It has been a busy month, and I don’t think things are going to slow down. So, as usual, I’m doing most of my recreational reading at bedtime, and I’m plugging along, but I don’t read as long into the night as I did when I was a wee bit younger. That said, I’ve read some good books this month, starting with The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner.
This is a book you would not have seen published ten or more years ago. Probably even less than that. Why? Because Christian publishing wasn’t really ready to “go there” in terms of the content. I mean, a book about how even Christians struggle with holding off on sex until marriage? About how not every hero and heroine in a story find it easy to carry on a pure relationship?  Yeah, that’s what this one is about, and let me tell you, it was a fast flowing, fun read. The characters, especially the main character Sarah is a hoot! She’s witty, clutzy at times, funny, and so, so insecure. She’s pretty real. To top it off, she’s living the dream — unknown writer becames world famous novelist — but not so fast! Maybe it wasn’t the best dream to have. It’s oh-so-colorful in all the wrong ways, but that’s about to change.
When she meets the hero in one of those “cute/meet” kind of ways, and then finds out he’s her new pastor, that takes the cake.  Both of the main characters come with a boat load of baggage, and in today’s world that’s about as real as it gets.
Thank you, Revell, for publishing a book that gets real about relationships.
If you like flawed, interesting, totally human Christians in your fiction, you will enjoy The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck.

Back to another historical, I finally got to read Laura Frantz’s latest, The Lacemaker. I always get excited when Laura has a new book come out, and this time was no exception. I just finished watching the Netflix series Turn, and that set me up perfectly to get into this Revolutionary War tale of romance and intrigue. In fact, I kind of let a couple characters from the television series influence the way I pictured Lady Elizabeth “Liberty” Lawson and the dashing Noble Renaullt.
As is always the case with Laura’s novels, The Lacemaker is rich with historical detail and insight into both daily living and period events. It was fun to “meet” Patrick Henry as well as other historical figures brought back to life in these pages. The story of the perils the Patriots faced, both through Liberty as a Tory turned Patriot spy and through Noble who is a leader in the struggle for independence, unwinds slowly and with just the right amount of tension. The love that binds Liberty and Noble make The Lacemaker a romantic and relaxing read I looked forward to picking up again each time I was forced to go cook food, sleep, or perform some other task necessary to life.
If you like early American stories that are elegantly written and fraught with period intrigue, you’ll want to read The Lacemaker.