Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman

A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman
Available Now on Kindle




One Woman. Two Men.
One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.
But who will win her heart?

Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston's most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart.

While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the "light in the window," meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.”

I was so thrilled to find out that Julie was writing a prequel to the O'Connor family series.  Marcy and Patrick have been wonderful parents throughout the series.  Despite having their problems at times, they have always shown such love for each other, and their family, that I'm sure anyone who has read the series wants to join the family!

A Light in the Window is their love story, and we finally get to see how it all started. And who doesn't love a story about a bad boy turned good, all for the love of a woman - particularly when the bad boy is the handsome Patrick O'Connor?

Whilst Patrick is initially attracted to Marcy's beauty, it's her internal beauty and love for God that draws him in and challenges him to seek a better existence for himself.

But there's not just one casanova in this story: Patrick finds himself at odds for the affections of the woman he loves with his own best friend.  Sam O'Rourke just happens to be Marcy's best friend's brother - and the boy she's had a crush on since she was a little girl. 

Marcy is steadfast and intent on finding a Godly husband.  But is she able to interpret who God has chosen for her before it's too late?  Patrick is forced to assess himself and choose a new way of living with God, even if it means he loses Marcy in the end.

I loved this story.  Marcy is someone to aspire to - steadfast in her walk with God and with a strong and caring heart for others.  Patrick melted my heart as I witnessed his transformation. And Sam - well, he's a rogue through and through, and whilst I felt a bit sorry for him, most of the time I wanted to flatten him.

There's also a lovely little sub-plot romance for Marcy's best friend, Julie.

A Light in the Window sets the scene beautifully for the O'Connor series.  If you haven't yet had the pleasure of reading any of the Daughters of Boston or Winds of Change books, then start here.  It will be a heart warming journey.

Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.

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