A Week Review with Julie Lessman – A Hope Undaunted

Oh boy, oh boy! It’s time to talk about Luke McGee! If you haven’t read Julie’s fourth book, A Hope Undaunted, then you are in for a HOT treat! Not only is it a page turner (as usual), not only does it have a beautiful story and a fiesty heroine – but it has a TO-DIE-FOR hero in Luke McGee. Sense of humor, gorgeous, loyal, determined, with just enough of a temper to tinge him with danger, Luke keeps Katie’s heart fluttering between kiss him-or- kill him thoughts. LOVE IT! Katie needs someone like Luke. And it’s all the better because they were childhood ‘friends’ – AND Luke gave Katie her very first kiss.

SWEET!

So here’s my review from September 2010.

Well, the Kissing Queen is back with her newest novel, A Hope Undaunted, and let me just tell you guys – you will not be disappointed. Cluny McGee (aka Luke) is a FABULOUS hero. Fabulous. Rivals Collin – and that says a lot.

And Katie O’Connor is SUCH an adorable brat. If you’ve followed Julie Lessman’s books at all, you’ll have met most of the characters in A Hope Undaunted – and Julie has a beautiful way of bringing out those stories, keeping them consistent, and giving the reader a feel for the dynamics of a close-knit family.

And let me just tell you – there are so many varied types of love that Julie introduces in the story, the reader gets an opportunity to cringe, laugh, and hope along with the O’Connors – and particularly Katie and Luke McGee.

Two things:

1. Prepare your heart for a LOOOOONG agonizing journey of conflict.

Did I say long? How about agonizing? The reader is suffering and waiting right along with Katie O’Connor as her heart is pitched, pulled, and pried in various directions without any hope for true love. Or at least the true love her soul craves in Luke McGee. I ended up holding my breath more times than I can count, and endlessly wanted to email Julie Lessman to say – “What ARE you doing to these poor people?!?”

2. (And I CAN’T believe I’m writing this) I could have taken another whopper of a kiss at the end, Jules. I mean, after all that heart trauma of the last 150 pages, another kiss-me-till-I’m –dazed liplocker would have been a generous reward ;-)

I COULDN’T put the book down.

HAD. To. Finish. IT.

Which is the hallmark sign of a good book. No surprise there, if Julie Lessman’s name is on the cover. It’s a fabulous story about what true love really looks like and how it can often surprise us – especially those of us who want to have our lives all figured out ahead of time. But it’s also about sacrifices of the heart for the good of others. And sacrifices are painful.

But – as the old adage goes – no pain, no gain.

Read the book for the treasure chest at the end of the marathon journey.

Go Julie. Go Revell. Keep those passion-filled books coming!!!

REMEMBER: Leave a comment about the characters of A Hope Undaunted for your chance to win a Julie Lessman classic. The winner will be announced over the weekend. Good luck!!

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27 thoughts on “A Week Review with Julie Lessman – A Hope Undaunted

    1. OH, SHERRINDA, I TOTALLY AGREE — LUKE IS VERY “HUNKALICIOUS”!! SO MUCH SO, I ACTUALLY DREAMED ABOUT HIM, IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT!! HOW WEIRD IS IT THAT I DREAM IN MY HEAD ABOUT A GUY I MADE UP IN MY HEAD????

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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  1. Uh, Pepper, Julie looks a bit scared in that pic. Were you stalking her?

    And /fans self/ be still my beating heart. Luke McGee. Swoon. And I ❤ Katie too.

    Luke and Brady are my two fave male leads. Maybe because they're not quite such bad boys. I do like Collin and Mitch, but with 3 daughters, I like boys who aren't quite so bad ;). We've had this convo before though haven't we Julie =D. You keep writing the bad boys and I'll keep trying to keep my girls away from their real life counterparts until they're reformed. Or possibly just lock my girls up. That maybe sounds better.

    Um. I think I'm a bit incoherent or rambly tonight. I Can. Not. wait for this next one darlin'! Preorders can't get here soon enough!

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

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    1. Of COURSE I was stalking her. EVERYONE stalks Julie. You should just see it. Rows of people following her around….
      She was probably petrified 😉

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      1. LOL!! COME ON, PEPPER, WHERE WERE YOU LAST YEAR??? EVERYWHERE YOU GO AT ACFW, IT’S TEEMING WITH PEOPLE, SO THOSE “LINES” YOU THINK YOU SAW WERE PROBABLY IN LINE FOR THE BATHROOM!! 🙂

        CAN’T WAIT TO “STALK” WITH YOU GUYS!!

        HUGS,
        JULIE

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    2. YEAH, CAROL, I DO LOVE THOSE BAD BOYS, BUT ONLY WHEN THEY TURN GOOD!!! AND I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND YOUR TAKE ON THAT WITH DAUGHTERS, BUT STILL … I CUT MY TEETH ON ROMANCE WITH RHETT BUTLER, SO MAYBE THAT GIVES YOU SOME INSIGHT … 🙂

      IT’S NOT CONSIDERED “STALKING” WHEN YOU ARE GOOD FRIENDS LIKE YOU AND CASE, RIGHT??? CAN’T WAIT!!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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  2. Gah, I can’t believe what I missed this week! Since I’m studying for finals, I guess I have an excuse (last one is tomorrow, yay!). I admit, “A Hope Undaunted” was my second Julie Lessman book (after APMP), and I LOVED it (it’s currently my favorite one).

    *SPOILERS*
    Sometimes Christian fiction gets a bad rap for “predictability” and such, but … the plot –ack, I hoped, but I didn’t know for sure what would happen! My family always watched Hallmark Channel movies, but a lot of them have the “girl is dating/engaged to the easy-for-audience-to-dislike guy and then meets a better for her guy” thing, so I liked that Parker was a great character … he was “hot” in his own way also, IMHO. It also made me love Colin (I liked him by the end of APMP, but … blast, mature Colin is even better. =P I loved seeing all the other couples had stories as well. I also thought that Sean and Emma were cute, so I’m ecstatic that they’re getting their own book.
    I enjoyed Katie and Luke’s relationship in the present and in flashbacks. When I finally read “A Passion Denied” I “squeed” a bit when I realized there were actual scenes with Luke and Katie as kids that were mentioned in “AHU” (like the scene with the mint Lifesavers), it just added to “AHU.”

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    1. LDK!!!!! HOW THE HECK ARE YOU, GIRL??? WELL, NOT GREAT, I GUESS, SINCE FINALS ARE GOING ON, BUT I AM SAYING ONE FOR YOU RIGHT NOW, SO GOD BLESS!!

      AND MY HUSBAND WAS SOOOOO UPSET ABOUT PARKER IN AHU THAT HE WAS MAD AT ME. 🙂 I EVEN HAD A READER ASK IF I COULD PUT PARKER IN A FUTURE BOOK. HE WAS A GREAT CHARACTER, WASN’T HE??

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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      1. Thanks *Ms.* Julie! I’m glad it’s over –I feel like I did well enough, so we’ll see.

        =) I wouldn’t have minded a book about Parker. He’s going to be a priest though … and it sounded like he won’t be able to marry. He could still show up or something though …

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  3. I loved reading Katie and Luke’s story in ‘AHU’…It’s as if they were made for each other…from childhood. And Julie, I had to smile when I read you note that you actually dreamt of Luke….how cool is that!!!

    Forgive me, Julie…in my last posting I said “Steven” and Emma….I KNOW that your latest masterpiece is about SEAN and Emma…

    Love ya,

    karenk

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    1. NO NEED FOR FORGIVENESS, KAREN, I MIX MY CHARACTERS UP ALL THE TIME!! AND I THINK KATIE AND LUKE ARE MADE FOR EACH OTHER, TOO, ALTHOUGH I HAD ONE READER FRIEND WHO WAS UPSET KATIE DIDN’T END UP WITH PARKER BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT THEY’D BE BETTER SUITED. BUT I DON’T AGREE … IT’S KIND OF LIKE TAMING OF THE SHREW — WHEN YOU HAVE SOMEONE AS STUBBORN AS KATIE O’CONNOR, SHE NEEDS A STRONG MAN WHO WON’T CAVE IN TO HER, AND LUKE IS CERTAINLY THAT. WHICH … MAKES FOR A GREAT STORY IN THE NEXT BOOK!! 🙂

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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  4. All your books and characters are wonderful when they aren’t BC (before Christ) and as such being selfish, mean, foolish or whatever other human attitudes and behaviors they have that affect people around them negatively and eventually come back to bite them one way or another.

    Again it’s been too long since I read this one to remember much about it but as a few others said Katie and Luke had an extremely tense and conflicted interaction through most of the book. Perhaps as they say “hate” and “love” are more closely related than we assume rather than being opposites. Katie and Luke were at one another’s throats (figuratively speaking) from the day they met. Then again the saying “opposites attract” just got a perfect example to corroborate its truth.

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    1. OH, MELISSA, YES, OPPOSITES ATTRACT, BUT IT’S SOOOO MUCH FUN TO READ ABOUT HEADBUTTING IN A ROMANCE WITH TWO EQUALLY STUBBORN PEOPLE … A LA RHETT & SCARLETT, JOHN WAYNE AND MAUREEN IN THE QUIET MAN. IT’S THE WHOLE POWER STRUGGLE THING BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN THAT IS SOOOO MUCH FUN TO WRITE …. AND FOR ME, READ … ABOUT!!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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  5. Hi guys,

    Loved this book as well. Luke is so great! How could he not be, mentored by Brady! One of my favorite scenes is between Luke & Brady, when Brady goes to stop Luke from killing the guy who raped Betty! Great scene!

    I’m going to join the “Julie Stalkers” this year at the ACFW Conference! Maybe we can make a huge sign “Julie Lessman Fan Club” with our own kiosk! LOL!! I can’t wait to meet all my cyber pals!

    Good luck tomorrow, Pepper! Cheering for you!

    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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    1. Sue,
      You are super. Best of luck to you too. I’m SURE of all the wonderful people on the list, I will have plenty I can cheer for.

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    2. SUE … OH, THAT FIGHT SCENE BETWEEN LUKE AND BRADY IS ONE OF MY FAVS, ALTHOUGH I WORRIED IT WAS TOO GIRLY THE WAY I WROTE IT BECAUSE I’M A GAL AND WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT FIST FIGHTS?? OH, WAIT … I HAVE NINE SISTERS AND THREE BROTHERS, SO I TAKE THAT BACK … 🙂

      AND WHOO-WHOO!!! I AM SOOOO THRILLED I’LL GET TO MEET YOU THIS YEAR, SUE, THAT IS AWESOME!!! WE CAN ALL HANG OUT TOGETHER IN THE LOBBY BAR AFTER NINE WITH ALL THE OTHER SEEKERS, OKAY? BUT, UH … LEAVE THE SIGN AT HOME … 🙂

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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  6. Posts about Julie and her fabulous books are always so great! I join the line of those who love both the author and the talents the Lord has given her in abundance. Thanks for these wonderful posts showcasing and highlighting her series. She’s always so accessible when she’s featured on blogs, too, and I admire that quality so much. Julie, if you read this, you are such an inspiration. I can only hope my series keeps going so maybe one day readers will tell me which one of MY guys is their favorite (I redeem you-know-who in the third book – he becomes a real favorite of those who’ve read the series). There IS something about those bad boys and their transformation, isn’t there? It’s interesting to hear which of your guys are YOUR favorites. If you’d care to share WHY, I’m sure we’d love to hear it. Thanks again, and keep on writing, Julie, Pepper and the gang!

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    1. HEY, JOANN, THANKS FOR COMING BY … AND BRING ON THE SEQUELS, GIRLFRIEND, BECAUSE YOUR FIRST BOOK, AWAKENING, WAS WONDERFUL AND I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO READ IT!!

      MITCH AND LUKE ARE MY FAVORITES BECAUSE I LIKE STRONG MEN THAT WON’T LET ME GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING. MY HUSBAND IS A MILD-MANNERED GUY WHO MY FAMILY ACTUALLY THOUGHT I WOULD LEAD AROUND WITH A RING IN HIS NOSE. UH, NO. THERE IS A SCENE BETWEEN KATIE AND LUKE IN A HEART REVEALED THAT INVOLVES A CHICKEN AND SHAVING CREAM THAT IS PULLED STRAIGHT FROM THE ANNALS OF JULIE AND KEITH!! AND TRUST ME — MY HUBBY WEARS THE PANTS IN MY FAMILY … PARTIALLY BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN BIBLICAL SUBMISSION (I.E. RESPECT) AND PARTIALLY BECAUSE HE IS A VERY, VERY STRONG AND STUBBORN MALE, PROVIDING LOTS AND LOTS OF FODDER FOR THIS VERY DRAMATIC AUTHOR. 🙂

      CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU AT ACFW, GIRL!

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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      1. Gee, you ARE accessible! Thanks so much, Julie, for your kind comments about my book (Pepper’s read it, too, and I believe will be featuring it here in the near future). I love hearing why other authors feel certain characters are special to them (since they created them). I agree re: strong men, and even wrote a blog, “Where Are All the Men?” regarding the stereotypical males in novels today, even Christian ones, as sometimes lacking in that arena. Sam in Awakening is based on my own hubby, Jim (strong but also grumpy sometimes), and I’m with you re: biblical submission. Wait until you read the Seven Rules of Marriage (from a man’s perspective) that Sam gives Marc in Book #2. Some might not agree, but they’re inspired by the Almighty. So, in my opinion, it’s hard to argue with them. Blessings.

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  7. I agree that Katie needed a very strong man that she couldn’t just run over. Luke is perfect for her. Parker is a very likable man though and it would be nice to read more about him. I hope he found a woman perfectly suited for him!

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    1. PAM, MY HUSBAND ACTUALLY ASKED ME TO WRITE A BOOK FOR PARKER BECAUSE HE LIKED HIM SO MUCH, AND I ACTUALLY CONSIDERED IT — HAVING HIM FALL IN LOVE WITH A FELLOW SEMINARIAN’S SISTER IN THE CHURCH WHILE HE’S IN SEMINARY OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, BUT IT PROBABLY WON’T HAPPEN. 🙂

      HUGS,
      JULIE

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      1. Hmm … fan fiction, anyone? I know there are a ton of budding authors out there. 😉

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