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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Revell Blog Tour stop for A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman (with bonus review!)

She Left Ireland And A Man Who Broke Her Heart...
Only To Find An American Who Could Restore It.

About the book:

Julie Lessman’s new novel A Heart Revealed (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3416-9, $14.99, 512 pages, September), the second offering in the “Winds of Change” series, opens in Boston in 1931, where thirty-one-year-old Emma Malloy has fled from an abusive marriage in Ireland.

Although her former husband has left her haunted and deeply scarred. Emma cannot help but develop strong feelings for her friend Charity’s brother, Sean O’Connor.

Described by his sister as very stubborn, Sean maintains that he is not the marrying kind. But as he and Emma draw closer and closer, will her strong, tender heart ensnare him and change his mind?

Transporting readers back to a time when the Empire State Building was brand new and the local speakeasy was a common destination, Lessman outlines the fascinating era and its citizens with deft precision.

Lessman, who has been hailed as a writer with noteworthy skill by Publishers Weekly has once again delivered an epic tale featuring vibrant characterization, wonderful thrills, sharp dialogue, and surprises both large and small. 

My review:

Wow, each of Julie's books is so compelling, but all for different reasons. The title of this story fit the content perfectly... because each person's true heart was revealed through the conflicts they faced. I love how these stories all tie together, both the last series and this one. I'm delighted that I don't have to say goodbye to the O'Connors even though they are a fictional family. I adore them. As I read this current installment in the series I felt like I was watching a whole season of One Life to Live--but a Christian version. At the same time there was no sappy drama in this novel like you'd find in typical soap operas. The conflict felt like real-life issues to me; issues that couples face every day.

People usually want to do the real thing but their flesh always gets in the way. And shame from the past tends to damage so much in each person's present. Sometimes without them even knowing it. I loved how this story showed that even someone as Christ-like and loving as Emma could still be shamed by a past that distorted every decision she made in the present. Knowing Jesus personally heals our hearts, yes, but it doesn't erase our pasts. The only way to heal the past is to work through the pain, the hurt, the lies, the shame... and this book does a great job of showing just that. It shows how dealing with things in our past heals, where avoiding those issues causes rifts in relationships and stifles our ability to be truly free to love others.

I loved how the author showed that Sean had an issue from childhood buried so deep in his soul that it caused rage in his heart in the present, and I loved how Father Mac helped him to dig up the root cause of his anger. Then he could deal with it's cause and heal. This is a really good, healthy message for people--especially the walking wounded--to hear. It brings hope that inspires, which is what Christian fiction should do. This novel inspired me, and for that reason (and because of the healthy message in the story) it's making my best fiction list for 2011.

A Heart Revealed was published by Revell and released in Sept. 2011. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for me to review for this tour. The opinion expressed above is entirely my own.

About the author:

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose books give readers “Passion With a Purpose,” underscoring her intense passion for both God and romance. Julie is the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was chosen as #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She was the winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational. 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

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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