Excerpt: She ignored him and marched up to the soda jerk with fire in her eyes. At five foot two, she barely measured to the middle of his chest, but she didn't give a fig if he was seven foot five. No hayseed soda jerk was going to intimidate her! She glared up, annoyance surging at having to crane her neck. "How much do we owe, you roughhouse bully?"
He met her fierce look with cool confidence, sizing her up with that same probing gaze that had riled her before. "That'll be $2.48 total, miss. That's 15 cents for three Coca-Colas, $1.80 for six chocolate shakes -" A shadow of a smile edged the corners of his mouth. "Three cents for extra cherries - and 50 cents for the glass your boyfriend stole."
She peeled off two crisp dollar bills from Jack's stash and threw them at his feet, then spun around and snatched the glass from the car. With barely concealed fury, she shoved it hard against his rock-solid chest. "Here, keep the change. Not that you're worth it."
A massive palm locked onto her wrist before she could snatch it away. "Nice girls don't run with riffraff," he breathed.
The intensity of his gaze forced a lump to her throat. For a split second she barely drew air, their eyes fused while the heat of his hand throbbed against her arm. Then all at once, her pride resurged with a vengeance. "Nor care about the opinions of lowly soda jerks," she rasped, incensed at the shame that scalded her cheeks. A Hope Undaunted, pg 20-21.
Back Cover: What happens when the boy she loved to hate becomes to man she hates to love?
The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman - smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband - good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?
My Review: From what I understand, A Hope Undaunted is the first book in the Winds of Change series. However, it doesn't read like the first book in the series. I was found myself confused with all of the minor characters and their subplots. It was only after I finished the book that I realized that this is really a continuation of Lessman's earlier The Daughters of Boston series. It would be super helpful to read that series before trying to read A Hope Undaunted.
As far as the story goes, it had many twists and turns and did leave me guessing till the end. The flow and pacing were not the best, and the story felt very long and drawn out. There were parts of the book that I really enjoyed, but other parts just dragged. There were times that I wanted to wring the character's necks and knock some sense into them. On a positive note, Katie, the main character grows considerably during the novel. I liked her a lot more at the end than I had at the beginning.
My Recommendation: I recommend this book to those who have read and enjoyed Julie Lessman's other books.