October 4, 2016

Review: Love Everlasting by Julie Lessman {Blog Tour + Giveaway}



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I had been eagerly anticipating this book ever since I first read the synopsis for it. Not to mention everyone and their sister has been gushing over book one of the series, Isle of Hope. But it wasn't until I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Lessman in person a couple months ago that my impatient nature began showing itself. After hearing her speak on the personal reasons that inspired her to write this series (I love knowing the background stories which galvanize an author to begin writing), I knew that October couldn't get here fast enough. Now it's here, I finally got the book in my hands, and I loved it! I think you will too. :)

Firstly, it's those characters who pull me in (as usual). I loved Shannon and her sweet and caring nature, who can also be bold enough to stand her ground when the occasion calls for it. (Although I will admit that I wasn't as big a fan of her nickname. It's used constantly and kind of bugs me, but that's just a personal quibble.) The close relationship she has with her family is wonderful to watch play out. The O'Bryen's are awesome! They all clearly love one another dearly and even when one makes a mistake, they confront the issue with love and grace as needed and move on. When problems arise, they're all guaranteed to do whatever they can to make things better, they look after each other fiercely. They actually remind me a lot of the McKenna clan from Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage series, who just happen to be one of my very favorite fictional families!

Then there's Sam, aka Dr. Love. He's got the biggest amount of growing to do because he starts out with layers that are in desperate need of peeling back. As we're reminded (a little too) frequently, he's a player and perfectly happy to be one! I don't think we have enough nice guys in fiction, but I do have to admit that there is just something about a bad boy who gets redeemed, isn't there? That's precisely who Sam is at the beginning, a bad boy with a tender heart that he keeps hidden. Watching as Shannon slowly batters down his walls, almost unbeknownst to him (or her either), is hilarious at times and awfully swoony at others! Because can I just say that the chemistry between those two is off the charts! Yet the very best part is how they inspire each other to change and become better versions of themselves. Neither are without fault though, so their relationship requires a lot of patience and grace from each other.

I can't forget to mention Tess and Ben's relationship because we spend a good deal of time with them as well. I gathered that there is some backstory from book one which I haven't read, but Ms. Lessman provides just the right amount of indication of what happened to keep me from being confused. I had no trouble jumping right into their part of the story, which is full of enough angst and swoons and amusement to make any reader happy. I do have to confess that their storyline didn't hold my attention quite so fully as Sam and Shannon's though, and I would often skim through some of their chapters. I still enjoyed getting their perspectives though! Especially when the O'Bryen's were all together.

Chemistry-laden swooniness plus character growth plus really wonderful writing equals a delightful story so worth your time! I highly recommend this one, friends. SO good! :)

**I received a complimentary copy via Singing Librarian Books in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie Lessman was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list.

Julie’s most recent novel, Isle of Hope was voted on Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, and Surprised by Love appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014. Her independent novel A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner. Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.


Giveaway



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

October 1--
October 2--Bibliophile Reviews | Wishful Endings
October 3--Book by Book | Singing Librarian Books ​
October 4--Flowers of Quiet Happiness 
October 5--Getting Your Read On | The Green Mockingbird 
October 6--Faithfully Bookish | Just Commonly 
October 7--Daysong Reflections Bookworm Mama
​October 8--Smiling Book Reviews Zerina Blossom's Books







17 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fun story. And I like that you don't have to read the first book to enjoy it.

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    1. JENNY, thanks SO much for taking the time to come by, and I hope I will be sending you a winning ecopy of book 1, Isle of Hope, so GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Jenny: It IS a fun story! And I appreciate series that can be read as stand-alones myself. Even when they have connecting storylines, like this one does.

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  2. KARA!!! Thank you soooooo much for the great review, my friend, and I am SO glad you enjoyed LE! But it sounds like we need to get IOH in your hot, little hands, so message me through FB, and we'll see what we can do about that, okay?

    Thanks again, my friend, not only for the lovely review, but for taking the time to be part of my blog tour in the first place -- you are a blessing!

    Hugs and I SO enjoyed meeting you in Nashville!!
    Julie

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    Replies
    1. Julie: You are so very welcome!! I was thrilled to have the chance to read your beautiful story! I am definitely looking forward to reading Isle of Hope soon...ish. :) And actually, I bought a copy from you in August, so I already own it. But thank you for offering to remedy that in case I didn't!

      I absolutely LOVED meeting you in Nashville! It was an honor, believe me. :)

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    2. Julie: Also, I do apologize that it took this long for me to get around to responding to your comments. Life happened, but that's no excuse.

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  3. What a lovely review!!! I agree with much of what you said, especially concerning the grace Sam and Shannon extend to one another because they are most definitely not perfect people (and I'm thankful they were portrayed as such).

    It sounds like you really do need to read the first book! It is very good, with a story of redemption all its own. (and Jack and Lacey have plenty of chemistry together, too :) ) I was rooting for Tess and Ben in book 2 because of the way they are established in book 1, so I was thrilled to see their relationship end up like it did.

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    1. COURT!!! Yeah, Tess and Ben are favorites of mine because, well, let's face it ... I'm old too, so it's fun to read (and write) about older couples. The way I figure it, why should the young pups like you and Kara have all the fun with romance, yes?

      Hugs!!
      Julie

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    2. Courtney: Thank you, my friend! :) And yes, you said it precisely. I really liked that Sam and Shannon are flawed and that we, as the readers, see it so clearly. It gave them so much more depth and made them feel like real people.

      I know, I know! I REALLY need to get to Isle of Hope! I keep telling myself that too. :D Nothing is holding me back except all the other lovely stories out there yet to be read! ;) I shall have to make it more of a priority.

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    3. Julie: You are SO NOT OLD! Just to be clear, okay? :) But I also enjoy stories about older couples. I think I might enjoy them better the older I get because it is true that I tend to connect better to couples closer to my own age. However! Like I said, that doesn't mean I don't still enjoy older couples love stories now. Because I do! And maybe once I read IOH, I'll have enough of Tess and Ben's background bits to really get into their parts of this book. :)

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  4. Shannon is my type of gal: shy, devoted and a romance writer. lol :))

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    Replies
    1. ROSE, then you are going to LOVE this book! By the way, did you see the pic of Sam on Carrie Schmidt's blog? If not, here's another reason to love this book ...

      CARRIE SCHMIDT'S BLOG

      HUGS!!
      Julie


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    2. Rose: She's my kind of gal too! I think you'll like her, if you haven't met her yet. :D

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    3. Julie: I had seen your pictures of Sam and Shannon before, but I have to admit I REALLY like who you have in mind. *dreamy sigh* ;)

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  5. All you need to say is "chemistry laden swooniness" and I'm in! :) Thanks so much for reviewing this one, Kara. :)

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    Replies
    1. Rissi: I think you're going to love this one, my friend! And I am definitely not kidding about that chemistry either! :D

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  6. RISSI!!! Always enjoy seeing your name pop up, my friend, so thanks for coming by! Hope you enjoy the "chemistry laden swoonieness" when you read it, so here's to a win!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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Thank you so much for visiting! I love comments and try to respond to each one. (Please comment!) Have a splendiferously awesome day and y'all come back anytime! :)

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