Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.
I loved the complexity that the author, Bethany Turner, is writing a new-age Christian romance about an author trying to write a new-age Christian romance, so basically she wrote two romances in one; a book inside a book!
I couldn't help but smile on almost every page and even blush on a few that held such sweet interactions my heart melted. The main character, Sarah, has such a goofy, light-hearted nature it created so much humor throughout. I was a bit turned off by her superficial personality at the beginning though. I now understand that it was necessary to have her ego blown up so you could see the dramatic transformation as she evolves to become more grounded and less material as the story goes on.
Sarah was so self-absorbed at first and oblivious to the outside world that she didn't care to know anyone's name in her book club and renamed them all quirky names. She bragged about becoming a millionaire after her first book and I don't know if it's how she was coming across with the self righteousness of it or the unrealistic element of it that didn't settle well. After I accepted that she must have written the next 50 Shades of Grey series that completely took off, I was back in the zone remembering this is fiction, but that did add a sense of fluff as I went on.
As I continued I realized that the fluff was nice. I felt like this story was not exactly grounded, but a little bit removed from reality on a cloud. All the adorable, cute things happening created more airy goodness and there was even some darker elements as I envisioned a storm brewing until the cloud just floated away at the end into a happily ever after as the sun shown through.
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck proved that even a story with no sex can still make the reader blush. The sparks and connections through the interactions make you swoon and melt.
"Well, you may be the theology expert, but I literally wrote the book on sex. Between the two of us, I think we've got this covered."
Another one I LOL'ed at but you might just have to have been there...
"As long as I have that secret (ingredient for deviled eggs) in the palm of my hand," Laura (Ben's ex-girlfriend) said with a smile, "I figure I'll have Ben there as well."
Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned 35), Bethany knows that when God has plans for you life, it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she's chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.
Grand Prize: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck + a typewriter tote bag, notebook + Columbia Jo's coffee + Novel Teas teabags 2nd Prize: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck + a typewriter journal and enamel lapel pin 3rd Prize: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck + $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
October 19-October 28, 2017
10/19 - Author Interview - Forgotten Winds
10/20 - Guest Post #1 - Margie's Must Reads
10/21 - Review - Texan Girl Reads
10/22 - Deleted Scene - Reading by Moonlight
10/23 - Review - A Page Before Bedtime
10/24 - Guest Post #2 - Texas Book Lover
10/25 - Review - Tangled in Text
10/26 - Playlist - Books in the Garden
10/27 - Review - StoreyBook Reviews
10/28 - Character Interview - Books and Broomsticks