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A HEART REVEALED by JULIE LESSMAN - REVIEWED






ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN: 

Julie is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction” at http://www.borders.com/online/store/ListView_best2009favefiction. Chosen as #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Her “Winds of Change” series has recently released with A Hope Undaunted, which ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com

REVIEW
A HEART REVEALED
By Julie Lessman
Published by Revell
ISBN# 9780800734169
505 Pages

Back Cover: Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?

Filled with intense passion and longing, deception and revelation, A Heart Revealed will hold readers in its grip until the very last page.

Review: I am grateful to have received a review copy of a novel that is written by an author who's passionate about her relationship with Jesus and others she loves.  Not only does she have a zest and love for life but Julie’s passion for her Savior radiates throughout this book and not in a preachy way, but an honest and enlightening way. Julie’s newest novel shows what we have in our hearts is revealed through our actions, thoughts and words. Just like Julie’s characters this often takes us by surprise, thinking we’ve dealt with that matter or didn’t realize a matter bothered us so much. I enjoyed this complex and tender story.

I loved A Hope Undaunted, the first book in the Winds of Change series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on A Heart Revealed and see where Julie would take me next. This story started out in the time of the great depression of 1931 – where people struggled to survive. They had a hard time balancing, work and family just like we deal with today. This author also talked about true love, making a time for passion, talking face to face (not texting) and how we have to work at keeping a love relationship alive.

I also like how Julie showed that just because these characters accepted Christ in their hearts and go to church; things are not perfect and all is not happily ever-after. Life can be painful at times and God wants to heal our hurts, we have to let him. I also enjoyed how Julie Lessman naturally weaves the theme of how we can be free in Christ through forgiveness! Julie showed how unforgiveness can keep us a prisoner to the pain of the past and never let us walk in what we can be in the present. It’s the freedom we have in Christ through forgiving others, and ourselves. Julie also revealed that you never know what heavy burden someone was carrying around before Jesus set them free.

Julie answers the question, what does it look like to accept Jesus into our hearts, say we love Him but don’t make him Lord of our lives? And what does someone do when they discover their heart is still bleeding from deep hurts they’ve hide from their conscious mind. Julie shows this very thing and so much more in A Heart Revealed. Each of us has a story to tell, we don’t get out of this life alive and untouched by the tragedies of the world. I love how Julie shows her passion for God through the characters' passion for each other and how all relationships take work.

I liked how Julie honestly looked at marriage on so many levels. She looked at the parents Marcy and Patrick's marriage along with Faith and Collin, Charity and Mitch, and Katie and Luke. It’s hard to have a creative and loving marriage in changing times and its almost impossible to do it without God working in you and through you.. This author gives a peek into these marriages that have very different personalities. I loved how she showed that without God marriage isn’t possible. With each husband and wife seeking God’s will for their lives and asking help in loving their spouse the way he would is the only way they make it. Julie did show the fun side of marriage too. All wasn't serious. I enjoyed the tender moments that left most of the romance to the readers’ imagination and I loved reading about them laughing and having fun; especially when the whole family gets together for game night.

Julie talked about being single in this book and enjoying it. I liked how she handled matter. She showed Sean and Emma as being totally fulfilled in being single. They fully walked in all it meant to be for them. They were both single and living for Jesus. I also liked how she revealed that Sean and Emma could be best of friends. They were confidants; they prayed for one another and held each other accountable. I also liked that even though Emma made strong suggestions to Sean that he sought God on his own terms. He didn’t take someone else’s word for what he was supposed to do.

A Priest said to Sean, “Emma sees herself as – a scarred woman, inside and out. Keep in mind that when a woman’s self-image has been destroyed, both by the man she loved and the very sins that have imprisoned her most of her life, she can’t see what you see. It will only be though the mirror of God’s love and that of your own that Emma will finally have a glimpse of the beautiful women God created her to be.” Powerful stuff.

Julie is creative and fun and had a newsletter contest and two people won the prize. The prize was to have their names in Julie's new book. Casey Herringshaw and Michelle Tuller won. It was fun to read Casey’s name in this book because I work with her on the ACFW book club loop. 

I loved reading about all the members of the O’Connor family; they all have so much fun interacting with each other. I highly recommend this book and Julie’s other as well for an honest, passionate look at love and life and everything in-between. Her books are definitely worth your time. Let Julie and her books sweep you into the O’Connor family and into the arms of Jesus. You’ll enjoy her passionate characters in this book and her others.


Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

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