She stole his heart.
He stole her peace.
Can hope steal their pain?
At the age of eighteen, Lacey Carmichael was a wild girl bent on fun, promised to Jack Carmichael, a straight-and-narrow pastor’s kid bent on the seminary. When her father kicks her out of the house, she runs away from Isle of Hope, turning her back on everything she loves. Now, eight years later, she’s back as a woman of faith, hoping to make amends to the father she defied, the boyfriend she deserted, and the best friend she denied. Only the bridges she’s burned are still smoldering, kindled by an adulterous affair by Jack’s pastor father that damaged his son’s faith. But can a turning of tables—and hearts—lead the way back to “hope” for them all?
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Julie Lessman, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. Julie has garnered 17 RWA and other awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her latest novel, Surprised by Love, appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top Ten Novels of 2014. Her indie book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers’ Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.
You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, as well as sign up for her newsletter. Check out Julie’s group blog, The Seekers, Writers Digest 2013, 2014, and 2015 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” and Julie’s own personal blog, Journal Jots, voted blog of the month in the Readers’ Choice poll of Book Fun Magazine.
Connect with Julie online:
Click this link to read an excerpt from Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman.
“Speaking of tingles on one’s tongue…” How do YOU think I finished that sentence? lol
I’m actually still sitting here processing this book – it’s that good and that touching and that … well, that “everything” we search for in compelling fiction. We don’t find it all that often, though; at least, not all the pieces coming together at once to create a story so moving that you know you are no longer the same for having read it. I can count on one hand, in fact, the number of books that I have not merely enjoyed but ingested and absorbed into my soul. Isle of Hope will now forever (and ever, amen) be included in this list.
The O’Bryens and the Carmichaels are two families separated by more than a privet hedge, padlocked gates, and block-out-the-world window blinds. They’ve been ripped apart by an ocean of bad decisions piling on top of bad decisions piling on top of betrayal and bitterness and heartbreak. With the impeccable talent synonymous with her name, Julie Lessman takes an honest, few-holds-barred look at the price of sin and the cost of forgiveness. Isle of Hope will tear out your heart and put it back together, a little sore for the process but sweetly soothed all the same. It’s emotional and raw and convicting … but healing.
The characters… lol. They just move on in to your heart and take up residence, even without an invitation. Some of them sneaked in despite my best intentions! Tess – perky, persistent, heart-on-her-sleeve, not afraid of awkward conversations Tess. I think she’s my favorite. Her story is hers to tell so I’ll let her tell it but oh please make sure you read Isle of Hope and meet her. I don’t think her story is finished quite yet either so I’m already looking ahead with great anticipation to future books in the series. Jack and Lacey made me weep and laugh and swoon and curl my toes and forget to breathe – sometimes all of those reactions at once. Like Tess (and Ben and Adam and Cat and Shannon and everybody else in Isle of Hope), their story is not mine to spoil but it has certainly inked a tattoo in my spirit that won’t fade any time soon.
About this time in the review, you might be asking… “That all sounds well and good, Carrie, but what about the KISSING??” Never fear, my faithful romantics!! There are kisses and sparks and HEAT aplenty!!!!! Ooooh boy- are there ever! Make sure you have a fan handy when you sit down to read Isle of Hope – and perhaps additional oxygen? A fainting couch would not be amiss.
Bottom Line: Isle of Hope may in fact be not only Julie’s best novel so far but also her most important. Long time fans will embrace this contemporary series as they have her historicals, I have no doubt. If I could pick a word (besides WOW) that summarizes the theme of this book, I could certainly choose from many – forgiveness, healing, love, redemption. But I think the best choice would be “hope”. The word “hope” in the title represents many things throughout the story – and different things to the different characters. To define it for you here would be to spoil several plot points so I will refrain except to say that, just like its holiest meaning, Hope does not disappoint.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
(Or click here)
In addition to the awesome Rafflecopter giveaway linked above, Julie Lessman is doing a giveaway to celebrate the end of this great blog tour. Here’s what she said:
“SOOOO … GET A CHARACTER NAMED AFTER YOU IN THE ISLE OF HOPE PAPERBACK (yes, I said Isle of Hope because I’m still editing the paperback) & THE REVISED EBOOK PLUS A COPY by reading the review and interview on Reading Is My SuperPower and commenting on that post. NOTE: Randomizer will draw a random winner from comments left on the blog-tour posts at the links listed below ONLY, not on my FB page.
PLUS … extra entry points for commenting on any of the other FABULOUS reviews in the Singing Librarian Books blog tour listed below. NOTE: Anyone who has already commented is automatically entered in this random-draw contest with one point. CONTEST ENDS SUNDAY, 11/8 AT MIDNIGHT & WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED HERE ON MY Julie Lessman‘s) FB PAGE, SO GOOD LUCK!!”
Comment below to be entered, or comment on my interview with Julie from earlier today.
You can also enter by commenting on any of the tour posts from the schedule below.
November 1–Singing Librarian Books
November 2–Just Commonly
November 3–Between the Pages | Anna Weaver Hurtt, Author
November 4–Faith, Fiction, and Fun
November 5–Buzzing About Books
November 6–Reading is My Super Power | Smiling Book Reviews
November 7–Wishful Endings
If you are interested in becoming a Singing Librarian Books tour participant, apply HERE.