Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Surprised By Love

I have always done my very best to make sure I am kind and honest in my appraisal of the books I review. I understand that everyone has different opinions and tastes in what they read and that every author will write books we like and books we don't...

I'm thrilled to have read many very glowing reviews of Surprised By Love and as I am a HUGE fan of Julie Lessman I'm bummed I can't give it my highest rating, but that doesn't mean it won't be a win for you.

Book Rating: Here a little, there a little

I absolutely devoured Julie's first six books. I mean, I really had a hard time putting them down. They are wonderfully written and the characters are deep, rich and intriguing. This new series promised much, though was an intended departure from her pervious style--less passion between characters, etc. Unfortunately, for me this new setting and these new people seemed almost to be a new "version" of the family (and setting) from the previous books which in a way I found confusing. The things they did and the way they communicated (playing games as a family, the heroes giving the heroines pet-names), things that were such a hallmark of the previous family/books-- drew me away from the story. I had a difficult time being hooked into the plot and following who everyone was because of this difficult-to-explain lack of individuality so to speak.

Here's the blurb:

"Shy and unattractive as a child, Megan McClare has always been teased by her classmates. But when she returns home from her senior year in Paris, the wallflower has suddenly blossomed into a beauty. With ambitions to become a lawyer or doctor, Megan accepts an internship at the district attorney's office only to discover that she will be working with Devin Caldwell, a boy who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored. She turns to her dear friend Bram Hughes for support and advice. But Bram's vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a kid sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man?"

There's a lot of fun to be had with this idea, but for me, it wasn't a hit.

I don't mean to steer you away from this book or this series, I think everyone needs to come to their own conclusion. This is just the way I felt about this. The first two books were fun, quick reads, but again, just a very different style from her first books.

Have you read it? What did you think? I do absolutely love Julie and I'm looking forward to what she has coming up in the future. :)

(I'm glad this is via cyberspace...that way if you throw tomatoes at me it won't leave a stain. LOL)

Happy Reading!
Buy it!


  1. Well Amber - - I have to say that your review is - unfortunately - "spot on." I too love Julie Lessman's books - - particularly her Daughters of Boston series - - but I've had a hard time with this San Francisco McClare family series. I'm in the middle of reading this book (Surprised by Love) - and quite honestly by the time I got to Chapter 10, I started getting a funny feeling that this was a type of "remake" of "A Passion Denied" of the previous series. It's the same scenario of young girl growing up around an older guy who during the growing up years they interacted in a "brother/sister" way - but now advance a few years and "sister" is now an older teen or "young woman" and "brother" is now a grown man - and they are trying to "reconnect" with hidden feelings or new feelings - and the "denial" or "awkward" stuff is getting involved - - anyway the relationship between Meg and Bram in "Surprised by Love" - - is too much like the relationship that went on with Lizzy and Brady in "A Passion Denied" - - I just think Julie Lessman is a very talented writer and is too talented to revisit the same scenario again. I'll tell you the truth - - by the time I got to Chapter 10, and feeling like this was a repeat - - I started skipping chapters to see if this was going anywhere or are we just on the same merry-go-round. And I too had a hard time keeping up with who was who and how they all tied into each other - - you are right, it was very distracting. I read to relax not to feel frustrated - and I was feeling frustrated - not a good sign. I know I'll finish it - eventually - but there's nothing grabbing me to make me hustle home to get back to this one. I too know others will have a different perspective and feel for the story - it just hasn't grabbed me either. Move over Amber - I too need to hide behind your cyberspace wall just in case some of those tomatoes miss you and hit me - but I give my honest input be it yay or nay.

    1. Hey Pam!! I just LOVE seeing you here and reading what you think of books! (Loved your take on Lady of Eve, by the way--great insight!) You are so RIGHT ON! It was totally like A Passion Denied. Good call. I was saddened by this series because like you said, Julie is so good and I would have liked to see something different --in a good way-- from her. Keeping my fingers crossed for the next one.
      HUGS TO YOU PAM!!!!!

  2. On a happier note Amber - - the rewrite release of "Lady of Fire" by Tamara Leigh is due out during the Thanksgiving holidays - - you are going to LOVE this story - - a whole different setting - - different plot & twists - - and of course, great romance!! You will GOBBLE it up - - LOL - - I know . . . . a bit corny - - I just had to say it! Happy Thanksgiving!!