Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman
Revell, April 15 2013

He’s looking to take care of his family. She’s looking to take care of her heart. Trouble is . . . love’s looking to take care of them both.

Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Jilted by a fortune hunter, Cassidy travels west hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart.

Can love prevail when Jamie discovers that Cassidy is poorer than he is? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

I was ending a reading fast (with the only book I was allowed to pick up under the conditions of the fast was the Bible) when I went to my local bookstore and spied Julie’s book. What a book it was! It’s been ages since I read any of Julie’s books. The last one being A Heart Revealed (which I enjoyed) and I’d kind of forgotten how emotional and drama filled her books are!

Having also read A Hope Undaunted, where I struggled with Luke (sorry Julie, but I just don’t like the guy), then moving to Sean in A Heart Revealed (I liked him a lot) to Jamie now in Love at Any Cost, I have to say this first book in the series has won my heart – mainly through Jamie. Oh, he’s smooth alright, but there’s something about him that just captures my heart. For me, one of the main differences is he’s not as bull-headed and dare I say it, brutish (winces and hides face) as the men in the O’Connor girls lives. In fact, I found all the men in this book, strong, opinionated, determined but not overbearing and this was sweet relief to me.

So back to the book now that comparisons are over! Cassidy is a tough, no nonsense girl who has a broken heart when she comes to San Francisco to visit her cousins. The last thing on her mind is falling for a guy, especially a smooth talking, pretty boy like Jamie McKenna – which she does thanks to Jamie’s aforementioned smooth talking ways. She tries hard to set up boundaries with Jamie and he kind of follows them, but he likes to push boundaries. Jamie is stubborn, a man of pride having pulled his family out from the slums of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast and refuses to believe that he God might have anything to do with his life.

I liked Jamie more than Cassidy. I felt him to be the more well-rounded character, maybe because his road to faith wasn’t paved yet and that is what we get to see. Some people might not like Jamie, branding him a fortune hunter, womanizer, smooth-talker but he’s not a Christian for the majority of the book. He doesn’t know God and his saving grace and his pride in firmly in the way. I love his friendship with Bram (I can’t wait to read his story), it’s honest and Jamie understands that Bram values honesty above anything, so it’s a real friendship.

Cassidy, at times has a little too much spit-fire and she aims it rightfully most of the time at Jamie. She’s hurt and hurt women tend to paint all men with the same brush. I felt though that Cassidy didn’t lean on God like she professed until the end and it felt like it was wrapped up very quickly. However, I loved her relationship with Aunt Cait – what a true, deep, abiding love these two women have for each other. It was really lovely to see what wise counsel can achieve when listened to.

I’m very excited to also see how Aunt Cait’s relationship with Logan McClare continues to unfold! I’m looking forward to reading more from the McClare clan, Julie and the passionate romances that will rock their lives along the way!