New Release, Writing & Reviews

Good Morning, dear readers!

Today is a very special day. Today, The Good German Girl (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1) is available on Amazon! I am so thrilled to be able to share this new book with you. I’ve been waiting, hoping, and praying for this day for a very long time and now that it’s here, I honestly think I’m in a little bit of shock (heehee)!

This book was one of the hardest books I’ve ever written before. It deals with so much trauma from the second World War, the research of which sent me spiraling into darkness on more than one occasion. But out of that darkness, came light. All I can say is I hope my book inspires strength and faith. I hope it reflects the respect I wished to show those who survived and who didn’t and honors those who went through so much during that turbulent time.

I can’t wait to find out what you think about Margot and Bernie! I’m excited to know what it was like for you to walk with Margot through the gates of Auschwitz and race with Bernie across Europe from France to Germany. Excited and a little nervous, of course. 😉

The adrenaline rush of:

‘I just released another book!’

Never gets old, but is always quickly followed by:

‘Oh no … what if people hate it?’

I tell myself that, as the years go by, I’m developing a thick skin. I’m no stranger to rejection and one star reviews. But, no matter how many times I pep talk myself into being tough, seeing those bad reviews is still hard sometimes. But, at the same time, that’s the beauty of this journey. Not everyone is going to like what I write, and that’s okay. Because we are all unique. We are all different. I made a promise to myself when I started writing this series.

That I would write something that I, as a reader, would like to read. I stopped dwelling on and worrying about writing what I thought people expected from me and instead wrote exactly what my heart was telling me to write. Once I made that decision, the words flowed from me like a broken dam. Now, it’s finished and out there and while I’m nervous, I’m also more excited than I’ve been about a release in a really long time! This was the book that meant the most to me. The one that’s been on my heart to write for years but that I didn’t have the courage to let out until now.

Now, with its release, I’m anxious to complete Book 2 of this series, The Red Bird in the Tower! I’m getting excited again to introduce you to my three leading characters, Katya, Michael, and Alexei! Theirs is an unusual love triangle that has had me stumped on more than a few occasions. Trying to find the perfect way to leap between the years 1942 and 1948 to tell Katya’s story has been a struggle. Making sure the transition from 1948 New York to 1942 Stalingrad is a smooth one has been more difficult than I first anticipated. But I think I’ve got it now!

I’m so close to the end! It’s at my fingertips, I just need to smooth out a few wrinkles and find the perfect way to bring their story to a conclusion. I’ll be sharing more news on The Red Bird in the Tower with you before you know it!

I hope you’re as excited to read The Good German Girl as I am for you to read it! Check out what people are saying in these early reviews on Goodreads HERE!

And don’t forget to purchase your copy HERE on Amazon!

Back Cover Blurb:

Omaha Beach
June 6, 1944

When battle-hardened Private Bernie Russell witnesses a fellow soldier shoot a young German boy with his hands up, he’s shaken to his very core. Then, as that same boy is dying, he presses a packet of photographs and letters into Bernie’s hand and utters three words in English.

It must end.

After having the letters translated, he discovers they were written by the soldier’s twin sister and the photographs within the packet reveal evidence of Hitler’s plan to wipe out the Jews.

Berlin, Germany

Margot Raskopf is a young art teacher, forced to conform to the education Hitler has designed. Then, when one of her sources with the underground resistance receives a letter for her from an American soldier, she’s shocked and filled with renewed hope. But Margot has been harboring a secret. In her house she hides a young Jewish woman she’s known since childhood, risking being discovered by the gestapo with each passing day.

As they begin a dangerous correspondence, both Margot and Bernie embark on treacherous journeys. One taking Bernie across Europe and right into Germany. Another taking Margot through the gates of Auschwitz … and under the scrutiny of Josef Mengele.

The Start of Something New …

I have gone over and over what I want to say in this post. But I guess I should start with the obvious.

By the Book: Diary of a Bookaholic is no more. Other Worlds is no more.

I have transformed By the Book into a brand new blog with an entirely different theme. This decision was a long time coming. After a lot of thought, soul-searching, and prayer, I realized By the Book had to go. I started this blog a long time ago when I was very young and as I have grown and developed in my writing pursuits, I have also grown away from the blog that was primarily meant for book reviews. I tried to keep the blog (its name and its purpose) for a long time while also using it to talk about my passion for writing.

It didn’t work.

For months I wouldn’t even look at the blog, much less write a post. With the release of my latest novel Winter’s Light (The Winter Queen, #4) I didn’t even stop by to announce its publication. That was when I truly realized something was wrong here. I had no motivation to come by, not even to see if I’d had any recent visitors.

The same was going on for my Speculative blog Other Worlds. It did not receive the response or the results I was hoping for in order for me to feel it was worth my giving so much time to continue it. While that saddens me a great deal because I’d love to dedicate an entire blog to the promotion of a genre that could use the exposure, I simply cannot find the motivation to put so much of my time into it.

Something had to change. Recently, it seems everything is changing. Particularly with my efforts as an author.

Can change be scary? Absolutely.

Can it also be exciting & invigorating? Heck yeah!

I’ve realized over time that everything about my becoming a published author was rushed. I was twenty-three when all of this started. I was young, excited, and wanted to be published so badly! When a publisher showed interest, I jumped in. I’m not saying that was an entirely bad thing because, hey, I have five published books! Woo-hoo! What I am saying is that it all happened so quickly, I was completely unprepared. I didn’t know what I was doing which made it hard for me to build audience, platform, and promote properly.

Do I know what I’m doing now? Not entirely, haha. But I’ve got a pretty good idea where I want to start. Because that’s what I plan to do. I am going to start over. With the conclusion of my fantasy series, I’m ready to begin fresh and new with something that’s been on my heart for a while.

I am no longer going to base my style and themes on what other people want or expect from me. I am no longer going to conform my writing to what other people think I should be writing either. I am simply going to write the way I want to write–what is on my heart to write, and not worry about what people I don’t know or barely know might think of it. How that writing translates to the page, you’ll just have to wait and see and, hopefully, you’ll love it!

Am I saying I don’t care what my readers think or want? Absolutely not! I’m saying I was influenced too many times in my young life, before I was even published, into what others told me I should be writing or what I should be reading and, now that I’m older, I realize how stifling that was. How much it held me back from the stories I actually wanted to tell.

I have grown and developed from that girl who was so afraid of being judged. My stories have grown and developed as well. How I write them has grown and developed. This brings me to my next announcement …

You all know I consider Historical Fiction to be my primary genre. I still do. HOWEVER, my focus is now going to shift to the Romance genre and I am so excited!! Historical, Contemporary, you name it! I am turning up the heat, people, so watch out!!!

With this change, comes another one. I now have a brand-spanking new website and it is NOT a WordPress website! I decided to keep WordPress for my blog only and step away from it for my official author website. Want to check it out? Please do!

Click Here: https://www.ericamariehoganauthor.net/

With all of that being said, let me welcome you to my brand new blog: Coffee, Chocolate, & Romance: Turning Up the Heat on Every Page!

On this blog, I will talk about writing & reading romance and annoy you with my addiction to vanilla lattes & chocolate! I hope, with this new theme and this new start on my writing journey, you will be hearing a lot more from me than you were before! I also hope you will give this new direction I’m taking a chance and still enjoy visiting my blog.

I plan to post here at least twice a month, if not more. Check in to learn about my progress on new projects I’m working on and stop by my new website to learn about the WIP I’m working on right now!

Thanks for stopping by today! Happy 4th of July!!!

 

Next Up: The Romance Authors Who Inspire Me …

Coming July 25th!

Cover Reveal, Endorsements, & Reviews!

Good Morning everyone!

I am so happy to announce I finally finished Book 3 of The Winter Queen Series! This was, perhaps, the hardest one I wrote so far. I was so certain I would be finished with it before the end of 2018, only to discover my characters had their own plans. New faces popping up and unexpected plot twists held me back from finishing when and where I thought I would. Then, the moment I finally wrote the last sentence, I was overcome with exhaustion and relief! Until I remembered now the editing had to start … 😉

But even with the long road of editing in my future, I am very happy with where this story is going. I had such a clear picture in my mind of how this ongoing tale would begin and how it would end. But the middle had always been a bit fuzzy for me. Now that I’ve battled through the in-between (books 2 and 3, respectively), I am looking forward to starting the finale! Book 4, Winter’s Light, has begun!

I am now excited to reveal the cover of Crown of Flames to you! Along with a little blurb to get you excited to read. 🙂

 

COF - 1The Almaër Dominÿe has risen from the flames …

Damari Kael has been transformed into the Almaër Dominÿe, as was foretold. But with this title, comes the responsibility of a people Damari knows nothing about. She knows only that their country is under attack, and she must go to war against those she once called family.

Clea Jandry has invoked a birthright she did not know belonged to her. In search of the Summer Flower to strengthen her weakening magic, Clea finds herself tested by a king long thought dead.

Far away, in the heart of Sunkai, Gelsey Malaki of the Night Wood attempts to hold the throne against a mounting evil. But Raphaela Kael’s power has increased since she left the Mother City for Kaldon, awakening a darkness which covers all the land in the evil of the Abyss.

In the north, Adlae Sundragon has received a message from the shadows. She now knows her fate and must act. Yet even as loyal men and women gather from across Nfaros to her side, she feels the Abyss growing stronger. Only in the Circle of the Sundragon—only within the crown of flames her family created—will Adlae find the answers to destroy the darkness.

Add Crown of Flames to your Goodreads list HERE.

This is one of my favorite covers so far! I was so pleased with how it came out, and struggled so much holding back from revealing it until now! I hope you find it just as captivating as I do.

I’m also excited to announce we already have a release date! Crown of Flames will release on June 7th 2019!!! Commit to memory and be sure to look for it!

Now, I have a request! In the past, I’ve always waited until the last minute to make this request, scrambling so close to my release date for assistance. So I thought I’d ask in advance this time around.

To all Authors: I need endorsements! I understand this is the third book of a series, and perhaps you are afraid of being totally lost if you haven’t read the first two books. As the author, I can tell you that there are certain themes in the novel that might warrant explanation from the previous two books. However, Crown of Flames stands pretty well on its own in my opinion and I hope, even if you haven’t read 1 & 2, that you will consider contacting me about writing an endorsement! Remember, release date is June 7th, so there’s lots of time to read! You can find me on Facebook and private message me, or contact me here through my blog. 🙂

To all Readers: I need reviews! If you’ve read books 1 & 2, please consider leaving a review for me on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other social media site where my books appear. But I’d also like to have two or three advance reviews online for Crown of Flames. My book probably won’t appear on Amazon very long before the release date, however if you could have a review ready that would be amazing! And it’s already up on Goodreads, so a review there would be great too.

Everyone, please keep in mind the advanced copy of Crown of Flames you receive will only be partially edited. If you could overlook any errors, that would be greatly appreciated as Book 3 is still being worked on by me and my editor.

Thank you all for your consideration and for stopping by my blog today! I hope you’re as excited about Crown of Flames as I am and I look forward to sharing more about the book as we move closer and closer to the release!

A New Journey Begins …

It’s the most wonderful time of the year …

FBPost4Christmas is coming, it’s marvelously cold outside, and I have been crazy busy with my book! Crown of Flames, book 3 of my fantasy series, is just about halfway done and my plan to finish it by the end of the year has me glued to my laptop in an attempt to write, write, write until it’s done! Whether or not I’m able to finish by December 31st, I must say I am so happy with the way the book is going. Dance of Shadows was a bit easier to write, but despite the struggle with book 3, continuing the story of the Sundragon sisters has been a true joy.

I am so looking forward to sharing some book reviews with you soon. Keep your eyes open for my review of T.E. Bradford’s novel, Child of Prophecy, coming very soon. Book Reviews Coming Soon!In the coming year, I am going to try to keep up more with my book reviews, so you should be seeing my (hopefully favorable 😉 ) opinion on a mix of fantasy, romance, and historical novels in the coming months.

Now … who’s ready for a giveaway? Because one is coming! I will be hosting a giveaway for 3 signed copies of Dance of Shadows! So be sure to check back tomorrow for the details.

Now, in other news, I have a very special announcement to make. Today, I am launching a brand new blog! This website is completely fantasy based for the purpose of promoting writers of speculative fiction as well as attracting readers who love the fantasy genre.

Other Worlds: Discovering New Worlds One Fantasy Writer at a Time, has been created for the purpose of helping writers get some free promotion, as well as introducing readers to authors they may not have heard about before. I have always wanted to create a website that reaches out to authors who are trying to get their name out there, but haven’t quite made it yet. As someone who still struggles with marketing and promotion, who is very limited at the moment to what she is able to do, I understand how tough it can be when you’ve poured your heart into your book but you’re running out of ideas to keep people interested and attract new readers.

Will you become famous overnight by participating on my new blog? I’d like to say yes. 😉 But all I can promise is a little extra promotion that will reach some readers you may not have reached before. Oh, and did I mention it will be lots of fun?

I hope you’ll stop by to check out what the new blog is all about and I hope to hear from you soon!

Other Worlds: https://otherworldsfantasywriters.wordpress.com/

Other Worlds2

A Light in the Window

Marceline Murphy has returned to Boston and to her best friend Julie O’Rourke. The biggest problem in her life right now? The fact that she is still head over heels for Julie’s brother, Sam. But things are looking up as she and Julie plan the Christmas play for their church. But when Sam O’Rourke and Patrick O’Connor volunteer to help with the play and, not only that, but both seem to be vying for her attention, Marcy finds herself in bigger trouble than she anticipated.

Because one man stirs her heart, and the other her faith. How is she ever to choose between the two things that rule her soul?

One of the things I love about Julie Lessman is how she gets my stomach twisted into knots and my heart pounding so hard and my mouth smiling so big I think I’m about to explode any minute. That is exactly what she did to me in her eBook prequel A Light in the Window.

I have cherished every single novel about the O’Connor family. I went into this book, knowing exactly who was going to end up with who and yet my stomach still twisted up when Marcy and Sam were together! I almost started to doubt. I would think to myself, ‘Oh no, it’s all over, Marcy and Patrick will never be together!’ and then I’d go back laughing at myself.

This heartwarming story tested the boundaries of love, trust and faith. Patrick’s love for Marcy drove him to do incredible things. Sam’s love for Marcy was selfish and not based on faith and love for God. Marcy’s struggle throughout the book was so deeply felt and my heart broke with Patrick’s over and over again. But I loved how the ‘light in the window’ brought Marcy to the one she was meant to be with and led Patrick down the path that would lead to the greatest love he would ever know.

Like all of Julie Lessman’s stories, this one had me in tears closing in on the end. Knowing Marcy and Patrick’s story is so amazing!! Now, when I go back and read the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series over again (which I most definitely will!), I’ll be able to see Marcy and Patrick in a very new light. Knowing their story changes things. It makes their love even stronger and more faithful in my eyes. Thank you Julie Lessman for writing another phenomenal story! 🙂

a light in the window

Coming Soon: She’s out to avenge her brother’s death…he’s desperate to save his family from the plague…when they finally meet, will June and Day discover that they should actually be on the same side? Look for my review of Legend, by Marie Lu, soon!!

Eternal, Steadfast, Absolute Faith

Cassidy McClare leaves her home in Texas after a pretty boy fortune hunter jilts her. Heart broken, she goes to stay with her aunt and cousins for the summer, hoping that being with them will heal her heart. She never counted on meeting pretty boy Jamie MacKenna, who not only knocks her right off her feet at the train station, but is determined to charm and woo her into a courtship. But Cassie doesn’t know that Jamie has his reasons for wanting to court and oil heiress…and it’s not just because he’s falling for her!

Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman was a beautiful example of handing over all of our struggles to God, putting our hearts, trust and faith in His hands and learning that no matter what troubles come our way, He will always be there with His perfect plan.

Cassidy McClare comes to San Francisco looking to forget the fortune hunter who jilted her and heal her heart in the warm, loving arms of her family.Jamie MacKenna wants nothing more than to marry well in order to provide a better life for his mother and sister, and to help get his sister the surgery she desperately needs. When Jamie meets the Texas oil heiress, Cassie McClare, he starts to believe that he can get love and money all in one package…until he finds out Cassie is probably poorer than he is.

You will find yourself swept into a whirlwind of passion, laughter and tension from the moment you open this book to the moment you shut it. From Cassie’s steadfast faith to her lovely relationship with her cousin, Allison McClare, to the love she tries to deny with Jamie. You will find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat, your heart pounding with worry and excitement. Will Jamie realize that loving Cassie is what matters, not whether she’s rich or poor? Will Cassie find it in her heart to forgive him? Can they both trust God to give them the desires of their hearts?

Oh my. Let me begin by saying that Julie Lessman is, and has been for quite awhile now, my favorite author ever!! And this book…OH MY! Putting this book down every time that I had to was painful! It was definitely lighter and funnier than her other books, which I adored because it separated the characters. At first I wondered if when I read about Cassidy, would it be like reading about Faith, or Charity or Lizzie, Katie, Emma and Annie. But it wasn’t! Cassidy was a whole new personality that I fell absolutely, positively in love with. And Jamie? Can all us girls say ‘swoon’? 😉

This book stole my heart in so many ways! The playful teasing and flirting between Cassie and Jamie, the light funny dialogue that had me laughing, not to mention the sweet yet steamy kissing scenes that never fail to bring a grin to my face. As Jamie and Cassie discover love, tension is thrown into the mix with the painful history that stands like a brick wall between Caitlyn McClare and Logan McClare. I refuse to give anything too important away, but those two are one of the many reasons I am now bouncing up and down, anxious to get my hands on the next book!!

Julie Lessman has once again weaved a tale of passionate love, unshakeable faith, and painful realities that are faced by each and every one of us every day. Releasing everything into God’s hands, especially the people you love so dearly and want to protect, can be a very difficult thing. But it is always the right and perfect thing to do. Once again, Julie has given me a story to cherish and has reminded us that every perfect love story always, without fail, has God at the center.

Thank you Julie, for your exquisite writing, your passion for romance but most importantly, your ability to put down on paper what we as weak human beings strive to achieve every day in our hearts. Eternal, steadfast, absolute faith in God.

Love At Any Cost

Coming Soon: She’s out to avenge her brother’s death…he’s desperate to save his family from the plague…when they finally meet, will June and Day discover that they should actually be on the same side? Look for my review of Legend, by Marie Lu, soon!!

Surrender to Love, Hope & Faith

Annie Kennedy moves to Boston after the death of her father. Feeling empty inside and abandoned by God, Annie forsakes her faith and her usual ‘good girlness’ and falls into the company of the wrong crowd. But it’s because of her new ways that she meets Steven O’Connor, a man who had also fallen away but is, very slowly, finding his way back to what is right.

In the very last book of the O’Connor Saga and the Winds of Change series, A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman, we learn what it means to surrender our hearts to God and read a story about finding a love that’s pure and faithful.

Annie Kennedy never thought she’d meet Steven O’Connor, her sister’s ex-fiance, while backed up against a wall by two scoundrels on a dark street. While he does save her life, Annie is not only embarrassed but she soon finds that Steven O’Connor treats her like she is a child who doesn’t know what she’s doing. He keeps insisting that she’s a good girl, that she shouldn’t hang around with the people she now calls her friends. Maybe he’s right, maybe she should do as he says, but living with her innocent little sister Glory and an aunt who is strict and somewhat cold, Annie can’t seem to stop seeing the people Steven insists are bad for her.

Steven has made some huge mistakes in his life. But he’s getting himself back on track…sort of. While he’s not as wild as he used to be with the drinking and the women, he still can’t seem to get away from the friends who still are. But then he meets Annie and he sees in her the definition of innocence and purity. So why is she hanging out with the crowd he used to go with? The people who can only lead her to trouble and destroy that sweetness that he finds so attractive? It’s girls like her that he ruins. So, while he wants to help her, get her back to where she belongs and away from the people and the places that will eventually hurt her, he also knows he has to keep his distance. Or he may end up hurting her worse than any of those people she calls her friends would.

Julie Lessman, you’ve done it again!! I absolutely adored Steven and Annie’s story! Beautifully written, filled with family drama, passionate romance and overwhelming heartbreak, A Love Surrendered almost beat A Heart Revealed on my Favorite-Julie-Lessman-Novel-List. 😉

In the beginning Annie’s faith had suffered because of the loss of her father, but when she gets it back it guides her through her journey with her frustrating aunt, her struggling surrender to God and her feelings for Steven. Julie Lessman shows us once again that God is always at the center of every epic love story. I loved how Annie’s faith helped Steven open his eyes and his heart to God. Julie Lessman knows how to weave a story of faith and love, intertwining the two with such clarity and skill that they become one and the same. There cannot be love without faith, there cannot be faith without love. Both Annie and Steven discover that a love surrendered to God is the greatest love there is.

This book made me laugh out loud, grin from ear to ear during the beautifully written, heartwarming love scenes and had me in tears at the very end. I can’t believe it’s time to say goodbye to the O’Connor family! Julie Lessman brought these characters to life, she made me love them. It’s like saying goodbye to my own family. I’m going to miss them so, so much!!

A Love Surrendered

Coming Soon: She lost her husband, her brother has married an impossible woman, and the owner of the local bookstore wants to marry her…but when a drifter with a thirst for adventure and a love of horses comes to Hickory Ridge, will Carrie Daly find the love she so desires? Look for my review of Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love, soon!!

The Daughters of Boston & Winds of Change Series

So, I loved Julie Lessman’s book so much I thought I’d group a whole bunch of reviews for each of her books in one post. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I hope you read her books! You won’t regret it!! 🙂

A Passion Most Pure:

A Passion Most Pure is probably my favorite of the Daughters of Boston series. Faith and Collin are two of my most favorite characters! They’re two people so different, yet so alike because when they believe in something they believe in it with their whole hearts. Faith’s love for Collin causes her grief and pain, but she knows that she can’t change him, only God can and that was the most beautiful lesson of the book. That only God can change a heart, and if we follow His path, we WILL get the desires of our hearts. Julie Lessman is an amazing writer!!! This is most definitely a must-read!

A Passion Redeemed:

 I can’t decide which is my favorite of the Daughters of Boston series. A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed or A Passion Denied. They were all amazing, the whole series captured my heart and if I were to choose favorite characters…well I couldn’t because they each took a piece of my heart from each member of the O’Connor fa…mily to the best friends of the family like Emma. This book was meant to capture hearts, and the first and third book accomplished the same. This series wasn’t supposed to be your typical boy meets girl, fall in love and live happily ever after that leaves you feeling somewhat indifferent, not really caring what happens to the characters. This series was meant to make you care. This series was supposed to make you love the characters. And that’s what Julie Lessman accomplished, along with a beautiful story of faith and love that rings true, with God always at the center. That’s what true passion is. That’s what true LOVE is. God at the center.
 
A Passion Denied:
 
Lizzie and Brady’s rocky road to love was a story that I will forever adore. Lizzie is one of my most favorite characters and I think that’s because of her faith in true love. Yes, she’s quite the bookworm–like me ;)–and I know that life doesn’t always turn out like the love stories, but that’s a lesson that’s learned over time and that’s the lesson that Lizzie learns. She discovers that no love story is perfect, that no man, including John Brady, is perfect, but that with God on her side she can have faith, forgive and love.
 

A Hope Undaunted:

This book was incredible. I cried SEVERAL times! Julie Lessman’s books are officially at the top of my list of favorites. I absolutely loved Katie and Luke’s story and I love the O’Connor family. One of the best things about Julie Lessman’s books is how close she makes you feel to the characters. So close that you tear up at the thought of the series coming to an end. This book was simply phenomenal and most definitely deserves the title of ‘epic romance’. 😉

A Heart Revealed:

Another epic romance from Julie Lessman!! Once again she has proven just how brilliant a writer she is! A Heart Revealed was everything I had hoped it would be, and more. From Sean’s determination never to get married because of a tragedy during the war, to Emma’s resolve to stay away from men because of a vow she took before God to a man who abused her mercilessly, this book takes you on a journe…y of love, loss, but most importantly, faith. Julie Lessman took two of my most favorite characters from her O’Connor series and brought them together. I absolutely loved this book, mostly because of my love for Emma and Sean. This is a series that’s about family, and you become a part of that family from the moment you open A Passion Most Pure to the minute you close A Heart Revealed. Keep writing Julie!! I can hardly wait for the final book of the Winds of Change series!!
 

To Honor a Vow

Emma Malloy has lived with her scars, on the inside and out, for years. Despite everything her husband Rory put her through, she has honored the vow she made to him as his wife, despite the fact that she ran away from Ireland and him to live in Boston. She has relied on her faith to get her through, and on her best friend Charity Dennehy, without whom she never would have escaped the man who scarred her face forever. But now Emma is faced with a challenge…the challenge of growing feelings for Charity’s brother Sean O’Connor. Loving Sean would destroy them both…because Emma will never forsake the vow she made to Rory.

In Julie Lessman’s latest novel A Heart Revealed we journey through one of the greatest trials of all…the trial of forbidden love.

Sean O’Connor has sworn to remain a bachelor for the rest of his life, but Rose Kelly is determined to keep that from happening. Young Rose has been in love with him since she was just a girl and Sean has avoided her as much as possible, even though he works in her father’s store. When Rose’s forward behavior gets Sean fired, he’s in desperate need of a job. But when Charity suggests to Emma that her brother come and work at the Dennehy’s store, where Emma is the manager, Emma hesitates for a split second. She’s seen a side of Sean that she never wanted to see. She’s seen a rage in him that reminds her much too much of her husband Rory and that frightens her. Sean was always like a brother, they were always close…but now she doesn’t know if she can trust him.

Sean knows that he’s lost Emma’s trust and he hopes he can rebuild it. But the problem is that Emma relies so much on God and he hardly speaks to Him anymore. After what he went through during the war he has trouble trusting that God truly cares and is in control. To make matters worse, Rose Kelly is still pursuing him and Sean finds himself tempted…in all the wrong ways.

Emma encourages Sean to give Rose a chance…especially when she starts having strange feelings when she’s around the handsome Irishman. Love for a man is forbidden because of her vow. She won’t forsake that vow, she won’t allow herself to love Sean O’Connor as long as Rory Malloy draws breath. It’s just not an option.

But when Sean also starts to feel more for Emma than just friendship, they both face a challenge that neither one of them expected. How can one deny a love so strong? A love that is rooted deep by the bond of friendship? They are now fighting a war in their hearts that could very well break them both.

A Heart Revealed is undoubtedly my most favorite of Julie Lessman’s books! She took two of my favorite characters and gave them one of the greatest tests God could give any of His children. Emma and Sean fall in love. And yet they can’t do anything about it because Emma still wears Rory’s ring on her finger. God tests their hearts, especially Sean’s, by giving setting the gift of love just out of their reach. This story was heartbreaking, at best, and yet as you read you still pray and hope that somehow these two will be given the chance at a happy ending…together.

As Emma and Sean deny their love for each other, another test arrives…in the form of Rory Malloy who claims to be a changed man after the death of the son he had with another woman. Will Emma believe that her abusive husband is a changed man and return with him to Ireland? Will Sean be able to let her go if that’s the choice she’s determined to make? Or will God step in and show them both the truth…and give them both a second chance at happiness?

This is most definitely a five star book! Julie Lessman has written yet another winner and I can hardly wait for the last book of her Winds of Change series!

Coming Soon: She’s a search and rescue pilot…he’s a U.S. Marshal reeling from a recent tragedy…they’re two little girls tortured by the evil monsters of the world…will Brannon and Roark be able to work together to save two innocent girls from the clutches of evil? Look for my review of Deliver Us From Evil, by Robin Caroll, soon!!

Happily Ever After

Lizzie O’Connor has fallen hopelessly in love with John Brady, but Brady has always looked on her as a little sister and refuses to see her as anything more. A man who wrestles with the demons from his past, Brady is determined not to fall in love with his best friend’s sister-in-law, hoping instead to remain close friends with her. But Lizzie is a determined young woman, out to get the man of her dreams and a happily ever after that comes right out of one of her novels. In Julie Lessman’s A Passion Denied, we take a lesson in the power of forgiveness.

Lizzie will do anything to make John Brady see her as a woman, not a little girl and certainly not his little sister. With the help of her conniving sister Charity and the gentle advice of her sweet sister Faith, she sets out to get her man and poor Brady is completely unprepared for what she’s about to dish out. But when every attempt seems to fail miserably, Lizzie starts to give up all hope of winning the heart of the man who’s held hers in the palm of his hand for years. Even when she starts going out with a different young man, who’s proprieties are quite different from Brady’s, Brady doesn’t seem to be jealous. Heart breaking more times than she cares to count, she starts to wonder if perhaps she should forget about Brady.

Brady has blinded himself to the woman Lizzie has become on purpose. She deserves better than him, he’s sure. She’s smart, beautiful and will make some man very happy one day. Just not him. But what she doesn’t know is that he is falling in love with her and everyone can see it…except him. Seeking advice from his friend, Father Mac, Brady starts to discover that it’s his past and his pride that’s holding him back from loving Lizzie. But than trouble arrives.

Michael Brady looks almost exactly like his brother and one night, when Lizzie shows up at Brady’s door upset, she is completely fooled by him. Lizzie soon realizes her mistake and is embarrassed and once again heartbroken because of what Michael had led her to believe. But then something strange starts to happen…Michael starts to show an interest and Lizzie begins to fall for his charms, something that Brady knows is dangerous. Michael will only hurt Lizzie, he’s sure, but how can he–a man who’s hurt her multiple times himself–convince her that seeing Michael is wrong?

As Brady starts to let the past back in, with Michael’s help, he starts to realize that forgiving himself is the key to opening his heart to Lizzie. But the problem is, will Lizzie’s love for him be able to strengthen her and enable her to forgive him when she finds out the truth?

 A Passion Denied is probably my favorite of the Daughters of Boston series. Lizzie, like me, is a bookworm who is searching for her happily ever after. But what she starts to come to realize is that not all stories end with happily ever after. She so desperately wants Brady to be her knight in shining armor. He’s the godliest man she knows and her own faith has been strengthened over the years because of his example. In her eyes he’s flawless, sinless. He’s perfection itself. So when the sins of his past are revealed, Lizzie is shocked and hurt all over again.

A Michael makes his move, determined to claim Lizzie as his wife and destroy Brady once and for all, Lizzie comes to a fork in the road. If she can’t have Brady, should she choose Michael?

Brady is in love with her, but is he too late? Has his brother beat him and taken away the love of his life?

Can Lizzie take the sins of Brady’s past and find it in her heart to forgive him? Or will she turn her back on him, unable to see past what he did and find a different life with another man?

This book was an incredible story about forgiveness and how love conquers all and never fails. I loved this story. Lizzie and Brady are in my group of #1 couples. 😉 Their faith and love is a beautiful example of what all of us should strive to find. If you’ve read the first two books of the Daughters of Boston series and loved them as much as I did, then you probably are just dying to start A Passion Denied.

Stop wasting time! You don’t want to miss this last book of the Daughters of Boston series! Trust me, it will leave you wanting to move on to A Hope Undaunted. These books leave you craving more and will also have you shedding tears at the thought of the O’Connor family stories coming to an end.

Coming Soon: He’s sworn to remain a bachelor for the rest of his life…she’s holding tight to a vow she made in her youth to an abusive husband…will Sean and Emma remain strong and deny their feelings for each other? Look for my review of A Heart Revealed, by Julie Lessman, soon!!