Review: Love At Any Cost by Julie Lessman

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself bucked by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can’t buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

With delectable descriptions and a romantic sensibility, bestselling author Julie Lessman brings the Gilded Age to life in this sumptuous new series. Readers will faithfully follow Lessman to the West Coast for more romance, passion, and surprising revelations found in Love at Any Cost.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I adore Julie Lessman. She’s utterly adorable, so sweet, and such a wonderful encourager.

Even if she does make me cry.

At least two Facebook status updates, the day I read this, railed at Jules for that fact. I already had a headache [stupid weather system coming through], but I trust Julie [and Pepper Basham had already assured me it all ended up good in the end].

In Julie’s first departure from Boston and the O’Connor family, she finds a winner in San Francisco and the Cousins McClare.

Cassie is a spunky cowgirl, reminiscent [in a great way] of a Mary Connealy heroine, uprooted from her Texas ranch and transplanted to Nob Hill. Jamie is an up and coming lawyer, working three jobs at times to pull himself, his mother and his crippled sister out of Barbary Coast and into respectability.

From page one, sparks fly and they find more in common than either could have imagined. But the one thing that drives them apart is faith in God – Cassie’s faith and Jamie’s lack.

Jamie convinces Cassie to open her heart to the possibility of an “us” while she convinces him to open his heart to the Creator of the universe.

But when things are looking good, something happens to rip them apart. One thing after another. One obstacle is overcome and another thrown in their path. The obstacles don’t feel forced or like Julie sat around and said “Huh, what else can I throw at them?” but organic to the story.

Can Cassie truly open her heart, let Jamie earn her trust? Can Jamie look at his past in the light of shocking revelations and realize that God’s hand has been in his life all along?

Tears of joy, tears of sorrow and God’s plan through all of it. A Julie Lessman novel through and through.

Oh – did I mention the secondary story? Cassie’s aunt Caitlin and her late husband’s brother, Logan? They made me cry as much as Cassie and Jamie did. But, stinker that Julie is, their story is going to span all three novels in the Cousins McClare series. It irritates me to no end that I have to wait for them ;). I may have to go find her and coerce the rest of the story out of her with cookies.

The good thing about this series? The books are coming more often than Julie’s last two series. The bad thing? It’s still nine months until the next one. Sigh.

Overall Rating: 9.25 out of 10 stars

Available April 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell and NetGalley for an ecopy in exchange for my honest review.

One comment

  • CAROL!!! Thank, you, my friend, for the great review — MUCH appreciated, especially on a new series where I wasn’t sure how well this new family would be received after the O’Connors, so I’m thrilled you enjoyed them and plan to follow them. And suffice it to say that Cait and Logan have a wee bit of turmoil ahead before Logan gets is way … 😉