The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck- a book review

 The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

by: Bethany Turner

 

TSLOSHAbout the Book:

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.

Purchase Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Life-Sarah-Hollenbeck/dp/0800727665

IMG_1962My Thoughts:

TSLOSH is a novel for the modern/contemporary Christian. If you consider yourself an old-fashioned conservative, this book may not be your cup of tea. I would rate this book as PG-13. Not for language or scenes, just context and some of the story elements (it is about a former author of risqué romance novels, after all, so be sure to keep that in mind).

This book will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions from the hilarity of Sarah learning the Christian “lingo” to the heart-rending moments between Ben and Sarah. You will want to see these characters succeed and you will find yourself rooting for them as they face some interesting challenges alone the way. It also has some emotional twists that I never saw coming!

As a person who’s been a part of church and Christianity most of her life, this book was an eye opener regarding the changes that a person faces when they trust Christ as an adult. The baggage/consequences of the past don’t just disappear. As a lost person, Sarah wrote some inappropriate romance novels and now that she’s a Christian she regrets ever writing them, but her books are still out there. The public still recognizes her as the author of these books. This is what her audience expects, but she doesn’t want to write them anymore. Her income still comes from her book royalties. Sarah must stand up for what she now believes is the way God wants her to live, but it’s going to be a lot harder than she thought.

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck teaches a wonderful lesson on how your past mistakes can and will follow you into the future, but also how you don’t have to let your past mistakes control your future. God is always ready to start anew. This book also looks at waiting for sex until marriage and that it is possible in our modern times. It even gives some excellent guidelines on how to do just that.

I do agree that the romance moved very quickly, a little too quick, especially given her only recent conversion, but TSLOSH is not a long book and so the author only had so much time to get from the “meet and greet” to “I do”.

Overall. I enjoyed this book, even though it was a little more PG-13 than I would normally read. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in Bethany Turner’s sophomore release.

 

bethanyturnerAbout 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 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 http://www.seebethanywrite.com and http://www.facebook.com/seebethanywrite.

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