Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

 "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."

The plot for this book was so interested and unique. I wanted to like it, I really did.
I love romance books as much as the next girl, however the INTENSE attraction was a major turn off. From the moment Sarah and Ben meet, they are fighting their attraction, I felt like I was reading mainstream fiction.

I really don't mind when romances happen fast in fictional books, since it is...well...fiction. But this was another level. They met and were engaged within a month. I felt like the only reason they wanted to get married was for the wedding night. I didn't feel they were compatible any other way. 

Do not get me wrong, the voice in the book was written well. She was HUMAN. Fighting feelings, loneliness, fear, insecurities. These are all things that need to be talked about, but maybe with your pastor's wife or a close confidante.

The book was 304 pages, and I honestly felt like I was missing so much of the story. Sarah became a Christian in like 2 sentences, and then hardly fought staying that way, other than wanting to sleep with the pastor. (Fast Christianity normally happens in fiction. I just wish there had been more substance to this particular story)
I just wish I had seen more character development over all, instead of sexual development.  
Every character and relationship happened fast...I felt like everything was rushed. From Piper, Sarah's best friend, to Joe, Sarah's manager. 
The plot twists that did happen were somewhat predictable to me, though there weren't many in my opinion. 

I had major expectations for this book and was considerably let down when it did not live up to those standards. 
I personally rate this a 2.5/5 star. It just wasn't for me.

*All opinions are my own* * I purchased this book with my own money, I did not receive it from the author*

Friday, November 10, 2017

Anticipated Books of November

Being as I do not have a book to review this week, I decided to do something a bit different.
Today I'm going to talk about my "anticipated reads of November".

Of course we're gonna start with Jen Turano's book! Yes this book did release on Tuesday, but I had to include it in this list because I've been (impatiently) waiting for this book since I knew it was coming out. (Check out my video for the release here)
That book being "Out of the Ordinary". It is the second book in her Apart from the Crowd series.
The story will be following Miss Gertrude Cadwalader and Mr. Harrison Sinclair. You read a bit about them in book one "Behind the Scenes", but I seriously cannot wait to read their full story!

The next book I am looking forward to is "Death at Thornburn Hall" by Julianna Deering. This is book 6 in her Drew Farthering Mystery series. I personally have book 1-5, but have not read them yet.  *covers eyes and shakes head* I know, I know. I will, hopefully, be starting the series this month. (I talk about it in a YouTube video here)
Even though I haven't read them yet I am still anticipating reading this book.

Since the two previous books are historical fiction (yes it's my weakness), I'm going to throw this contemporary fiction book in. This book looks so stinkin' cute. I have not read anything by this author, but her covers make me want to grab them all! I'll put you out of your misery, since I know y'all are dying to know what book, and author I'm talking about. It is "The Engagement Plot" by Krista Phillips. This book scream Hallmark movie, and I. Love. It. This is so up my alley and I cannot wait to read it!

The last two I'm going to talk about are actually collections. There are 7 short stories in both, all centered around one theme. I thoroughly enjoy these collections (as I own quite a few). You can read so many "books" and feel so accomplished. *insert major wink* They are always coming out with new ones and this month there are actually two. I cannot wait to add these to my shelves, since they are already on my wishlist/TBR.


I know most of these are actually already out, but that should make someone happy since they won"t have to wait too long for their books. I cannot wait to get and read these November releases.
Let me know what November release you're anticipating the most.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Review: Concealed by Lisa M. Clark

"Book two in The Messengers series!

Less than a year ago, Simon discovered an underground group called the Messengers, and he set out to bring the truth they uncovered to light. The government of New Morgan, however, calls this rogue organization the Darkness and is determined to conceal, even eliminate, everything the Messengers know, whatever it takes.

Coping with consequences and clouded with conflict, Simon tries to navigate the perilous city of Westbend and his new life as an outcast. The Messengers-who formerly only existed in the shadows of Simon's life-have become his family. And it's a good thing, because Simon's life is about to get more difficult than he ever imagined, and there is no way he will be able to make it through alone."

I'm going to be honest...I thought I wasn't going to pick up the next book in this series.
I am so glad I thought wrong! The end of this book made me hunger for the third book. (Of course it's not out yet...)
But oh boy! the plot twists...THE PLOT TWISTS! I can't say much without spoiling it, but boy howdy they got me hard.

Simon grew up so much in this book, that is for sure! You see his faith get tested time and again, struggles with forgiveness, desperation, doubt, and questions. He was so HUMAN in this book. Every Christian has gone through seasons like these, and wondered how we made it out alive. But in the end God worked it out. (like He always does)

I love that each book has a small focus on one of Jesus' disciples, and the redemption of one of his followers. Discovered focused on Simon Peter and Mark, Concealed focused on Judas and Paul. I am anticipating her choices for book 3!

I gave the first book a 3 star, I'm giving this book a 4/5 star. I have such high hopes for book three!

The books are written to flow right into the next. So because of this I recommend reading them in order. (Discovered book 1, Concealed book 2)


“We live in a fallen world. Evil exists. Bad things happen. There's no denying it” -Jonathan Clay pg.98

“We don't get to know all we want to know, but we get to know all we need to know.” -Jonathan Clay pg.99

“We live in a battleground. Truth and deception are at war. Heaven and earth are at odds. Goodness and evil vie for every foothold in every heart.” - Zeke pg.241

“People aren't the enemy son, they're the prize.” - Jonathan Clay (unknown page number)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Review: Discovered by Lisa M. Clark

The Message worth dying for . . . 

The government tells fifteen-year-old Simon Clay everything he needs to know. Except what really happened to his mom. And why no one can go out at night. And why the Darkness is so dangerous.

By day, Simon pushes against every boundary there is. And by night, secret visitors and hidden messages make him question everything his life entails. 

There’s a truth out there to be discovered, a truth the government will stop at nothing to stamp out. Join Simon and the Messengers as they risk their lives to protect it.

Discovered is the first book in "the Messengers" series by Lisa M. Clark.
This book is in the "futuristic genre".

The plot behind this series is so unique. The town of New Morgan, once called Morganland, has taken Christianity from it's people. They can't talk about Jesus, and anyone who believes is persecuted. However there is an underground group of believers who are getting God's word back out there again, at the risk of their own lives.  I got so many underground church vibes from this. It was definitely an interesting read.

There was character growth, new converts, faith, mentors, secrets and danger. There were so many layers to this book.

I felt like the story didn't really start until chapter 6. Chapters 1-5 really felt like a lot of backstory, it was a necessity considering this was the first book in the series. Once I got into the meat it was a fast read. (I stayed up quite late so I could finish it) 

I give this book a 3/5 stars, and I am excited to read the sequel. (As well as any other books she may write)


"But wherever there is truth, there is an effort to destroy it". 
-Jonathan Clay pg. 123

"Son, we are not of this world, but we are in it. You may feel as if you're the on the outside looking in, and there's a reason for that. But we can't abandon this world altogether. The people of this world need us. And we need to participate in it the best we can as - well, as ambassadors." 
-Jonathan Clay pg. 166  

*I received this book from the author for an honest review* *All thoughts and opinions are my own* 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: Whither Shall I Go? by Gina Holder

Whither Shall I Go?
"I miss him too, Bitty, but God knows best. Someday you'll see." If only I could believe that...

In 1911, Ellie Williams struggles to see God's hand in her life when she loses both parents and is sent to live with her wealthy, estranged aunt, who transforms her from awkward country bumpkin to socialite heiress. Six years later, she meets a young preacher and finds hope as they serve the Lord together.

Robert Hampton is deeply devoted to God and desires to take the gospel to the unreached natives of Brazil. He didn't expect to fall in love. When he is drafted, Robert is torn between his duty as a soldier and his budding affections for Ellie. Will Robert survive the trenches? Will he lose the only woman he's ever loved?

Ellie's journey takes her from her home in Cades Cove, Tennessee, to the concrete jungle of New York City, and finally to the harsh unforgiving world of the Amazon River Basin, where she meets Paul, a doctor who's lost his way, and Jack, a soldier with amnesia. Encountering anacondas, jaguars, and an antagonistic shaman, will Ellie give in to the fears that threaten to overwhelm her?

Or can she depend on God's grace to bring about His will for her life?

A historical fiction, with love, loss, heartbreak and second chances. 

I loved the spiritual aspect to this book. It dealt with waiting and obeying God's voice, and doing His will. Things that every young man and woman of God have to deal with. This book really challenged me. It was a deep read, with lots of meaning and feeling behind it. 

I have always had a heart for missions, so I feel in love with the Yanomami people though the wickedness broke my heart. But it is so real in our missions fields,so many people need the gospel! 

Gina's characters had depth and emotion. I felt what they were feeling! I felt the love, the hurt, the abandonment, the faith, the fear, the uncertainty. Real emotions. 

Romance was involved,but it wasn't the FOCUS. God was. And I loved the change of pace. It was different from any of my normal reads.

I had one small issue, it is more of a personal preference. There were a lot of descriptions in the book, it wasn't woven into the story very well. The descriptions were great, do not get me wrong! I just prefer subtle descriptions. 

It did take me a while to get INTO the book, but once I was I really enjoyed the characters and the story. 

All in all it was a fabulous read! A book I will read again, and a new author to enjoy! 

I will definitely be recommending this book to my friends and family.

*I received this book from the author for an honest review* *All thoughts and opinions are my own* 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Welcome to For the Love of Books

Hello and welcome to For the Love of Books!


A Little About The Author

My name is Alysha. I am a proud homeschool graduate with a hunger for God and a love for reading. I am a pastor's daughter in a small town in Indiana. I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I used to watch my mom read, and I couldn't wait to grow up so I could read just like her. 
Historical fiction is my absolute favorite genre, but I am trying to get out of my reading comfort zone. So you will see a wide range of books on the blog. I am an amateur photographer, currently trying to build a company. I am also a HUGE animal lover! God, family, books, animals, and photography...these are a few of my favorite things! *insert Julie Andrews here*


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  • Reviews of Christian fiction books
  • Bible verse of the week
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