Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Hope and a Prayer by Julie Lessman

Posted October 7, 2022 by meezcarrie in Christian, giveaway, historical, Julie Lessman, romance / 42 Comments

A HOPE AND A PRAYER by Julie Lessman
Cousins O’Connor #2

GENRE: Inspirational Historical/WW2 Romance
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2022
PAGES: 500

She’s in love with her best friend.
He’s in love with her cousin.
But when the war reveals a gift so rare,
will they be saved by a hope and a prayer?

As Head Nurse at 2d Hospital in Nancy, France, Lieutenant Hope Dennehy is known for her healing touch, especially when it comes to mending the wounds and spirit of her best friend, Lieutenant Bren O’Neill. When Hope’s cousin breaks Bren’s heart, Hope is always there, helping to heal him with a friendship so anointed and deep, it threatens to break her heart too.

Flying high as a daredevil aeromedical evac pilot in the European Theatre, “Lieutenant Love” O’Neill crashes and burns when the woman he loves falls for another. Depending on the support and prayers of Nurse Hope Dennehy to save him, Bren re-evaluates his free-wheeling lifestyle when he witnesses the heinous atrocities of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Suddenly nothing in life is as important as taking care of those he loves … or is it? Battling demons from his past, Bren learns that only one thing can truly save him from himself.


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There are two things you can always count on in a Julie Lessman novel – a whole heap of toe-curlin’ kisses and a whole heap of Jesus. Because, as it turns out, Julie Lessman is madly in love with both, and she loves to prove that a whole heap of one doesn’t need to cancel out a whole heap of the other. That’s one of the many reasons I love her writing – the natural balance of romance and faith as an outpouring of the characters’ journey through life. Not to mention those characters I come to deeply care about, enough that I have followed this O’Connor family through various historical eras and contemporary romances too & still get a thrill when I see them on the pages.

Speaking of characters…. Bren O’Neill is a hero that you in equal turns love (hes such a charmer!) and want to purse whomp (he’s such a charmer! lol). Or at least shake some sense into on multiple occasions. And yet, it’s not totally his fault. He’s in bondage to addiction, after a literal lifetime of internal & external demons he’s running from and to at the same time. And, like so many of us, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says – even the people we love most – sometimes it takes being systematically stripped of everything we held dear to see that Jesus is all we need. That running to Him is the only source of joy, of peace, of redemption, and of HOPE. Lessman writes Bren’s character as only someone else who has been snatched from the pit & set on the Rock can do, and there were many occasions where I was moved to tears by, first, the desperation and then the restoration of his story.

Hope is the ideal nurse – compassionate (almost to a fault), selfless (again, almost to a fault), and warm. She’s a good leader, and her quiet steadiness usually serves her well. For all of Bren’s charms and flaws, she sees him as he really is and loves him in spite of each. As a friend. Her best friend. I had to chuckle at how often she felt the need to remind everyone of this, because it reminded me of how often I reminded everyone that this guy I was best friends with in college, and I were just friends. My grandma one day tsked at me and said, “That’s what I said about your grandpa, too!” I’ve been married to that guy for over 22 years now so I guess Grandma knew what she was talking about haha. Anyway, back to Hope… her love for God and her love for Bren are seemingly incompatible and I admired her resolve to make the right choices again and again. She’s not perfect, and Lessman is good to show us Hope’s flaws along with her strengths – a reminder for those of us ‘good girls’ that we need Jesus’ grace too.

Bottom Line: Be prepared to laugh, to cry, to want to jerk a knot in certain characters, to melt over others (sometimes the same ones you wanted to jerk a knot in), and to feel every emotion in between. And those Lessman-crafted kisses – be prepared to swoon into a breathless little puddle, too. A Hope and a Prayer takes readers on an honest journey of highs and lows, of saints and scoundrels, of the best of humanity and the worst of it. In Hope & Bren’s story, Lessman gives us layered characters to root for, swoonilicious kisses to fan over, and a tender story of grace to fill our hearts to overflowing. Another must-read from the Queen of passion-most-pure.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 4+ / keep those fans, fainting couches, and freezers close by

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A lover of all things Irish, Julie Lessman writes close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, Heart of San Francisco, Isle of Hope, Silver Lining Ranch, and The Cousins O’Connor series, Julie was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered over 21 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards, Julie’s novels also made Family Fiction magazine’s Best of 2015, Best of 2014, and “Essential Christian Romance Authors” 2017-2020, as well as Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction.

Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. Contact Julie through her website at

Other Recently Featured Books by Julie Lessman

Leave a comment on today’s post, and you will be entered to win your choice of an indie e-book from Julie, PLUS as part of Julie’s 2-week blog-tour giveaway, you’ll automatically be entered to win a GRAND PRIZE of an Amazon gift card, a signed paperback copy of A Hope and a Prayer or a signed paperback copy of any of Julie’s other indie books or a book by a top CBA author, PLUS a character named after you or a loved one in Julie’s next book!

For more details on how to increase your chances for the grand prize, check out Julie’s JOURNAL JOT BLOG for details on the blog-tour giveaway and tons of other giveaways going on right now.


Hey … since A Wing and a Prayer is ON SALE FOR ONLY 99 CENTS—why not head on over to MYSTI’S BOOK NOOK to sign up for the online book club for this 4.7⭐️WW2 novel that Sarah Sundin called “a fun and wild ride”? Whether you’ve already read A Wing and a Prayer, or just starting it today (it is 99¢, after all), or not reading it at all—there will be lots of fun with provocative questions (based on excerpts given) and TONS of giveaways! Julie will be posting every two days—seven posts and seven chances to win an e-book!

GRAND-PRIZE GIVEAWAY! Then Julie wilI toss all the commenter names in a hat for an Amazon gift card, a signed paperback copy of A Hope and a Prayer or a signed paperback copy of any of her indie books or a book by a top CBA author, PLUS a character named after you or a loved one in her next book!

So, check out the TRAILER for A Wing and a Prayer, then buy the e-book for only 99¢ E-BOOK (FREE on Kindle Unlimited) or the paperback HERE, then to Mysti’s Book Nook NOW to join this FREE and very cool Facebook Online Book Club, where some of your favorite authors are doing giveaways all year long!


What about you? What makes you want to read A Hope and a Prayer by Julie Lessman?

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42 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Hope and a Prayer by Julie Lessman

  1. Kathryn Bochman

    I don’t miss a Julie Lessman book. They are full of faith, romance, and just plain fun! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  2. MS Barb

    This book sounds fascinating! I enjoy reading WWII novels (about the every day heroes, not the atrocities!)

    • I’m with you, Barb, so I don’t linger on the atrocities, although it wouldn’t have been hard to do. That was the hardest chapter to write, I have to admit.

      Here’s to a win and GOOD LUCK in the contest.


  3. Suzanne Sellner

    WWII historical fiction novels are my favorite genre! I will definitely read this one by the talented Julie Lessman!

  4. Emily Brewer

    Julie Lessman is my favorite Christian fiction author! She adds spice, but keeps it appropriate 😉 the O’Connor Family feels like MY family! Cannot wait to read this book!

  5. Anne

    Historicals set during this era are profound and meaningful and Julie Lessman is a wonderful author.

  6. Cheri M

    The review sounds really good! “A Hope and a Prayer takes readers on an honest journey of highs and lows, of saints and scoundrels, of the best of humanity and the worst of it.” Those are the kinds of stories I enjoy reading! Thanks for sharing!

    • I know, Cheri — I LOVED that line, “A Hope and a Prayer takes readers on an honest journey of highs and lows, of saints and scoundrels, of the best of humanity and the worst of it.” That is sooo Carrie because she is an EXCELLENT reviewer with exceptional writing ability.

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

  7. Roxanne C.

    I’ll enjoy reading this WWII book, especially as it takes place as the war is coming to an end and how the effects the war had on those who served.

  8. Suzanne Wilson

    I can hardly wait to read this as well as A Wing And A Prayer! Historical fiction mixed with faith and of course romance, characters that seem so real. I fell in love with Julie Lessman and her wonderful, profound story telling intertwined with so much Jesus when reading Surprised By Love. I know this book won’t disappoint.

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