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Following the restaurant incident, California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters encouraged the public harassment of Trump administration officials. The president weighed in on the controversy as well, attacking Waters as "low IQ. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max! An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Sen. Chuck Schumer made his statements about civility on the House floor.

He made his statements on the Senate floor. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Elections Fact Check Podcast Newsletter. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. June 27, 6: Trump realDonaldTrump June 25, It becomes a hit and Sarah writes two more, rocketing herself to the top of the bestseller charts. Then, under the mentorship of her friend Piper, Sarah becomes a Christian and her outlook on life and writing changes. On her first day at church, she meets Ben Delaney and the attraction is present from the first moment they meet.

All seems great, until Sarah discovers that Ben is the new pastor. How can she reconcile her career with her budding relationship? Oct 08, Amy rated it it was ok. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The story idea was an intriguing one, but just very little character development. Dec 02, Staci rated it really liked it Shelves: This debut had me laughing out loud multiple times. Yes, out loud and multiple times. Main character Sarah is wealthy and divorced and looking for something to do.

She turns to both reading and writing. The other main characters are Ben and Piper. While they were both great, I simply adored Piper. She's that friend that will give it to you straight even if the truth is painful. While some reader This debut had me laughing out loud multiple times. While some readers may not be familiar with any of these, I am well versed in all three of the references listed which added to my enjoyment. This unique novel was delightful and I look forward to Bethany Turner's sophomore release. My gratitude to author Becky Wade for a complimentary copy of the novel.

I was not required to post a review and the opinions expressed are my own.

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View all 5 comments. Jun 12, Pamela rated it really liked it Shelves: Perfect book to tuck in your tote bag for the beach or lake. In the meantime, know this: I'm not a fan of chick-lit or romance, per se. View all 3 comments. Apr 30, Kav rated it it was amazing. My cheeks hurt from grinning so much! This book has garnered quite the controversy as readers deal with that verboten subject -- desire. Dare I say we seem to be a passionate lot when it comes to passion in our Christian fiction? If you aren't into romance novels, this isn't the book for you because The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is pure romance.

It's toe-curling and swoon inducing, making a fainting couch a very real necessity for the duration of the read My cheeks hurt from grinning so much! It's toe-curling and swoon inducing, making a fainting couch a very real necessity for the duration of the read. But it also examines aspects of Christian culture - both good and bad -- as well as the foibles of human nature that left me grinding my teeth and hurling insults at certain characters. Which is all good, because I love to get totally immersed in a story. Told completely from Sarah's first person point of view, Turner takes her readers on a rollicking roller coaster of a ride.

I love Sarah soooo much! Self-deprecating humour masks some deep insecurities as she tries to make sense of her life after divorce. At first, she might seem to be self-absorbed but it's really self-preservation as she struggles to emerge from the shadows of her dysfunctional marriage. Going from steamy romance author sensation to born again Christian is a bit of a cultural shock -- especially when Sarah falls for the pastor her first Sunday at church. Loved that immediate attraction -- a tangible, inexplicable link that sets both their worlds on a giddy tilt-a-whirl of emotional ups and downs.

And physical attraction is very much a part of their developing relationship. Turner doesn't shy away from writing about that yearning but it's in a celebratory Godly way. My only hesitancy over their romance came from their spiritual inequality. Pastor Ben is a life-long Christian with a Divinity degree while not only is Sarah a new Christ-follower, but she doesn't have a clue what that actually means.

And it does create some problems, but I love the way Sarah grows in her faith and actually ends up encouraging and guiding Ben through a tough situation. I love the way Turner shows how the Spirit can work when our hearts are open and receptive.. But if you have an adventurous reading spirit and enjoy a God-centered love story with flawed characters saved by grace, you'll definitely want to give this one a try. Dec 03, Emilee rated it really liked it. It has been really hard for me to decide on a rating for this book.

I went with 4 stars and here's why. First the writing is lovely. The characters are well developed and the story very compelling. The romance is steamy without crossing the line, in my opinion. So why did I take off a star? I had a lot of personal issues with the pastor falling for a women he barely knew who had only become a Christian basically the day before.

Now, I don't have a problem with"insta-love" love at first sight b It has been really hard for me to decide on a rating for this book. Now, I don't have a problem with"insta-love" love at first sight because it is a very real thing for some people and when two people are attracted to each other and have great chemistry love happens quickly and love is always choice.

But in this book it just felt wrong to me. But overall great read. I would not recommend this to readers who do not care for romance. I would like to read more from this author. Nov 05, Tito rated it it was amazing Shelves: I'm a picky reader. I'm picky about characters, I'm picky about plot, and I'm picky about writing. In order for me to enjoy a book, those three things have to be done to my satisfaction.

With this book, it was.

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It's funny too because I ordered it online last minute, but didn't have any high expectations. Well all I can say is, I was impressed. The writing was solid, and I laughed quite a few times throughout the novel. There wasn't much of a huge plot, but that was okay because the I'm a picky reader. There wasn't much of a huge plot, but that was okay because the characters were absolutely delightful. Sarah is an amazing protagonist and I was totally rooting for her the entire time. How amazing is he?

Their relationship was pretty insta-lovey so for those of you that don't enjoy that, you might want to skip this one. However if that doesn't bother you, and you're in the mood for something sweet funny and cute, this is definitely the book. Can we please have another book about Piper? Sarah's BFF for those of you who haven't read it. Honestly, that would make my day.

Feb 14, Harisa Lagji rated it did not like it. This was not good.


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But, Francine Rivers who is the only author I have found that does this correctly is too long and sometimes dark. So, I also wanted something light hearted. I don't know how it has such a high rating. The romance was extremely fast, the Christian aspect wasn't really explained and neither was the struggles except for "I know that's not how a Christian would act, but I've prayed abou This was not good.

The romance was extremely fast, the Christian aspect wasn't really explained and neither was the struggles except for "I know that's not how a Christian would act, but I've prayed about it and made my peace with it" instead of the struggle of HOW a Christian should act and WHY. Also, did not agree with their interpretation of God's plan for us His plan is salvation, no soul mates, nothing like that.

The Insta-love was gag worthy and the romance itself was not a joy to read. I have a couple Bible verses to refute Ben's on how he thought that was okay and as a Pastor that is a bad example. I did not enjoy this read and it made me angry. Sep 17, Madison rated it it was amazing Shelves: This novel takes everything you think you know about Christian fiction and totally shakes it until you have something so wonderful, delightful, surprising, and authentic, something that captures the agonising and sometimes embarrassing beauty of life and love.

Newly divorced, Sarah Hollenbeck turns to writing to fill the gaps in her life. When poetry doesn't work out, she tries romance. And surprisingly has huge success. Now a hugely successful author of three very steamy rom Hilarious. Now a hugely successful author of three very steamy romances, her life is again shaken when she becomes a born-again Christian.

Trying to reconcile her life and writing with her newfound faith, everything becomes more complicated when she meets and falls in love with Ben Delaney - her pastor. The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is written almost as if Sarah is sitting with you, a dear friend, and taking you into her confidence, sharing with you her story. The book begins just after her divorce and explains everything, from the first few lonely months, to her transition to writing, the rise of her success, her conversion to Christianity, and her falling in love. It is all written in this conversation, recollection-like format.

It does seem like a lot of telling rather than showing, but it works incredibly well for the story. Not only does it give the reader a clear view of everything that has happened to Sarah, but it also explains her personality. It lets readers get inside her head - a truly hilarious place to be. At first, Sarah is lost, hurting, and totally judgmental. Through her story it is so very easy to see the development in her character. While her decision to become a Christian might be sudden, the changes I could see over the course of this story were not so dramatic.

She isn't suddenly less judgmental, but she makes an effort to not be quite so closed minded. And slowly, gradually a complete change is made, all seen through the little things, all displayed through her consistent sense of humour and a unique Sarah-ness that is hard to put into words.

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The book doesn't tell us how Sarah becomes a Christian, instead this book shows Sarah becoming a Christian. With such accuracy, this novel captures that wonderful journey of faith, life and love. I loved that it never shied away from some tough topics. Everything from divorce, sex, dating, adultery, death, churches, and family are up for honest and open discussion.

Never sanctimonious or perfect in its unattainability. There are also heaps of various literature and movie references a lot of which, apart from the Sound of Music ones, went totally over my head. There are so many, many things I loved about this book. The friendship between Sarah and Piper really shines. Piper is the one to confront Sarah on the atrocity that is her poetry.

Piper is the one to lead Sarah to Christ.


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Piper is there for Sarah through all the bumps of new Christianity, with love, understanding, brutal honesty, and really good humour. This book also carries strong themes of family, grief, and relationships. And then there is the romance. Ben and Sarah connect from the minute they meet. It might seem sudden, insta-love like, but there is absolutely no denying their chemistry, connection, or the time and effort they put into their relationship on a soul level. I loved that their passion was never brushed over. I loved that they talk about their desire, that they actively put into place plans to ensure they stay within the boundaries they have set.

It's not easy and they don't portray it as such and that makes it all the more real and relatable to the average human. But their romance is so incredibly sweet. At times I found myself rereading lines a couple times just to soak in the sheer brilliance of it all. I adored this book. Upfront, honest, and so very hilarious, it was a delight to read. I can't wait to share this with my friends, with readers who love modern, clever, and funny Christian romance.

I also can't wait to read whatever Bethany Turner next gifts us readers - it is sure to be just as surprisingly wonderful. But for now, I will content myself with rereading this delightful novel. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library. Jan 29, Alyssa rated it it was amazing Shelves: Bethany Turner has made a fan for life. The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck tells the story of an author who becomes a Christian all the while still having a contract with a publisher that wants her to write what is described as a scandalous novel.

A novel she thinks she can't write now. Sarah also begins to attend a new church where she meets the Pastor and immediately has feelings for him. The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck touches on many issues long time believers and new believers struggle Bethany Turner has made a fan for life.

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck touches on many issues long time believers and new believers struggle with. A new believer trying to figure out her new life and deal with what in reality are lustful thoughts towards another believer. That is something believers new and old struggle with and it's not often that I see this issue touched on in Christian fiction and I really appreciated it.

Bethany Turner's debut is a funny, romantic, and poingant novel that young women and older women will devour. Sep 28, Mikal Dawn rated it it was amazing. Just go buy the book already. Mar 28, extraordinary ordinary whimsy rated it it was amazing Shelves: Hold on to your cellphones 'cause I'm about to make a strong claim. The characters love God but they also struggle with attraction and desires. And let's go back to funny. Y'all it is SO funny. I swear I smiled and chuckled through the entire book.

So yeah, stop reading this review and go order this book. While you sing Super Trouper to yourself. I am going to follow this author and henceforth try any book she ever releases. And recommend her book to everyone. May 22, Jocelyn Green added it Shelves: A very light, fun read, which made it a very unusual one for this die-hard historical fiction reader. I laughed out loud several times at the heroine's first-person stream of consciousness point of view.

Can't wait to see what Bethany Turner writes next. She seriously cracks me up. Oct 13, Laura rated it it was ok. Reeling from her divorce, Sarah is struggling to find her identity apart from her ex-husband's trophy wife.

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

So she joins book clubs. And in the process discovers she can write. And she begins to make friends. Unfortunately, her best friend is judgmental and drops her like a hot potato when she learns Sarah writes steamy romances. But Sarah's friend returns. And leads her to Christ. Which means that Sarah is losing it all, it is falling apart right and left, but yet there is this hot new man and Okay, if you read any chicklit, you know the score. I cried when the genre sort of died.

But while I've read some really really good chicklit, this wasn't it. I wanted to love it. I was over-the-moon excited when I saw this hot new debut that was chicklit. I honestly wanted to love it. This book was blah. I didn't care one ounce for Sarah. Piper had more personality though I didn't understand her. And some of it seemed rather contrived. More conservative readers will have issues with a lot of the book. This is like a soap opera. But it also touches on the very real tendency of Christians to be judgmental without knowing all the facts.

Shoot their wounded instead of supporting them. A hard-hitting book that will leave the reader hurting but thinking. And for that, maybe I will give it more than the amount of stars I'd planned. Because the faith message was zilch. I was given a free copy.

Sep 13, Raechel rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was adorable. The writing style was truly so great, and I was just drawn right in by the first chapter. The style felt so unique and yet still so familiar to my own. And the story - oh my goodness, I had so many giggles throughout it. This was a book where I literally laughed out loud. Which then caused my family to question my sanity a tiny bit, but more so they wanted 4. Which then caused my family to question my sanity a tiny bit, but more so they wanted to know what I was laughing at. So yes, I had to read some parts out loud, and they giggled right alongside me!

Sarah was hysterical in so many ways. From her crazy "What if?? And very relatable in those instances. Her character really was a gem to read. Oh Piper, I loved her so much. Will she get her own story, Bethany? So grounded, so joyful, and so loyal. Um, yeah he was kinda perfect. Not like unrealistically perfect. But Bible-Nerd cute perfect. You can see why she fell for him right away. The characters were all so well-written, and like-able except Patrick This book was just a lot of fun to read. So, the only "downside" to this book, what made this a 4.

Yes, I expected a bit of that, seeing the plot of the story. And for the most part, it was handled really well and tastefully going from a "steamy romance" novelist to a Christian But like I said, it was handled well! And there wasn't the "shame" that often comes when Christians have to deal with anything sex-related. However, that seemed to be Sarah's driving point - when could she be together sexually with Ben?

It couldn't be soon enough for her, and sometimes that seemed like the only reason she wanted to be with him. No, I know that's not true - she was in love with him for more reasons than that, but that was definitely a focal point that got stronger towards the end. There was nothing really inappropriate, but it was That's why I would recommend only for mature readers, because well, there's a fair amount of sex talk.

And for me personally, I don't think it was all totally necessary. No, sex is not a shameful thing, and like I said, I was impressed that the author didn't make it so, but I also don't think it needs to be the focal point of a book, if that makes sense. And I know everyone's preference on this one is different. I'm just stating this for others who feel as I do. But that aside, it was a really adorable book, and I dearly loved it, enjoying it so very much. Author Bethany Turner writes with such wit, you can't help but smile and laugh along, and it still deals with tougher aspects of life.

Oh, and the cover!!! I can't end my review without saying something about that. Basically, I'm in love with it. As soon as I received my copy, held it in my hands, I was practically drooling over it. Apr 02, Brittany rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was such a fun story! The author had me laughing out loud many times. The first few chapters built a bit slowly for me, but I persevered and things really picked up.

And that was where the story really picked up the pace. There was attraction galore between the two main characters and the author did a good job of illustrating the feelings and actions between Sarah and Ben, while st This was such a fun story! There was attraction galore between the two main characters and the author did a good job of illustrating the feelings and actions between Sarah and Ben, while still keeping things clean.

I would recommend this book for adults, as a huge focus was on intimacy issues and situations. This novel was packed with great characters and I loved the chapter headings. This novel was an absolute delight to read! Turner hooked me early on and held my attention all the way through.

I enjoyed her writing style, wit, humor, and insight; as well as the delicate balance of romantic tension and Christian values she wove throughout the story. A story well done; I look forward to her next! I was not going to finish this book. The romance was SO fast, and I normally never complain about that.

But something about it felt wrong, even though they were technically doing it right. It got a bit steamy in a few places I did enjoy how they kept God as the forefront of their relationship, and the characters had some serious flaws and insecurities. It made them human. Will I pick something up by this author again? I give this a 2. Oct 17, Janet Ferguson rated it it was amazing Shelves: What a fresh style! I enjoyed every second of reading this book and laughed almost the entire time.

It's very different for inspirational fiction in that it deals with physical desires in a funny but realistic way. Jul 27, Paula Shreckhise rated it really liked it Shelves: I enjoyed it very much! A divoree who used to write steamy romance books turns her life over to Christ. She falls for her new pastor who is a widower. Then the fun begins! Can she still be a writer? Will the congregation accept her?

Who is friend and who is foe? Sarah is a quirky lady and the scenes with her Christian mentor and best friend, Piper had me laughing out The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner is an unusual book in the Christian Romance genre. Sarah is a quirky lady and the scenes with her Christian mentor and best friend, Piper had me laughing out loud. The references to old movies, songs, TV shows and music videos were priceless. Bethany addresses some very thorny issues. So this might not be pleasing to some. But it is very realistic and works out well.

It does not get explicit.