A HOPE UNDAUNTED
What happens when the boy she loved to hate becomes the man she hates to love?
The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman -- smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband -- good-looking, well-connected, wealthy and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?
A HOPE UNDAUNTED IS THE FIRST IN THE SECOND SERIES ABOUT THE O’CONNOR FAMILY. EACH BOOK HIGHLIGHTS ONE OF THE O’CONNOR SIBLINGS BUT LESSMAN MAKES SURE TO ADD LIBERAL DOSES OF THE REST OF THE CLAN TO LEAVE DEVOTED FANS SATISFIED…OR CLAMORING FOR MORE…DEPENDING ON HOW INSATIABLE A READER YOU ARE.
ONE OF THE THINGS I LOVE BEST ABOUT LESSMAN’S WRITING IS THE UNHURRIED WAY SHE LAYS OUT A STORY. SHE DOESN’T SCRIMP ON DETAILS AND TAKES THE TIME TO BUILD THE PLOT AND ALL THAT LOVELY TENSION. IN FACT SHE DID IT SO CAREFULLY IN THIS BOOK THAT I WAS ALMOST LULLED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY!
“WOW, THIS ISN’T SO BAD,” I THOUGHT TO MYSELF A TIME OR TWO AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK. KATIE HAD SOME GROWING UP TO DO AND THE ANTAGONISTIC SPARKS FLYING BETWEEN LUKE AND KATIE WERE A LITTLE DAUNTING TO BE SURE, BUT THEY COULD BE OVERCOME…EVENTUALLY. OR SO I THOUGHT.
LESSMAN KEPT THE PLOT TWISTS TIGHT AND SHARP IN A HOPE UNDAUNTED. I GAVE UP TRYING TO SECOND GUESS HER SOMEWHERE AROUND THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK. THINGS THAT I COULD NEVER IMAGINE HAPPENING DID. ONE SUB-PLOT WENT FROM ME DREADING THE WORSE TO BEING RELIEVED WHEN IT DIDN’T HAPPEN ONLY TO BARELY SURVIVE BEING SUCKER PUNCHED BY THE AUTHOR WHEN THAT WORST FEAR WAS REALIZED AFTER ALL!
IN FACT, LESSMAN SURPRISED ME A LOT IN THIS BOOK AS SHE TOSSED PREDICTABILITY OUT THE WINDOW AND WENT FOR THIS READER’S JUGULAR TIME AND TIME AGAIN! I RAN A FULL GAMUT OF EMOTIONS ALL WEEK AS I READ, DIGESTED, READ SOME MORE AND ALMOST TOSSED THE BOOK ACROSS THE ROOM. I CLOSED IT INSTEAD, VOWING I WOULD NEVER READ ANOTHER SENTENCE AND THEN PROMPTLY OPENED IT AND STARTED READING AGAIN!
I READ THE EMOTIONALLY CHARGED ENDING ON THE BUS RIDE HOME AND MANAGED TO MAKE IT TO THE SAFETY OF MY BEDROOM BEFORE I BURST INTO TEARS AND CRIED MY HEART OUT FOR HALF AN HOUR. PHEW! TALK ABOUT EMOTIONALLY DRAINING! AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!
IF YOU LIKE TO BECOME EMOTIONALLY ENGAGED IN A GOOD BOOK, IF YOU LIKE DEPTH IN YOUR CHARACTERS, SURPRISE IN YOUR PLOTS, ROMANCE THAT CURLS YOUR TOES AND PUTS BEADS OF SWEAT ON YOUR BROW, THEN I GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOVE THIS FIRST BOOK IN THE WINDS OF CHANGE SERIES