Julie LessmanTen years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known? Filled with intense passion and longing, deception and revelation, A Heart Revealed will hold readers in its grip until the very last page.
Here we have Julie Lessman doing what she does best, drawing us into a world that we wish we could be a part of (even though it is during the Great Depression). My favorite thing about Julie's books are that even though she picks one main character (or couple), it is really more of an ensemble book with all of the couples from the previous books taking big roles in this one as well. My biggest complaint about most series is that in book #1 we get to know characters and feel like they are part of our family even and then book #2 comes along and if we are lucky those original characters may get a cameo or a mention and then by book #3 we may not hear hide nor hair of them. It's like they've disappeared. Not so with Julie. Books 1, 2 and 3 of The Daughters of Boston series introduce us to Faith, Charity and Lizzie and they all get married off. Book 1 of The Winds of Change series starts off with Katie and then book 2 brings us to A Heart Revealed and dives into the life of Charity's best friend, Emma. The grand news is that in the first chapter I was re-introduced to all members of the family and it felt like I had never left (even though it had been a year since I read the last book). What a homecoming! This book is the perfect next addition in the saga of the O'Connor clan and it highlights the oldest of the O'Connors, Sean, the man committed to bachlorhood. Though the course of the book we find out why he has a hidden temper raging and why marriage scares the tar out of him. At the same time, Emma's secrets are revealed and we learn just what she ran from in Ireland. She has a ring on her finger that she is committed to even though she won't go back to her lying, cheating, abusive lout of a husband. Or will she?
The overwhelming theme of this book is forgiveness and grace. That none of us is deserving of the forgiveness God grants us or the grace he extends and that is what makes it true grace, we can't earn it. It is beautifully played out in this book and I loved coming back to some of my favorite literary characters of all time. The only sad thing for me is that I know there is only one book left in this set of six and it will be a bittersweet moment when I have to say good-bye to the O'Connors of Boston.
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”