Lizzie O'Connor is IN LOVE with John Brady. She's loved him since she was just a young girl and he was her spiritual mentor. Now she's all grown up but she's having a hard time catching his eye as a woman.
Or is she? Is Brady attracted to Lizzie and fighting it because of a past so shameful he can't bear to bring it to light? Or does he truly view her as his younger sister? Can Lizzie win his heart?
Julie Lessman has a special gift. Within pages of opening this book, I was completely swept up in this world and emotionally invested. I absolutely love these books because even though they are chunksters at over 450 pages long, the time just absolutely flies!
It was so great to revisit the O'Connor family...they are a such a passionate bunch! Julie brings to vivid detail the feel of being in their family for dinners or chats and each one feels like a friend.
I do have to say that I think Brady is my favorite hero from the three books. Perhaps because I identify with just how hard it is to accept God's grace and forgiveness and feel worthy of being in relationship with other people. Plus, he had that whole mysterious thing going for him! Having said that, I did want to give him a good talking to from time to time! He was just SO stubborn!
One of the things I loved about this book was just how emotionally honest it was. I certainly shed some tears while reading because I could feel what the characters were feeling. They were so real to me. I'm going to share one of my favorite passages because I think anyone who has had an addiction of any kind will see the truth to it, I also think it gets right to the heart of Brady:
He felt like death and he hadn't even taken a drink. But the scent alone triggered reactions in his body that reminded him just how weak of a man he was. He thought of Cluny and felt a stab of grief. Even now, without tasting a single drop, the poison had traveled his bloodstream in the form of fury and shame, unleashing his temper. To Cluny he was a hero, to the world a man of God but the reality remained, buried so deep that he ached to the core. To himself, he was little more than a failure, hopelessly flawed.
Brady's personal struggle to accept grace and his close friendship with Collin (Lizzie's brother-in-law) were the highlights of the book for me. I was very touched by the friendship between Collin and Brady and their interaction.
There is absolutely no doubt this book is Christian Fiction...I think the spiritual element is the strongest in this one of all three books. But the characters are real...real in their struggles for purity, for passion, for fulfillment, to forgive, to accept forgiveness, to know and be known. I love them all and cannot wait until we get to see them again.
So simply put, Julie Lessman's Daughters of Boston series hit the complete homerun for me!
There are many ways you can win a copy of A Passion Denied or the whole series! Please read the introduction post to this week for details!
Things You Might Want to Know: Like I said this is Christian fiction. But also there is a lot of talk about well, sex. :) Storylines between the married couples in the book definitely deal with their bedroom issues, though in a completely tasteful and appropriate way.