Read Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman Online


She's a sassy socialite burned by love. He's a jaded cop burned by the upper class. When sparks fly...will love catch fire again?Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast, she quickly discovers she's no match for the unsavory characters that haunt the dark streets.Detective Nick BShe's a sassy socialite burned by love. He's a jaded cop burned by the upper class. When sparks fly...will love catch fire again?Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast, she quickly discovers she's no match for the unsavory characters that haunt the dark streets.Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite self-defense, but it seems he has little choice. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But is he just a fraud like all the rest of the men Allison's cared for? Or is he the one who will let her dare to love again?...

Title : Dare to Love Again
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780800721664
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 410 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dare to Love Again Reviews

  • MaryLu Tyndall
    2019-03-22 12:39

    San Francisco has never been sweeter, or sassier!If you haven't fallen in love with the McClares after this book, then you aren't breathing! Honestly, this is the best of the best of Julie Lessman, an author who never fails to lure me into a story until I feel like I'm part of the family she writes so magnificently about: a part of the joy, of the love, the union, the banter, the stress, even the heartache. Love at any Cost is no exception. Women who have suffered from broken hearts will be able to relate to the heroine Ali as she struggles to trust another man. And what a man, Nick is! My goodness... if I wasn't married. But I digress. The witty banter between these two will absolutely delight you, the sights and sounds of San Francisco (take it from someone who lives near to this city) will transport you away to the foggy, hilly town, and the lessons of trust, forgiveness, hope and courage that weave through this incredible story will touch your heart and keep you thinking about the characters long after you flip the last page. If you pick up any book this year, do yourself a favor and pick up this one!

  • Wanda
    2019-04-05 16:37

    It is such a pleasure to review this book and an even BIGGER pleasure to read. I can't think of even ONE thing I didn't like so I will start by telling you the things I LOVED. With each book I read there is always at least ONE character I completely adore. Right now I am finding it hard to pick only ONE. If I have to choose, it would be Allison McClare. She was such a little spitfire with Irish blood coursing through her veins. And I mean LITTLE, literally. She was tiny without her high heels but she could whip a full-grown, grouch of a man into submission in a single heartbeat (I admired the way she wielded her pointer). Especially, Nick Barone, who she dubbed as Mr. Ba-lon-ee, Mr, Ga-roan and Mr. Cranky Pants to name a few. She had been heartbroken on three previous occasions by men that only wanted her money and that left her leery of men in general and angry at them to boot. She had an independent spirit which led her to learn jiu jitsu for protection. But she also had a heart of gold, reaching out to others by teaching orphans and kids less fortunate in her mother's Hand of Hope school for girls. She was a woman of substance with a quick and charming wit that brought tears to my eyes more than once, by laughter and heartbreak. In short, Alli was completely adorable, from the top of her straw hat all the way down to the bottom of her three inch high-heeled shoes. Nick Barone is a beloved character too. He's so angry and harsh with a real hate for rich people and with good reason given what happened in his past. He's constantly wearing a scowl and is often trying to put Alli in her place but to no avail. He soon learns there's no taming the independent Allison McClare. He reverts to calling her Miss McHigh-and-Mighty, Miss La-di-da and Allison "Whack 'em Till They Weep" McClare. Nick is a hard-nosed, grouchy policemen that trudges the streets of the Barbary Coast trying to rid it of lowlifes and lower the crime rate. Since no one can seem to get his name right, he is constantly informing them "It's Ba-ron-ee, long e". He has a pension for animal crackers (they soothe his ulcer) and always smells of Bay Rum. But let me tell you what endeared Nick to me. Nick rented a room at Mercy House Orphanage which was run by Mrs. Peel, included the cook, Mrs. Lemp, and housed several orphans, including Lottie, a six year-old little girl with copper curls. When Nick was with them he was a completely different man. Playing with the kids, reading them stories and tucking them in. And he loved Mrs. Peel like a grandmother, protecting her and the kids fiercely. Nick is an all around GREAT guy!Another thing I love about this book and Miss Julie's style of writing is--she KNOWS how to write a love scene. She draws you into the scene until you almost feel like you're a PART of it. And, oh, do they SIZZLE! She knows how to write a love scene with just the right amount of heat without going beyond the barriers. They are PERFECT in every way. I also love the humor aspect. I laughed through practically the whole first chapter. It didn't stop there either. Several times throughout the book I found myself laughing out loud, literally! The phrases she uses could make the guards at Buckingham Palace crack a smile. But it's not all fun and games. There are some very serious scenes that had me crying in my hankie. Trust me, you WILL need tissues. The most important thing is the way she weaved God throughout the story. There was a lot of forgiveness taking place, a lot of prayer and a lot of recognition to the fact that, YES, God is taking care of us in EVERY way. I loved when Logan finally realized that what was holding him back from a full relationship with God was the fact that he KNEW God answered prayer but he just didn't believe God answered HIS prayers. Talk about a revelation! I enjoyed this book so thoroughly and I can't wait for the next one because I definitely smell a romance brewing between two prominent characters and THAT'S one I DON'T want to miss! I think I can definitely relate to the next EXPECTED heroine. Although, I do have to say I am in love with ALL of the characters. Miss Penny brought back memories of my grandmother who I love dearly. Lottie or "La-di-da" just made me want to tuck her in my arms and squeeze the stuffing out of her. I loved when she took Nick's face in her tiny little hands and told him he was part of God's family. Caitlyn and Cassie are just to sweet and endearing for words. And, Jamie, Blake and Bram? Hilarious with their constant jabs at each other. This is just one reader's opinion, but I haven't enjoyed such a complete reading experience in a LONG time. If you like a book that completely satisfies a reader's cravings you've found it! I fell in love with the people of Nob Hill (and the Barbary Coast) and so will you. I SO HIGHLY recommend this book! Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone and the thoughts of only ONE reader. If I recommend a book you can believe it's because I enjoyed it. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

  • Barbara Shelton
    2019-03-25 09:36

    Applause! Applause!! Applause!!! Julie Lessman just keeps on writing a new favorite to replace an older favorite and a yet older favorite. Personally, I hope it never ends! My recent visit with the McClare family in 1903 San Francisco was so much fun even though we faced some fiercely intense moments sitting together in the parlor on Caitlyn’s loveseat praying and waiting for one crisis to subside before facing whatever came along next. Reading one of Julie’s novels is a marvelous release mechanism…..all my giggles over Lessman-style humor released endorphins that caused me to feel great; or releasing pent up emotions through easy tears that flowed along with Caitlyn’s. All those tears caused an enormous pile of tissues for Rosie the housekeeper to sweep up with an audible “tsk tsk,” and slight shake of her head.Dare to Love Again is the perfect title for this Julie Lessman novel. The title is a story in itself, so to speak, because Allison, the eldest daughter of Caitlyn McClare, has been jilted and left disappointed four times causing a jaundiced eye toward romantic love. The hunky lead hero Detective Nick Barone becomes the big dare for Allison. Nick will not allow himself to dare fall in love with a rich Nob Hill debutante. Both characters are well equipped with mixed emotions about each other and their sparring is comical and typical of independent personalities. Brother-in-law Logan McClare continues to dare hope that his widowed sister-in-law Caitlyn would dare love him as she did in their youth and accept his proposal of marriage. Will Nick and Logan dare to believe in God? Ms. Lessman brings her characters so close to taking the dares and so far away again; that I do not attempt to dare guess what happens next.Julie Lessman stories encompass everything from romance, danger, bad guys, good guys, secrets smells, tastes, vivid scenery, laughter, mystery, trauma to a fascinating script. Most importantly being the lessons learned through human error, confession, forgiveness, and accepting God’s love. Warm feelings among some characters occur where negative attitudes had been the mode. Certain new personalities added to the story are quite endearing….fall in love with La-di-da, and Miss Penny. Who gets nauseous riding the streetcar? What do animal crackers have to do with anything? Some shocking information is revealed about members of the McClare Clan in this second episode of The Heart of San Francisco series. Historical facts and location research appear as a natural part of Ms. Lessman’s innate writing gift to render the beauty in words meaningful. She writes page turners for avid readers who would not dare put her book down. There is no less in Julie Lessman. She owns it all where word art is involved.It is not this reviewer’s intent to detail excess information about the characters and subject matter, the back and front cover is capable of drawing reader interest. Revealing too much might prevent one from an intriguing read and my intent is for curiosity to take the dare and enjoy my personal recommendation. Julie Lessman has caused me to fall in love with San Francisco all over again.Through her faith in our loving Abba, Julie Lessman dares to write as she does. Dare I ask Julie why she has won many awards and trophies? She will give our Lord all the credit. Ok, the dares are dropped….anyone taking bets that Julie’s next story will be the most read yet? My bet is yes, it will….and winner take all!Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

  • Anne Osterlund
    2019-03-21 11:20

    Alli has had her heart smashed too many times. She is done. Done relying on men. She has a plan. Step 1: Teach literature and drama to a group of girls who really need it one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in San Francisco. Step 2: Stay and work late when she wishes and walk herself to the cable car rather than relying on her mother’s chauffeur. Step 3: Learn jujitsu.Nick Barone, plainclothes cop, has no patience for rich dames from Nob Hill who won’t listen to advice. When he stops off at the new school for girls, smack on the edge of the Barbary Coast, and tries to warn Miss Allison McClary that parking her fancy car out front in this neighborhood is asking for it, she not only fails to listen, she wacks him with her pointer—because he doesn’t ask politely. He breaks the dumb stick in two and good riddance.Except, Nick’s landlady Penny goes and signs him up to help out around the school as a temporary handiman. And Alli’s mother hires him with gratitude. And then Alli’s uncle gets involved, and essentially blackmails Nick into a. escorting Alli to the cable car every night, b. teaching her jujitsu, and c. signing on the dotted line that he will not make advances.So much for good riddance.LOVED this book from page one. Alli and Nick’s firecracker banter kicks off right from the start. I liked her commitment to independence. His mysterious past underlies the whole plot, leaving the reader on tenterhooks. The setting is well painted. And the relationship is a blast! One of my favorite books by the author.

  • Melmac MacDonald
    2019-04-12 16:29

    Lessman always delivers in the romance department with depth and solid character development. Perhaps I read too many of her books in a row or was just not completely in the mood but this book was not my favorite. Allie and Nick are predictable and their age did not seem to match their life experience. Could have been a lack of story development. They did become endearing as the story continued and the mysterious side of Nick had me interested. The sub plot between Uncle Logan and Allie's mother almost overtook the main plot and I'll keep reading this series to find out what happens with them. Predictably the women are the strong spiritual characters, the men are the rogues, the children are precocious, and the kisses are all encompassing. While they're isn't anything wrong with that I personally was a bit over it all. I'd love to see Lessman break out of the predictable cycle and truly surprise the reader. She does, however, have a niche that works so who am I to say differently? Just know ahead of time what you're going to get. Surface level spirituality and romance that possibly sizzles just a bit too much.

  • Carrie Pagels
    2019-04-14 13:42

    I loved this book--it had some unique elements that made it fresh and Julie put a twist at the end that was brilliant! She had me guessing all the way through, which is difficult for a writer to do as I often know why what is happening is happening in a story. Not this one! Julie creates some lovable and quirky characters. She saves her heroine from being ridiculously naive by throwing in enough explanation to make her actions believable. Lovely voice, great tension, a real page turner! Highly recommend!!!

  • Lisa at Farm Fresh Adventures
    2019-03-25 12:45

    Yes, I am shocked that this earned a rare 5 star review. But honestly, there wasn't anything I didn't like! The characters made me laugh and made me cry. I was rooting for them and then wanted to smack them. Julie Lessman really knows how to create just the right plot so that nothing gets resolved until the end! And the book isn't ever about just two characters. No, there are always secondary ones you grow to love too, like Logan and Cait. I can't wait to read book #3 and am glad I have it on hand to start right away.

  • Margaret Chind
    2019-04-17 13:26

    Dare to Love Again is the second of Julie’s early 1900s San Francisco books. While I still desperate miss the Boston O’Connors and their generational stories, Julie’s novels are still full of the wonderful narrative voice that I love. I have to admit that at first it took me a while to get used to this new setting and different family. While Dare to Love Again can stand on it’s own, it is so much better coming into if after understanding the outside cast of characters from Love at Any Cost. (I mean you have to know about that one particular skunk of a man!!)When it comes to Julie Lessman I already know that I’m going to have a book on my permanent keeper shelf. Now I know that I put some thoughts about this one already down on paper somewhere, but I cannot seem to find them. So hopefully I can repeat the good of what I’ve said (or dreamed that I thought) before. When I think Julie, I think Boston and that wonderful Irish family. But this is an entirely different story, a different kind of story in a very different location. The characters are different, their problems are pretty different. Backgrounds are different and futures are different. Goodness, even the timeframe is different. So, the question is, when Julie can pull off such a wonderful series (well two connected series over seven books!) can she do it again when it is all so different? You bet-ch-a!Jamie makes me so mad that I could spit. Ugh. Smack that boy. His pride is soo… it’s his ego. He’s just blind. Ignorant. Irritating! But my goodness is he sparkingly attractive. Yes in the description and reaction of the ladies that pass him by, but you should see the boy in the movie trailer. Woo. I just want to throttle him. Now, Cassie. She reminds me a bit of a Deeanne Gist heroine. Now, while I typically love Dee’s stories and books overall her independent creatures that protagonize the stories often drive me bonkers. Cassie and Cait while I’m at it are so… what is it that I’m trying to say… they’re such amazing independent and so vulnerable. Goodness gracious me, they are so real and remind me so much of me (minus the independent streak that I sometimes wish I had) that it drives me bonkers! Goodness, I said bonkers twice (now three times!) in one paragraph. My point is that Julie is bringing text on a page to life in something that I can truly imagine. Male and female.The other thing is that as a reader I know how I want the story to end… I know how the story should end. But reading in the situation, how can it POSSIBLY end in the correct way. Goodness gracious does Julie have a way with a pen!Then after Jamie and Cassie’s story in Love at Any Cost we get to venture in depth into cousin Allison’s own romance in Dare to Love Again. I think it’s a blessed curse, but every book in a series Julie writes seems to be better than the last! I enjoyed Allison before, but I have loved her character from the first page, and oh her Nicky! Boy oh boy, throw in some of that Italian flare, what a guy! It is fun and educational to watch these two grow as their own people in faith as well as in love. Of course I come into a novel knowing the back cover blurb and how I want things to go and no matter what, with Julie I’m entertained, surprised and mesmerized from page turn to page turn!I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.posted:

  • Dawn
    2019-04-12 10:27

    Allison McClare is busy teaching at the school for young girls that her mother has opened near San Francisco's Barbay Coast. She has also sworn off men after her heart was broken one too many times. Detective Nick Barone (long e) is determined to keep the streets safe. When he meets the beautiful young teacher, sparks fly, along with verbal barbs. Alli longs for her family to allow her some independence while they want to shelter and protect her. When Nick is offered the chance to teach Alli how to defend herself on the streets, he reluctantly agrees. Yet the more time he spends with the sassy young teacher, the more he finds that the streets aren't the only thing that he needs to keep safe - his heart is in danger as well. For her part, Alli is bound and determined not to let another man have the opportunity to break her heart. But is she willing to Dare to Love Again when she finds herself falling for the handsome detective?I think that I can safely say that I've "left my heart in San Francisco" with Julie Lessman's new series. I was delighted to return to world of the McClare family and read Alli's story. True, this family is not the O'Connor family of Julie's previous books, but, you know what? That's ok. To see a writer create a new series with memorable characters when so many fans are love her other characters and are reluctant to say goodbye to them takes talent. And I love that.I truly loved this book. I think my favorite character in it is a little girl named Lottie. The way that she gets Nick and Alli to both realize that maybe God has something in store for them. I also loved being reunited with Cassie and Jamie from the first book of the series. I found Nick's struggle to separate the rich socialite who hurt him in his past from Alli to be very real. He truly didn't want to like - let alone love - Alli at all. But underneath everything, I found him to be a bit a teddy bear. Especially when he was around Lottie, the other girls from the orphanage, Miss Penny, and eventually Alli. Alli for her part is very hurt and wounded. She has walls built around her heart to protect her from being hurt again. And once Cassie talks some sense into her and reminds her of Who actually holds her future, Alli comes across as less spoiled brat and more gentle, compassionate woman. So while I didn't like her too much at the beginning, by the end I loved how her character changed and grew.Julie refers to herself as the Certified Drama Queen, and that title is very aptly earned in the pages of her writing. There is drama from the first page to the last page. And the way the drama is woven into the entire story doesn't make it seem like one big climax after another. No, it's subtle at times, yet it kept my attention through the entire story. Also there are two romance lines in the book. The romance between Nick and Alli and the continuing romance between Logan and Caitlyn. While this book could be read as a stand alone title, I recommend reading the first in the series before picking up this one.I received this book for free from Revell Book for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.Recommended to fans of family drama, romance, Julie Lessman, Nora Roberts, Gone with the Wind, Jody Hedlund.Rating - 5 stars Available at your local bookstore in January 2014 from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

  • Abbi
    2019-04-10 15:36

    After loving the McClare's in Love At Any Cost I was extremely excited to dive into this next book of the story! And it was just as amazing as the first-not that I had any doubts!Allison was fantastic in book one so I knew she would be even more amazing as she took center stage and I was right! I loved her so much! He fierce streak of independence, her kind heart, her care for all those in her life, and her temper that seemed to only flare up when a certain gentleman was in the room all served to make her one awesome heroine! I loved how she stood up to Nick and gave what he dished out back to him! I also loved how she didn't let having her heart broken several times change her from being the sweet person she was, sure she was wary of men but that is to be expected! Nick was pretty great too! His grumpiness was actually kind of funny especially with how all the women in his life teased him about it and it was cool to watch Alli soften him, both towards people and towards God. The constant stating of the pronunciation of his name got slightly annoying, but I did like that we were actually told how to pronounce it since often we are left to just guess, and there were times when it was funny!I thought it was really cool how jiu-jitsu was incorporated into the story with Nick teaching it to Alli and I really loved watching her put it into practice, especially when she tried her new moves on Jamie!Nick's past was such a mystery throughout the book and I honestly had no clue as to what it was going to be, but it was well executed and perfectly played out!Again I loved all of the other characters from the previous book, the McClares, their staff, Bram, Jamie, and the new ones like Miss Penny, Nick's landlady and mother figure, and Lottie, the sweet little girl who had Nick wrapped around her finger! It was also cool to get more of Cait and Logan's story which I'm very interested to see play out! All in all it was another Julie Lessman hit that I adored!I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  • Renee
    2019-04-16 10:20

    I was beginning to think that Julie Lessman's books couldn't sizzle anymore than they already have with her Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series', but this third series set in San Francisco gives new meaning to the word romance. Slow burn is certainly a fitting term for both romances that unfold in the second book in The Heart of San Francisco series. Romance fans, you won't be disappointed in Allison's story!From the first disastrous meeting between Allison and Nick, to the gradual love story that has been unfolding since book one between Cait McClare and her brother-in-law, Logan, each line of this story is pure magic. Two hard-headed people who can't bear to budge and who try their darnedest to deny the sparks are just lovely to read. While there isn't nearly the amount of "physical" as in her previous books, Dare to Love Again does not disappoint in the love and romance department. In my opinion, the slow-to-act Nick makes the coming together all the more sweeter. Hubba hubba! ;-)Dare to Love Again is the perfect story to stay indoors with and enjoy in front of the fireplace with your favorite cup of tea. Julie Lessman is one of a select few group of authors whose books I put on my must buy list before I even read the cover blurb. Quality fiction with a great message is pretty much a guarantee with each of Lessman's stories. I look forward to seeing what happens next with the cousins McClare!~ My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ~*I receive complimentary books for review from the publisher. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

  • Rissi
    2019-04-20 08:23

    Back with only her second novel in her newest series, Julie Lessman tackles the sassy Allison McClare’s story, heartaches and the risks she takes to fall in love again. Working with her mother, Caitlyn and cousin, Cassidy at the new school for girls the McClare women have opened on the crime-ridden Barbary Coast and now run, Allison isn’t the average society girl nor one likely to be intimidated. Or so the brute of a detective Nick Barone soon learns. Through a series of events, Nick is hired to teach Allison self-defense and what started out as less-than-polite interactions between the two soon blossoms into friendship – even if it’s a tenuous one. While Allison craves independence and living life on the edge of what’s “safe,” Nick changes her outlook on life… he both infuriates her and with time manages to touch her heart. But no matter the time the pair spends together, will Allison be able to trust Nick…? Or is his past riddled with secrets that will again break Allison’s trust in men… and her heart? Just like we’ve come to expect from Lessman’s style of storytelling, all of the “signatures” that are uniquely hers are fully accounted for. This book is occupied with familial ties, sparks flying and a sense of unrequited love. Staying true to her familiar elements, Julie explores blossoming (new) romance and counterbalances that against love that has spanned years. It’s an interesting splice though I cannot always get behind the latter yet fans of the love/hate romantic liaison attraction are going to love Nick and Allison's interactions and disputes. Detective Barone (pronounced with the long “e,” thank you) is a man who has carefully concealed his purpose for being close to the wealthy residents of Nob Hill and it’s these mysterious overtures that keep us guessing what Nick could be up too. We understand what is motivating his desire for revenge, just not the “who” or “what” it involves. Speaking of his moral character, Nick’s a decent fellow and though not my favorite hero, I didn’t mind him capturing Alli’s heart. Naturally, Alli is a spit-fire who wants to be taken seriously rather than be coddled by a protective family and would-be beau. Passion is always an intense theme in these novels and with Dare to Love Again, that thread has become more subtle and the prose is less about unhealthy passion between two lovers and more about learning to trust again though physical attraction doesn’t suffer in the least between Alli and Nick. Of that, I can assure potential readers, no one need worry – their attraction is still brimming with chemistry. Anyone who is having a hard time letting go of the O’Conner clan needn’t fret over liking this new family because they are the same sort of big, boisterous, loving clan – there are still tears to be cried, games of chess (or pool!) to best each other at, sassy retorts to be delivered and a faith in God that trumps all else. If you read book one in the series, you’ll enjoy catching up with favorite characters (though I confess the lack of acknowledgement up to a point of the “big reveal” in the prior book did mildly confound me) and experience the awkward albeit endearing Meg come into her own (sending her away was an interesting move and though I suspect the author won’t, it’d be interesting to get Meg’s story from a different location perspective - especially one so grand). Any fan of Julie Lessman will enjoy Dare to Love Again. There’s plenty of mystery (think exciting climax!), romance and spunky characters. This reader is eager to see what comes next in the McClare line!Find the Review Elsewhere: Amazon ■ Blogger ■ WordpressSincere thanks to the publisher, Revell for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

  • Carole Jarvis
    2019-03-21 16:17

    Reviewed at The Power of Words: After reading a few of Julie's books, I've grown to love her unique style, enthusiasm, and characterization; I like the anticipation of a new storyline coupled with the comfortable feeling of knowing generally what to expect. And she never disappoints! In fact, I was so eager to read Julie's new book, second in the Hearts of San Francisco series, that I was sorely tempted to put other review commitments on hold just so I could start Dare to Love Again.One of the strengths of this story is characterization - and with the McClare family of San Francisco, Julie has created a family dynamic of genuinely flawed characters who are unashamedly open, not only in voicing their love for each other, but showing it as well, and will go to the ends of the earth in order to protect a loved one.Nick and Alli are great lead characters, and I loved them from the very beginning. Nick, a "penniless womanizer cop who breaks hearts for a living" according to Logan, initially comes across as slightly rough around the edges, but we quickly see his soft side with Miss Penny and the orphans she takes in. The love of 6-year-old Lottie is especially touching.Alli realizes she has been blessed by God and wants to give back by reaching out to disadvantaged young women through the Hand of Hope school that her mother, Cait, started in the Barbary Coast area. But to Nick, Alli is just "another rich dame appeasing her guilt by dabbling in charity between high tea and tennis on the lawn."But as much as I enjoyed the chemistry between Nick and Alli, it's Logan and Cait who steal the show. Julie does such a good job at incorporating attraction and romance between an older couple - and just when I think their story will have a happy resolution, she throws in another twist! Logan tells Cait, "I understand that you are a hard taskmaster, Cait, one whose trust I can never satisfy no matter what I do. . . . I guess I should be grateful it's only my heart that's captive and not my soul, lest I be a man lost forever."From Nob Hill to the Barbary Coast, the San Francisco Gilded Age setting is one of contrasts and is very well done. The narrative moves at a steady pace and is laced with humor; secondary characters like Miss Penny, Lottie, and servants Hadley and Rosie are a special delight. Spiritual elements - such as the ease of praying spontaneously, caring for those in need, learning to let go of anger, forgiveness - feel like a natural part of the storyline and I found them to be both moving and challenging. I highly recommend Dare to Love Again to romance fans everywhere.Thank you to Lanette Haskins and Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Noela
    2019-04-19 16:30

    This is one of those stories! The type of story that adheres you to its pages, shackling you as its willing captive. The type that invades your thoughts and your heart with its arresting characters, the rousing and invigorating plot, and the faith-building, inspiring voices within. And the type that has you exclaiming upon reaching the end, “Wow, now THAT was an incredible story!” High-spirited Allison (Alli) McClare is fighting two battles. She desperately wants her independence regardless of the neighbourhood dangers; and after having her heart utterly broken by a money-hungry fraud in the past, she’s been in a fight to guard her heart over the last two years. That is, until the handsome yet surly Nick Barone comes into her life and unintentionally into her heart. Nick has some monumental secrets however, so if Allison dares to love again, can she survive yet another heartbreak if these secrets were to unravel? Dark-haired Nick Barone, is a grouchy detective that is holding a massive grudge for the rich socialites of the community. Allison seems to fit into this mold, so when Nick is forced to teach her self-defence and see to her safety that she may have some independence, he is furious! In time, Nick sees that there is much more to this little spit-fire than he originally thought and soon this begrudging relationship, sparks and all, grows into something much more intense. Nick has plenty to overcome for this to work. Will the secrets of this angry and vengeful detective kill their hope and future before it even begins?This is a not-to-be missed Julie Lessman masterpiece! In this second book of the Heart of San Francisco series, the lively characters we all fell in love with in the first, are right there along with Alli and Nick, providing extra scintillating dialogue and a powerful heartfelt subplot. I’m truly in awe of the author’s ability to create not only the most engaging and animated conversations that have razor-sharp wit and discourse so raw and believable, but she also manages to generate romantic tension so passionate and spring-loaded that you’re left breathless! My only grievance with this story was that it came to an end. I wanted more as I wasn’t ready to give it up. The good news is – there will be another following. The bad news is – I will have to wait. However this highly recommended story is easily read again in the meantime!

  • Teresa Mathews
    2019-04-07 10:46

    Another Romantic Masterpiece by the Queen of Romance! In this book two of The Heart of San Francisco series Julie Lessman takes us on an exciting topsy-turvy adventure that mirrors the ups and downs of a cable car ride on those infamous San Fran hills. Allison McClare, the beautiful and feisty oldest daughter of Caitlyn McClare is ready to put her broken heart behind her and spread her wings in this new chapter of her life. She is determined to be the best teacher possible to the dear underprivileged girls that attend the new school her mother is opening on the Barbary Coast. Even though she was born into a life of riches, Allison has a servant's heart and wants to see these girls have a better life than the debauchery most have been exposed to. Her plan is going well until a handsome, ornery Detective shows up in her classroom, smelling of Bay Rum and animal crackers!! Nick Barone, is a hardworking, ill- tempered Detective that hides a big heart underneath that gruff exterior. Nick has had his fill of spoiled little rich girls so he knows to keep his distance from Allison McClare. But all it takes is just one look into Allison McClare's eyes to know she is going to be hard to run from. Allison will not be duped by a man again; Nick will not lose his heart to a Snob-Hill rich girl; but what happens between these two people that are carrying around hidden hurts will have you on the brink of tears one moment and laughing out loud the next. And in true Julie fashion she will have mumbling under your breath wanting to shake some sense into at least one or two of the characters! Oh Wait...maybe that only happens to me!! :)Julie Lessman is truly the Queen of Romance! She knows how to insert just the right amount of tension into a scene so that you are pulled in so far you will find yourself falling in love right along with the heroine. What rapture! What ecstasy! This story has it all! Julie has certainly left her mark on my heart with this story, and it wasn't just Allison and Nick's story either, it seems Caitlyn now has TWO men that want to catch her attention. Thanks Julie for giving me another sweet family to fall in love with!!

  • Bonnie Roof
    2019-03-24 12:18

    "ANOTHER WINNER FOR JULIE LESSMAN"!! "Dare to Love Again" is the second novel in The Heart of San Francisco trilogy of the McClare family, from award-winning author, Julie Lessman. Socialite Allison McClare's goal to be an independent woman is met with opposition from Detective Nick Barone (long e), whose beat is the streets of the wild Barbary Coast, in which the Hand of Hope School for girls - where Allison is the new teacher of English and drama - is located. Nick's secrets from the past have left him with a grudge against the upper class - Allison's belief that all men are liars, frauds, or fortune hunters, stems from the pain caused by a broken relationship. The humorous barbs between Nick and Allison start on the first page and don't let up until the last page of this delightful novel. They are equally surprised when romantic sparks start to fly.From Julie Lessman's description of a "lighter, shorter, less complicated series - with less romantic and spiritual passion"(as compared to her Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change trilogies), I wasn't sure what to expect with this series. What I DID expect was to be thoroughly entertained and inspired - as Julie is a masterful writer - and I wasn't disappointed!!Julie's heart-warming characters are in abundance, as usual. The girls and staff of Mercy House Orphanage are a touching addition to the story - watch out for little Lottie, she'll "steal your heart"! The "on-again, off-again" romantic relationship between Allison's mother, Caitlyn, and Allison's deceased father's brother, Logan, will have you cheering for, and sympathizing with, each of them before the story ends. "Dare to Love Again" is chock-full of humor, suspense, passion, drama, secrets, romance, realistic characters, redemption, forgiveness, warm family settings, hope, regret, love, faith, and the ever-wonderful happy ending - a treat for ALL readers!! The McClare family is a delight - just as the O'Connor family was in Julie's two previous series!! I've loved each and every novel she's written, and I await - however impatiently - the October 2014 release of the final novel in the series, "Surprised By Love"!!

  • Diana
    2019-04-02 08:24

    Another Jewel By Julie!In Dare to Love Again, author Julie Lessman writes an impassioned, powerful story of two very diverse worlds---from the lap of luxury of the very elite on Nob Hill to the poverty-stricken, brothel laden streets of the Barbary Coast...and of the wealthy, young woman who attempts to cross the dangerous bridge to both. Allison McClare and her mother, Caitlyn, have just opened their new school for the less fortunate, the Hand of Hope School for girls, right in the middle of the Barbary Coast, where a decent lady dare not venture out alone after dark. Allie's independent streak lands her in immediate danger, forcing her Uncle Logan to hire Detective Nick Barone to teach her self-defense and escort her to and from work everyday. Allie's heart was shattered into pieces when she was betrayed by her ex-boyfriend, and Nick refuses to ever trust a wealthy snob of a woman again, and the sparks begin to fly between the two in short order! However, Allie soon sees beyond Nick's insults and gruff exterior, and as strong feelings begin to develop will she dare to fall in love again?...especially with a man who carries dark secrets and may not be who he says he is?I always knew Julie Lessman was a wonderful romance writer, but now I place her in the category of a brilliant and masterful storyteller as well. Although this novel made me laugh out loud more than once and was alot of fun, there was also a serious, heartbreaking side to it as well. For Ms. Lessman courageously and compassionately delves into the seedier side of life; of murder and corruption, young girls being forced into prostitution, and disease caused by poverty. I must say, the romantic tension in this one caused my heart to race erratically, and a plot twist in the romance between the heroine's mother, Caitlyn, and her Uncle Logan left me reaching for the tissues. One powerfully written novel of healing, forgiveness, and learning to trust again! Be sure to put this one at the top of your TBR list!

  • Loraine
    2019-04-05 13:36

    SUMMARY: Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength.Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he's a fraud just like all the rest of the men she's cared for. Does she dare love again?The lushness of the glorious Gilded Age beautifully showcases Lessman's passion as a writer in this engaging love story written with humor and heart. From the glamour of San Francisco's Nob Hill to the seedy gambling dens of the Barbary Coast, Dare to Love Again is a journey to find a love that never fails. Fans will love revisiting the world of the cousins McClare, and new readers will seek more of Julie's passion-filled novels.REVIEW: Once again Julie Lessman has penned a novel that keeps the reader interested from start to finish. The main character, Allison McClare is a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants out of life. Her main problem in life has been picking the wrong men. Nick Barone hates socialites and is not pleased to have to bodyguard/teach Allison. I loved the sparks that flew between the two of them as they learned to become friends. Each was a very strong, very realistic character. Faith threaded throughout the book but was not "in your face". The story line and historical research were well done.FAVORITE QUOTES: "Why did I turn my back on God when He was the very shelter I needed all along?""The hurt festers deeper every day, you know, when you hold on to the bitterness with both hands.""But you and I both know from painful experience that anger and bitterness will only rob a person of God's blessings."

  • Abbie Riddle
    2019-03-30 12:30

    Julie Lessman is a master at romance! Her books are always filled with tension, intrigue and love stories that leave the reader wanting to read more. A reader can not help but be drawn into the story and feel as if they are almost there watching the action unfold, experiencing first hand each deep running emotion. This story is no different. A wealthy lady with a tender heart feels that she must bridge the gap between the rich and the poor - a perilous and dangerous road to walk upon. Allison McClare steps from her upper society into the dark and stained streets of the Barbary Coast to discover that the world of poverty is unlike anything she could have ever dreamed. Every darkened corner and dirty street, every drafty window and falling down house had the possibility of danger. The presence of the enemy lurked in every shadowy corner. She soon found that she was no match for the things she would encounter as she tried to reach out and help those who were less fortunate than she was. Yet she needed this very thing to keep her mind busy while her heart healed from being broken by the one she had thought was her true love. A brusque, hardened detective with walls as thick and high as Jericho is hired to guard her and to teach self-defense. His heart is walled up against love, his mind set on fending off any woman from the upper class. He does nothing to hide his disdain for the wealthy from Allsion and she in like does nothing to bridle her tongue when it comes to a sparring match. Both find that they have met their match, but neither is ready to fall in love again - or are they? Action, suspense, danger and love. Healing in unexpected ways at unexpected time through unexpected people. This book is a page turner for sure!Thanks to Revell for this review copy.

  • Brittany
    2019-03-27 12:18

    What a blessing to peek back into the lives of the McClare family of San Francisco! I enjoyed reading Allison McClare’s story. Feeling the fool and brokenhearted, Allison is not too happy with men when the book gets started. So, of course, what a wonderful time for her to meet a handsome, if rough around the edges, detective who holds a grudge against wealthy debutantes. It is a recipe for a wonderful romance!The author, once again, does a splendid job of writing multi-faceted characters. They appear one way on the surface, but the reader has the opportunity to delve deeply into their thoughts and discern who the true person is underneath. There is always more to a character than meets the eye in one of Julie Lessman’s books. I enjoyed Allison and Nick’s relationship that developed throughout the book, however, I must admit that I am completely absorbed in the ongoing turbulent relationship between Caitlyn and Logan. I love the twists and turns that this relationship keeps taking throughout the books and their moments are the ones that really touch my heart and make me reach for the tissues! I anxiously await the next book in this series.I received a complimentary copy of Dare to Love Again from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.You can read this review on my blog at:

  • Janna
    2019-04-06 09:41

    I have read some series by authors and thought, "Wow, this is really good!" and then when their next series comes out, it just can't live up to the first series. I loved Julie Lessman's first series so much that I was just sure that she would never be able to create new characters that could be as strong and compelling as the O'Connor family. I was wrong. Plain and simple. Julie has outdone herself with this new series. I was encouraged by the first book but book #2 shows that it is not a fluke. Julie Lessman has struck gold again! In Book #1 we meet Cassidy McClare and her rich cousins in San Francisco and get to know them as Cassidy starts falling in love with Jamie McKenna and resists it every step of the way. Now in Book #2 we pick up with them but through the eyes of Cassidy's cousin Allison McClare. She is an independent young woman, or at least she wants to be... much to the chagrin of the adults in her life. So Detective Nick is brought in to protect Allison from herself and her independent spirit. He is under threat of death is her hurts her romantically, so of course, they start having feelings for each other that neither one wants to admit. And then no great book would be complete without a host of issues... and poor Allison and Nick have more than their fair share! The mob, deaths, pregnant girlfriends, over protective family members and more...This book has proven to me that lightning can strike twice... and does for Julie!

  • Alli
    2019-03-28 16:45

    I didn't think I could possibly learn to love another fictional family as much as the O'Connors (the family in Julie's other two FABULOUS series)...but I was wrong!! With Julie's amazing gift of character development and continuing the story lines from the characters I learned to love from book #1 in this series...the McClare family has taken a piece of my heart!!!I already knew and loved Alli from book 1, and this book was such a fun read!! She is adventurous and spunky, and the banter between her and Nick just really made for a fun read!! I've said it before, and I'll say it again - NO ONE writes like Julie Lessman!!! Her books will take you on a roller coaster of fun filled drama that will make you both laugh (over and over) and cry, and before it's all over - you will have heard a message of God's love for you, but without making you feel like you've just been "preached to!" Seriously...if you haven't read all of her need to!! :)

  • June
    2019-03-26 14:24

    Book two is the story of Allison McClare teaching at the school her mother opens. Allison's independent streak leads her to getting to plenty of trouble in a bad neighborhood of San Francisco. Detective Nick Barone is hired to protect and keep an eye on her because they clash at every turn and her Uncle Logan doesn't have to worry about either of them falling for the other. Or so he thinks.I enjoyed the humor in this book. And the romance was nice too.

  • Maria Thomas
    2019-03-31 16:47

    I think this is probably a 3.5. The story idea was good. And I thought the characters were amusing but I wasn't sure if it all fit the time period. I usually read Regency England books so this all seemed too relaxed, modern and flirtatious? I'm not sure what the word would be really. But kissing in public and intimate talk/action between an engaged couple in front of the rest of the family seemed like it should have been unacceptable behavior. There was a lot of unnecessary repetition. How many times did we have to hear that Nick couldn't stand the rich elite, that Logan would stand stoically by as a friend and patiently wait for Cait to be willing to marry him, that Alli had her heart broken too many times, etc.... The book is over 400 pages and could probably have been shorter and still told the story. It is heavy on the religious themes and didn't always feel like a normal part of a conversation. The book has some kissing and a whole lot of eye candy description and appraisal. It also has some violence but not a lot. Since Nick is a cop working with degenerates that seems necessary. There is a little mystery about Nick's past and I really wasn't able to predict what was going on with that until the end. I just knew he couldn't be the bad guy so there must be some sort of twist. Over all I enjoyed the book but I still felt the flaws of it as mentioned above.

  • Allison
    2019-04-13 10:47

    Julie Lessman is an excellent writer! As the second book in the Heart of San Francisco series, I was eager to continue the story of the McClare's and this book did not disappoint! Allison McClare has a strong will and, after having her heart broken a few too many times, a determination to establish her independence. Nick Barone is a dedicated detective with a rough past and an aversion for the wealthy upper class. After an unfortunate first meeting with Allison, he wants nothing more than to distance himself from her but is forced into teacher her self defense and ensuring her safety. As these two slowly develop a friendship, and against both their expectations, feelings for one another, circumstances (some very dangerous) continually try to pull them apart. But the past always catches up as many characters discover in this book and they all have to examine how they handle honesty, trust, and forgiveness. The character development in this book is excellent and readers get more of the Caitlyn / Logan story. Lessman uses the characters to remind readers about God's strength in our weakness, His faithfulness in trials, His presence in our lives even when we don't acknowledge it, and His call for us to forgive others. I can't wait for the final book in this series!

  • Sharon Paavola
    2019-04-18 14:23

    Dare to Love Again needs to go on your summer reading list. This feisty heroine, Allison heads out for adventure. Nick, a detective runs into her and sparks fly. Julie Lessman writes and creates exciting stories like this one, that will keep you reading past your bedtime. Sometimes things don't always end the way you think they will. Enjoy this book 2 in The Heart of San Francisco series.I received a copy from Net Galley for my honest review which I have given here.

  • Mary Cramer
    2019-04-01 14:47

    I love Allison McClare in this story! A big heart and also a fiery personality! I love that she is an empowered character but one who also realizes that sharing her heart with others is a good thing too. There is so much to love here, just like with all of Julie's stories. You never just fall in love with one character in her books, but with an entire family as you become a part of all the details of their lives.

  • Kristina
    2019-04-10 09:27

    Allie teaches at a school in a crime dirty neighborhood and Nick is a police officer who somehow manages to make sure she doesn't get robbed or hurt. He is commissioned to guard her, per Uncle Logan, at all costs. But his heart needs guarding too. Well eventually sparks fly and feelings are shared and love is embraced. A cute story about not judging a book or person by its cover.

  • MLOW
    2019-04-18 09:26


  • Dorothy
    2019-04-03 16:36

    Loved the twists in this one !