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Better than Fiction

by April W Gardner

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772,383,855 (4.43)None
Romance novelist Meghan Townsend's marriage is slipping, and no amount of prayer seems to help. She aims to recapture her husband's waning attention by getting in shape and finds escape by crafting her own fictional love story. Taking inspiration for the hero from a new friend--the attractive, spiritual, and attentive Curtis Jameson--she pours her yearnings onto the page, and craves the kind of pulse-pounding romance found in her book, Racing Hearts...In 1916 Corona, California, motorcars are all the rage, and racing them is what Meghan's hero, Russell Keegan, does best. But when his competition vandalizes his car, the only mechanic available is a greasy woman in a man's overalls. After a racing accident claimed her father's life, Winifred became the sole breadwinner for her family. She is disdained as a female mechanic, but her daddy's trade is all she has left. Can she swallow her hatred of the races and take up Russell's offer of big bucks to fix his car, or will she lose everything to mounting debt? Under Meghan's skillful pen, these two embark on a thrilling, adventurous romance. But she finds that writing those love scenes with Curtis's face in mind takes her heart places it shouldn't go. Will she realize in time that real life can be better than fiction?… (more)
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I have really enjoyed this book and how two authors worked together to write stories that intertwined with ease. Meghan has a dream to become an author and get published. She tirelessly works on her manuscript in her spare time. Meghan becomes disappointed that her husband Steve doesn't seem to be supporting her. I could easily see how Meghan started to feel lonely in her marriage. The enemy finds anyway he can to put doubt in your mind and cause you to start questioning trust. I liked how the author introduced Curtis in the story who became someone Meghan started to find interesting. I knew danger was waiting around the corner as Meghan seemed to be drawn to him.

The other part of the story is set in 1916 and lets us have a front row seat in Corona, California. Winnie works hard at her family's mechanic shop. It was very uncommon to see a woman as a mechanic in those days, but she sure could do circles around anyone when it came to fixing cars. Russell needs someone like Winnie to help him get his car ready for the race. They don't exactly get off to a good start. Winnie is strong willed and doesn't back down from threats. Someone is trying to sabotage her shop and cause bodily harm to her. I did like the slow pace of their relationship as we discover the loss Winnie and her family has suffered.

The authors have done such a great job of tying both stories together that I had a hard time not jumping ahead to see what happens. The concept of a person writing a story and we see the characters come to life is worth praise. Meghan sets her story in 1916, and we get to join her as she writes about Winnie and Russell. Both women are similar in the fact that they have low self esteem and always seem to think nothing good will ever happen to them. They both want someone to love them and notice them. They both work hard at their dreams but lack the ability to believe in themselves.

The lessons in the story are powerful as we see a marriage start to crumble and temptation seep in. Instead of communicating with her husband, Meghan jumps to conclusions . I didn't like where she was headed emotionally , but liked getting to see her turn to God for help. Winnie finds herself in danger and Russell could be the answer to her prayers.

I won't say what happens to these two couples, but I will say that both authors give us a look into trusting God, believing in yourself and being reminded that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Communication is key in any relationship and it will be a lesson both women will experience. I thought the book was very well written and hope the authors' team up again and write a book together.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. ( )
  Harley0326 | Oct 19, 2019 |
This was an interesting way to read a story. There were two storylines that worked together. I liked that in the present Meghan was writing a book about the past. It was fun to learn some of what happened during the race in Corona, California during 1916. Meghan wasn’t sure what was going wrong in her family life and she learned that one of the best things to do is communicate. I enjoyed these characters. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will. ( )
  Virginia51 | Oct 17, 2019 |
Fiction that challenges one to think carefully about real life is always welcome in my book (or Kindle, to be exact.) April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro have combined to create a time-slip novel of racing, avarice, grease monkies, and modern-day friends who juggle families, church life, and keeping fit. Romance and the lack of it are big themes in this novel. What do you do as a modern married woman in a Christian marriage blown cold? Where do you take refuge? A very fun way to examine a tough but very real topic in the church today.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the authors and publisher via Celebrate Lit. This in no way influenced my opinions, which are solely my own. ( )
  Becky_L | Oct 17, 2019 |
I loved the concept of this book, and we are gifted with actually two books in one!
The two authors have melded this into one book, and although we are flipping between 1916 and present day, and I never felt lost.
A strong point in both of these stories is that often our thoughts/impressions are not fact! Lessons are learned, and conclusions are made, and we are there to the very end.
Looking forward to more by these new to me authors.
I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review. ( )
  alekee | Oct 16, 2019 |
I have often wondered if authors finding themselves caught up in the pages of their writing, living out fantasies through the words they write. I remember watching television shows and movies where the lead characters became involved with filming a television show or movie within their jobs. The characters would have conversations with each other. I always found it interesting to think of writers becoming wrapped up in the stories they are telling.

The two stories within this book are skillfully and interestingly told. One set in the present day deals with a woman, Meghan Townsend, who tries to recapture the love of her husband by losing weight and writing her own fictional novel.

The second story deals with the character in the wanna-be novelist’s book and the hero, Russell Keegan is based on a man Meghan knows in real life. She becomes caught up in seeing Curtis as being the ideal man. But I wanted her to recognize real life is better than fiction, and marriage takes work and is worth fighting for no matter what it takes.

So check this book out for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review. ( )
  PattiP1992 | Oct 15, 2019 |
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Romance novelist Meghan Townsend's marriage is slipping, and no amount of prayer seems to help. She aims to recapture her husband's waning attention by getting in shape and finds escape by crafting her own fictional love story. Taking inspiration for the hero from a new friend--the attractive, spiritual, and attentive Curtis Jameson--she pours her yearnings onto the page, and craves the kind of pulse-pounding romance found in her book, Racing Hearts...In 1916 Corona, California, motorcars are all the rage, and racing them is what Meghan's hero, Russell Keegan, does best. But when his competition vandalizes his car, the only mechanic available is a greasy woman in a man's overalls. After a racing accident claimed her father's life, Winifred became the sole breadwinner for her family. She is disdained as a female mechanic, but her daddy's trade is all she has left. Can she swallow her hatred of the races and take up Russell's offer of big bucks to fix his car, or will she lose everything to mounting debt? Under Meghan's skillful pen, these two embark on a thrilling, adventurous romance. But she finds that writing those love scenes with Curtis's face in mind takes her heart places it shouldn't go. Will she realize in time that real life can be better than fiction?

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