Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman
Surprised by Love, the third installment in Julie Lessman's "Heart of San Francisco" series, was released on Tuesday. I had high expectations going in. I've read Julie's first two series as well as the first two books of this series and I have loved them all (I'll post reviews of her other novels as soon as I get a chance to re-read them). I finished it last night and I must tell you I was not disappointed. This story follows Megan McClare, the "formerly frumpy" daughter of Caitlyn McClare. I felt an immediate kinship with Meg because I was that pudgy girl with glasses and braces in school. Fortunately for Meg, during her year studying in Paris she lost the baby fat, glasses, and braces and came back as a young woman who could match the beauty of her mother and older sister, Alli. Two particular men take notice of Meg's transformation: Bram, her brother's best friend who has been like a big brother to her since she was seven, and Devin, the bully from her past who she now has to work with every day. I won't spoil the roller coaster ride for you but it's a doozy (though not as much as "The Daughters of Boston" series). If you're anything like me and your emotions mirror the character's emotions (i.e. you cry when they cry), then you may want to have a couple of tissues handy.
The novel also wraps up the Caitlyn/Logan story line from the first two books of the series. You really need to read the series in order to truly understand the dynamic of their relationship. Too much of the background story is lost if you just try to jump straight into this novel.
I had hoped for a little more about the Barbary Coast and possibly even a small sub-plot for Blake "The Rake" (maybe a novella in the future?) but overall it was a wonderful story and a classic Julie Lessman novel that makes you say "How can I get that deep of a relationship with God?" or "Wow, that advice was totally meant for me not the character." If you love christian fiction and/or early 1900's California you should definitely check it out (but start with Love at any Cost and Dare to Love Again)!
I give it 5 out of 5 cable cars!
"There's not a man alive I know who falls in love on purpose. Affairs of the heart have a way of sneaking up on you, taking you by surprise." ~Uncle Logan, Surprised by Love