Love at Any Cost is the start of a new historical romance series from Julie Lessman called The Heart of San Francisco.
In 1902, spunky Texan oil heiress Cassidy McClare is on her way to spend time with her affluent cousins in San Francisco after having her heart trampled on by a low-down, dirty fortune hunter. Soured on men, her run-in with extraordinarily good-looking and charming Jamie McKenna at the train station does nothing to cheer her up – she can tell he’s just another pretty boy womanizer.
Finding out that Jamie’s a dear family friend and will be spending an awfully lot of time around the house she’s staying in – and that he’s set his determined eyes on her – doesn’t make her any happier.
Resolute to enjoy her time with her cherished kin, Cassie tries to give the charismatic flirt the benefit of the doubt and starts to befriend him. He still wants more though, and a small part of Cass is starting to wonder if she might feel the same…
Yet Jamie has worked hard his whole life to make a better life for his mother and crippled sister and is determined to marry well. With no real money of his own, he is desperate for the funds to get his sister a surgery that will ease her constant pain. If he finds out that Cassidy is not as rich as is assumed, will he still be interested? Or will Cass be left heartbroken by a fortune hunter yet again?
Here Julie Lessman introduces us to another delightful, large bunch of relatives in the McClare’s while pulling us into the captivating Gilded Age.
I’ll admit that at the beginning of Love at Any Cost, I was not so sure. An accidental, cantankerous meeting at a train station? Felt kind of cliché and tired to me. As a voracious reader it can be hard sometimes to be very satisfied with the typical.
Yet, it didn’t take much patience and time to start to gravitate towards this loving, personality-bursting group of individuals and the perfectly detailed (without drowning us in huge descriptive paragraphs) historical element! The bathing suits, Dr Pepper references, and clothing has such a natural but absorbing feel that really sweeps the imagination into the time period. Julie Lessman proved excellent at that for the 1930s in her Winds of Change series, too!
Not only focusing on Cassidy and Jamie’s romance, we get to know and care about a couple of the older characters as well and their heartaches. Not everything is resolved in a perfect bow in book one, which I love, and I am definitely eager to find out what happens next – and dive deeper into other family member’s own stories!!!
Mixing faith in God, character development, humor and a passionate love story Love at Any Cost was a very involving, engaging read. It’s hard to find a lot of originality in romances, but with the Gilded Age era and the family drama (and shocks!) included, Love at Any Cost proves to be a pleasing novel that adds more punch than the norm.
I hope it’s not long before book two!!!
*Available April 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
*I received a copy of Love at Any Cost from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.