Two sisters in love with one man is a formula for trouble, especially when the man in question is young, gorgeous, and full of enough Irish charm to make an entire room of women swoon. Faith and Charity O’Conner take sibling rivalry to a completely new level in this book, A Passion Most Pure, by first-time novelist Julie Lessman. The story is Book One of “The Daughters of Boston” series.
Faith O’Conner had already survived a bout of polio and the death of her twin sister, Hope, when young Collin McGuire stole her heart while rescuing her from a bully while she was still a girl in grammar school. Unfortunately, Collin grew up too quickly when his father died shortly after his high school graduation. Faith knew that though she may love him, she could not give him her love as long as he didn’t share her faith in Christ.
Charity O’Conner had no such qualms. In fact, she was more than prepared to do whatever it took to keep Collin in her clutches and away from her goody-two-shoes sister. To Charity’s triumph, she becomes engaged to Collin and uses her new status to belittle Faith, even to the point of viciousness.
Collin is torn between the two sisters. Though he is definitely attracted to Charity and has feelings for her, he finds that he can’t get Faith out of his mind and his heart. His confusion causes such a tension between all three of them that he decides to break his engagement to Charity and join the war effort overseas. While there, he learns that the war between men is nothing compared to the war between man and God.
I generally try to steer clear of romance books, but the fact that this one was set during World War I did pique my interest. I’m happy to say that I think this one is worth reading. It’s not often I can say that.
I liked that the storyline was a bit more complicated than the typical “Boy meets Girl; Boy and Girl fall in love; Boy does something stupid and loses Girl; Girl forgives Boy and they live happily ever after” storyline. There was the potential for the plot to fail a little, but Ms. Lessman did keep it going, if not full strength, then enough to keep my interest. However, there were a few places where I thought she dragged the plot out just a bit.
I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Collin is the kind of guy you’d love to hate but you just can’t get there. Faith is real in her faith, and she’s not as “goody-two-shoes” as her sister would like to believe. Charity wants to grow up way to quickly and tries to do just that. The girls’ parents have their own issues to go through, and dealing with their daughters adds more to their stress. I certainly want to get to know this family better.
The book as a whole may have a few weak spots, but it really is an enjoyable read. Though I have some friends who might not read it due to their particular tastes, there are plenty of people that I would certainly recommend it to.