Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dare to Love Again

Dare to Love Again
Julie Lessman 
Revell Publishing 
January 2014
Fiction, Romance, Historical 

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he’s a fraud just like all the rest of the men she’s cared for. Does she dare love again?

Lessman always delivers in the romance department with depth and solid character development. Perhaps I read too many of her books in a row or was just not completely in the mood but this book was not my favorite. Allie and Nick are predictable and their age did not seem to match their life experience. Could have been a lack of story development. They did become endearing as the story continued and the mysterious side of Nick had me interested. The sub plot between Uncle Logan and Allie's mother almost overtook the main plot and I'll keep reading this series to find out what happens with them. 

Predictably the women are the strong spiritual characters, the men are the rogues, the children are precocious, and the kisses are all encompassing. While they're isn't anything wrong with that I personally was a bit over it all. I'd love to see Lessman break out of the predictable cycle and truly surprise the reader. She does, however, have a niche that works so who am I to say differently? Just know ahead of time what you're going to get.  Surface level spirituality and romance that possibly sizzles just a bit too much. 

My thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review.   

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