Though each book focuses on different characters, and therefore can stand alone, I’d still recommend reading Love at Any Cost first (book one, review here) to avoid spoilers on Cassie and Jamie’s story in Dare to Love Again.
This review will contain nothing about them, though, so you’re safe to read this!
In the summer of 1903, wealthy socialite Allison McClare knows exactly what she wants to be: independent.
After bad engagements that ended in misery and being faced with the fact that men can be terrible liars, Allison doesn’t want to have to rely on them.
Yet, volunteering as a teacher at her mother’s girls’ school on the Barbary Coast stilts this desire a bit. Though she still wants to decline their chauffeured ride home and instead take the cable car alone, Allison begins to realize that there may be true danger in this part of town.
Detective Nick Barone sure keeps telling her so, anywho.
Or, rather, barking it at her.
Insufferable, offensively attractive, and with a temper to match her own, Allison can hardly stand the detective. They butt heads every time they meet.
But when her uncle enlists Nick to teach Allison self-defense, a begrudging friendship begins to develop.
And maybe something deeper.
Has Allison finally met a man that isn’t lying to her?
Julie Lessman definitely stands out as one of the better Christian historical fiction writers. She gives a great sense of the time period in each book I’ve read from her.
Feisty jabs and sparring barbs introduce the characters. I have to say that this particular element, the two leads initially hating each other, can get a bit cliché – but Nick was spicy enough to give a chance to Dare to Love Again.
Despite the familiarity of the male and female heroines that detest each other and constantly argue, I was entertained and engrossed. And I very much like how Lessman’s books delve into a whole family, not just two people.
I will admit that the formula for Dare to Love Again still made me grumble at times, though. For once I’d like it to be the man who is wealthier and stronger in faith…
Or maybe they’re on equal social standing and both already strong in faith?
Not enough problems for a plot? I don’t know – but sadly I struggle with originality in Christian historical fiction sometimes…
But Dare to Love Again is a fun, warm read and a cut above many others.
*I received a copy of Dare to Love Again from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.