamored.

     Bram Hughes is the best friend to whom Megan has always turned for support and advice. But when she seeks his counsel about working with Devin Caldwell, Bram’s vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a little sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man?

My review:

     Incredible Christian historical romance.

     Julie has again crafted a wonderful story. She has done a masterful job of developing not one but two love triangles for this book.

     As with the first two books in this series we spend a lot of time in the McClare household in early 20th century San Francisco. We venture out from there with the main characters to see what life was like in this time and place.

     The characters are beautifully described and superbly developed. With such a large cast of characters I’m amazed at how each personality is built up and then each one stays true to themselves throughout the story.

     I loved seeing how many of the individuals grow in their relationship with God throughout the story. The calm strong believer is willing to help direct others to God and yet he doesn’t shove his belief down other people’s throats. I really like that.

     As soon as I saw that this story takes place in San Francisco in 1904, my mind jumped ahead to the earthquake of 1906. As I fell more and more in love with these wonderful characters I couldn’t help wondering how they would fare when the earthquake struck. I would love to see more books in this series so that this question can be answered.

     This is a fantastic book and I give it 5 stars and highly recommend it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Silent Night Standoff (First Responders #1/Love Inspired Suspense) by Susan Sleeman

Title: Silent Night Standoff (First Responders #1/Love Inspired Suspense)
Author: Susan Sleeman
Pages: 224
Year: 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     When armed robbers strike her bank, hostage negotiator Skyler Brennan’s life is on the line. Rescue comes from the last person she thought she could count on; the ex-boyfriend who chose his job over their relationship. FBI agent Logan Hunter knows how much is resting on this case. The promotion of his dreams; and the safety of the woman he’s never been able to forget. But when an unexpected twist in the case pulls Logan in two separate directions, he’ll have to make an impossible choice. Will he manage to have it all by Christmas; a career and love; or will he lose them both?

My review:

     Incredible suspense and heartwarming romance.

     Susan Sleeman has created a wonderful cast of characters for this book. The two main ones for this novel are Skyler Brennan and Logan Hunter. They are so well developed and have so many layers to them that are gradually revealed it is an ongoing adventure to discover what makes each of them tick.

     Skyler is part of a team of First Responders and each of her teammates are introduced and enough about them is revealed that I can’t wait to read their stories and learn more about them. I’m hoping that each of them gets their own book.

     The plot line for the suspense is intricately woven and held my interest throughout the book. Skyler and Logan both have emotional baggage from years past that hinders their romance. It was fascinating to me to see how they worked through their own problems as the story progressed.

     I absolutely LOVED this book. In my mind 5 stars isn’t enough. But since that is the standard “high score” I will only give it the 5. I definitely recommend this wonderful book!