Review of Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

About the book …

Eighteen-year-old Megan McClare left San Francisco to study in Paris, and when she returns, her family and friends are shocked to see her changed appearance. No longer a chubby teenager, she’s become a beautiful, sophisticated young woman. She eagerly accepts an internship at the District Attorney’s office, and discovers that Devin Caldwell, the classmate who crushed her heart will also be interning there. Devin, smitten with the new Megan, claims to have changed his ways, and he seems determined to prove it to Meg and win her affections.

Lawyer Bram Hughes is like a member of Megan’s family. He’s also been Meg’s closest friend and mentor since she was a child. They harbor deep and secret feelings for each other, but Bram is ten years older. That, combined with believing his marriage to another woman will save his father’s business, keeps him from professing his love for Meg.

Megan’s mother, Cait McClare, is a widow who has been in love with her brother-in-law Logan McClare since before she married his brother. But the much-loved member of the large family betrayed Cait more than once over the years. Although he seems to have become a new man, she’s still not able to trust him. When Andrew Turner, a kind and respected District Attorney, pursues Cait, she wonders if he may be the one God has chosen for her.

My review …

I’ve been a Julie Lessman fan for years and have enjoyed her many books. But this one may be one of my favorites. Surprised by Love gives us two wonderful romances for the price of one. They are equally well written and woven together into one story that takes the reader on an emotional ride with a sweet and satisfying ending. The author has a gift for writing sexual tension between two characters that rips one’s heart out—while still not crossing what might be uncomfortable boundaries for some readers. This is a clean romance that tugged on my heartstrings.

The plot was also well executed, and the story took some unexpected turns. Just when I thought things were going one way for Megan or Cait, the author surprised me, and I really enjoyed that. I was guessing until the very end as to how various dilemmas were going to get resolved or who Megan and Cait would end up with and why.

This is a wonderful love story that also explores what it means to face our fears and to not only learn to trust God, but also what trust means in our relationships.

Surprised by Love is the third book in The Heart of San Franciso series. The book stands well on its own, but if readers haven’t read the first two books, the number of characters in the first several chapters may feel a little overwhelming until they become more familiar with them.  Don’t let that deter you from reading further—you’ll be rewarded!

DISCLOSURE: I was graciously provided a copy of Surprised by Love by Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston series, the Winds of Change series, and The Heart of San Francisco series. The recipient of seventeen Romance Writers of America and other awards, Lessman was chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 and 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards. She resides in Missouri with her family.

Color in the Gray

Gray, dreary skies may make us feel less energetic. They may even contribute to grumpy moods.  But there are times when cloudy days can be beneficial.

Sure, we all know they can be good for cleaning out closets, snuggling up by a fire to watch a movie or read a book, or simmering chili in a slow cooker all day. My hubby makes the best chili!

But, I'm thinking of something entirely different.

As a person who loves taking photos, I’ve learned that some of the best shots are taken when the sun is absent. How can that be?

Have you ever noticed that when you take pictures on cloudless days, sometimes the colors in your photographs fade under the sun’s brilliance? People’s faces may look either washed out or partially hidden in shadows. Glare can also affect the shot’s success. But take photographs when there is a slight rain, and most likely you’ll get beautiful colors that pop from the images.

You don’t need to be a camera fanatic to notice—just look out your window on a drizzly day and take in the sharp, rich colors.

Life can be similar . . .   

If we were to experience only good times (sunny days), we may start taking our blessings for granted. They’d pale and become less exciting. But when we’re struggling (rainy days), moments of goodness, kindness, or fun are so appreciated! They can seem like vivid colors in contrast to dark walls closing in around us.

Are you going through a rough time right now? Challenge yourself to look for the good things in each day, regardless how small, and embrace them.

Do you know someone who is struggling? Think of one thing you can you do to bring some color into that persons gray world.


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