A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman

Has she fallen in love with a man who cannot love her back?

Elizabeth O’Connor has been like the little sister John Brady always
wanted, sharing his love of literature and his thirst for God. But in
the throes of the reckless Roaring Twenties, Lizzie has grown up.
Suddenly she wants more from the man who has been her friend since she
was a child. When this shy little bookworm blossoms into a beautiful
young woman bent on loving John, she discovers that his past won’t let
him return that love. But Lizzie refuses to give up–until his shocking
secrets push her away.

Can true love survive the betrayal and deceitful of a painful past .
. . or will it be shattered like the fairy-tale dreams of a girl in

Brimming with romance, longing, and redemption, A Passion Denied, will quicken your pulse and gladden your heart with a riveting story of the true power of love.

So reads the press review of this book. The publisher contacted me about blogging a review of this book and I agreed.  The book is set in the early 1920s and is a romance story of unrequited love. A 17 year old girl is in love with her spiritual mentor about 10 years her senior. He of course is in absolute and total denial. He has feelings for her but denies them because of some nasty little bit in his past.

I have only read about half of the book and quite frankly I’ve read enough.  Take out the bodice-ripping parts of a Harlequin, slap “church”, “prayer”, and “God” on it, call it “Christian romance” and call it good? I think not. This is merely a cleaned up Harlequin. 

I do not believe people of that era spent all their time dreaming of and conniving ways for more sex. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe so.  Every page is more sex talk. Two sisters in the book spend all their time conniving ways to either get more, or less. Their sister is the main character of the book and they convince her she needs to use her “womanly wiles” on the object of her desire.

In my opinion, smut is smut. Even if you slap God’s name in it on occasion it’s still smut.