What I’ve Read Wednesday, Julie Lessman Day 1

Current Facebook status: is changing her status to reflect her desire to win a prize. I ♥ Julie Lessman. I’m going to post a review of her first book A Passion Most Pure momentarily. Cuz she’s giving away prizes if you post reviews and I ♥ her ;).
Currently Playing in the Background: Storm Chasers, multiple vortices vorticies vortexes – don’t worry Discovery, you don’t need that warning – I won’t be attempting any time soon.
Current NaNoWriMo status: WINNER!  Finished with 50289! Story isn’t done but is still winner!

[Notes: This is Julie Lessman review month!  I have her first 4 books in hand – about half done reading #4.  I’m planning a random notes post tomorrow on a number of things.  Erynn Mangum’s second series will be reviewed Saturday.  But in the meantime, heeeeere’s Julie!]

Book Description:
Refusing to settle for anything less than a romantic relationship that pleases God, Faith O’Connor steels her heart against her desire for the roguish Collin McGuire. But when Collin tries to win her sister Charity’s hand, Faith isn’t sure she can handle the jealousy she feels. To further complicate matters, Faith finds herself the object of Collin’s affections, even as he is courting her sister. The Great War is raging overseas, and a smaller war is brewing in the O’Connor household. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure will captivate readers from the first page

First, just let me say that I ADORE Julie Lessman!  In fact, I want to be Julie when I grow up.  She writes incredible books and is wonderful to boot.  I’ve gotten to know her a little bit over the last couple of months and I just flat out <3 her.  The reality is if I can write half as well, I’ll consider myself enormously blessed.

So the first book she wrote is A Passion Most Pure.  She started it as a kid and came back to it a few years ago.  You can read more of her story on her website.  Julie is also a part of the wonderful Seekerville blog.

So what did I like about A Passion Most Pure?  A better question would be what didn’t I like?  There’s nothing I can specifically put my finger on that I didn’t like.  There were times that I wanted to go knock on Julie’s door and shake the book at her and demand she explain why on God’s green Earth did Collin do this or Faith do that?  And Charity?!  What about her?!  And Mitch?! And I did do that – virtually.  Emailed her my thoughts as I went ;).  Not all of them.  But enough.  When she fixed one particular situation, I literally jumped up and down [well, not literally, but I did squee]!  And emailed her to tell her what I thought.

But Julie pulled through!  She did not disappoint.  She answered enough of the questions while hinting at answers to more in books to come.  Her fourth is out, fifth is coming out in the spring [I think] and the sixth, as of this week, is officially being written.  Each child in the O’Connor family gets his or her own book and this one is Faith’s.

Faith O’Connor grew up in Boston with her Irish-American Catholic family.  She’s not the oldest child, but is the oldest daughter.  Her next youngest sister, Charity, is seeing rogue hottie Collin McGuire.  Collin has a bit of a reputation with the women – a reputation that is well-earned.  But when Faith and Collin realize they have an attraction for each other, it throws a wrench in Charity and Collin’s romance.  Collin and Faith are meant to be together.  It’s obvious, right?  But there’s a problem.  Or two.  Or more.  Dad didn’t approve of Collin for Charity, why would he for Faith?  And then there’s WWI [though they didn’t call it that, of course].

But even the ‘Great War’ isn’t the biggest problem.

The biggest problem?  Faith’s, well… faith.  A fervent Catholic [not just going through the motions], her faith is the biggest thing in her life.  She has a passion for God that surpasses all else and she won’t settle for a life with a man who has any less.  Collin?  Not so much.  But the two of them together?  Sparks fly – and not just the fighting kind.

Julie’s tagline is “Passion with Purpose”.  She writes passionately.  She writes about passion – both for God and between a man and woman.  While there is that ‘passion’ outside of marriage in the life of some of the characters [Collin in particular in this book], the emphasis is still on purity before God.  That passion is fine, good, even God-ordained, in the right time and place – within the context of marriage.  It’s refreshing to see the temptations a couple in love – or even just in lust – struggle with the kinds of things that so many do in real life.  I know there are many who feel that doesn’t have a place in a Christian book and I know that was something Julie struggled with in finding a publisher – too Christian for ABA, to secular for CBA – but she found a publisher willing to take the risk and I, for one, am so very, very glad she did.

Besides, she thinks I’m a hoot ;).

9.5 out of 10 stars [because I know there was SOMETHING that bugged me a bit, but I loaned out my copy and can’t name it off my head and besides, now she has somewhere to go with the next one =D].

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