A Week Review with Julie Lessman – A Passion Redeemed

by | May 9, 2011 | Fiction Book Reviews | 29 comments

Yesterday (or today – as the time goes) we chatted about Julie Lessman’s debut novel, A Passion Most Pure (the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year novel and one of Borders Best for 2009). In that first novel, we meet sassy, sexy, and sensational, Charity O’Connor – who always seems to need a good spanking 😉 Or… to quote Rhett Butler, she ‘needs to be kissed, and kissed often, and kissed by a man who knows how.”

Mitch Dennehey certainly seems to be the ‘man that knows how’ – though it takes him a while to realize it.

Here’s my review from August 2008 of A Passion Redeemed – Julie’s second book in the Daughters of Boston series and the VERY FIRST Julie Lessman book I ever read.

Move over Scarlett O’Hara! Step up, Charity O’Connor!  Much like her Civil War era predecessor, Charity gets what she wants by using her looks, charms, and manipulation.  Unlike her older sister, Faith – who lives up to her name, Charity has no use for God’s love or His staunch rules and regulations.  All she’s certain of, is that she loves Mitch Dennehy and she’ll do whatever it takes to make him love her back.
Mitch has already been taunted and burned by Charity’s devious schemes, once.  Not only has his heart been transformed by God’s grace, he’s set his mind on marrying another lady…even if his heart hasn’t caught up yet.
But when Charity’s own stubborn will and brilliantly planned schemes explode in her face and turn Mitch away from her, can she find solace in a love beyond her own imperfections that will meet her every need?  Is there redemption for a sassy, flirtatious, lying, manipulative beauty….and her dreams?  Will Charity learn the true meaning of her name in the One who never fails?
My two cents worth:
Julie Lessman has convinced me that I need to read her first novel too.  This book was a great read….powerful, funny, intense, with Biblical truths woven through the braided lives of the characters.  I read it twice and liked it better the second time.  I’ve never been a fan of characters like Scarlet O’Hara….and I’m not sure I’m a big fan of Charity O’Conner, but after I read through the book a second time I realized Charity had learned her lesson.  She really had been changed through God’s grace.
One of the many nice touches in this novel is the way Charity begins talking to God long before she really makes a decision to follow Him.  There’s this gradual draw to speak to Him…to know Him, even in her most wicked schemes.  It’s a wonderful testament of the Holy Spirit’s continual pull of our hearts to Him…the whole idea of “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
A Passion Redeemed certainly has passion in it…..and every man the reader meets, ends up kissing Charity at some point or other in the this novel or the last, so that’s got to give you some idea of her track record, and what sort of taming is in store for this little prodigal.
Most people either really like Charity, or find her overwhelming. What do you think? What makes Mitch so likeable?
REMEMBER – leave a comment for your chance to win one of Julie’s books, including her up-and-coming 5th book, A Heart Revealed.

29 Comments

  1. CarolM

    Julie –

    I KNOW your faves are the heroes ;). But I like Emma actually in this one. I like Charity and Mitch of course but Emma I think is my fave. I’m so looking forward to her story this summer!

    I’m planning to reread before this next one comes out. Timing should be about right. I have several others in my TBR pile, but won’t be adding to it since all my spending money for the next 18mos or so is going to be going toward registration for ACFW in a couple weeks.

    And be proud of me Julie! Sent off queries today! EEP!

    Love ya lady! And you too Pepper!

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      Oh, CAROL — gotta feeling you are going to love, love, LOVE EMMA!!! She is SO incredible and kind and sweet and STRONG!! Hope you like it.

      And SUPER CONGRATS on sending queries out!! You go, girl!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Reply
  2. CarolM

    Ooops – answered yesterdays question.

    I like Charity fine. She annoys me sometimes, but not horribly so. Ditto Mitch. But Julie knows my feeling about bad boys sometimes ;). I like Luke better =D. I do like Mitch’s strength, his take chargeness. At least sometimes ;).

    I’m all waffly. Maybe I should reread sooner rather than later…

    Do you need emails? carol at carolmoncado dot com

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      CAROL … I’m hoping you will LOVE Charity by the end of Emma’s story. She is JUST as amazing as Emma, but in a bolder, funnier, more in-your-face type of way. You gotta love her!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Reply
  3. Ann Lee Miller

    I got so royally annoyed with Charity in A Passion Most Pure that I had a hard time forgiving her in A Passion Redeemed. Oh, I am such a grudge holder, even in my fiction. Ha!

    Ann Lee Miller

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      ANN!!! Am I going to have to have a plot on grudges to make you see the light??? Charity is WONDERFUL, and I hope you end up liking her A LOT more in Emma’s story because she makes me laugh in almost every scene she’s in in the book. 🙂

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Reply
  4. Leah

    I did NOT like Charity at all in the end of APMP and into the beginning of this book.
    But after a reading farther in, she kinda started to grow on me!:)
    And Mitch. Oh la la!!
    He is one goodlookin’ guy!!;)
    Oh man just thinking about this book makes me want to read it right now!!

    Reply
    • Pepper

      Leah,
      Julie’s character do evoke a response, don’t they?!? That’s the hallmark of a good writer.
      She’s a BIG fan of Scarlett O’Hara, ya know. Wonder who inspired Charity’s character 😉

      Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      LEAH … boy, am I with you on “And Mitch. Oh la la!!” DITTO!!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply
  5. Susan Mason

    Whether people like or dislike Charity, one thing you have to say is that Julie knows how to create unique characters that generate passion in one form or another!!

    Charity grew on me – even more so in later books after she’s married and a mom! Now I love to see what schemes she’ll be up to!

    Good job, Julie! Keep on creating!

    Hugs, Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

    Reply
    • Pepper

      Totally agree with you, Susan.
      She grew on me too. It’s almost like you could see God reforming her through each book

      Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      THANKS, SUE … I’M DOING MY BEST, FLYING BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS TO GET THIS LAST BOOK DONE, WHICH IS WHY MY NOTES ARE SHORT TODAY …

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply
  6. karenk

    i loved charity’s spunk…she was totally opposite of her sister, faith. gosh, i wish that i had a little bit of charity’s personality in me. and mitch, he’s a 10 🙂

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      LOL, KAREN … YOU DON’T WANT TOO MUCH OF MISS CHARITY!! I HAPPENED TO HAVE A LOT OF HER BEFORE CHRIST, AND IT WASN’T PRETTY. 🙂

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply
  7. Pegg Thomas

    I’d forgotten all about that Rhett Butler quote! If that fits this story, I know I’ll enjoy reading it. 🙂

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      PEGG … YES, IF YOU LIKE KISSES, MY BOOKS HAVE MORE PER CAPITA AND PER CHAPTER THAN ANY OTHER AUTHOR IN THE CBA, GUARANTEED!!!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply
  8. Melissa (ForstRose)

    I liked that Charity “got a taste of her own medicine” in this book. Mitch was probably perfect for her because like her father he wouldn’t take any guff. He had the strength and fortitude to stand firm and haul her off kicking and screaming if need be. With Charity’s brazen insolence and insistence on her way she needed some discipline and enforced order to straighten her out. Mitch did exactly that with some assistance from God along the way.

    It’s been so long since I read this book that I can’t remember who my favorite is but Charity wasn’t at the top of my list among the characters in this series. She does change though as Julie mentions and if you haven’t read Redeemed yet you should just for the sake of witnessing the process she goes through.

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      MELISSA … YES, I ALWAYS THOUGHT MITCH AND CHARITY WERE A GOOD MATCH FOR THAT VERY REASON — CHARITY NEEDED A TIGHT REIN, AND MITCH IS DEFINITELY THAT, AS YOU WILL SEE IN THE NEXT BOOK. I BELIEVE CHARITY CALLS HIM A BULLY REGULARLY. 🙂

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply
      • Melissa (ForstRose)

        I seem to remember her calling him that a few times in the earlier books too. He also somewhat like a parent seems to know when she’s hatching one of her plans and calls her out on it which she seems to find rather upsetting since her schemes are generally intended to be “secrets”. LOL. I think he enjoys finding her out and telling her so though. Maybe now that she’s not trying to ruin everyone else’s lives though he’ll keep quiet so her secrets aren’t spoiled.

        Reply
  9. Melissa Battles

    I thought Mitch was such a perfect character for Charity’s character. I really enjoy seeing all of the characters in the new books.

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      MELISSA, YOU ARE DEAD ON — MITCH AND CHARITY WERE MADE FOR EACH OTHER … UH, BY ME!! 🙂

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply
  10. Pam Kellogg

    I didn’t like Charity at first because of the way she treated Faith. However, after she gave her heart to Christ, and to Mitch, she was much more likeable. She still retains some of her old personality, such as scheming, but she tends now to use it for good rather than for selfish reasons. As I re-read this, I realized I wrote it as if Charity is a real person. Julie’s characters are so well-written that they DO seem like real people. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in this wonderfully passionate story of the O’Connor family.

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      PAM, I GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOVE CHARITY IN THE NEXT BOOK OR YOUR MONEY BACK … 🙂

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply
  11. splashesofjoy

    Ok Since I haven’t read any of Julie’s books……yeah I know..where have I been?? I just didn’t find out about you Julie until I joined the group. but from the reviews, I think Charity does sound like a spunky character, and I am gonna have to do some reading to find out!!! I’d love to win one of your books!
    Blessings…..Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com

    Reply
    • pepperbasham

      Okay – We’ve GOT TO GET Joy a book, Jules!
      I’m tempted to send her one of mine!

      Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      JOY!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU HAVEN’T READ MY BOOKS??? OH, GIRL, WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT FAST!! IF YOU WIN, YOU NEED TO START WITH BOOK 1, A PASSION MOST PURE, OKAY? THIS IS DEFINITELY A SERIES THAT NEEDS TO BE READ IN ORDER TO GET THE MOST OUT OF IT DUE TO A NUMBER OF BIG SURPRISES. GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply
  12. Julie Lessman

    EVERYBODY, FORGIVE ME FOR MY TARDINESS TODAY … I AM UP TO MY EYEBROWS IN FINAL SCENES FOR MY LAST O’CONNOR BOOK ON WHICH I AM TWO MONTHS BEHIND, SO I AM CRAZEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    HUGS,
    JULIE

    Reply
  13. Tori Lynn

    Ahh! I just realized my comment from yesterday never showed up on here. Probably my fault. I know just enough about computers to get myself in trouble…

    I find Charity a perfect example of an unsurrendered life. She wants things her way and makes sure she gets it. If she has to lie, cheat, manipulate, or walk over people, so what?. I like how she thinks and says she’s given herself to God when, at first, she really hasn’t. Partly just because she thinks it’ll get her Mitch. But once she finally does give herself wholly to God her turnaround is evident. Even though it takes her a hard knock on the head. Sadly sometimes it takes a terrible situation for God to get our attention, especially if we don’t listen to the gentler ways God uses to tell us to change.
    I love Mitch because he is so steady. He’s already changed a lot from book one and he’s learned to depend on God but he still has his struggles. Especially with Charity. And inspite of all that he stays committed to God and tries to do the right thing. Mitch is probably my favorite hero. But I haven’t read any of the Winds of Change series yet and I think Luke sounds like he might change my mind. 😉

    ~Tori Lynn

    Reply
    • Julie Lessman

      OH, TORI, GIRLFRIEND — JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU SINK YOUR TEETH INTO MR. CLUNY MCGEE. SIGH!! AND THEN SIGH SOME MORE!! MITCH WAS MY FAVORITE UNTIL I WROTE CLUNY MCGEE, AND THEN WHOA, BABY, IT’S PRETTY MUCH NECK-IN-NECK NOW, WITH AN EDGE TO CLUNY. YOU JUST WAIT, KIDDO!! 🙂

      HUGS,
      JULIE

      Reply

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