Tuesday, February 9, 2016

From the shelves of MaryLu Tyndall - Book Recommendation!

Hi everyone,  MaryLu here!  Love to read, love to write!  Love to tell others about good books. So, here we go.

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman

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 O'Bryen, 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?

My Review:

Romance, Redemption and Reconciliation!  These three themes run wild through Julie Lessman’s latest book, Isle of Hope.  Known for her daring historical romances, Ms Lessman has more than proven that she can be a master of the contemporary romance genre as well!  What can I say? I’ve loved Julie’s books since she first started writing.  Her books are the type of stories that require a fire place, hot cocoa, and a comfy chair. Why? Because once you start, you won’t be able to pull yourself away from the characters. You’ll think about them after you close the book each day, longing to get back into their lives to see what happens. Then when you close that final page, you’ll miss them like good friends.

Lacy Carmichael was the wild girl in town. When she left Isle of Hope, she left behind a trail of broken hearts, lives and families. Now she’s back  Only this time Lacy has found God and is a new person, dead set on making amends. However, the boy whose heart she broke, the young man who used to love God and who intended to be a pastor, has now become the wild one in town!  All because of her!  
And as if that weren’t enough conflict, the man’s father (who was a pastor at the time) ran away with the girl’s mother!  So, it’s not like their families are exactly talking anymore. In fact Lacy’s father threw her out of the house years before. There are many relationships to mend. Many bitter hearts to heal.
Ms. Lessman is truly a master of character. She creates families that you grow to love and real people with flaws who makes mistakes, who are hurt, and in need of help and forgiveness and love. You will cry and scream and laugh as you follow the lives of two major families as they struggle along the path of forgiveness.  God’s redemptive and unconditional love is a theme throughout and one that resonated with me in my own life. 

I encourage you to pick up this book. You won’t be disappointed.  


  1. Thanks for the review, MaryLu! I've got this book on my shelf and I can't wait to read it. Don't you just love the cover?

    1. Hey, Jill, cannot wait to see what you think, my friend, so if you like it, let me know, okay? And if you don't? Uh ... well ... never mind! ;)

      Hugs and HAPPY READING!

    2. I know I'll love it, and I'll certainly let you know, Julie. :)

  2. MARYLU!!! OH MY GOODNESS -- I just saw this and am sooooooo grateful to you, my friend, not only for this incredible review, but for reading IOH in the first place!!

    You KNOW you are at the top of my Auto-Buy List, girlfriend, so your opinion means ALL the more because of that.

    Love you!!

  3. Loved your review, MaryLu, and love "Isle of Hope"!! It resonated with me re: my life also - deeply. So many events in Lacey's life correlated with those in mine. I've loved every one of Julie's books - however, this is her best, in my opinion. Not because I relate to it so much, but because it's such a beautiful story, and per reader comments - God is using it to change people's lives. Readers beware: have tissues handy, this is a powerful book that plays with reader emotions - from one extreme to the other!!

  4. I've been an avid reader of Julie Lessman's books since The Daughters of Boston series. She does have a knack for creating family dynamics that pull you in and before you know it - you're hooked! Of course, I am a historical romance fanatic, so Julie's books always filled my need to traipse into the past and escape for a while. So when I saw this recent release - "Isle of Hope" - being a contemporary - I said, "Hmmmmmm - can she make the jump from historical to contemporary and it still hold my interest for an escape?" Well - it's true - she can! Not that she needs my stamp of approval - lol! The one thing you can expect with a Julie Lessman book - expect the unexpected! And this book certainly has a number of those! My question is . . . . . "Julie - you left us hanging on a few "twists" in the story . . . is there an Isle of Hope II on the horizon??" As for the here and now - - I started your book last night Mary Lu - "Charity's Cross" - you're another one that I've followed your series and this one is definitely up my buccaneer alley - I mean who can resist pirates, the high seas, and maidens (or widows) in distress - arrrrggg! Thanks to all you ladies at the Clean Romance Reads Cafe - you keep writing and I'll keep buying!!!

    1. PAM!!! Thank you for taking a chance on my contemporary, my friend, and I'm glad I could "surprise" you with a few twists! ;)

      And good news (I hope!) -- this is a series, so book 2 will be Shannon's story and guess who? Jack's "player" coworker, Dr. Sam Cunningham. Here's the blurb:

      A shy romance writer wounded by a man who used her, befriends a handsome player who first seeks her advice on love—and then her heart. 

      Of course, I HAD to pair Cat with Chase for book 3, Unchanging Love, so here's the blurb for that: A bold and independent woman challenges the ideals and—and the morals—of a pastor who loves her no matter the mistakes that she makes.

      And rest assured, Ben and Tess will have their happy ending, too, but not without a lot of angst first! After all, I AM a CDQ, right? (Caffeinated Drama Queen).

      And then, finally, don't know if you are aware or not, but the prequel novella to Isle of Hope, A Glimmer of Hope, is available for preorder right now for only 99 cents -- 66% off the release-day price, so I hope you check it out. :)

      Thanks again, Pam, for your kind comment AND for reading my books in the first place!


    2. Oh my goodness Julie - you've got a lot on the contemporary horizon! And I'll be looking for the release dates. I'm certainly looking forward to all the upcoming stories - but I'll admit the one I'm most interested in is the Ben & Tess story. I really felt Ben's pain and rooted for Tess's determination in reaching out to him as a neighbor and friend. The lengths she went to had me in "snicker & giggle" land more than once. I loved her "never give up, back up, or back down" attitude - you go Tess!! I am soooo anxious for the Ben & Tess story that I will Fed-Ex you all the coffee you want!!! LOL! Thanks Julie for your writing skills in both the historical and contemporary venues - you have successfully penned a bridge to both worlds.

  5. Thanks Marylu for your review of IOH I thought you did a wonderful job of summing up the reasons why this book is another of Julie Lessman's great stories . This should definitely add to the large list of readers that love her already! As for myself both you and Julie are on my list of favorite authors! Also a special thank you to you,Julie for letting us know in the comments above that you're continuing the story of the IOH characters,I have to admit I've been concerned about Ben and Tess,along with the other characters. You really got me hooked into the story!

  6. Sounds like a wonderful book! I love all of Julie's books.

  7. Wow, what a great review. Makes me want to read it.