Dare to Love Again, by Julie Lessman

book coverShe’s a sassy socialite burned by love. He’s a jaded cop burned by the upper class.
When sparks fly . . . will love catch fire again?

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast, she quickly discovers she’s no match for the unsavory characters that haunt the dark streets.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite self-defense, but it seems he has little choice. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But is he just a fraud like all the rest of the men Allison’s cared for? Or is he the one who will let her dare to love again?

Award-winning author Julie Lessman brings the glamour of Gilded Age San Francisco to vibrant life in this journey to find a love that never fails.

The McClare family is back in the second of Julie Lessman’s The Heart of San Francisco series and they are as close knit as ever. Dare to Love Again is set one year after the events of Love at Any Cost. The family has experienced situations to which the reader is not immediately privy. One of those situations involves oldest daughter, Alli, and a romance gone badly wrong. As a result, she has no wish to fall in love again and her Uncle Logan is determined to use his protect her using as much of his power and wealth as necessary.

Alli was one of my favorite characters in the first book, and I was happy to learn she would be the lead female in the second. The first chapter, however, almost made me change my mind. In it, she and Nick meet for the first time and that meeting is explosive. Nick wants her to move her fancy car so it’s not in plain sight, not a bad idea considering it’s parked in the notorious Barbary Coast district of San Francisco. Alli immediately takes offense and refuses. Thankfully, she quickly reverts to the likeable character I knew and she and Nick soon form a truce, even as they attempt to resist the attraction growing between them. My favorite character this time, though, is adorable Lottie LeRoy, age six. Who would imagine that sharpening pencils for the teacher could be so much fun? I also love the relationship between butler, Logan, and housekeeper, Mrs. O’Brien.

As I stated earlier, this is the second book in a series and I would advise reading book one first. Julie Lessman has created a fabulous group of characters who, despite their wealth, do not lead charmed lives. She also gives us insight into the lives of other, lesser well off inhabitants of the pre-earthquake city including those in Chinatown. This is a series I definitely recommend and I’m looking forward to book three.

Thank you to Revell for my free copy of Dare to Love Again, which I received in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read Dare to Love Again? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing)

Publication Date: 07 January 2014

Page Count: 416

Read more on:   Julie Lessman’s Website   Revell’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Christianbook.com

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