#TuesdayTea-Review of ISLE OF HOPE by Julie Lessman

Welcome to #TuesdayTea!

I’m reviewing Julie Lessman’s new book, Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love (Isle of Hope Series Book 1).  

I’m thrilled Julie has written a contemporary romance…..and in the lovely coastal setting of Isle of Hope, Georgia. Please have a snickerdoodle (as featured in this book) and some peach tea….either iced or hot, as we chat about this emotional book of forgiveness.

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman

ABOUT THE BOOK:

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 Carmichael, 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?

TREATS

Please enjoy some snickerdoodles before reading my review. I loved all the food treats included in this story! Here is recipe I found on the AllRecipes site for Snickerdoodle Mix in a Jar. This would make a yummy hostess gift for the upcoming holidays…..or a friendship gift to go along with a copy of Isle of Hope.

Snickerdoodles!

Snickerdoodles!

MY REVIEW:
Unfailing Love (Isle of Hope, #1)Unfailing Love by Julie Lessman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Extraordinary! Isle of Hope: Unfailing Love is a riveting story of humility, selfless love, and extraordinary forgiveness!
“Wow!” and “Oh, my!” …..my thoughts as I read the pages of Isle of Hope, a novel packed with emotion!
The first line of Isle of Hope lets us know there is drama and intensity ahead in this story. This is a reunion romance–a romance which started back in high school between Lacey, the class flirt, and Jack, a pastor’s son. Years later, they are back in Isle of Hope for a wedding celebration. Many issues come to light as the story evolves. Just as I felt the characters had solved an emotional crisis and all would be fine, another mountain would rise before them, definitely surprising me. This book compelled me to read as fast as I could to find out if their happily-ever-after was even a possibility after so much pain and regret.
I like Lacey’s courage and her persistence as she tries to reconcile with her father concerning their hurtful past. Jack is great. He shows such tenderness towards the woman who left him. He is dedicated to his family and to helping his pediatric patients. All the other characters were intriguing, but I especially liked Tess, with her warmth and gentle faith…and her nurturing gifts (bribes?) of food, including bacon for Beau, Ben’s dog. It is satisfying to live with these characters as they struggle with forgiveness.
Isle of Hope is fantastic to read…filled with the unimaginable pain of betrayal, which then escalates with the tension of powerful anger and hopeful love. Julie Lessman is a passionate writer who excels at filling a story with heart-thumping emotion, while including the gentle reminder that God is our HOPE, and He is truly in control.
Favorite lines:
“You should know better than anyone—there is no hope without forgiveness.”
“I believe that the truth spoken in love is not only the best gift I can give, but the most critical as well.”
“This is the moment you’ve been praying for.”
“It’s never too late to love.”
*I received a copy of this book for my review. This is my honest opinion of this extraordinary book.

ABOUT JULIE LESSMAN AND HER CONTEST

Julie has a contest on her website, which you can check her contest page for how to enter. JULIE’S CONTEST PAGE

For more information about Julie Lessman, you will find her website is filled with information about her books, how to sign up for her newsletter,  and her spiritual journey. JULIE LESSMAN WEBSITE

MY THOUGHTS

As I’ve mentioned above, Isle of Hope is an extraordinary book. Since I mainly read contemporary romance, I was delighted to learn Julie has expanded from her historical novels to begin a contemporary series. After reading this first book,  I’m hoping for some of the characters I so enjoyed will have their own HEA.

I appreciate the forgiveness theme in this book. We probably all have some issues, big or small, in our lives which cause bitterness. This book powerfully hit me with the reminder that forgiveness is the only way to peace….and God will give me the strength to forgive……extraordinary strength…..if I listen and obey.

I need to tell you this: Julie is such a gracious person. Regretfully, I had to back out of her official blog tour because I had over committed my time. Since I like to believe I’m a responsible blogger, I was embarrassed to let her know I couldn’t promise to have a review done by the date of the blog tour, even though I had already accepted an electronic version of her book. Perhaps someone else might have been upset and angry that I had broken my promise of promotion and reviews. However, Julie absolutely understood my situation, making me feel completely forgiven. I have the greatest respect for Julie because she does truly live her faith. It’s not just words in a book.

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Please help me remember you are our God of hope and extraordinary forgiveness. You know all things…my sins against others for which I need forgiveness and the forgiveness I need to extend to others as you have forgiven me. Please continue to help me have a forgiving and humble heart.

Thank you for gifting authors, like Julie Lessman, with the ability to write words which challenge me to walk more perfectly in your ways. Bless Julie’s efforts with this book to bring the hope of extraordinary forgiveness to many.

I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

BIBLE VERSE

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea!

May all your days be blessed with the extraordinary treasure of God’s forgiveness!

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20 Responses to “#TuesdayTea-Review of ISLE OF HOPE by Julie Lessman”

  1. Sandra Leesmith Says:

    Another terrific review, Sherida. I love how you pull quotes from the book that are so beautiful. It really illustrates the author’s strength. I too am a fan of Julie Lessman’s historicals so am excited to read her contemporary, especially after reading your review.

    And snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie. My grandma used to bake them for me. smile

  2. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Thank you, Sandra! The quotes that sparkle for me are fun to share. 🙂

    You will enjoy this contemporary Julie has written. Hope you get to read it soon!

    Please have another snickerdoodles. Both my grandmas baked these. I should try to find their recipes.

    Thanks for joining me for #TuesdayTea and for sharing my post. You are the BEST!!!

  3. Tracey Says:

    Hi Sherida,
    I liked your review on Amazon and here at your website. You give a good overview without giving the story away. Several of the reviews I glanced at online gave too much of the story away and I had to stop reading so I could enjoy the book for myself without the spoilers.

  4. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Thank you, Tracey! Avoiding those spoilers is important as you said so that the reader can discover the excitement for themselves. I really appreciate that you noticed that in my reviews. Since we like the same books, it’s always fun to see your reviews which are always so thoughtful.

    And we’re neighbors on the Seekerville birthday collage….with our books behind us! Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Please have another snickerdoodles….and enjoy Julie’s book! I’ll look forward to your review! Blessings!

  5. Tracey Says:

    I noticed we were neighbors too, and I love having you for one! We had the same idea about the books too, after all, it’s all about the books 🙂
    I also liked the length of your review, I know sometimes the longer reviews get more “attention”, but speaking for myself, when reading reviews I just want a brief overview. I’m trying to be mindful; if that when I write mine. Longer reviews seem better suited for book club discussion.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how Julie handles a contemporary, especially in light of the fact she says it’s her most spiritual book and loosely based on herself.

    Thanks for the snickerdoodle snack, I’m off to run errands and I’ll need the boost!

  6. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Yes, Tracey…..the longer reviews would be good for book club discussions. I’ve never been in a book club, but after reading Isle of Hope, there truly are so many things I wanted to talk about and compare other’s thoughts. There should be a book club-type discussion of Julie’s book. Wonder if this could be done on Goodreads…..

  7. Bonnie Roof Says:

    I loved your review when I read it on Amazon, Sherida, and love this post, also. Thank you!!

    Your comment that Julie lives her faith is so perfectly “on target” – that faith comes across in her writing, one of the reasons readers love her books and find them so inspiring, and Julie, herself. I’ve loved every one of Julie’s historical novels and novellas, however, ‘Isle of Hope’ impacted and inspired me in an even greater way. I’m so thrilled that other readers are being so greatly inspired by it, also.

    I love the way you tied the forgiveness theme of ‘Isle of Hope’ in with your prayer and bible verse. And I love your transparency and humbleness re: the blog tour incident. Thanks for the Snickerdoodles and peach tea, two of my very fave delicacies!! The tip of using Snickerdoodle mix along with a copy of ‘Isle of Hope’ as a gift, is perfect – thanks!!

  8. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Bonnie, thank you so much for your kind thoughts and for visiting my blog! It is a blessing to see Julie garner such awesome reviews for her first contemporary.

    Your review also was inspired! I loved your statement: “Scattered amongst my reading moments of tears, smiles, and joy-were some of anger and shock, replaced by the inspiration and redemption of the characters through a loving God of hope and forgiveness.” EXACTLY!

    And including the prayer was God’s timing and message to me as I wrote this post. I’ll do this from now on in my blog posts for the lovely authors who give us such faith-filled stories. Thank you and many blessings to you!

  9. Bonnie Roof Says:

    It was my pleasure, Sherida – thank you for you sweet comments re: my review. I always pray I will do justice to the books I review, and to God. I too, am thrilled for Julie, re: the wonderful reviews of ‘Isle of Hope’ – I know it’s a book dear to her heart. She has commented that ‘Isle of Hope’ is the contemporary book of her heart, as ‘A Passion Most Pure’ is the historical book of her heart.

    Re: God’s timing with the prayer on this post: don’t you love it when He does this??

    Blessings to you, also – Sherida!!

  10. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Bonnie, thanks again for stopping by! Yes, I love God’s timing……always perfect timing!

    Blessings!

  11. Julie Lessman Says:

    SHERIDA!!

    PLEASE forgive me for being so late to the party — I’ve been going a little crazy with trying to get the paperback of IOH up and running and a number of blog interviews going on too!

    But, WOW, my friend, you really know how to put on a party! I started tearing up through the review, and then you took me completely down to all-out tears when I read your thoughts and your precious prayer. Thank you SO much for blessing me with not only an incredible review, but prayer and encouragement as well. Many of the Seekers have told me what a blessing you are, and now I find out first-hand, you sweet thing!

    God bless you, my friend!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  12. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Julie, your theme of forgiveness is of ultimate importance, so I’m honored to help spread the word about your extraordinary book….which so lovingly and spiritually expresses forgiveness. Thank you for blessings us with your writing!

  13. Julie Lessman Says:

    Sandra … right back at you, my sweet friend because I am a fan of your fabulous books too! 🙂

    Would you believe that I never had one snickerdoodle until I married into the Lessman family??? WOW, did I soon realize how deprived I was. And just like Lacey in the story, I like mine real light and doughy. 🙂

    Mmm … I’m tempted to go back some right now … 😉

    Hugs,
    Julie

  14. Julie Lessman Says:

    Oh, Tracey, I just HATE when people slip spoilers into a review. On my first book, A Passion Most Pure, there was a HUGE twist of a surprise at the end of the book, and some reviewer just spilled it out right there in their review. Fortunately, back then Amazon was most amenable to authors, so they removed it. But it’s happened on other books since, and they have refused to remove the review or even put a “SPOILER” header in the heading.

    You know, Tracey, the fact that it IS loosely based on my relationship with my father explains just WHY it’s my most spiritual book to date because I actually lived everything the heroine does with her father, and FELT everything to the depth of my soul when God walked me through the process. 🙂 Hopefully all the hurt and pain I went through will help others to avoid it or at least rectify it.

    Hugs!

  15. Donna Phillips Says:

    Sherida, I am looking so forward to reading Isle of Hope! It sounds like a beautiful heartwarming story. Thank you for such a thoughtful review.

    Can you believe I’ve never had a Snickerdoodle? I mean to rectify that!

  16. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Donna, I know you are so busy….so I really appreciate you stopping by to visit. Isle of Hope is a “WOW!” book you will truly enjoy!

    Oh, my! You haven’t had a Snickerdoodle? I’m filling a big plate up just for you!

    Blessings!

  17. Julie Lessman Says:

    BONNIE!!! Girl, you are EVERYWHERE!! Thanks for your continuous support, my precious friend!

    Love you!
    Julie

  18. Julie Lessman Says:

    DONNA!! Say it ain’t so — you’ve never had a snickerdoodle??? YES, you must rectify that as soon as possible — maybe early Christmas cookies???

    And, Sherida, yours look JUST like I love ’em — extra light with lots of cinnamon crackles — YUM!!

    HUGS,
    Julie

  19. Carrie Fancett Pagels Says:

    Great review, Sherida! Julie Lessman is one of my absolute favorite authors! And she’s a delightful person! Am praying for her to have much success with new contemporary novel which I am looking forward to reading soon!

  20. Sherida Stewart Says:

    Carrie, thank you for your comment and for visiting my blog.

    You will truly enjoy Julie’s contemporary romance. With the many amazing reviews Isle of Hope is garnering, our prayers are being answered. This book is touching many hearts!

    As an author, you can appreciate the efforts involved in writing an emotional book. I’m praying for you and all Christian writers charged with spreading God’s message. Thanks for your writing projects also!

    Blessings to you!

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