The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
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Revell / 2017 / Paperback
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The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

Revell / 2017 / Paperback

This product will be released on 10/03/17
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Stock No: WW727660


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Product Description

What happens when a steamy romance writer becomes a Christian? Best-selling novelist Sarah Hollenbeck finds out! Struggling to reconcile her past with her new life in Christ, she's not sure she can honor her publishing contract or cope with condemnation from church members for writing "scandalous" fiction. Will falling in love with her pastor complicate things? 320 pages, softcover from Revell.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Revell
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0800727665
ISBN-13: 9780800727666

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

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.

Endorsements

"The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is a rare treat packed with humor, hope, and heart. Sarah's struggles are real and nearly tangible, and she feels like a friend we've all had. I laughed with her and fell in love alongside her and couldn't wait to hear her whole story. What a charming, delightful book!" Liz Johnson, bestselling author of The Red Door Inn

Product Reviews

4.3 Stars Out Of 5
4.3 out of 5
(3)
(0)
(0)
(1)
(0)
Quality:
2 out Of 5
(2 out of 5)
Value:
1.8 out Of 5
(1.8 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
1.8 out Of 5
(1.8 out of 5)
75%
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Suzie
    Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Don't Miss This Debut!
    September 23, 2017
    Suzie
    Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is not your grandmothers (or even your mothers) Christian fiction. The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is a book for the new generation of readers.

    As Sarahs story unfolds on the pages, I laughed. Shes got a subtle sarcastic streak that resonated with me, but its her naivety when it comes to the Bible and Christianity that endeared this character to me. I mean, her confusion about Mary Magdalene along had me laughing out loud. And then theres Sarahs agent who bases Christian fiction on his understanding (mostly given to him by Sarah) of The Thornbirds. Throw in all the pop culturemovie and musicreferences and the book just got better and better.

    Sarahs journey of becoming a Christ-follower is followed quickly by meeting and falling in love-at-first-sight with a man whose first desire is to do Gods willa pastor, for goodness sakeand my heart melted a little along with a loud sigh that sounded an awful lot like awww.

    But Sarah and Bens journey is not without challenges, disagreements, misunderstanding, and even a bit of scandal. And plenty of sizzle!

    Bethany Turner delivers it all in fresh, fun, and fulfilling package. With humor, heart, and heat, The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck should jump to the very top of TBR lists everywhere. If this is what Turner debuts with, weve got great things to look forward to from her.

    ***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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
  2. Susan
    Clover, SC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Very Disappointing.
    September 21, 2017
    Susan
    Clover, SC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 2
    I really tried to like this book. I truly did. I had heard loads of good buzz about it and thought that it sounded very interesting, so I wanted to read it. I realize I'm the odd man out here, so to speak, because the reviews are generally good. But I was very disappointed in this book. The book is marketed as Christian fiction, but I didn't really find all that much inspiration in it.

    Sarah Hollenbeck has just been divorced from her cheating husband and is not sure of her identity anymore. She joins a book club and decides she could become an author and she does. Sarah writes steamy romance books, very steamy, in fact, and becomes a hit sensation. Personal appearances, TV interviews, etc. She is quite popular. Then she becomes a 'Christ-follower', in her own words (first person POV) and she decides she wants to write Christian fiction. An admirable goal. I know several true life authors who wrote for the secular romantic market before coming to Christ and they have written awesome novels, honoring Christ. So, I found no fault with that premise.

    This book starts out with Sarah going full tilt, like she's on speed. I mean, boom, boom, boom, goes everything. I nearly missed her conversion! She goes to a new church, bumps into a man in the hallway, who happens to be the pastor, unbeknownst to her, and almost immediately she begins to have the hots for him. Really, she begins to lust after him. In fact, all through this book, both she and he think almost constantly about sex. I was very put off by that. I'm not a prude by any means and don't mind edgy fiction in Christian books, but really, that was too much. It seemed as if it was the main theme of the book. Almost always when I read Christian fiction, I come away with a spiritual theme that I can look back on and grow in my own spiritual walk. I couldn't find one of those here. Not one. It just seemed so shallow to me. Just a fast track shallow road to run. I was very disappointed because of all the buzz about this book.

    * I was given a preview copy of this book by the publisher. My review is entirely my own opinion.
  3. jsrn18
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Makings of a Hallmark movie!
    September 17, 2017
    jsrn18
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This book grabs your attention and keeps you wanting more as you wind through the romance, heartbreak, comedy, and angst. I loved how the book was written and the ease with which it flowed. Can't wait to see what this author has to come in the future.
  4. Crystal
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    God-Approved Love Story That Sizzles
    September 14, 2017
    Crystal
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    About the Book:

    The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is a delicious little tale about love at first sight, reconciling our past with the beautiful future God has in store for us, and taming intense physical attraction within the confines of a Christ-honoring relationship. After her marriage dies a slow and painful death and she catches her husband cheating on her, Sarah Hollenbeck finds her voice as a trashy romance novelist catapulting her into both fame and fortune. But when she accepts Christ as her Savior, she chooses to reinvent herself as a Christian romance novelist as her newfound faith creates a strong desire to show women that love, passion, and desire can fit into Gods plan for love while still honoring Him. When sparks fly after a chance encounter with a dashing man at her church, Sarah is convinced she has found her soul mate. The only complication is that her dream guy just so happens to be her new pastor! As Ben and Sarah pursue the unexpected love growing between them, they face many challenges growing both personally and in their relationship with each other. Chief among the challenges are the awkward and very public nature of a pastor dating a reformed trashy romance novelist along with Ben and Sarahs intense physical chemistry. When both of their pasts collide, a storm rages that tests their commitment to one another, their faith, and their futures.

    My Thoughts:

    First, let me address the realness of this book- THANK YOU Bethany Turner for tactfully addressing the very real struggle of sexual attraction within a Christian romantic relationship. Christians dont hide in caves- we very much experience the same desires as anyone else. Turner has set the record straight that these intense desires are not only normal but were created by God and can be shared between a man and woman within the boundaries that He has set. She also makes very clear that Gods boundaries for sex are designed to be shared between a husband and wife. Ben and Sarahs struggle- and triumph- of keeping their intense physical attraction for each other under control demonstrates that Christian couples dont have to bend to pop cultures version of romance, but can instead seek to glorify God while still expressing love physically in appropriate ways. In addition to the sizzling chemistry between these two, I also appreciated the maturity displayed in other ways in their relationship. Bens admission of his vulnerability and weakness during a tempting encounter showed the depth of trust he had with Sarah, and her response of being his strength in that moment showcased the spiritual maturity- and love for Ben- that Sarah was developing. Likewise, the multiple trials they experienced were handled with both realism and grace keeping their commitment to each other and to Jesus at the center of it all. This will be a book I take off my shelf to read again and again! Loved it!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. However, this review reflects an honest view of my own thoughts and opinions regarding this book.
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