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A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman
Revell Publishing, 01 October 2010

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O’Connor is the epitome of the new woman–smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jake fits all of her criteria for a husband–good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and head-over-heels in love with her. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face to face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jake? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever? A Hope Undaunted is the engrossing first book in the WINDS OF CHANGE series from popular author Julie Lessman. Readers will thrill at the highly charged romance in this passionate story.

Finally I have read one of Julie’s book! It’s been a few weeks since I learned of this “Passion with a Purpose” author of historical romance. I discovered Julie after reading her interview on “Come Meet AusJenny” blog. Her enthusiasm and passion emanated from the screen and I knew I had to read her books!

A Hope Undaunted” is the first installment of Julie’s “Winds of Change” series, the second of which is currently a new release (“A Heart Revealed”). This series is actually a follow on from her first series, “The Daughters of Boston”.
This book is set late in the roaring 1920s. It is the story of Katie – the youngest of the six O’Conner children. Katie is a headstrong and defiant character, with lofty ambitions for herself and for the women’s cause. She thinks she has everything for her life sorted out and arranged. Above all, she has the right man – and he has the right money and the right connections.
Luke is the cocky orphan Katie knew when they were kids – all grown up, but just as cocky! Together they butt heads and have lessons to learn about love and life. Their exchanges are fiery, touching, and definitely passionate!
Julie has created strong and feisty characters, who find themselves wrestling with internal and external challenges. There were several points in this book where just when I thought I knew how it was all going to work out, the story would throw me a curve ball! I had many “No!” moments, and I was completely caught up with the characters and their dilemmas. I felt great sorrow with their loss, and great joy with their triumphs.
A Hope Undaunted” is passionate – that’s for sure – but in the many ways it is possible to be passionate: for family, for friends, for the downtrodden, for lovers and most importantly, passion for God. It’s not your conventional “safe” Christian fiction, but neither is it inappropriate. Julie doesn’t shy away from the tough issues – the characters deal with the same temptations we all face as humans, but God’s guiding hand is always there to lead them back on the right path.

Not only am I eager to read the second book in this series – “A Heart Revealed” (released this month), I am putting the earlier three books on my to be read list as well. I am very glad I have discovered Julie’s books!

Ebook Note:
This is the first book I have ever read through the kindle software.  I don’t have a kindle, but I downloaded the software for my android phone and my laptop.  I enjoyed the convenience of kindle keeping track of where I was up to, no matter which device I was on – it was very easy to switch between my phone and laptop.