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*


  1. You explained your thoughts so nicely in your review! I’m really not a fan of the whole Insta-love trope either. I think this may not be for me either! Great review, Alysha.

  2. This sounds similar to my review. I liked many things about the book, but I felt like it was really rushed. One thing that did stick out to me though, was their age. I know many friends of mine that got married after knowing each other barely a month at that age too. So, I may have ranked it a little higher for that. Younger people? No. Divorced or widowed, yes.

    1. Yes I completely agree with the age assessment. It would probably be a good read for those who can relate to the issues that are talked about.