Love Everlasting, Book 2 of Isle of Hope Series by Julie Lessman


"...a love worth having is a love worth praying for..."


Title:  Love Everlasting
Series: Isle of Hope, Book 2
Author: Julie Lessman
Publisher: Julie Lessman, LLC
Release Date: September 30, 2016



He sets hearts on fire.
She’s been burned by love.
Can hope survive the flames of the past?

School teacher by day, ghostwriter by night, sweet and shy Shannon O’Bryen doesn’t mind writing romance on the sly, but to live it? No, thank you, not since the man she loved turned out to be a player who broke both her heart and her spirit. Now focused more on her faith and her fiction, she vows the next time she falls in love, it will be safely—through the pages of a book.

Dr. Sam Cunningham is a charismatic player who breaks hearts as regularly as he washes his pearl-white Corvette. Abandoned as a young child, Sam was an orphan shuffled through the foster-care system, bitterly driven to prove he is worthy of love—the kind that lasts forever. Once he learns Shannon is a romance writer, he enlists her help in winning back his ex-girlfriend. She teaches him about faith and the true definition of love, and he soon discovers he’s been seeking it in the wrong place all along—and with the wrong girl. But can he convince a woman who's been burned by love to open her eyes—and her heart—to a love everlasting?





"...go for the jugular...not just sober and sensible, but point blank and precise too..."


Yes, that is what we can take away from Julie Lessman's latest novel, Love Everlasting. As the second book to the highly loved Isle of Hope, I was cautiously anticipating this book. Cautious, because I want to experience this novel as its own, and not under the "high" of its predecessor. I didn't jump into Love Everlasting right away because Isle of Hope was still fresh in my mind, at least some characters, some scenes and definitely some quotes.  I want to read and review Love Everlasting for what it is by itself, and I'm glad I did. Love Everlasting stands strong on its own, with the same intensity as Isle of Hope, but marks a different message that digs into your soul as well. We'll get back to the inspirational message in a bit.

Julie Lessman is known as the "queen of romance," and she still reigns with Love Everlasting. Not just romance between our main couple, but also between familiar characters, Tess and Ben from Isle of Hope. Of course the steamy, but clean romance in her novels are great aspects that I love.  What strikes me is how honest and raw those emotions are, especially for those walking in Christ's name.  The author understands the dilemmas one face when it comes to lust versus love, romance versus friendship and what it means to find that everlasting love while keeping faith of God's promises. For Christians, Julie Lessman's books speaks the veracity on the struggles and what makes for true romance.

Sam and Shannon's story was one that grows with you. Their journey started with friendship and though there was a point in the story that I really hate (strongly dislike) what he did to Shannon, the message of forgiveness and the worthiness of love hits.  As Sam and Shannon's friendship grows, we learn what it means to love in a romantic sense, but also how God's love for us sparks and manifests that love. The author goes about in presenting us Love Everlasting with a strong message of Jesus' love, personally and inspiration-ally, and does so in her usual flair - not preachy but with a point-blank honesty wrapped in a beautiful love story.  What is and how can we achieve everlasting love, look to the One that first encompass that trait.



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.



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Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie Lessman was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list.



Julie’s most recent novel, Isle of Hope was voted on Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, and Surprised by Love appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014. Her independent novel A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.

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CONVERSATION

11 comments:

  1. Ah, such a beautiful, "right-on" review - extolling Julie's writing gift and her wonderful 'Love Everlasting', Annie - thank you!! Her writing "had me" with the first chapter of her first book, 12+ books ago - the story of each of her characters has been a joy. Can't wait for book 3 of the Isle of Hope series!!

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  2. Oh my goodness, Annie -- this review made me tear up, my friend -- it's so beautifully written that I almost want to write a review for this review!!

    And I have to tell you, my friend, almost nobody "gets me" and my quotes better than you, so THANK YOU for highlighting so many of my favorites from the book.

    In many ways, Shannon reminds me of you -- sweet, soft, but with a strength that opens people's eyes wide!! I appreciate you and your friendship more than I can say, Annie.

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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    1. O Julie, it is my pleasure to read your books. And it is such an honor to be reminded of Shannon. I don't know if I have Shannon's strength. Thank you for your friendship and kind words. It means a lot to me, as a person and as a reviewer. God bless you always! Can't wait for book 3!

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  3. Beautiful review. Love Julie's books. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks Lucy! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family too!

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    2. Aw, Lucy, THANK YOU!! Happy Thxgiving back!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  4. Thanks for this wonderful review Annie! Thought you did a great job summing up what makes Love Everlasting so special. Love Julie Lessman (She's such a loving,generous person)and her stories! Thank you so much for doing justice to her latest masterpiece of Christian Romance!

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    1. Thanks Lynne! I appreciate it! Julie's books are just fabulous! Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Hey, Lynne, thanks for coming by, my sweet friend, and Happy Thanksgiving!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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