Review: A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman

Orphaned in Iowa, Annie Kennedy moves to Boston to stay with her spinster aunt. She longs for romance to fill the void left by her parents’ death. But when she falls hard for Steven O’Connor, the man who broke an engagement to her sister, Annie is worried.

Will he break her heart too when he discovers who she really is?

With heart-pounding romance, intense family drama, and emotional twists and turns, A Love Surrendered is everything Julie Lessman’s many fans have been waiting for.

Everybody I know knows I adore Julie Lessman. She’s a wonderful woman with such an amazing heart for people and for God. The coming of this book is bittersweet. It marks the end of the O’Connors [except for her ebook coming in about a month – a prequel with Marcy and Patrick’s story – A Light in the Window]. But really, the end of the O’Connors – unless she can write another series about the cousins… hm…. 😉

This one is also extra special because I got to name a character! She’s a bit character, with just a couple of lines and maybe five minutes of ‘screen time’, but still. On page 235 you can find Josephine Moncad0 – my husband’s great-grandmother. I asked Julie what she was going to do with an Italian in her Irish family saga. Turns out Josephine [and her sister, Carol!!! and her friends] are coming out of an Italian speakeasy where Steven is headed as a prohibition agent.

This book is no exception to the Lessman genre. Big Irish family. Drama. Passion. Mostly between married couples but also simmering between the hero and the heroine who struggle to keep that where it belongs – and that’s in the future.

As always, the characters are real. Flawed. Human. Moreso than in many other novels. Not that other books don’t have real/flawed characters, but somehow Julie’s are more real than most others. Maybe it’s because of the length of her books which give her more time to flesh out those characters than some other books.

It’s hard to put into words what I love most about Julie’s books and saying “just take my word for it” doesn’t quite work either. But at the same time, what I want to go on and on about and gush over the most would be spoilers and so I can’t.

So take my word for it and snatch up any Julie books you don’t already have. They’re more than worth it.

And if you’re a writer looking for lessons on how to ramp up romantic tension…

No one does it better than Julie!

If I can channel my inner Julie just a bit, I’m well on my way ;).

Overall rating: 9 out of 10 stars


We had a serious thunderstorm this morning and I laid awake staring at the ceiling, thinking about this…

I seriously love Gabe. The little girl Marcy and Patrick have taken in. If Julie has no plans to give her her own story someday, then I’m gonna have to do a little stalkin’ and find out what happens to that girl ;).

Steven and Annie are great characters. Like most of Julie’s heroes, Steven is a reformed [or reforming] bad boy. She knows how I feel about that. I’m hoping one of these days we’ll get a Lessman hero who never went the bad boy route, but I understand why she writes what she does. The redemption factor. Annie is a young, innocent girl. She turns eighteen during the book. They fall for each other – and hard. But the course to true love never did run smooth [yeah, I butchered that quote, whatever it is ;)]. Obstacles from old girlfriends to their own desires get in the way of their relationship.

As always, Julie keeps an eye on the prize – the relationship with Christ. I’ve seen a quote around Facebook that reminds me of one of Julie’s main points in A Love Surrendered.

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

I think it’s a Max Lucado quote but I’m not 100% sure on that as I’ve seen it attributed to a couple different people. But I love that. And it so perfectly encapsulates Julie’s message in this book. It’s something I think most of us can still work on.

The opposite is true, too, of course. That a man’s heart should be so hidden in God that a woman has to seek Him to find him. And it’s a great message for all of us to remember.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. And to Julie for naming a character after Josephine and sending me a copy ;).


  • WOW, Carol, you make me sound SO good!! 😉 Seriously, my friend, this is an absolutely FABULOUS review and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write and for reading my books in the first place!! you are SUCH a blessing to me, Carol, and to SO many!! I hope to reciprocate even more someday after you get pubbed … and you will, trust me!! Or better yet … as I say in one of my books (can never remember which one!) … trust God!!

    Love you!

    • From your lips to God’s ears my friend! 😀

      And I’m sure there’s more than one book where “trust God” is one of your themes ;).

      Thank you for everything you’ve done, Julie! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you in my life! [And you were my first Seeker comment post you know ;). Ruthy may have had more comments yesterday but you were my first Seeker comment :D. Not sure that means much but there you go!]

      <3 you, friend!