Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman

If you are an avid reader of anything that author Julie Lessman has written like I am then ISLE OF HOPE is a must read for you!

Lacey Carmichael and Jack O'Bryan were in love several years ago. Lacey was a wild child constantly pushing all of her father's buttons and tempting her boyfriend Jack. Jack was a good boy heading for seminary. When circumstances cause Lacey to leave town Jack is heartbroken. Fast forward 8 years and Lacey is returning to Isle of Hope a changed woman.

Lacey's newfound faith in the Lord has prompted her to make amends with several people from her past, namely her father, ex-boyfriend Jack and her best friend Cat. Jack has now become a wild child himself. Fresh out of medical school he's enjoying the attention from all of the nurses and determined to play the field. He is less than happy to see Lacey back in Isle of Hope.

Lacey's relationship with her father is the hardest one to crack. After all, to make amends you actually need to talk to the person and Lacey's father has no desire to talk with Lacey. Over the years Ben has become a bitter man determined to cut his feelings and life off from those around him. Known at the hospital that he works at as Dr. Doom, Ben works hard to live up to that name. Once friends and neighbors with Jack's family, Ben has erected a barrier between the two homes. Tess has had enough of Ben's hermit ways. Tempting him with monster cookies, Tess worms her way into Ben's life. Between Lacey and Tess will they be able to show Ben and Jack that forgiveness really will set you free?

Oh my goodness! Where to start? Author Julie Lessman knows how to play the emotions of the reader. I find that her characters can make me laugh over some snarky dialogue and then rip out my heart and have me weeping like a little girl over a poignant scene of forgiveness or declaration of love. ISLE OF HOPE had a sub-story between Ben and Tess that I absolutely loved. I found myself being reminded of Cait and Logan in Julie's other series The Heart of San Francisco.

ISLE OF HOPE has a much more blatant spiritual aspect to it that to me added so much more depth to the story. I loved the scenes of forgiveness, they were heart-rending and so believable. I also appreciated the reality that the author portrayed of what sin can do in a persons life and how that sin affects so many others around them. Above all I loved the message of forgiveness and HOPE that a person can have in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

This was Julie Lessman at her best! Since ISLE OF HOPE left some characters hanging I'm going to assume that we will be returning again to Isle of Hope to resolve some relationships in future installments. I can't wait!

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