Review of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck was a refreshing surprise. It’s a sweet story filled with some funny moments.

It presents interesting plot movements and a well-constructed premise.  The book touches lightly on faith, Bible knowledge and Christian beliefs but it doesn’t make clear what doctrines it ascribes to.

I especially enjoyed the humour in the storytelling, which at times made me laugh out loud. There are also some high peaks in the story development, but nothing overly exciting.

I found Turner’s debut novel, a light, quick read.

My main issue with the novel is that the main character’s (Sarah) conversion to Christianity is presented too simply and superficially. This fact makes me, as the reader, see Sarah’s behaviour after her conversion not believable.


On the other hand, the hero is adorable. He is better developed than Sarah though he is mentioned much less than she is. Finally, best friend Piper is just a great supporting character who is able to show the meaning of true friendship, sincerity and genuine care for someone.

The romance develops very fast between hero and heroine which gave me the impression of being rushed. Their love is so profound in such a short time that this also takes away a little bit of the credibility of the story.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book, would recommend it to people who like clean contemporary sweet romances.



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Laurie Hazel is a Women's Fiction and Inspirational Romance Writer based in Hamilton, ON where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. Her stories are characterized by wholesome, sweet romances where courage, hope and strong faith take centre stage in the face of adversity. Her work has been published by Whispering Willow Press and Colorful Pen Press.


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