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Julie Lessman is the author of A Passion Most Pure. Even as a debut novelist, Lessman garnered writing awards, including ten Romance Writers of America awards, and developed a fan base. She lives in High Ridge, Missouri.
Posted December 27, 2009
When I finished the first book in this series, A Passion Most Pure, I hated Charity. Honestly, I wanted to slap the sense out of that girl. I honestly haven't really hated a character so much in my life. I guess it was mainly because she reminded me of girls I knew in school, who got away with everything especially the guys that you happened to like. I was told that with this book however that my feelings for her would change because Charity would get what's coming to her and a change of heart as well.
Sadly, after finishing this story I am STILL not a fan of Charity. I will admit I am more sympathetic of her after finding out what happened in the past. Also there are scenes that happen in the book that even I felt extremely sorry and hurt for her. No matter what she could have done, she definitely did not deserve to be treated in that way. However, even that does not totally excuse her behavior. I swear that girl just does not learn from her mistakes or anything that happens in her life. She gets by and rewarded because of her looks which she uses to her advantage. I also got really mad that Mitch somehow became the bad guy at the end of the book when it was ENTIRELY Charity's fault! In fact, the one instance where Charity seems to have any sort of heart would have to be how she acts with her co-worker Emma. Due to the situation with Emma's abusive husband, this is the one time where Charity seems to care more about another person's well being than herself. She even uses the negative situation she finds herself in to help Emma finally see the light and get out of that relationship.
There are some conservative readers who find these books to be really racy and practically pornographic. Honestly, I really scoff at this. Sorry, but I find these books to be extremely refreshing and true to life. To say that just because someone is a Christian and does not feel passion or any other romantic feelings is lying to yourself. I sound harsh but it really does get on my nerves about this. Pretty much if you don't read Christian fiction and you pick up this book, you will find it really tame compared to the general market books that are out there. If you are the type of person who blushes at the thought of holding hands with a guy, this book is probably not for you.
Overall, I did enjoy reading this book. As I said, I still am annoyed by Charity but the story itself is very engaging and I was glad to revisit with the O'Connor family again. Another wonderful thing about this book is that it's really long and thick, which makes a for a splendid way to pass an entire day by reading this tome. I'll be looking forward to picking up the final book in the series, both to read Lizzie's story and perhaps to see if I end up liking Charity a bit more!
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Posted January 29, 2009
Lessman has a knack for drama and angst with a heavy dose of passion. This story is no exception. And like a soap opera, you never quite know who will end up with whom and what will happen next. There is not a boring page in this entire novel. The tension rocks. There is a lot of pain and anger, as well as joy and deep sorrow. But the longing is what gets to me. Don't we all long for love? And poor Charity was operating from a faulty point of view from the get-go. I found that quite profound, and well done. Charity had reasons for being sensual, complex, needy, and rejecting. She had deep-seated reasons for being manipulative as well. I've known so many girls and women like Charity, whose issues caused them to do insane things at times to try to get their way. But their behavior always stemmed from a profound fear of abandonment. I loved how the author portrayed this with such emotion. I also loved how the romance between Charity's parents continued and enjoyed some of the profound talks--and interruptions--they had at night. In regards to the male point of view, Lessman does this well. They say the average man thinks about sex at least once every few minutes. If that is true (and I wouldn't know as I'm not a man) then she has that nailed as well. While this story seemed more heavy on the physical attraction than a Passion Most Pure, it made sense given Charity's extreme beauty and seductive behavior that men would feel somewhat tortured around her. And like most women who've been hurt at a very young age, she blames herself for what happened with Rigan. While I didn't like it, that is so like real life situations. Toward the end I was really hoping another relationship would work out, but I've discovered that with Lessman's Passion series, things don't usually change course and stay there, but the diversion still plays a large part in the healing. So even though I was a tad disappointed at the end, I know that means the third book will resolve that for me. I grew to care so much about one character that I wanted to see him happy. Not gonna happen in this book, but there is always potential in the next novel in the series. So I was still satisfied. But unfortunately, whenever I finish one of Lessman's books I am tortured by having to wait for the next installment. Oh, and when it comes to sensual tension, this author does it better than anyone in the Christian fiction world today. And she has definitely extended the boundaries of what is 'allowed' in the CBA, giving hope to other authors like myself, who see passion as being the spice of life and a true gift from God. :) Encore!
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Posted June 3, 2013
I hate Charity, there I said it. It's a good thing she's only a character in a book lol. I still like this book, but being honest I only read it for Faith and Collin scenes, as I said I don't like Charity, and Mitch is probably my least favorite guy in all her books but hey I still give it five stars! Besides this sets you up for Lizzy and Brady, totaly worth it! And if the sex and stuff is an issue for you let me just say, honestly compared to some teen books I've read this is downright pure. In fact I love how Lessman manages to pack so much passion in her books, I want a relationship like that, where I am crazy for the man I love and God is right there in the center of it!
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Posted October 26, 2013
A Passion Redeemed…wow…I didn’t think it was possible to like Charity after all she did in A Passion Most Pure! However, the author was able to pull it off. I definitely recommend reading A Passion Most Pure before reading A Passion Redeemed. You just have to know the kind of person Charity was and the things she did in that book to truly appreciate the change that comes about in this second book.
About halfway through the book, I started to feel for Charity. I didn’t really like her yet, but could see that there might be hope for her. She made lots of bad decisions…I mean LOTS! The girl just couldn’t stop her lying! Just made me want to shake her! Then, when a powerful secret from Charity’s childhood is exposed, I felt sorry for her and could understand her attitude toward God and life in general a little better. By the time I was nearing the end of the book, I was totally on her side, hurting for her as she tried to put her life back together after many disappointments.
Now, the love interest…Mitch. Thickheaded, yes, that term is used in the book for him quite often. It pretty much sums him up. He is older than Charity and he is the ex-fiancé of Charity’s sister, Faith. That entire story is told in A Passion Most Pure. Mitch started following Christ during that novel and is now trying to live his life in a way that would please God. However, Mitch has some major trust issues due to events in his past and this becomes a serious problem between he and Charity.
Both characters have some major flaws and make some big mistakes in this book. It is only by the grace of God and, in Charity’s case, the guidance of Christian friends and family, that things will have a chance of working out in the end. This was a very enjoyable book. (5 stars)
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Posted September 9, 2013
Lessman did such a masterful job of making me dislike Charity in Book 1 that I had a hard time warming up to her in Book 2. But the story is compelling, and the revelation of why Charity behaves poorly makes perfect sense. Like all Lessman's books, A Passion Redeemed speeds the reader's pulse. Lessman may make an historical reader out of me yet.
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Posted March 4, 2014
I have never disliked a character in a book more than I do Charity. There was little I liked about her in either book although I did like her more with Brady than I did Mitch. Glad to know it wasn't just me and that others disliked her also. I'm looking forward to learning more about Brady and Elizabeth in book 3.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 4, 2014
Posted March 4, 2014
A great sequel! 3 ½ stars
I started this book not liking Charity O’Connor at all. I’ve never read a book where I didn‘t care much for a main character. I usually just quit, but I liked A Passion Most Pure so much, that I had to find out what would happen with Charity and Mitch. I am happy to say, that I did end up enjoying this book a lot. Charity grew on me as the story progressed. Julie is an excellent storyteller and I was quickly drawn into the story.
If you’ve read a Passion Most Pure, then you know part of Charity’s story. For some reason, unknown to even her, she is often cruel to those closest to her. She pushes her family away and will manipulate a situation to what she thinks is her advantage. She uses people and the only ones she seems to truly love are her great-grandmother, grandmother, and best friend Emma. We get the impression that something awful happened to her, but we don’t find out what until later on. While Charity has several unfavorable traits, she has a sweet side too, which is what endeared her to me. We see that she has a kind spirit, but for some reason, she hides it.
I loved Mitch! He was great in Faith’s book, so I was super excited to read his story. He’s a little rough around the edges and doesn‘t always react kindly. His faith has grown stronger and he’s determined to live a life honoring God, but Charity makes it difficult. She gets under his skin like no one else, which leads to a lot of interesting arguments and altercations. We also see a kind side in him, as well. While gruff on the outside, inside he truly cares about those around him, sometimes against his better judgment. I loved how sweet he was with Charity, even when she was being a pain. He’s perfect for her, because he doesn’t allow her to push him around or manipulate him like she does her other beaus.
My favorite part was the redemptive theme woven throughout the book. Mitch and Charity both must be redeemed by God’s love and love Him first. That is what He requires of each of us, that we love Him first and seek His will. Charity spends most of the book bucking His will and trying to go her own way. She is determined that she doesn’t need Him, and my favorite part in the whole book is when she finally understands that she is His and she is redeemed. I almost cried with her. Mitch also learns that he cannot continue to allow himself to be defined by his past and cannot continue holding Charity’s mistakes against her, either.
I love the faith in each book, because while entertaining, they also teach and remind. They teach us something new about ourselves and about God as we view our hearts and lives through this lens. They remind us who we are in Him and show us the kind of passion He has for us.
Posted February 21, 2014
Posted January 15, 2014
When I read this for the first time I was very wary. Charity was, to put it plainly, awful in A Passion Most Pure and I was a little scared that I would hate this book since she was the main character. But I shouldn't have been worried, this is after all a Julie Lessman novel and I ended up loving it!
Charity was still a little hard to like at the beginning but we were also given the chance to see what made her act the way she did. I loved watching as she grew into a wonderful heroine that you can't help falling love with! She goes from a snotty little brat to a woman of God and it was a beautiful thing to watch!
Mitch was once again amazing. His had been a hard road of rejection and my heart truly broke for him. But I loved how he let God change his life and lived as He would have wanted. I also loved how despite how he felt about Charity he didn't give in to her and instead helped draw her closer to God even if at first it was more to get him rather than truly let God transform her (that came later)! He was always trying his dead level best to do the right thing no matter how hard it was and that was what made him so great!
The other side characters were fantastic too! Mrs. Lynch with her mothering of Mitch and her no nonsense ways, and Charity's grandmother and great-grandmother with their love and guidance. I also loved Emma with her gentle ways, and her love for God and Charity. And Bridie and Kathleen from the Irish Times! Bridie with her teasing of Mitch and the way she would talk to him, and Kathleen with her sweet ways! Ooh and I can't forget John Brady! We got to see a little of him in APMP but we got a lot more in this one and he is awesome! I love how close his walk with God is! And of course I can't forget all the other O'Conners and the McGuires!
There were lots of hard times in this book where you wanted to either smack characters or give them a hug! And then there was the character that you wanted to strangle for all the evil things he did! I laughed, I almost cried, and all in all thoroughly enjoyed this second book!
Posted January 3, 2014
A Passion Redeemed, by award-winning author, Julie Lessman, is the second book in The Daughters of Boston trilogy - detailing the
the lives of the O'Connor family. Those readers taking a dislike to selfish, vindictive, daughter, Charity, in the first book, A Passion Most
Pure, will be pleasantly surprised, and emotionally sympathetic, with her character, in A Passion Redeemed.
Each of the elements for which Julie's books are known: passion, angst, unexpected twists and turns, redemption, life-like characters,
tears, laughter, prayer, and making God central in one's life - are abundant in A Passion Redeemed. Each of her books I read, creates
an even deeper love for the O'Connor family, and the writing style of it's author, and leaves a warm, cozy, feeling, a renewed
appreciation for family, and a continued vow to live my life for God.
I, eagerly, anticipate reading each book written by Julie - I will be a life-long reader of her books, and, will read them over, and over,
again. She never disappoints, and each book gets a 5 star rating from me!!
Posted January 2, 2014
Wow. Julie knows how to keep her readers on the edges of their seats! I’m about to start book three and am quite persuaded that the whole series is brilliant and I have NO idea how in the world Julie came up with so many fascinating twists and turns – it’s stunning. My apologies…this review is disorganized. So it goes. I feel like the family situation here is going to be super awkward, and wouldn’t actually work in real life – Faith and Charity were both engaged to their sister’s future husbands at one point or another. Yeah. Awkward. Also, a word up – Julie’s books are on the more passionate end of Christian fiction. Save for older readers. Finally, I don’t always really agree with some of the decision and actions made by or done by the characters, even when the book makes them out to be fine – I feel like they are rather less conservative about some things than they should be. However, despite these few problems, I still managed to LOVE this book and come out giving it a 9.5! Obviously the main character is named Charity (SO COOL), and so this book has been on my to-read shelf for years – only now did I finally get to it! On page 466, I was persuaded that there was no way all the loose ends could be tied up by the end – but by page 477, ta-da! The book was finished and somehow, everything WAS resolved! The whole book was fascinating and impossible to put down. The drama is constant. And can I just say…I love Patrick and Marcy’s marriage (they’re Faith and Charity’s parents) and I want my marriage to be like that when I’ve been married as many years as them. All in all? This book had a few things that I wasn’t entirely on board with. But it’s definitely worth my time and I can’t wait to read book 3 later this week!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 20, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this series! The writer made the story come to life and I especially enjoyed the Christian messages throughout the book. It was a great read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 19, 2013
An amazing novel with well-rounded 3-dimensional characters and a plot line to drive you crazy (in a good way). I absolutely LOVED this book and had no idea how it was going to end...Awesome!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2013
Posted July 7, 2013
I have to agree with other reviewers that it's very difficult to like Charity. She's an immature spoiled brat. Also the trip to America on the ship is totally unrealistic. It makes no sense that Mitch would take Charity back alone especially when they aren't married and she needs help with dressing and other personal issues. Also it's a totally ridiculous that he's carrying her everwhere - apparently they never heard of something called a wheelchair which was invented in 1595.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 31, 2013
Another amazing book by Julie Lessman! I looked forward to reading this book the minute I finished book one "A passion Most Pure." I wasn't crazy about the fact that this book would be more about Charity since I really connected with Faith her sister. I ended up enjoying both the sisters in this book and was happy that Faith's story continued as well! This book showed how past hurts and problems can be redeemed. This is a very passionate, romantic book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2013
The second book in the Daughters of Boston series, Julie Lessman brings the story of Charity O'Conner in A Passioned Redeemed. Charity grew up knowing that she was a pretty girl. Now a woman, she uses her beauty to get what she wants, including the attentions of men, sometimes playing one against another. Unlike her sister, Faith, who puts her trust in God, Charity puts her trust in the fact that she can lure those around her with her charms, except for the one man that she truly loves, Mitch Dennehy...and he wants nothing to do with her. She hurt him once and he vows it will never happen again. Will Charity seek for God's approval in her life instead of the approving look given her by men? And will Mitch give her another chance?
Julie writes the story of redemption and forgiveness. The renewal of a faith once forgotten and a love rekindled.
Posted April 10, 2013
I soooo enjoyed how the book starts out with the O’Connor family together again with Collin and Faith properly engaged and life is looking good for this beloved family. However, Redeemed is Charity’s story and she was a challenging character for me to like.
Most of the story is in Ireland where Charity has made a life for herself with her grandmother and great grandmother. She has plans to own a shop and somehow get Mitch to propose to her. Charity GENUINELY loves Mitch, but the ways she goes about trying to capture his heart in return were both foolish and unthinkable for me to read about. *shaking my head*
Issues that are dealt with in this story are: physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, infidelity, deception and forgiveness (both for others and for self). Nothing is detailed within the book, but discussed in conversations, implied, or prayed about. Lessman does a stand up job developing characters that are impacted by each of these issues.
The real enjoyment of this story is seeing how Charity FINALLY submits to God, allows her family to FINALLY love her as she heals, and once and for all learning to forgive HERSELF and the breakthrough that follows these revelations. I had trouble throughout the story liking this girl, but my heart broke for her more than once as she trusts the wrong man to help her, she believes lies from the enemy that tell her she’s worthless without her seductive ways and looks, she doesn’t realize how LOVED she is from her family and God until almost the end of the book, and she constantly looks to men to ease her loneliness. I was deeply touched by the O’Connors love and support of Charity and it was wonderful to see her blossom and grow up even though she does so the hard way.
I couldn’t stand how she constantly deceives Mitch and her family to get her own way, but Charity is such a good example of what not to do. And for anyone who can relate to Charity directly or indirectly, her journey is a wonderful lesson of hope. This story deeply illustrates how God works relentlessly to win over those who struggle with lonely and insecure hearts going to the wrong people/places to fill that empty void. I’m also grateful for the men in this story who have self-control and seek God in their weak moments. One of my favorite parts of the story is when Charity is healing and she seeks out her parents one night as she has trouble falling asleep.
This is their response to her: “Charity smiled. How in the world had she been blessed with such parents? ‘Yes.’ ‘Good. Then we’ll do that. But first, I want you to know something. Never in one breath of your life have we ever been ashamed of you, Charity O’Connor. Befuddled, perhaps, sometimes angry, and occasionally frustrated, but never—I repeat never—have you brought shame to your father’s heart or mine. You have been a joy to our souls, and I don’t think that deep down you ever really knew that. Know it now, daughter, and know it well. God isn’t the only one who loves you with a depth beyond your apprehension.’ Charity clutched her mother in a joyous sob. She felt Marcy’s gentle stroking while her father’s strong hand kneaded her back.” That part of the story was healing for my soul.
I’m looking forward to reading the last book in this series and I’m so grateful to see how the O’Connors have endured.
Posted April 5, 2013
This story is a powerful story of redemption! This second novel is about Charity O'Connor and her ow story of Redemption with God's love and the man He has intended for her!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.