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Houston, TX | Book Blogger| tangledintext@gmail.com

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

October 25, 2017

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.

 

CLICK TO PURCHASE:  Baker Book House  |  Amazon  Barnes & Noble  |  Christianbook.com  |  iBooks  Kobo  |  Lifeway  Books-A-Million

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.

 

 

AUTHOR LINKS:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  

 

 

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

(U.S. Only)

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

 

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