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)