Review: A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman


One Woman. Two Men.
One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.
But who will win her heart?

Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston’s most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart. 

While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the “light in the window,” meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.”

Well, the last review I did was also for Julie Lessman so it won’t be any shock that I enjoyed this one as well. I thought I’d heard [read] Julie or someone mention that it’s a novella – but only for Julie ;). For anyone else, it would likely be a short-ish novel [like Love Inspired length maybe].

Anyone who’s read Julie’s books is familiar with Patrick and Marcy – the patriarch and matriarch of the O’Connor clan. You would know that Patrick had a relationship that was contentious at best with his father. You would know that Marcy wasn’t real crazy about Patrick at first.

And so on.

But this story puts flesh on the bones of their history. It’s a foregone conclusion [as with any romance novel] that the two will get together, but still Julie keeps the pages turning [or at least the ‘next page’ button being pushed as it’s currently available as an ebook only – I’m unaware of any plans to release in a paperback book].

It’s a bit of a departure from her usual books. Much shorter, of course, but also because there’s far fewer point-of-view characters than she often has. Patrick and Marcy take up most of the time [normal, as it is their love story after all], but there’s only a couple other characters who get POV scenes – and very few scenes at that.

I mentioned in my last review that A Love Surrendered reminded me of a quote from Max Lucado:

A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.

And even more so here. Patrick and his best friend, Sam, are competing for Marcy’s affections. But Marcy won’t be swayed by a handsome face or pretty words. She’ll only be swayed by a man with a true heart for God.

The smoochies Julie’s also known for are dialed back a bit here. Not so much that Julie’s fans will be disappointed, but something I noticed a bit of. I’d imagine part of that is the lack of “extra” POV characters who are already married.

It was while reading Julie’s first book, A Passion Most Pure, about two years ago that I coined the term “literary voyeur”. Well, someone else may have coined it before me, but if so I didn’t know about it. I always want to know more about characters I’ve come to love and Julie’s A Light in the Window does just that.

Amazon says this:

“At last, the prequel I’ve been longing for …”
— Mary Connealy, bestselling author of the Kincaid Bride Series

And I couldn’t agree more!

Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Thanks to Julie for an early review copy in exchange for my honest review.