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The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck Paperback – October 3, 2017
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From the Back Cover
Becoming a Christian is the best--and worst--thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck.
Up to now, Sarah Hollenbeck 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 she's 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 discovering 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 . . . well, let's just say that doesn't make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of humor, novelist Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a witty debut that isn't afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.
"The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is a rare treat packed with humor, hope, and heart. Sarah's struggles are real and nearly tangible, and she feels like a friend we've all had. I laughed with her and fell in love alongside her and couldn't wait to hear her whole story. What a charming, delightful book!"--Liz Johnson, bestselling author of The Red Door Inn
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 thirty-five), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your 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. For more, visit www.seebethanywrite.com.
About the Author
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 your 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.
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Top customer reviews
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Let me preface this review by saying that I was first introduced to this author's work in her adult romance series, Abigail Phelps. I fell in love with her writing from there. Her quirky sense of humor and ability to write an steamy scene without actual sex was quite impressive to me.
So, when this author sent me a copy of this book and informed me that she was moving in a different direction with her writing, into Christian fiction, I was a bit taken aback. I knew she was a talented writer; of that there was no question in my mind. But, I had no idea of what to expect when I opened this book.
Right away, I connected with her writing style that I loved so much. Her signature humor shone through in the first few chapters as well. It was nostalgic for me.
One of my favorite parts was where Sarah (the main female character) was in the confessional booth talking to the pastor. "God doesn't believe in you either." Hilarious! You'll just have to read it to see what I'm talking about.
After Sarah meets the book club members, things get a bit slow in the story, but... the author is good at building suspense in her stories with this style of pacing. So, I knew to hang in there.
The characters were well developed, even though some of their lines were a bit cliched and redundant sometimes. But, hey, that's what you get in women's fiction sometimes. It's not always a bad thing.
I have to say, the ending was worth every moment of reading this book. The plot twists that were thrown at the readers--wow! I had no idea those were coming.
I must admit, I do prefer her adult romance novels but I commend this author on following her heart and venturing into a new realm of writing. She will succeed no matter what she writes about, because she's a truly talented author. The characters stay with you, the editing was superb, and the author's soul comes through in every word.
I will be reading more by Ms. Turner... Yes, even her Christian fiction. She's that good.
First, let me address the “realness” of this book- THANK YOU Bethany Turner for tactfully addressing the very real struggle of sexual attraction within a Christian romantic relationship. Christians don’t hide in caves- we very much experience the same desires as anyone else. Turner has set the record straight that these intense desires are not only normal but were created by God and can be shared between a man and woman within the boundaries that He has set. She also makes very clear that God’s boundaries for sex are designed to be shared between a husband and wife. Ben and Sarah’s struggle- and triumph- of keeping their intense physical attraction for each other under control demonstrates that Christian couples don’t have to bend to pop culture’s version of romance, but can instead seek to glorify God while still expressing love physically in appropriate ways. In addition to the sizzling chemistry between these two, I also appreciated the maturity displayed in other ways in their relationship. Ben’s admission of his vulnerability and weakness during a tempting encounter showed the depth of trust he had with Sarah, and her response of “being his strength” in that moment showcased the spiritual maturity- and love for Ben- that Sarah was developing. Likewise, the multiple trials they experienced were handled with both realism and grace keeping their commitment to each other and to Jesus at the center of it all. This will be a book I take off my shelf to read again and again! Loved it!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. However, this review reflects an honest view of my own thoughts and opinions regarding this book.