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With delectable descriptions and a romantic sensibility, bestselling author Julie Lessman brings the Gilded Age to life in this sumptuous new series. Readers will faithfully follow Lessman to the West Coast for more romance, passion, and surprising revelations found in Love at Any Cost.
Posted April 15, 2013
I grew quite attached to the O'Connor family in Lessman's Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series, so I wasn't sure I could develop the same bond to a new cast of characters in this new kick-off to the Heart of San Francisco series. I need not have worried! Love At Any Cost is both refreshing and rich, with a spunky heroine and heart-warming hero, laugh-out-loud humor and plot twists that will keep you turning pages til you reach "The End" with a contented sigh. Lovers of Christian romance novels can't go wrong with a Julie Lessman title.
~Jocelyn Green, author of Wedded to War
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Posted April 15, 2013
From the first page, I was hooked. What a beginning! I guarantee, it'll bowl you over.
There are two love stories intertwined in this Christian fiction. Both Cassidy and Aunt Cait demand that any man who could win their heart must also be a man of faith. This proves problematic as the would-be suitors don't much care for the things of God.
One caveat: I dislike the repetition. The author describes the physical attributes of the characters way too often, and explains situations over and over.
This book is one for lovers of romance novels. Flirting, kissing, and tears fill the pages. There are tension-filled love scenes that leave the characters--along with the reader--wanting more. Although the plot is somewhat predictable, there are some twists to surprise the reader at the end.
Available April 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Thank you to Donna Hausler at Baker Publishing Group and Revell for my copy.
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Posted April 12, 2013
This is the story of the McClare's, a wealthy family living in San Francisco in 1902, not only of the younger generation but of the family matriarch, Caitlyn McClare as well. A widow, Caitlyn butts heads regularly with her brother in law, Logan McClare, who broke her heart before she married his brother. She's constantly trying to guard her heart from him but will she succeed?
This is also the story of a cousin to the San Francisco McClares. She too has been hurt by a man and has no plans to give her heart away again. When Jamie McKenna, a friend of the McClares, tramples on her still sore heart, will she trust again?
I'm pretty sure you know the answer. This book was predictable at best, and I was not impressed with the way a couple things were handled. Reader beware, there may be thematic elements that could be objectionable in a christian novel.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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Posted April 7, 2013
Wow! It may have been Cassie who took a tumble that day at the train station, but I was the one who fell hard!
This book took me on a wild ride. Full of twist and turns that even I didn't expect and that's saying something. I'm hardly ever surprised anymore. I usually can figure out what's going to happen by the first few chapters, but not with this book. Mrs. Lessman always throws a curve ball in to scatter my thinking. And in this one I think there were about 50. She has a way of writing that is very inviting. She draws you in and traps you and before you know it you're hooked. You find yourself sad to see it come to an end.
In this book Texas oil heiress Cassidy McClare has been jilted by her Fiancés Mark Chancelor in her small Texas town of Humble. He says his father disapproves of the match, but she suspects it has to do with her Daddy's dry wells. She is devastated and has made the decision to put her future happiness in God's Hands and not in another man's from now on. She needs to get away and forget, so she takes a trip to her Aunt Caitlyn's home in San Francisco. What she doesn't expect is to be bowled over by a no good polecat pretty boy named Jamie McKenna.
Jamie is a boy from the Barbary Coast, raised in the slums and fighting his way out. Jamie has become a lawyer and best friends with Cassie's cousins Blake and Brahm. He has aspirations to be in politics one day and to provide for his mother and crippled sister, who needs an operation that is expensive. He needs a wife that is not only rich but with a father that is well connected. He thinks he has found the right one in Patricia until Cassie shows up and offers a life with someone that is not only rich and well connected but someone he could fall in love with.
Cassie is gun shy and tells Jamie that she wants a God centered relationship with him. Jamie has never relied on God but for Cassidy he is willing to try. When Jamie finds out that Cassie could be poorer than him, he has to make a decision between his hopes for the future he had planed for since he was a boy and the future he wants with Cassie.
Also in this book is the secondary story of Cassidy's widowed Aunt Caitlyn McClare and her Uncle Logan McClare. Cait and Logan were once engaged to be married until Cait found out about Logan's infidelity. Calling off the wedding Cait is devastated until she finally realizes that Logan was too selfish to stay true and to have married him would have been a mistake. She wants someone with a faith in God like herself and finds it in Liam McClare, Logan's older brother. They have a happy life until he dies suddenly a year and half ago. Now Logan, older and wiser wants to fill the gap and is sorry he ever let her go. Cait knows Logan is interested but is not ready to let go of Liam or forget what Logan did all those years ago. Can Cait let her self trust him and can Logan be the man Cait needs?
Mr. Lessman has spun straw into gold. She weaves such a wonderful story about life and faith in God. As always the story is full of imperfect people with imperfect lives. And that is were she gets it right. We are all sinners and have come short of the glory of God. To write about perfect characters that never do anything wrong is a mistake that Mrs. Lessman never makes. To see that someone can mess up and yet God still loves them and want a relationship with them is real and what makes her stories so wonderful in my book. I can't wait for the second in this series and recommend this book to everyone!
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Posted January 16, 2015
I enjoyed reading the story of Cassidy McClare and getting to meet this new MCClare family of San Francisco after having to say goodbye tp the O'Connor family of Boston. Here is another great book written such passion by Julie Lessman. I am drawn to her books because she writes so passionately about love in family and other relationships, but especially because she writes so passionately about the love of God. I highly recommend this book and the other two to follow but suggest that they are read in order. CAGWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 3, 2014
Well, here we go again! Another wonderful read to start off a new series by Julie Lessman. As in her other works, Julie presents such an enjoyable story with very compelling characters that touch your heart. Glad there are 2 more books in this series and I have them lined up on my kindle to read next.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2014
Posted April 10, 2014
Posted March 22, 2014
Julie Lessman never fails to write a great stoty! I love her style of writing. Julie introduces you to characters that you fall in love with or really get upset with. I totally recommend this book. Cant wait to read the next book in the series. Great christian fiction book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2014
Excellent start to a new series!
When I started Love at Any Cost I wasn’t sure how much I would like it. I had fallen in love with the O’Connors from her other books and didn’t know if I would be able to connect with a new family. I am happy to say that I love the McClares! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
Cassie McClare has been burned before and wants nothing to do with another “pretty boy” as she calls them, so imagine her surprise when one literally sweeps her off her feet when she gets to San Francisco! I loved Cassie’s character! She was so sweet, but sassy too. I enjoyed the sparring that went on between Jamie and her, and watching her stand up for herself. She was so determined to keep Jamie at a distance, but he was equally determined to change her mind. My favorite part was when she came to the realization that she didn’t need a man to make her feel loved, because God already loves her.
Jamie McKenna was also a favorite! He was so dogged in his pursuit of Cassie, not taking “no” for an answer (which was slightly annoying at times). Everyone thinks of him as a rogue, but as I got to know him, I found he wasn‘t that much of one. He was just so sure that he alone had to provide for him family, that he was willing to do anything to make that happen. I loved how sweet he was, especially with Jess, his sister. I quickly fell in love with him too! Jamie had to learn that he does, in fact, need God. I enjoyed seeing him go through a transformation during the story, as this truth finally began to sink in. He’s one of those characters that you just want to cheer for, when they finally get it!
I also fell in love with all the other characters - Cait, Logan, Allison, Bram, Blake, Maggie, Meg, Rose, Hadley, and Jess! They were all so real and very well rounded, even those that didn’t get much page time. I very much enjoyed the secondary story between Cait and Logan, and I can’t wait to see where that goes in the following books!
As always, Julie’s books are well researched and written and this one is no exception! The descriptions were so vivid, bringing the early 1900s and San Francisco to life! I enjoyed the differing points of view, which I feel really brought the story to life. I can’t wait to read Allison’s book, Dare to Love Again, which in next in my TBR pile! I’m not sure how it could top this one, though Julie always manages to surpass my every expectation!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a wonderful romance with characters that jump off the pages and into your heart!
Posted March 7, 2014
JULIE LESSMAN = WRITING PERFECTION!!
In May 1902, Cassidy McClare - cowgirl, and Texas oil heiress (whose father's oil wells had run dry) -
visits her wealthy cousins in San Francisco in hopes of forgetting her heartache over a jilted
relationship with a fortune hunter. Although not wanting a relationship with another pretty boy - she falls
in love with family friend, Jamie MacKenna, not realizing he's another fortune hunter - hoping to provide
a better life for his mother and sister and the surgery needed by his sister, to heal from an accident for
which Jamie feels responsible. Unbeknownst to Jamie, Cassie has even less money than he.
Cassie is a spit-fire who had me laughing one minute and crying along with her - the next!! Jamie's
family situation tugged at my heart strings, especially when a bombshell was dropped - late in the
novel. The love/hate romantic relationship between Cassie's Aunt Cait and Cait's deceased husband's
brother, Logan - adds spice to the story, along with the humor of a talking parrot, a butler with hearing
problems, a crotchedy cook, and numerous delightful cousins.
Love at Any Cost is the first novel in the Heart of San Francisco trilogy by award-winning author,
Julie Lessman. It is a departure from Julie's Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change trilogies - a
lighter, shorter, less complicated novel, with less romantic and spiritual passion (the trademark for
which her novels are known). However - there is more than enough passion to satisfy, the characters
are realistic and endearing, the central theme of releasing one's life into God's hands, and trusting
Him for the best solutions to life's trials and tribulations - is present, as in all of Julie's novels, and
there is the, as always, happy ending. Love at Any Cost is a wonderful story of faith, regret, redemption,
forgiveness, love, and hope.
I found myself regretful at finishing the reading of Love at Any Cost, and eagerly anticipating the next
novel in the series, Dare to Love Again!! Julie's novels always stir my emotions, inspire my faith, speak
to my heart with her touching, warm, family settings and realistic characters, and leave me wanting
more - she never disappoints!!
Posted March 7, 2014
Loved this Boston series! I am looking forward to more of her books. Well written kept me smiling, laughing and turning pages.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2014
After adoring the O'Conners I was slightly worried as to how much I would like this new series. I shouldn't have worried though since I ended up loving it! I loved the McClares from the get go and I can tell I'm going to love reading all of their stories!
Cassie was such a fun heroine! I loved her spunk and down to earth ways! I also loved how wow she was sweet and fun when she wanted she could be tough and no nonsense when needed! And another favorite thing about her was how strong her faith was and how she refused to lower her standards! I felt so bad for her with all the pain she went through but I was greatly impressed by how strong she stayed through it all!
Jamie was great too! Though I was a little annoyed with how he wanted to marry rich I did understand where he was coming from since he wasn't thinking just about himself but rather about his mother and sister. I really admired his love and care for his family and how dedicated he was to making a better life for them. I also really liked the fact that he held himself to a pretty high standard when it came to drinking and women. It was really cool to watch as he learned to give God the control and trust in Him rather than doing everything himself.
As I said I loved the rest of the McClares as well, from kind and motherly Caitlyn, to stubborn rogue Uncle Logan, and Cassie's cousins Blake, Allison, Meg, and Maddie. I also really liked Bram (side note: I love that as a nickname for Abraham!) with his quiet faith and his friendship with Jamie. And then there were Hadley, the old butler with the bad hearing, Rosie, the gruff but sweet houskeeper/nanny, and Miss Behave, the parrot that they taught to say funny things, all of whom I loved.
So suffice it to say I thoroughly loved this first book of Julie's new series and I can't wait to read more!
Posted January 13, 2014
I became a fan of Julie Lessman’s writing earlier this year when I read her Daughters of Boston series and the novella, A Light in the Window. I had heard that Love at Any Cost was a little different than the previous books she had written, a little lighter feel perhaps. I have to agree. But I must say that although Mrs. Lessman has lightened the mood a bit with fun Texas sayings thrown in, this is still a deep story. It is full of interesting characters that I am now completely invested in! I am so happy that Dare to Love Again arrived in my mailbox a few days ago and that I can now begin reading it this week and follow the next stage of this story.
Cassie comes to San Francisco to visit her cousins for the summer. She is escaping a devastating broken engagement and the fact that she was dumped because her family’s oil empire is crumbling. She is a funny character in one sense, spouting funny Texas colloquialisms, but is also a very hurt young lady.
Jamie is a young man with a heavy weight on his shoulders. He has worked his way up from the slums of the Barbary Coast area and is desperate to help his sister get an operation she needs. He has decided that if he is going to fall in love, it might as well be with a rich young woman. So, can you as a reader feel for a man who is basically a fortune hunter? I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Jamie at first. I was frustrated with his decisions, of course, but the way Mrs. Lessman lets you see inside her characters, I was able to understand where he was coming from.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and at one pivotal point in the book (much to my husband’s surprise) sat up and yelled, “I knew it!!! I thought this might be a possibility, and I was right!!” I will say no more, as I don’t like spoilers. I will just stop here and say, “I loved this book!” (5 stars)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Posted December 12, 2013
Posted December 11, 2013
Posted October 10, 2013
Posted September 2, 2013
I had heard a great deal about this book from comments on Fred St Laurent’s Book Club Network, then won the book in a blog giveaway.
The characterization in Love at Any Cost is well done. The two main characters, Cassidy and Jamie complement each other with their opposing world views. This sets the stage for Jamie’s spiritual growth. Secondary characters round out a loving family to be carried on throughout the series.
I am familiar with the time period, but not the Barbary Coast of San Francisco during that era. I liked the way the author showed compassion for those caught up in the lifestyle there through the thoughts and feelings of her characters.
This book sustained strong themes, such as love of family, forgiveness, the power of love, and the importance of God’s presence in a relationship. Miss Lessman enhanced the story with humor as well as thought-provoking moments.
I did have a problem with the references to Jamie as a “pretty boy.” Somehow the use of this description made Jamie an unlikeable character for me, and it took me quite a while to warm up to him as a character even worthy of Cassidy’s consideration as a romantic interest.
I had only read one other Julie Lessman book, her debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Even though I enjoyed Love at Any Cost, I felt it lacked the intensity I found so compelling in A Passion Most Pure.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical romance, especially where a character's spiritual journey is well defined.
Posted July 30, 2013
I was sucked into this story from the very beginning.
I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway that Julie Lessman held.
Cassidy McClare is broken hearted after the man she was engaged to dumps her. She leaves home to visit her cousins in San Francisco hoping that time and distance will help her heart to heal.
Jamie McKenna has worked hard his whole life to better his station in the world. His chief goal is to give his mother and his crippled sister a safe and secure home and the surgery that his sister needs.
At their first meeting Jamie knocks Cassidy off her feet, quite literally, in the Oakland Pier train station in San Francisco. Cassidy blows up and declares him a “pretty-boy polecat.”
Their second meeting is when Cassidy’s family has a dinner to welcome her to town. It is just for family and a few very close friends. Jamie is one of the close friends as Cassidy finds out at dinner.
They each feel an attraction to the other within a very short time. This sets the stage for a very delightful and comedic story as they try to sort out their feelings for each other and people they have been in relationship with in the past.
The biggest problem they face though is that Cassidy has a deep faith in God. Jamie on the other hand feels that he has no need for God and that God has never done anything for him, his mother, or his sister.
How do you handle the word of God when it says that a believer is not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever? Especially when the man you love doesn’t share your belief?
Julie has crafted an incredible story digging deeply into this problem. Her characters are marvelous and well developed. There are a lot of incredible twists and turns that take place in the story to help them navigate these treacherous waters.
I’m looking forward to the next book in this series. I hope that it will dig deeper into some of the other members of the McClare family that we meet in this book.
Posted June 2, 2013
I absolutely LOVE Julie Lessman's new series, The Heart of San Fransisco. I wondered what it would be like, reading about a whole new list of characters after having fallen in love with her beloved O'Conner family. Well, it's actually no surprise that I like this new cast of characters, The McClare's, because this family is just as much fun and done with the same wonderful finesse that Julie is known for. So sit back and get ready for a fun ride Julie Lessman style.
Book one, "Love at Any Cost", introduces us to cowgirl Cassidy McClare from down Texas way. She's spunky, fiesty, and would rather wear a pair of demin jeans instead of a frilly dress. She's an oil heiress, but unfortunately there's no fortune in the bank. Not to mention, her fiance has just jilted her for that very reason. Needless to say, she'd rather hog-tie the man as to look at him and decides to make a trip to San Fransisco to visit her cousins and get away from the fortune hunter who has broken her heart. She's in no mood for the attentions of another man...including that of the handsome Jamie McKenna.
Jamie McKenna is a young lawyer, struggling to make ends meet and working three jobs to do so. Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, he's worked all his life to make something of himself as well as taking care of his mother and his crippled sister. His goal? To one day live in high society and to procure a surgery for his sister that will help her. But Jamie believes the only way he'll get there is to marry into a rich family. And so he sets his sights on the beautiful Cassie McClare.
This is a story of one's struggle to find faith, and another's struggle to regain trust. As always, Julie weaves a spiritual thread through the story, addressing each struggle and how God works in each of her character's lives. All wrapped up in a package containing humor, tears, and romance. Julie, you did it again!