The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck Review

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Amazingly funny. Those two words rang through my thoughts while reading the debut novel by Bethany Turner. Add a twisty-turny romance amongst the hilarity, and you have The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck.

Here’s the Blurb:

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.

My thoughts:

Before I even opened the book, I was hooked on the premise about a steamy-romance writer who becomes a Christian and sequentially falls in love with a pastor. It screams conflict, and I had to know what happens! Well done, Ms. Turner, by intriguing me to stalk my mailwoman every day to see if she had my book mail.

This story had vivid, true-to-life characters that leapt off the page and into my heart. Sarah was so naïve about Christianity that it was both humorous and eye-opening. Being raised in church, I’ve always been aware and fluent in Christianese—the language and turns of phrase that Christians speak. Seeing Sarah’s viewpoint reminded me to be conscious and sensitive of others around me, especially new Christians. They’re like newborn babes, in a way, needing a more mature Christian to guide them. Which is why I LOVE Piper—Sarah’s best friend who always gives her sound advice. Then we have Ben Delaney, the pastor. And a GIANT thank you to Ms. Turner for going against the general prejudice aimed at men of God and writing Ben as someone who is nice-looking, relevant, and not dorky. It was refreshing.

The story was well-written with an ending that blew me away. And it was funny. Yes, I mentioned that at the beginning, but it needed repeated. Seriously. I was chuckling even at the chapter titles. (Blame It On The Rayne – still makes me giggle. You have to read to understand. 😉 So, I totally recommend this story! But, I must put a disclaimer that this is for more mature audiences since it covers topics that are geared for adults.

Are you hooked??? Then purchase your own copy here!

*I was provided a copy by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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