Angie Lippard's Reviews > A Hope Undaunted

A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman
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's review
Sep 18, 2010

it was amazing
Read in September, 2010

The opening line sets the tone of the book "Now this is how love should be - nice and neat." Katie has her life all planned out - from who she is going to marry, where she will go to school and even how many children she will have with her future husband. These are not dreams or a wish list. These are hard and fast plans that she sticks to even when it seems ridiculously clear that she should change her plans. But nooooo, not stubborn Katie Rose.

Katie has grown into a young woman working her way toward a career as a lawyer. She is living in the "roaring 20's" and has strong beliefs about women's rights and activism. The financial struggles and stress in the book are eerily similar to what has happened with our current economy. She definitely reflects the "modern woman" attitude.

Hotness factor: 5 star (Did you think Julie was going to get less than 5 stars? Really now?) The character who has changed the most is Cluny Mcgee. My, oh my, Cluny has grown up into a very nice looking man...six foot three, tanned, blonde hair and muscles to spare. I feel bad for Collin. I was so in love with him from before but now he's been relegated to the back burner. (Especially with what he pulls in this book!) It seems Cluny is a chick magnet for every woman on the planet except one - Katie. The heat and chemistry is there from the beginning. I might even venture to say that it was even a little hotter than her other books.

(He) ...blocked her, hand to her arm with a wicked grin on his face. He prodded her to the wall with a lift of his brown. "One measly compliment, Katie Rose, and if Life Savers were money, you'd be a wealthy woman." It was meant no more than a tease, a game from their past to get her mind off the present, but all at once his heart started pounding and his mouth went dry....He was a friend that wanted to be a lover, and for the first time in weeks, the desire was so strong, he had to physically pull away. He took a step back. God help me, what I wouldn't give...She stared at him then with a lump in her throat, and her eyes met his piercing gaze with a soggy one of her own. "I'm already a wealthy woman,: she whispered, her voice so low he had to strain to hear it. "Cluny McGee is the best friend I've ever had."

Overall Rating: 5 stars Everything was churning along nicely until around page 420, when I said out loud, "You're killing me here, Julie!" Then by page 436, I was having a full blown conversation with her "Oh no, no, no! You're not going to go down this road, are you? Yep, she's going to do this." Good thing everyone in the house was asleep as I talked out loud...

At around page 458, I wanted to cry. I just couldn't take it anymore. Cluny was just so stubborn and couldn't give in to his heart and let go of his past. Page 462, *gasp* and jaw drop, as well as, relief. Oh, thank goodness!

Christianity: 5 stars Chapter 22, had me in its clutches. Seeing John 15:13 in action made me rethink my own view of the verse and its implications. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" is lived out in black and white and is a beautiful example of Godly and brotherly love. Faith in Christ is never an afterthought in Julie's books. In "A Hope Undaunted," you see how all of the characters are in different places in their walk with Christ. Some struggling, some completely reliant and others just learning to trust but all realistic and encouraging.

One thing that surprised me about the book was the orphanage/foster care theme. It really appealed to me because I used to work in children's emergency shelters (one of them being a runaway home) and had a foster child for three years. When he came to live with us, he was 10 and looked like he was 7 or 8. He came to our home with a black trash bag that had all his possessions in the world tucked inside. Our foster son reminded me a lot of Cluny Mcgee - scared, hurt, alone, full of anger and mistrust. I can commiserate with the struggles in the book of the foster children, foster parents and the organization trying to help.

All the other characters are richly developed including Faith/Collin, Charity/Mitch, Lizzie/Brady and Marcy/Patrick. We learn much more about Sean and Steven in this book and I can't wait to fall in love with both of them in the next two books.

Now this is how a hot Christian romance should be - NOT so nice and neat but one that you will fall in love with again and again!

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