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Young Elizabeth O'Connor is the little sister John Brady always longed for. But she wants much more than that from her spiritual mentor. As she blossoms into a beautiful young woman intent on loving John, he must push back the very real attraction he feels for her. His past just won't let him go there. Unfortunately, Lizzie won't let him go anywhere else--until she discovers he is not all that he seems. Can true love survive such revelations?

Full of the romance and relationships Lessman readers have come to love, A Passion Denied is the final book in the popular Daughters of Boston series.

480 pages, Paperback

First published May 1, 2009

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About the author

Julie Lessman

39 books1,210 followers
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys writing close-knit Irish family sagas that evolve into 3-D love stories: the hero, the heroine, and the God that brings them together.

Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series, Julie Lessman was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 18 Romance Writers of America and other awards. Voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also named on Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction and Borders Best Fiction list.
Julie’s first contemporary novel, Isle of Hope, was voted on Family Fiction magazine’s “Best of 2015” list, and Surprised by Love appeared on Family Fiction magazine’s list of “Top Ten Novels of 2014.” Her independent novel A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.

Julie has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets. You can contact Julie through her website and read excerpts from each of her books at www.julielessman.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 193 reviews
Profile Image for TJ.
2,647 reviews155 followers
September 8, 2010
Sometimes, it seems that when reviewing a faith-based novel, one is doomed for failure. How does one criticize without sounding like a blasphemer? It is also one of the hardest genres to write a truly good book in. To accomplish the goal, the author must take a principle and weave it into the story so well that it doesn't detract while still teaching the concept. Of course, the perfect example of this comes in Jesus, himself, who used stories (parables) to enlighten and teach his most important messages. Pounding and preaching the point wasn't necessary, the story itself enlightened the principle.

In the first book of "Daughters of Boston" series, Ms. Lessman accomplished this goal to perfection. "A Passion Most Pure" was a riveting story that left the reader moved, enlightened and thoroughly satisfied. It is also one of the best faith based novels I have ever read. Something collapsed however between that book and this one. In "A Passion Denied", all the subtlety of the message was lost, replaced by overt and endless preaching, pounding and scripture quoting. It's easier that way but rarely is it better and never is the lesson learned as well. While the story, itself, was a very good one, it was so overwhelmed by the attempted sermon, we lost the beauty of it.

Lessman also seemed so intent on teaching that she forgot to focus. One or two principles, painted well can have a life-changing effect. A whole pitcher full just dilutes the genius until nothing is really learned. Lizzie, John and her family seemed to deal with every temptation known to man all in one book. At times we are so confused at which vice we are supposed to be focusing on, we totally lose the point. At the very least, the reader will walk away from this story with a headful of semi-ideas on biblical principles and a story that would have been awesome if one could have found it. At the very worst, one might walk away feeling bludgeoned by all the hype and choose never to cross the "Christian" line again.
Profile Image for Anne.
502 reviews484 followers
August 17, 2015
Signs I'm totally obsessed with this series :

*I've devoured all three books in less than a month.

*I feel like I personally know the characters, and think I already met the whole family somewhere.

*Their faith inspires me so much, I have seriously started praying more and reading the Bible more.

*I'm reading all the time. Like, all the time.

*I am considering bobbing my hair, like all the ladies in this book did.

*I became psychic. Seriously. Sometimes, when I love a book so much, I find myself taking the characters on journeys of my own, making them do things and say things that aren't in the book. For some reason, I imagined Brady and Lizzie going fishing and bringing back a lot of fish. What happened a few pages after, in the book? They went fishing and brought back a lot of fish!!! It was so coincidental, I couldn't believe it.

*At some point, the family was eating coconut pie for dessert, and I had a sudden urge to eat coconut pie myself. I got up form my chair and told my mom I wanted to go bake a coconut pie. To which she replied: "Are the characters in your book eating coconut pie or something?".

*One Sunday at church, the Psalm reading was so applicable to Brady that I made a mental note to tell him about it later...then the blood surged to my cheeks in embarrassment as I suddenly remembered that Brady is a fictional character.

*And finally, I have now returned the books to the library, and feel like a piece of me is missing.

Clearly, I am a little crazy, and clearly I need to re-think my life, but what can I say? These books have a way of entrancing me so completely and the characters are so real and loveable, they'd gotten under my skin way before I could prevent it.

I remember reading A Passion Most Pure and trying to fight the attraction I had toward the characters, and the enjoyment I felt reading about them. The story was so flawed, there was so much unnecessary smoochiness, and so many scenes were so maddening, that I couldn't understand why despite it all, I loved it so much. When I reached the end, I just couldn't wait to "meet up" with the characters again, so I plunged immediately in A Passion Redeemed, knowing I'd probably enjoy it a lot. It was still highly frustrating at times, but overall it won my heart just like book 1, and when it ended I was desperate for book 3.

A Passion Denied reads pretty much like its two predecessors: it's romance-focused, there aren't many details as to the setting/era, there's a lot of passionate kisses (most of which totally unnecessary), a lot of heartache, a lot of tears, a lot of love, a lot of prayer, a lot of maddening situations, but overall, every minute was worth it. I'm done trying to "not like" these books or trying to take down a few stars, because no matter how many flaws they contain, the good points more than make up for the bad ones.

I still find it strange how the characters never think back upon World War I - this book taking place in 1922, and having more than one male character who'd fought in it, or how all three heroines have always had recourse to engagement to another man in the hopes of forgetting the one they really love, or even why so many things are often left hanging, such as the family members, friends and coworkers still in Ireland, and situations with other family members or friends.

I also found it really surprising that there was never once talk of the Virgin Mary, given the Catholic faith of the characters, and how important Mary is to Catholics. It didn't really bother me, I just found it odd.

But all that aside, A Passion Denied is undoubtedly one of my favourite books of this year. I had a wonderful time reading it! I loved Beth and Brady from the previous books, and loved to see how their story unfolded. It was definitely twistier and more complicated than the other two, and I was shocked many times, and literally had to put the book down to assimilate what had just happened.

It was so much fun seeing the characters from the other books and reading scenes about them! The author even incorporated a few little conflicts between the other couples, which really gave the feel of reading a series about a family, and not just a hero and heroine. That's the thing I love the most about the Daughters of Boston series; it's not just about the daughters, it's about the entire O'Connor family, and they are so fun to follow that I almost cried when this book was over, because I wasn't ready to say goodbye, wasn't ready for it to end...and then I discovered that Julie Lessman's Winds of Change series is the continuation of this one!!! I was so happy I almost cried again.

Katie and Cluny were THE BEST, my favourite kids in books EVER, and reading their story now in A Hope Undaunted is entertaining at best, and nothing short of wonderful. Each of these books just keeps getting better and better! I don't know how it's even possible!

And please, the man on the cover? So ridiculously good-looking, my main reason for wanting to buy this book is so I can stare at him whenever I want.

**Sort of a standalone, but sort of not. The story is perfectly understandable if you haven't read books 1 & 2 (and no don't worry, you didn't miss the scoop on Brady's past...you've got to be patient on that one because Lessman lets the suspense build and build, AND BUILD until you're nearly crazy with wondering what happened - eh, it's one of the joys of this book :P), but I strongly recommend reading the series in order, because it's just better. It's so much more fun when you already know who Charity and Faith and Mitch and Collin & the whole gang are, because then you can have inside jokes with them and wink at them while they're having a family dinner, reminiscing over sweet times from previous books. :)

Review of book 1 A Passion Most Pure (Daughters of Boston, #1) by Julie Lessman : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Review of book 2 A Passion Redeemed (Daughters of Boston, #2) by Julie Lessman : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Saraina Whitney.
Author 2 books31 followers
May 11, 2022
Shockingly enough, this might actually be my favorite Julie Lessman book so far. Well, right after A Hope Undaunted, and probably A Passion Redeemed. I'm learning I have to read her books alone so that I can cry all I want. Like, am I the only one who sobs a scary amount of times while reading her books - especially this one? Maybe it's just the Enneagram 4 in me, but either way, few authors can grab my heart and make me care for the characters enough for me to not even be able to wrap my mind around the fact that "they're just fictional characters." (If you say that to me while I'm reading, you. will. regret. it. I'm warning you.)

One of my favorite things about this story was Collin and Brady's friendship (and throw dear Cluny in there for good measure!). For those who have read the book, when Collin was leaving Brady with Father Mac (was that his name?) after Brady's rather... disastrous incident, and Collin stopped by the door and said, in effect, "No matter what you've done, I will always be your friend," (only it was way more hard-hitting than that) I cried. so. hard. (Also, random but it's hilarious how poor Collin can't keep secrets.)

Brady. HE'S SO BROKEN AND TORMENTED AND UGH I LOVE HIM. I was dying to find out exactly what constituted his dark past, and was kept in suspense for a long time until I finally got the truth. And Lizzie is the character I've felt most similar to personality-wise out of all Mrs. Lessman's books that I've read thus far. A hopeless romantic, quiet, with an unexpected bold side. (Ha, I'm not saying I would go as far as she did in her... romantic schemes. Though they were mostly Charity's doing. Like the infamous cracker tears.)

The spiritual messages in this book were very healing and powerful. "Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal...." that line from the hymn "Come, Ye Disconsolate" pretty much sums up the main theme. (Though, no, I don't think that song was mentioned in A Passion Denied.) I absolutely loved it.

And the end - like, the very end - was one of my favorite parts. The banter between the family members as they were getting ready for the... ahem, second wedding, if my memory doesn't fail me, (banter like Mitch and Patrick arguing over how to tie a four-in-hand... priceless) was, yes, just that - priceless.

Overall, it tore my poor heart in pieces, then it back together again, leaving me stronger than when I had first picked it up. The so-called "preachiness" was my favorite part, hands down. For me, the whole book was worth reading just for those parts. But I loved it all - I mean this IS the O'Connor family, after all. And we all know what that means. High-stakes drama, intense romance, powerful prayers, strong familial love, and good food. (Haha, caught you off guard with that last one, didn't I? But you know it's so true.)
Profile Image for Donald Parker.
Author 27 books131 followers
May 2, 2009
Julie Lessman is a master (or should I use the term mistress) of taking her readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Her characters, despite the fact she has so many of them involved in the story, come alive as real people and not caricatures gilded with religious veneer. The extended Connor family members are normally admirable but not flawless people. They try to cling to God, but the common struggles all humans must deal with in the areas of pride and passion never stray far from their door. The exposé of pride and its damaging effects is one of the highlights of this book. I would hazard a guess that pride has killed more marriages than lust. Julie does a great job of convincing her readers that if they want precious love to last, pride must be laid aside so the spouse can come astride and peace can abide. (Sorry, I just had a poetic moment). At times I was provoked enough to want to slap one of the characters on the side of the head and tell them to wake up and smell the Irish coffee. I had to keep telling myself, this is just a book.

This is not a lightweight work in more than one regard (it contains nearly 500 pages). Most of the action involves some aspect of romance, even among the married couples. This is not erotica, but the mention of sexual arousal and foreplay is not an infrequent visitor to the plotline. This book will not be confused with a Janette Oke story. I think it is healthy for Christians to acknowledge that they are human and have sexual appetites. This book might contain an excess of the sexual passion aspect, but the lesson is well delivered – sexual passion without God’s love is a recipe for disaster. Decisions based on the heat of moment may freeze the blood in the future. So despite being prominent throughout the story, passion is not enthroned here. A wealth of scriptural references provide a counterbalance to the passion pitting desire to please oneself against desire to please God. Much of the conflict in the story arises within the characters dealing with this internal tug of war. Another cute element of conflict was the relationship between almost eleven-year-old Katie and a street Urchin named Cluny, a young teenager befriended by Brady. Katie’s precocious comments massaged my funny bone.

The author seemed to take pains to spice up the story by introducing elements of the society in this timeframe. Thoroughly Modern Millie came to my mind as Lizzie’s haircut was described in the beginning of the story. Ironically, the character pushing Beth to embrace modernism with her stylish new name of Lizzie and hairdo was named Millie. Things like Keds, toasters, Saltines, and basketball hoops made cameo appearances. I actually did some research to make sure the copy editor didn’t mess up here and checked on a few dates to make sure they were around in 1922.

Julie even managed to smuggle in the dreaded submission clause from Ephesians. Her take on it was interesting: submission = respect. Men want to be respected above all else, and if they receive that precious commodity, they are able to cherish their wives, which is what women desire above all else. I’ll buy that into philosophy though that is on the simplistic side of things. I had the audacity to include my interpretation of that passage in one of my books. One aspect of the spiritual tangent that I found perhaps out of tune with reality was the combination of Evangelical Christian jargon with Catholicism. I was raised as a Catholic in the 1950’s and 60’s. Perhaps we were behind the times in South Dakota, but Bible reading seemed to be something that was still the realm of the clergy at that time. I am aware the church has changed a lot since then.

There was a little mystique included which allows the romantic sleuths to engage their deductive reasoning. We’re allowed to know that John Brady has a problem in his past and are given snitches of information to let us guess at what it is. That secret really drives the story since it seems to prevent John from letting himself accept Lizzie as a woman instead of just as a sister. Julie uses just enough hinting to give us insight, but not enough to totally solve the mystery. I had most of it figured out, but there were some surprising twists in the end that left me applauding the author. I suggest you get a copy and find out for yourself, unless you’re afraid of emotional roller coasters.

Profile Image for Heather.
115 reviews25 followers
January 11, 2012
AAAAHHHH, I LOVE Brady!! He is very religious, but he's also a brooding, angry man under it all, so he's not goody-goody or boring by any means! And I LOVE, LOVE that when it came time for his "secret" to be told/found out, things didn't just go smoothly and everybody just go, "It's OK, we love you anyway..." There was true, raw, crazy emotions that erupted, and things got crazy, twisty, turny...SO GOOD!! Have to give this 5 STARS!! I had a few annoyances with this book, but they were overshadowed by the surprises and twists and turns, and how SO VERY GOOD the story is between the main characters!!! I LOVED IT! I started getting a bit annoyed that Brady seemed so self-righteous with denying giving affection to Beth, but then you learn he really does have a "skeleton in the closet" that causes him to feel disgusted about having feelings for a woman. That made it real and heart-wrenching! This definetly ended up being a top favorite of mine!!

If you want to know, these were the minor annoyances.... I thought there was a little too much time spent on other family members and their current little fights, make-ups, ect. I mean it was cute and nice to an extent, but I really wanted to get on with the main characters. I supose I'd enjoy those parts more reading subsequent times when I'm not anxious to find out how things work out for the main characters. And then there was the annoyance of every single situation everybody said, "Will you pray with me/for me/we should pray about this/with God this will work out"....I know this is a Christian-Romance, but it was a little much (for me anyway, but I don't normally read Christian books). But those things were minor and didn't stop me from loving this or keep it from being a top favorite of mine!!

Profile Image for Ruth.
568 reviews38 followers
May 29, 2009
For years Beth O’Connor has filled the role of ideal little sister in John Brady’s life, her girlish admiration and pure friendship a balm to his wounded soul. Their friendship grew over a mutual love of books and shared faith, and Brady has willingly filled the role of friend and mentor, until one day he blinks – and little Beth has transformed into Lizzie, a young woman determined to capture his heart. However, Brady has a past that’s left him convinced that love and marriage are not in his future – a past he’s determined to shelter from Lizzie. But Lizzie comes from stubborn O’Connor stock and won’t give up on her dream romance just because her hero says so. When the revelation of Brady’s past rocks her world and shatters her idealistic image of the man, Lizzie must decide whether or not she can fight for the man with a past. A Passion Denied proves that a love refined in the fires of God’s grace and redemption is a gift stronger than any schoolgirl’s fantasy, stronger than the condemning weight from the guilt of one’s past. God can redeem it all – if only one will allow it.

A Passion Denied grabbed me from the start and absolutely would not let go (and considering the novel clocks in at well over 400 pages, that’s saying something!). I can relate to Lizzie in so many ways – not only because of her love of reading and dreams of romance (not to mention the fact she works in a bookshop!), but the way in which those romantic flights of fancy informed her view of Brady and what makes a “perfect man.” Ladies, you know it’s true – we’re wired to respond to romance, but if we’re not careful, the fictions of the world can skew our perspective. A human placed on a pedestal must come crashing down by virtue of the fact of his or her human failings and imperfections – but when God redeems the broken and weak, the possibilities are endless. Not only does Lizzie have some growing up to do, but Brady must learn to forgive himself and accept God’s forgiveness. This expert balance of human passion, failings, and redemption is what elevates Lessman’s writing from “just another romance novel” to a gripping story that will leave you mulling over the characters and their choices long after you read the final pages.

Lessman doesn’t limit herself to only writing about “new” romance, a fact which I absolutely love. All of the characters from the first two volumes in the series are still writing their own love stories, and the continued glimpses into their lives only add to the depth of this novel. Lessman writes about marriages both relatively new and established, and proves, unlike a lot of fiction out there, that life isn’t magically perfect and the passion doesn’t end once boy gets girl and they walk down the aisle. In fact, Lessman proves more than ever that she’s a real “drama queen” when it comes to torturing her characters. She demonstrates through her characters’ lives that life doesn’t just end perfectly with the initial “happy ending” – there are still challenges to meet and growth that must be achieved, allowing love to grow deeper with time. And this is where Lessman confirms she’s not just a master of writing compelling, pulse-pounding romance - she’s a master at writing relationships. Just because her characters may be Christians doesn’t mean they’re infallible – far from it! But there’s a solid undergirding of biblical truth and precepts that’s always abundantly clear throughout her writing – when God is your rock and the lover of your soul, all things are possible.

I cannot believe we have to wait until summer 2010 for the next book, the start of a new trilogy that will tell the stories of the youngest O’Connors. Bravo, Ms. Lessman, for another beautifully told story that places passion in a Godly context!
Profile Image for Darkwinde.
170 reviews13 followers
March 3, 2014
Spoiler Alert all you want, but this book needs Abuse Trigger Warnings all over it!

Now don't get me wrong, I liked 80% of this book. There are a lot of really good passages about the difference between love and lust, real problems in relationships vs. "Happily Ever After" fictional ones, and reasons to wait for intimacy until marriage. But there are two major incidents of abuse in the book and several smaller symptoms of unhealthy relationships. Lessman's characters are realistic and understandable, which makes it all the worse.

I understand that this is a period piece. I understand that attitudes were different in the 1920s. But this book was written in the 21st century and we know better! Whether or not John has done what he thinks he has, we the reader are led to believe that it would have been a grievous sin on his part. Not once are we in the modern era led to think that he has been preyed upon by a person in a position of authority over him. She groomed him over the course of years and took advantage of him when he was 17! Think of reading in the newspaper of a stepmother in your community who assaulted her 17-year-old stepson. Do we blame him? Do we send him to confession? No! We throw her in jail and get him some counseling! In no way is it okay to tell the reader that they have sinned if they have been abused!

The other incident is treated better, but still no less distressing to someone who has been there. One of the husbands in the book finds out something very hurtful about the beginning of his marriage. He responds in a very human manner, but ends up piling on emotional and intellectual abuse to his wife for two and a half months. She responds with love to an amazing degree, but finally breaks. At least she is not wholeheartedly condemned by the author when she does.

Also, the young married couples seem more interested in playing emotional games with each other than simply discussing their problems. In fact, I nearly threw the book several times in frustration at the lack of communication between people who were supposedly in love. Of course, if they had simply talked about things, we would have been stuck with Short Show (book) Syndrome. And don't tell me that it was a different time then. People have been having honest communication about their feelings since the first words came out of our mouths. Overall, I was distressed by the willingness of these "Godly" people to hurt those they love by refusing to communicate openly.

What's really sad is that Lessman has some really good quotes in this book about having God in our lives and in our relationships, but that message is overshadowed by the problems.
Profile Image for Sheila Samuelson .
843 reviews17 followers
April 17, 2020
There is an abusive storyline brought into the book around Chapter 10 but its not overly bad but just be prepared if your wanting to read this book!!

Rating: 5 stars!!! (Wish i could rate it 10 stars!!)
This was my first time ever reading a book by Julie so going into this 5 stars was my original rating!!

At first it was slow starting for me BUT In the middle of the book i wanted to rate it 3.5 cause of how 2 of the characters were being verbally and physically abused but as the book went on i bumped it up to 5 because of the outcome for 1 couple in the book.

The setting, plot and characters were easy to read and get into to through the whole book!! Im glad Elizabeth and John got a happy ending.

I can't wait to read more by Julie in the future!!
Profile Image for Rea K.
704 reviews36 followers
June 30, 2018
This was, once again, one of the most frustrating books I've ever read. I've never yelled so many insults at characters since the previous book.
Profile Image for Danica Page.
1,612 reviews53 followers
January 21, 2013
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Overview of Novel: Lizzie is sick of being viewed as John Brady's little sister. She's been in love with him for years. She wants more than friendship, but he refuses to give it to her.

He keeps protesting that she's just like a little sister to him. Lizzie knows differently. John is attracted to her, so why won't he admit it? Lizzie confides in Charity and Faith and they strike up a plan to win his heart. Charity's involves fake crying, kissing, and ploys. Faith's involves lots of prayers. With both of the O'Connor sisters' help, she should be able to win John Brady's heart. Instead, the plan backfires. Determined to save the friendship, Lizzie and John agree to be just friends.

John refuses to admit he has feelings for Lizzie who he still insists on calling Beth. He has things in his past that make him feel incapable of loving Lizzie. He won't bring Lizzie down with him. He insists that she view him as just a friend. Now he only needs to view her as the same way.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Whenever I love a story in a series, I always fear that I won't love the rest in the series. I shouldn't have worried. Julie Lessman is a master at writing. I loved Lizzie from the beginning and I had already fallen in love with John Brady in the previous series.

Lizzie was more like Faith than Charity and yet she was full of her own personality. I loved how Lessman did that. Each one of her characters was full of life and had a definite personality that belonged to them and them alone.

I don't know who I liked more, Faith or Lizzie. They were both such strong characters who had a strong moral code; however, they both had struggles to overcome.

The relationship between John and Lizzie was interesting to watch. It left me frustrated the entire time. Clearly these characters were meant to be together, and yet they were so stupid. It was actually quite frustrating.

Julie is a master at character development. All of her novels are quite long and yet they never feel that way. I flew through every single one of her books.

So why 5 stars? Because I absolutely loved the story. It sucked me in from page one and left me reeling once I finished it. Julie's stories are definitely infused with passion like I mentioned earlier, but that passion is always dealt with in an appropriate way. I loved that. Julie also has such compelling plots. When I'm reading these books, I'm never able to think of anything else.

In Summary: A beautiful read that you shouldn't read unless you have a lot of time on your hands because once you start it you won't be able to put it down. Julie Lessman is a master at writing and has quickly solidified herself into the position of one of my favorite authors of all time.

Side-notes: Julie's books are passionate. She's talking about people who are very much in love, but she never crosses the line. I actually loved how passionate her books were because they were clean and talked about these matters in an appropriate way. Her book isn't edgy and her message about dealing with this passion is very appropriate and clean.

The Wrap-up: Julie Lessman is incredible. It's getting hard to write individual reviews for all of her novels because I love all of them and keep wanting to make similar comments on all of them.

The point is that this series was incredible and is easily one of my favorites. It's been awhile since I've read a non-suspense book that I have enjoyed this much. Go out and read this book!

Love, Danica Page
Profile Image for Margaret Chind.
3,130 reviews210 followers
February 18, 2020
I cannot tell you how much I love Julie as a friend and an author. Her writing is incredible and touching and it gets under your skin and into your heart. I cannot highly recommend her books strongly enough

When I first had the opportunity to read the first book in this series "A Passion Most Pure", I was in love with the writing and the story life of the characters that became quickly so dear to me. Upon reading the second book, "A Passion Redeemed", I was enamored. It was shocking how characters that were so real, so flawed, and so human, were capable of getting so deep into my heart and emotions. Now, after having finished reading the third book in this series, "A Passion Denied", it is unrealistic for me to tell you that I am excited about the next series that will have three more books continuing the lives of these fictional characters that are as real to me as if I were a neighbor or friend down the street.

Overall, this book could, I say lightly, could be read alone, but I strongly suggest reading the prequels in order to really understand the personalities and intimacy of the characters. "A Passion Denied" appears to be a title that is understood right off the bat if you have read the back cover or know the characters. It is not until you actually read the story that you can comprehend just what that title means and so much more than you would have assumed.

Previously, Beth was just a young teen with her nose stuck in romance novels, as she becomes a young woman in the 1920's you realize there is so much more to her and heart than that. This is a journey to follow along with her to see where it is her heart really should belong. Full of romance, and of course passion, a thirst for understanding, and a hunger for the will of God to be fulfilled. This book is completely packed with page turn after turn of heart wrenching, palpitation forming emotion and action.

As for recommendations of reading, I would definitely state this book and series for the young woman and older, not a teen really, but the young woman who is learning in her faith daily and not afraid to see what God will show her in the power of words. If you have heard anything about these books, you know that they are not your typical inspirational romance, but they contain some heated moments. Passion is a powerful thing and even more so when put in the right place with the right center.
Profile Image for Christy Trever.
613 reviews17 followers
May 23, 2009
A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman is the third book in her potent Daughters of Boston series. Lizzie O'Connor has been in love with James Brady since she first set eyes on him when she was just thirteen. In the five years since, he has been her spiritual mentor and what was initially infatuation has grown into a mighty passion for a man who loves God with all of his heart. But Brady has some secrets in his past, secrets that he feel are too dark to ever dare expose them to Lizzie. His denial of his love for her sets up a chain of events that will change the entire O'Connor family. Lessman has created a true bodice-ripper for Christian romance fans without ever crossing the bounds of propriety. I love the honest conversations between the married sisters about the marital bed and the troubles they each face there. Faith and Charity are back with their fiery personalities still in place. Lessman further mixes up the plot by throwing the marriage of Patrick and Marcy, the parents, into jeopardy. Too often, books show couples experiencing passion and desire before marriage and then after the honeymoon phase showing only dissolution and drama. All of the O'Connors are filled with passionate love that expresses itself, even after twenty-six years of marriage. I don't think that this book was as strong as the first two in the series. Patrick & Marcy's troubles could have carried its own book, and Lizzie's constant running back to Brady despite his frequent demolishing of her feelings made me want to give her a good shake. She bounced from man to man a bit too easily. I do love how Lessman portrays Faith's dilemma of working after marriage, as well as other social issues of the 1920s that set the scene perfectly. I do hope that Lessman continues the series with Katie, the last of the O'Connor daughters, as well as the two boys: Steven and Sean. This is a family I look forward to spending more time with soon!
Profile Image for Bluerose's  Heart.
532 reviews28 followers
August 10, 2010
I don’t think anybody can write emotion like Julie. I could feel it seeping through the pages. Nothing makes me cry quicker! Like the other two books, this one deals a lot with forgiveness, which goes along with being a Christian. It’s so hard sometimes, though, as the characters prove.
A Passion Denied mainly focuses on Beth and Brady’s story. (Lizzie and John) I enjoyed reading about another shy bookworm, since I am one also.
While I think this may have been my favorite book of the three, Collin and Faith will always be my favorite couple. They are just so sweet and romantic!! I couldn’t help but look forward to the scenes with them to see what was going on in their lives. I liked the “homey” feeling of A Passion Denied. Charity and Faith are both married now, so when they all gather at the O’Conner house, I could just feel the love through the pages. I really enjoyed reading about Charity’s pregnancy, and Mitch is just as grumpy as always.
This book was like a marriage lesson. It proves that marriage is hard, and sacrifices have to be made. Along with complete trust in God, and lots of strength. I don’t think I could have been as strong as Marcy at one point in the book. I loved reading about all the headstrong women trying to be Godly wives. Being a wife and mother myself, I guess I related to this book more. As always with Julie’s books, I highly recommend reading them!!
I am extremely happy that technically, my wait for A Hope Undaunted recently got shortened by a month! I thought it was coming out Oct. 1, but it’s Sept. 1. I can’t wait to read about Katie and Cluny’s story. Cluny is introduced in A Passion Denied, and you can’t help but fall in love with him.
Profile Image for Tamara Tilley.
Author 10 books17 followers
January 23, 2016
A PASSION DENIED is the third installment of the Daughters of Boston series from Julie Lessman. A coming of age story, we watch as Elizabeth “Lizzie” O’Connor does all that she can to get the man of her dreams to see her as a woman, not as the young girl he has mentored since the age of thirteen. But changing her hairstyle and having a sassy new nickname is not enough to convince John Brady that Elizabeth will ever be anything more than his “little buddy”, or so he tells himself.

John Brady might seem like the perfect man to Lizzie, but the secrets of his dark and horrifying past are enough to convince him that he is undeserving of a woman’s love, especially the love of someone so pure and so innocent as Elizabeth O’Connor.

When John’s twin brother, Michael comes to town, John fears he will tell Lizzie of his sordid past. But they strike a bargain instead. When John doesn’t hold up his end of the deal, Michael sets his sights on Lizzie.

Having her heart wounded one too many times by John Brady, Lizzie is an easy target for the charms and persuasions of Michael Brady. John warns her that Michael isn’t all he seems, but Lizzie refuses to listen. She is tired of letting John Brady control her life and her emotions. She decides if she can’t have one Brady, she will make a life for herself with the other.

A PASSION DENIED is my favorite in this romantic trilogy. Though if dragged a little in the middle, and some repetitive phrasing had my eyes rolling from time to time, the twists and turns were worth the small annoyances and I also got the chance to catch up with Charity, Mitch, Collin, and Faith, along with the rest of the O’Connor family.
Profile Image for Christy.
246 reviews67 followers
March 23, 2011
If you are looking for the greatest series in Christian fiction right now, then look no further than the Daughters of Boston series by Julie Lessman. I put off reading these books for months (why, I have no idea), but they were so well worth the wait. Never have I read such an edgy series that just sucked me in so much that I couldn’t seem to read fast enough.

I have to admit that this third book, A Passion Denied, was probably my favorite of the Daughters of Boston series. While the first two are wonderful (and you definitely should read them in order), book three brought a little bit more “real life” to the whole picture. Faith and Charity are now married, and thus, have to deal with the joys and challenges that married life brings. Also, Marcy and Patrick’s relationship has a wrench thrown into it that just adds more depth to the story. I felt that Julie did a great job of giving insight to both the good and the bad with each couple, all while giving advice through her characters on how certain situations should be handled. Scattered throughout the book are numerous snippets of Scripture that help prove the points Julie’s trying to get across, and not once does it come across as preachy.

So, with all that said, don’t even think about starting this series if you’re not willing to stay up ‘til at least midnight or later! Every single book in this series has been nothing short of fantastic, and I cannot wait for more!
Profile Image for Brittany.
2,187 reviews137 followers
October 31, 2013
A Passion Denied, the final book in the Daughters of Boston trilogy, is full of angst, misunderstandings, passion, love, and so much more! The main story revolves around Beth, who now goes by Lizzie, and the man she has loved since she was thirteen, John Brady. Beth has built John up in her mind to be a prince charming. While it is true that John is a man devoted to God, he has been too scared and ashamed to tell anyone about his past. This hinders any possible relationship that he could develop with Lizzie and opens the door to his twin brother Michael and his attempts to woo Lizzie for himself.

There is also an extremely interesting side story concerning Lizzie's parents, Marcy and Patrick. We learn some interesting details about their beginnings. Although painful truths are learned that have the ability to tear apart a long-standing marriage, I found myself intrigued with this storyline and felt it was very well done.

I must admit that John and Lizzie's story frustrated me a bit, but I feel it was mostly because I was impatient to know the full truth of John's past. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author wrapped this story up at the end of the book, as well. Another well-written story.

You can read my review on my blog at http://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.co....
Profile Image for Casey.
417 reviews106 followers
March 9, 2010
A spectacular ending to a thrilling series!
I don’t know how Julie Lessman does it, but every time I pick up one of her 470 page books, I am swept away and not released until I have set the book down. Not much gets done when I have a Lessman book in my hands!
The twists and turns this novel takes kept me riveted to the spot. The drama doesn’t end with just Lizzie and Brady, but spreads to all three married couples and expounds with each page turned. I cheered and moaned for each character, but primarily for Lizzie as she struggled to show Brady just how much she loved him.
I felt I have become a part of the O’Connor family and if it weren’t for the fact that Katy’s story is coming up, I would probably sit right down and cry.
The love expressed in the book made my heart race and my blood warm, but it was the spiritual message that I adore so much about Julie Lessman’s fiction. Her words speak to my heart and lift me up, they are the message I need to hear right then. Only through God could that be possible.
All I can say in closing it what I said at the beginning… A spectacular ending to a thrilling series. Really that is all that needs to be said!

Profile Image for Sara.
115 reviews7 followers
June 29, 2010
There were so many things that I loved about this book, I don't know where to start! Can I just be a member of the O'Connor family? :) It was fun to read about Faith and Charity both giving their sister, Lizzie, tips on how to catch a man (through two different points of view) and I love how they were there for her throughout the whole story, providing guidance and support. Plus, it was great to continue to follow the marriages of Faith/Collin, Charity/Mitch and Marcy/Patrick, through the good times and the bad.

As with the other books, Brady's past issues caught me by surprise and there were many plot twists that I didn't expect! It was such a struggle for Lizzie and Brady to get together and realize what God was providing for them, that I didn't want to put this book down and now that I've finished, I can breath a sign of relief. I'm really looking forward to the next series by Julie Lessman! I have no doubt that Katie's story will be a fun one.
Profile Image for Ruth.
Author 14 books91 followers
June 4, 2012
One of the things I liked most about this book is the way Julie Lessman deals with the temptations "of the flesh." She not only shows how difficult it is for a young woman (and the men in her life) but also shows the practical ways they deal with this. Most Christian romance makes it look easy for the hero and heroine to remain pure throughout the course of the novel. Lessman shows it realistically, but doesn't lower the Christian moral standard. One of the best scenes in this book is when the younger sister, Lizzie, asks her older sister, who is now married, how she and her then fiance managed it. By seeking the Lord with all their hearts and minds and souls, so that they came to love God more than anyone else. They relied on God's grace to keep them on the right track, but they prayed and asked the Lord to instill that single-minded love in them for HIM, so that all else fell into balance.
98 reviews
July 19, 2009
I actually won this book in the giveaway and am very happy to have had the chance to read it. It is one of those books that once you get into it, it is hard to put down. There are so many twists and turns with the main characters that once you think you have it figured out, you are wrong. Then you keep reading and think that maybe you were right after all. It is that way from beginning to the end. The way the author uses the family and bible passages in the book make a lot of sense to the storyline and are used in fascinating ways.

I had not read anything by Julie Lessman before but now I am interested in reading other books by her, especially the Daughters of Boston series which I have not yet read books 1 and 2! This was book 3 of the series, so I imagine the others would be as interesting to me as this one turned out to be!
Profile Image for Abby.
61 reviews7 followers
November 19, 2012
I was so excited to read this book after reading A Passion Redeemed that I snatched if off the shelf one day and finished all 460 some pages the next. I have to admit, it was a very thrilling read. However, I have a few irks about these novels that I have to share. 1. The passion between the couples in the O'Connor family is sweet, but often a little too unrealistic. However, doesn't a girl need some unrealistic lovey-dovey stuff once in a while? 2. I managed to guess what Brady's secret was about halfway through the book and when everyone found out, I was disappointed at how they reacted and even more disappointed by how the author "righted" it. Too unrealistic. 3. I felt like the book could have been shorter. There were some scenes that just weren't necessary. Buuuuut, this series is excellent! And by no means would I not suggest them because of my irks. Great read!
Profile Image for Rachel.
2,813 reviews51 followers
August 23, 2016
This is the third book in the Daughters of Boston series, and I liked it a lot more than the first novel in the series, A Passion Most Pure. In fact, I think this novel might be my favorite out of the series. It is written well and the characters continue to be revealed and to grow and mature in various ways. I really liked how this story turned out, but I was still disappointed in how many loose ends there still are at the end of this last book of the series. In any case, this ended up being a thought-provoking series, and I'm glad I decided to stick with it even after being disappointed with the first book.
Profile Image for Jeannette Garcia.
80 reviews11 followers
May 24, 2012
This book definitely did not disappoint. I've always loved Brady's character since the second book and his story just added to that love. I was taken aback by the details of his story and that it would even go that far in a Christian novel; however, it served as a great lesson in the level of hurt one may cause upon others or themselves when harboring the weight of sin and guilt... and in Brady's case, never forgiving himself for his past. These novels are great, in that, they exude Biblical truth while serving as an entertaining read nonetheless. I loved all three of these books and will probably read them again in the future.
3 reviews1 follower
May 11, 2009
This is an amazing book. If you are looking for a romance that will make your head spin this is for you. Julie has out done herself this is most definitely her best book to date. A romance centered on God, with a passion UN deniable it is sure to leave you wanting more. Since receiving this book I have read it 5 times, and believe me every time is worth while with adventure and more. This is a book that you will want to read over and over again. I have never been so blessed in simply reading a romance novel. Julie Lessman is the future of Christian Romance.
Profile Image for Dawn.
Author 6 books797 followers
December 2, 2011
I adore how completely flawed Julie Lessman can write her characters. Each one of them has so many real issues they're trying to work out, and most of the time, as the reader, you actually get the point where you aren't able to see HOW they're going to get over them--and then on with their lives. It's simply amazing how well Julie can get inside such differing high emotions, deep desires and wounded hearts of each and every one of her characters, male and female. Like I said, she sets the bar--and sets it high. There is no other author I enjoy reading more than Julie Lessman.
Profile Image for Sharon Paavola.
250 reviews23 followers
May 23, 2014
A delightful read that keeps you guessing. Will she get her guy in the end? Does her heart really know what's best for her? The author throws in many unexpected additions to the story and you never know where it is going. The characters grow and change in facing obstacles in their way through life. Faith in God is what gets them on to the next phase. If you have not read the previous books in this series, it would be important to do so to fully understand this book but not necessary. I enjoyed the series!
Profile Image for Jessica.
25 reviews
April 6, 2016
This entire series was just breathtaking. I would find myself gasping, laughing, yelling and I really had to try not to bust with emotion when I was in public. These books have wonderful Christian values and they had the perfect balance of romance and spirituality. I think Julie Lessman is one of my new favorite authors. I can't wait to read her next series starring the three remaining O'Connor siblings!
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