Arts and Entertainment, Books, Family, Fiction, Love, Reading, Romance

Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Four Silver Stars

Surprised by LoveSurprised by Love by Julie Lessman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

A historical romance set in early 20th Century San Francisco (complete with cable car rides!), Surprised by Love is firstly heroine Megan McClare’s tale. It’s an “ugly duckling” story of sorts–although that expression doesn’t wholly fit to me, as the discarding of eyeglasses, the use of hair color, and the covering of freckles with makeup doesn’t physically change a person, and chubbiness doesn’t make a person ugly. But I think the true transformation is this former wallflower’s decision to leave the wall, and Meg’s compassion for marginalized women and children in her city is what I find most admirable about her.

This novel is full of convincing, comradely, occasionally awkward relationships and fun banter, and it also includes powerful themes of forgiveness, hope, and what it means to move from selfish love to unconditional love.

There’s a fine line between creating tension and going back and forth in a novel, between clarifying reinforcement and unneeded repetition, and the lines are blurred at times in this story. Also, on the most minor note, blushing is overused; heat creeping into someone’s cheeks or stealing up another’s neck seem to be the characters’ go-to reactions to many of their experiences and conversations.

Yet, love is what gives this novel its strength: romantic and familial love, love for humanity, and God’s love. Overall, an enjoyable read.


Surprised by Love is third in The Heart of San Francisco series.

Love at Any Cost (The Heart of San Francisco, #1) Dare to Love Again (The Heart of San Francisco, #2)


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