One of this past year's debut authors who has become an auto-buy for me is Julie Lessman. Julie's Daughters of Boston series is absolutely a must read for anyone who likes historical fiction and enjoys a good romance that delivers a good dose of high-stakes emotion and passion (within the boundaries of God's standards). Along with that, Julie's stories always include a strong spiritual arc that never fails to gives me a lesson from God without hitting me over the head.
A Passion Denied is the third and last book in the series and focuses on the third O'Connor daughter, Lizzie (called Beth in the other two books). The story opens by introducing the reader to a more grown up Beth than we last knew in Charity's story, A Passion Redeemed. She's changed her name to Lizzie to sound more sophisticated for the 1920s, has bobbed her hair and is almost eighteen years old. What hasn't changed is her strong feelings for John Brady, business partner and war buddy of Collin, Lizzie's brother-in-law. John, who goes by Brady, is in Lizzie's eyes the "perfect" man for her. A man of God, dependable, considerate, hard-working, and gorgeous. The only problem is that Brady insists on calling her the sister he never had and treats her as such except on rare occasions when his mask slips a little and his true passion for Lizzie bursts through just enough to encourage her to keep hope alive.
John has worked very hard to hide his past, and the only way he sees to succeed with this is to swear off women and devote his time to Bible study and running the print shop with his partner, Collin.
The story takes the reader through the twists and turns of Lizzie and Bray's relationship in surprising and entertaining ways. And not to be left out, subplots involving the entire O'Connor family, especially Faith, Charity and parents, Patrick and Marcy make the story complete.
I highly recommend this book. If you've already read the first two in the series, you're going to love finding out what has been happening with the O'Connor girls. If you've not read the other books, you can easily pick this one up and not feel left out. But I do recommend reading them in order if you can.
I was ecstatic to see that the fourth O'Connor daughter's story is scheduled to hit the shelves in 2010. Don't yet know the title of the series or the first book, but the beginning pages are printed at the back of A Passion Denied.
Don't overlook picking up this book at your favorite Christian book store or at Amazon or Christianbook.com.