Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dare to Love Again

by Julie Lessman
Revell Publishers

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength. 

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he's a fraud just like all the rest of the men she's cared for. Does she dare love again?

The lushness of the glorious Gilded Age beautifully showcases Lessman's passion as a writer in this engaging love story written with humor and heart. From the glamour of San Francisco's Nob Hill to the seedy gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, Dare to Love Again is a journey to find a love that never fails. Fans will love revisiting the world of the cousins McClare, and new readers will seek more of Julie's passion-filled novels.

My Review:

I personally enjoyed the romance between hero/heroine a lot. I know I'm a sucker for the typical Christian romance, but the formula works on me every time. In this story, the characters had depth and were interesting people. The plot line had friction between Nick and Allison, and I have to admit that while that seems slightly overused, it really does work in real life. I loved how Lessman wrote all the relationships in her story; none of them were forced, far-fetched, or ridiculous.  

The historical value of this novel is priceless. Lessman not only portrays San Francisco in 1903 with flair and accuracy, she brings the city to life. It has never been  a particular interest of mine to learn about Chinatown, but the author did such an excellent job of giving me a peek of the past, it genuinely got me interested in learning the history of this magnificent city and it's people. A wonderful story that was well rounded, satisfying, and enjoyable. 

This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. 

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