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 Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is written in first person point of view. The beginning build-up, for me, was a little slow. The part where Sarah decides to be a Christian and give her heart to God in one brief paragraph and was so sudden, I had to go back and read it again, because I glossed over it the first time.
I enjoyed the friendship between Sarah and Piper. Piper is such a level-headed, character, she really adds to the story and gives some stability to Sarah, who at times tends to let her imagination run away with her.
On Sarah’s first visit to the church, she literally runs smack into a man who she feels an instant and surprisingly strong attraction to. She is surprised to find that he is the new pastor of the church, and thus starts the comedy as Sarah struggles to navigate her way through a relationship that she never saw coming.
When it’s all said and done, I enjoyed reading this debut story from Bethany Turner and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
About 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 35), 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.