As a fan of Christian fiction, I have read many Christian novels that had a romantic flare whether as the main story line or as a subplot. I have read none that sizzled like this novel by Julie Lessman. It was reminiscent of the novels I read as a twenty-something before I discovered Christian fiction. Yet, Lessman was able to build the tension and make stolen kisses seem like so much more without compromising the integrity of herself, her characters, or her readers. I will definitely read more books by this author. (I had one this one as part of a Christian fiction scavenger hunt.)
Love at Any Cost puts Caitlyn McClare in the role of a progressive reformer like Eleanor Roosevelt and Frances Willard, as passionate as, but more subdued than, Carrie Nation. Like many women of that era, she is at first reluctant to step out of her traditional role as a woman, but decides to place social reform as a priority in her life, quoting Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” realizing that speaks to women as well. As the matriarch of the McClare family, she nurtures her family and cares for their spiritual health while struggling with her own desires. Lessman leaves us wondering about the path Cait’s love like will take, and I’m hoping she’ll continue to be featured in The Heart of San Francisco series.
The main character in this novel is Cassidy McClare, her romance with the persistent Jamie McKenna providing the sizzle in this story. Cassidy, wounded by a money loving lothario back home in Texas, is on guard against all men when she encounters Jamie. She struggles with keeping Jamie at arms’ length, and helping him to discover an authentic faith in God. Just when you think you know how Cassidy and Jamie’s story is going to come to closure, Lessman introduces a totally unexpected turn of events making it impossible to put the book down until the final page is turned.
I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.