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Imagining him was harmless...until it wasn't. 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 J Imagining him was harmless...until it wasn't. 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? About Better than Fiction Better than Fiction is a unique, fun blend of Christian women's fiction and turn-of-the 20th century historical romance. It has given two best writer buddies an excuse to work together, laugh together, create together. It’s given them an opportunity to spotlight the colorful town of Corona, California in this lighthearted romance, while sharing their burden for the woman tempted by infidelity or struggling with an affair of the heart.


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Imagining him was harmless...until it wasn't. 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 J Imagining him was harmless...until it wasn't. 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? About Better than Fiction Better than Fiction is a unique, fun blend of Christian women's fiction and turn-of-the 20th century historical romance. It has given two best writer buddies an excuse to work together, laugh together, create together. It’s given them an opportunity to spotlight the colorful town of Corona, California in this lighthearted romance, while sharing their burden for the woman tempted by infidelity or struggling with an affair of the heart.

30 review for Better than Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    MJSH

    “Real life was messier than fiction, but that was the beauty of it. Love was found in the mundane. The every day. The flat middle between the exhilarating highs and terrifying lows. It was found in socks with holes, in split ends and cellulite, in late work nights and unplugged toasters.” I’ve read books written individually by April Gardner and Michelle Massaro in the past but I have to say that this book combining both of their talents exceeded my expectations. What a thoughtfully-written and b “Real life was messier than fiction, but that was the beauty of it. Love was found in the mundane. The every day. The flat middle between the exhilarating highs and terrifying lows. It was found in socks with holes, in split ends and cellulite, in late work nights and unplugged toasters.” I’ve read books written individually by April Gardner and Michelle Massaro in the past but I have to say that this book combining both of their talents exceeded my expectations. What a thoughtfully-written and beautifully crafted novel paralleling an author’s contemporary life with her fictional characters from the historical romance she’s writing! The transition from present day Corona, CA to 1916 is seamless. The two separate plots are both easy to navigate and the life lessons that the main character learns when she evaluates her life and her book are affirming and encouraging. If you enjoy a dual timeline novel (though the historical component is a bit different since it’s technically a “book” that the contemporary counterpart is writing), you will thoroughly enjoy this book that will have you marveling at the thrill of a car race in 1916 and contemplating what love and committed marriage really look like. Meghan is our contemporary heroine who is trying to write and publish her first novel. She deals with all the mundane things of life that we do and equally struggles with being the best mom, wife, friend, and Christian she can be. Temptations, misunderstandings, frustration, and life struggles pull her away from her husband as these feelings also fuel her story that she’s writing. In 1916, Winnie is our historical heroine, working as a mechanic, shunned by society. When Russell, a hotshot race car driver, comes into town and needs her help, things become quite complicated between them. The Corona of 1916 is easy to fall in love with and the characters from the past are fun to get to know. Meghan and her husband Steve’s story rolls out a bit at a time, interspersed with the romance and excitement of 1916 Corona, and their story is somewhat more somber but still fascinating and heart-tugging. I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gail Hollingsworth

    This was a different form of a time slip novel. The main female character Meghan pursues her dream of writing a novel in the present day while the novel she is “writing” pertains to the 1916 auto race in Corona, California. For me it was full of emotions. One minute it brought me on a high, the next minute I was wiping tears from my eyes. The characters were so real and broken, just like we find ourselves at times. I really felt for Meghan but she and her husband Steve were not communicating and This was a different form of a time slip novel. The main female character Meghan pursues her dream of writing a novel in the present day while the novel she is “writing” pertains to the 1916 auto race in Corona, California. For me it was full of emotions. One minute it brought me on a high, the next minute I was wiping tears from my eyes. The characters were so real and broken, just like we find ourselves at times. I really felt for Meghan but she and her husband Steve were not communicating and so much could have been avoided if they had. I found it interesting that Winifred, the character in the novel Meghan was writing, was a female grease monkey with expert knowledge in the area of repairing auto engines. She and Russell kept going back and forth as to what they were going to do regarding his auto and getting it ready to race. To add to that Winnie’s brother had skipped town with massive gambling debt and she was being harassed and physically hurt because of it. The faith element was brought into the forefront of both stories, not as preachy but as in what the characters needed to be reminded of, which hit home with me too. I really enjoyed reading this story. It’s one that might require a second read in the future just because it was so good. I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit but was not required to write a review positive or otherwise. All opinions are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    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 requir 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    What a wonderful story! I love the insertion of the historical story within the story. They both tugged at my heart, though for different reasons. Meg broke my heart for the pain she endured as her husband pushed her away. Flirting with him, treating him to his favorite everything. Nothing seemed to help. He continued to work later and later, and then there were the phone calls she overheard parts of. . . As she attempted to make things right by finally losing weight she had gained, the new friend What a wonderful story! I love the insertion of the historical story within the story. They both tugged at my heart, though for different reasons. Meg broke my heart for the pain she endured as her husband pushed her away. Flirting with him, treating him to his favorite everything. Nothing seemed to help. He continued to work later and later, and then there were the phone calls she overheard parts of. . . As she attempted to make things right by finally losing weight she had gained, the new friend she found in her trainer and the advice from her best friend "it doesn't hurt to look" had her modeling her hero after her new trainer - and her daughter's Sunday School teacher! How miserable it is for us when we seek to have the people in our lives fill the needs that only God can fill! When we look to anyone to give us our sense of value or to protect us from everything, or any other desire, we set them up to fail. Only God can be everything we need all the time! This message was brought home so clearly and beautifully. While there was a subtle admonition to married women not to seek solace in friendships with other men, this was not a preachy story, nor did it sound like it was written to push this point. Quite the opposite. It was fascinating, filled with emotional turmoil, deep sadness, hope, and powerful spiritual lessons. Racing Hearts, Meg's novel, was such a fantastic story itself. Going back to 1916, Corona, California, it tells the story of Winnie and Russell and the Corona Road Race. It's kind of crazy that I had never even heard of that, having grown up on the other side of the foothills from Corona! There was so much to love about this story. The woman mechanic who is Russell's only hope for getting his Bearcat repaired for the race. The unknown Jefe who was sending his thugs to collect the debt left by Winnie's absent brother. Whether you prefer contemporary or historical Christian fiction, Better than Fiction is a must-read! Read my full review at Among the Reads I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deana Dick

    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 a 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    MaryAnn Bell

    magining him was harmless…until it wasn’t. 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 191 magining him was harmless…until it wasn’t. 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? Click here to get your copy! My Thoughts: This is a wonderful novel! What could be better than two story-lines in one novel? This book hits the mark, it's well written, keeps the reader's attention and makes the reader think deeper than the story-line. The characters in this novel are down to earth people dealing with the same day to day problems that the reader has. The cross over between 1916 and present-day works well and is very easy to follow; It gives the reader anticipation as to what will happen next. This is a wonderful story that illustrates how we need not to take something we have for granted, and to be open and honest in our relationships. This is a wonderful, well-written novel that I will recommend highly.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    What a clever idea for a romance novel. I like how the authors deftly wove the current story with the historical one. While the obstacles to romance are different in the stories, overcoming the obstacles follow similar paths and the two plot progressions work well together. And I liked both heroines. I could really identify with Winifred's necessity to delve into a man's profession when her family's welfare was at stake. I really felt for Meghan with her husband becoming distant and unresponsive. What a clever idea for a romance novel. I like how the authors deftly wove the current story with the historical one. While the obstacles to romance are different in the stories, overcoming the obstacles follow similar paths and the two plot progressions work well together. And I liked both heroines. I could really identify with Winifred's necessity to delve into a man's profession when her family's welfare was at stake. I really felt for Meghan with her husband becoming distant and unresponsive. The combination of feeling called to write a novel and also using it to express her romantic longings was very reasonable. I always like to learn something when I read a novel and in this one it was about car racing in Corona, California. I like a strong Christian message in a novel and was happy to find this one included one. I recommend this Christian romance novel. It has a well crafted plot, engaging characters, and an informative historical location. I'll be looking for more from this author duo. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    So, I really enjoyed the originality of Better than Fiction. The historical fiction was really transporting, complex characters, convincing backdrop. It was so interesting getting inside of the contemporary fiction with our author however, and see her own marital struggles and how life influenced her writing. Not only did we get a really unique heroine and enjoyable historical, but we got to see a snippet of the writing process for an author as well. The faith thread was so clear, and the realit So, I really enjoyed the originality of Better than Fiction. The historical fiction was really transporting, complex characters, convincing backdrop. It was so interesting getting inside of the contemporary fiction with our author however, and see her own marital struggles and how life influenced her writing. Not only did we get a really unique heroine and enjoyable historical, but we got to see a snippet of the writing process for an author as well. The faith thread was so clear, and the reality of a temptation no one is above in marriage is shown realistically. Satan loves to divide and isolate because we go looking places we shouldn't to fill that gap. Sometimes I feel in our culture today it's easy to get that Hallmark movie stardust in the eyes and come back disappointed when marriage doesn't seem to fit our ideal. The beautiful covenant that marriage is, and the reality of facing struggles together was really beautifully laid out in this book. The way the authors switched from our author's life to her writings was very seamless, and caused no confusion. I think the elements presented just flowed together so well. If you're looking for a historical or contemporary fiction, this one is for you! I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Betti

    Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) This story within a story finds us learning all about the struggles of car racing in Corona, CA in 1916. I certainly can imagine how incredibly dangerous it must have been to travel at such high rates of speed without all the safety features we have in the cars of today. Winifred (Fred), after losing her father in a racing accident has taken up where he left off and has become a mechanic, preferably not for Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) This story within a story finds us learning all about the struggles of car racing in Corona, CA in 1916. I certainly can imagine how incredibly dangerous it must have been to travel at such high rates of speed without all the safety features we have in the cars of today. Winifred (Fred), after losing her father in a racing accident has taken up where he left off and has become a mechanic, preferably not for race cars. Russel is a race car driver with a damaged car. Can they work together to get the Stutz ready for the big Corona race? Meghan is having a great time writing this story, but her life is not turning out quite as wonderful as the life of her characters. Lack of communication with her husband, Steve, has found them struggling in their relationship. Will the realization that giving God control, instead of expecting Him to ride shotgun, help her stay away from actions she can’t erase? Can their life really be better than the fictional story she is writing? I received a copy of this book through CelebrateLit. The impressions and opinions are my own and were not solicited.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha Bouldin

    Absolutely loved this story! The mash-up of contemporary/historical through an author’s viewpoint brought a new perspective to Better Than Fiction. I loved both stories, but Meghan and Steve’s story really hit hard. I’ve been in Meghan’s place before. I know all too well how dangerous that slope can be, and I found myself begging her to take a second look at what she has before she lost it forever. Both stories have a timeless and relevant theme that any reader can learn from. It’s hard to believe Absolutely loved this story! The mash-up of contemporary/historical through an author’s viewpoint brought a new perspective to Better Than Fiction. I loved both stories, but Meghan and Steve’s story really hit hard. I’ve been in Meghan’s place before. I know all too well how dangerous that slope can be, and I found myself begging her to take a second look at what she has before she lost it forever. Both stories have a timeless and relevant theme that any reader can learn from. It’s hard to believe this book was written by two different authors. Their styles work together so seamlessly it feels like the same voice. The complexity of Winnie’s background and the historical detail of her story would drop in during critical moments of Meghan’s story, creating a deeper tension for both plots. I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Better Than Fiction is the latest book from April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro and it is great! This is the first book written by these two authors together and the first time reading these authors. April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro are a fantastic writing team. One wrote the historical fiction part and the other wrote the contemporary fiction. Their transitions from past to present is seamless. As I read this book, I could definitely hear each authors individual voices. I absolutely LOVE Better Than Fiction is the latest book from April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro and it is great! This is the first book written by these two authors together and the first time reading these authors. April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro are a fantastic writing team. One wrote the historical fiction part and the other wrote the contemporary fiction. Their transitions from past to present is seamless. As I read this book, I could definitely hear each authors individual voices. I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book, it really captures the two different eras in this book.The characters in this book, they are real people experiencing real situations. I found myself drawn to Meghan. I can relate to her marriage issues and loved the fact that she lives in two worlds, the real world and the fiction world she has created. I found myself not wanting to put this book down from the first page until the last page. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction and/or Christian Contemporary Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from this writing pair. I give this book 4 STARS. I received this book for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    My Thoughts on Better Than Fiction: Man. This book. I’m not so sure what to say about it. It’s a great read. The authors are amazing. I fell in love with the characters. But. Wow. The story of this book is so so good. You get this great first story about a woman feeling lost in her marriage. She’s doing things to try to get her husband’s attention again but all the while she’s also visualizing another man as the hero or love interest in the story she’s writing. Quick side note. The story within the My Thoughts on Better Than Fiction: Man. This book. I’m not so sure what to say about it. It’s a great read. The authors are amazing. I fell in love with the characters. But. Wow. The story of this book is so so good. You get this great first story about a woman feeling lost in her marriage. She’s doing things to try to get her husband’s attention again but all the while she’s also visualizing another man as the hero or love interest in the story she’s writing. Quick side note. The story within the story is amazing and I’d love to see that expounded on in another book too because there is so much potential there! I love that story. So here’s the thing. Better Than Fiction is a fiction book about an author creating a work of fiction. Does it mean that her life is better than the fiction story she’s writing? Or does it mean that my life is better than the fiction story I’m reading? See the dilemma. It convicted me a little bit. I read fiction to escape for a bit. To let my brain have some quiet time away from the daily struggles of life here in my house of eleven little monkeys. It’s my escape. But is the fiction better than my life? Do you ever feel like maybe you’re getting the short end of the stick in life because it’s not like a fiction novel? Great things to think about while reading a wonderful book. Highly recommend. I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nyla

    Better than Fiction by authors April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro is a story within a story. This is a Christian contemporary and historical fiction rolled into one book. The historical section is set in 1916 Corona, California. Done right, I love dual time novels. This one definitely is! I was immediately comfortable with the writing styles of both stories. Words flowed and imagines appeared in my head like a movie. I had no trouble imagining the characters or empathizing with them. They were Better than Fiction by authors April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro is a story within a story. This is a Christian contemporary and historical fiction rolled into one book. The historical section is set in 1916 Corona, California. Done right, I love dual time novels. This one definitely is! I was immediately comfortable with the writing styles of both stories. Words flowed and imagines appeared in my head like a movie. I had no trouble imagining the characters or empathizing with them. They were realistic and well rounded. Never before had I heard of the races in Corona so this taught me something. I love books that teach me new things. The other thing that is a must have for me in Christian is a strong message of faith. Better than Fiction does. It is refreshing not to need to search for the hidden message but see it written boldly. Bravo! The modern day female leading character is a married woman struggling. She and her husband need better communication. The historical one is a mechanic and has problems not of her own making. These stories really come together well with timeless issues. The authors have such similar styles that it felt like one person penned this entire story. They each included twists, life lessons, and an inspirational message. I definitely recommend this book. It is very different from any that I have ever read. My interest was piqued early and stayed the entire book. I rate it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest thoughts.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    "Better than Fiction "by April W. Gardner & Michelle Massaro is a wonderful book that is fiction but could be real and probably is real somewhere in the world. This book is about how husbands and wives can drift apart when there isn't communication between them. As an added bonus, this is really two stories in one, one is about an marriage in trouble and the other one is about the wife in the story trying to be become a best selling author and we get to read the story as she is writing it. I recom "Better than Fiction "by April W. Gardner & Michelle Massaro is a wonderful book that is fiction but could be real and probably is real somewhere in the world. This book is about how husbands and wives can drift apart when there isn't communication between them. As an added bonus, this is really two stories in one, one is about an marriage in trouble and the other one is about the wife in the story trying to be become a best selling author and we get to read the story as she is writing it. I recommend this story to wives who feel like they are missing something in there lives because it truly shows that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I also recommend this book to readers who like clean romance. This book really does end happily. I would read a sequel if there was one written. I want to know how life goes for the three main couples in this book. I was given a complimentary copy by the authors and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I really enjoyed this story, both of them inside in this book. I could definitely relate to Meghan and I applaud the authors for tacking a tough topic. It’s so easy to get too comfortable in our marriages, we can take each other for granted. I also like Winifred, what a spunky character. I wanted to know what happened to her and her family. I love that that story-line was slowly revealed. Overall I adored this read and couldn’t wait to get back to it each day. A copy of this book was given to me thr I really enjoyed this story, both of them inside in this book. I could definitely relate to Meghan and I applaud the authors for tacking a tough topic. It’s so easy to get too comfortable in our marriages, we can take each other for granted. I also like Winifred, what a spunky character. I wanted to know what happened to her and her family. I love that that story-line was slowly revealed. Overall I adored this read and couldn’t wait to get back to it each day. A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Devault

    I loved this book – I loved the idea of reading a novel within the novel. It was so interesting and fun to see how the writer’s thoughts as she is writing. I also liked how you got both contemporary and historical aspects of the books. Since the book was written by two authors, you can see the distinct writing voices between the contemporary and historical sections. The writing in the book is good. I wanted to keep reading. In fact, I read the book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. Re I loved this book – I loved the idea of reading a novel within the novel. It was so interesting and fun to see how the writer’s thoughts as she is writing. I also liked how you got both contemporary and historical aspects of the books. Since the book was written by two authors, you can see the distinct writing voices between the contemporary and historical sections. The writing in the book is good. I wanted to keep reading. In fact, I read the book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. Readers who enjoy contemporary or historical will enjoy this book. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Waltner

    Authors must be creative to come up with their fictional stories, but April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro take it to the next level by giving readers a story within a story. As Meghan’s attempts to reignite her marriage fail, she immerses herself more and more into the historical novel she’s writing. At times, the book parallels her life but basing her hero and someone she knows leads to temptations. I loved the historical portion of this book. Winnie and Russell are great characters and the det Authors must be creative to come up with their fictional stories, but April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro take it to the next level by giving readers a story within a story. As Meghan’s attempts to reignite her marriage fail, she immerses herself more and more into the historical novel she’s writing. At times, the book parallels her life but basing her hero and someone she knows leads to temptations. I loved the historical portion of this book. Winnie and Russell are great characters and the details of the Corona race are fascinating. I liked the contemporary part of the book but when things were getting so bad in her marriage, it bothered me that she didn’t just lay it all out there with her husband. After so many years of marriage and the trials they’d already weathered, the lack of communication was frustrating. If she’d sat down with him, gotten mad at him, something, so many of the questions and doubts she carried would have been solved. Granted, without that tension, the modern day story would have simply been fluff and the warning to guard your heart wouldn’t be necessary. Better Than Fiction will appeal to historical and contemporary romance readers alike. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patti Pierce

    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 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.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky Lewis

    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 toug 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janice Sisemore

    Better than Fiction Better than Fiction is a book written by two authors . I read the book in one setting and it was over 300 pages. Part of the book is historical set in 1912. The historical part is about a female mechanic. Meghan is trying to write her first book but hard getting support from her husband. She does get support from Curtis who is not her husband. I loved the historical part, I had forgotten that cars was already in 1912. Russell is a race car driver and seeks a mechanic. He is s Better than Fiction Better than Fiction is a book written by two authors . I read the book in one setting and it was over 300 pages. Part of the book is historical set in 1912. The historical part is about a female mechanic. Meghan is trying to write her first book but hard getting support from her husband. She does get support from Curtis who is not her husband. I loved the historical part, I had forgotten that cars was already in 1912. Russell is a race car driver and seeks a mechanic. He is surprised that he finds a female mechanic. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. This book review is my own opinion.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kimmie

    Two books in one, where do I sign up? I love stories that go back and forth between past (in this case 1916) and present day. There are few authors who can pull off writing a duel story line well, however, I have found two author who did one together! They did a fantastic job. I think that the author’s expressed both sets of characters accurately and I really felt involved in their lives by the end of the book. I was sad to see it end. My favorite part though was probably the premise. Too often I Two books in one, where do I sign up? I love stories that go back and forth between past (in this case 1916) and present day. There are few authors who can pull off writing a duel story line well, however, I have found two author who did one together! They did a fantastic job. I think that the author’s expressed both sets of characters accurately and I really felt involved in their lives by the end of the book. I was sad to see it end. My favorite part though was probably the premise. Too often I think we chose to live in a made-up world rather than being thankful for the one we have. I am guilty of that myself. I believe that the authors did justice to this problem and summed it up in an understandable way. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars for the duel story line that was unique and interesting, the great premise, and the amazing characters.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I love this novel within a novel. One storyline is modern day and will make the reader examine their relationship with their spouse. The other storyline (written by one of the characters in the first storyline) revolves around a female mechanic in 1916 at the time of the Corona Road Race. Both plot lines have twists and turns pulling the reader to continue reading. April Gardner and Michelle Massaro have meshed their writing styles to form a seamless connection between modern day and historical I love this novel within a novel. One storyline is modern day and will make the reader examine their relationship with their spouse. The other storyline (written by one of the characters in the first storyline) revolves around a female mechanic in 1916 at the time of the Corona Road Race. Both plot lines have twists and turns pulling the reader to continue reading. April Gardner and Michelle Massaro have meshed their writing styles to form a seamless connection between modern day and historical fiction. Area of potential concern The main character begins to develop an inappropriate relationship with a man not her husband. The relationship is broken off before it ruins her marriage. Her best friend does have an affair with a church elder causing a great rift in her marriage. No details are shared. Because of this concern I would not place Better than Fiction in my k-12 Christian school library. I would consider placing it in a church library. I want to thank Celebrate Lit for the complimentary copy of Better than Fiction. This is my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Winfield

    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 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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Neal

    Two books in one? Ohhh, YES!! I wasn't hesitant in the least to read and review this book, who doesn't love 2 books in one. The book goes back and forth between the past 1916 and the present. I really liked reading 2 different time periods at the same time. There are 2 main characters, Megan and Winifred. Megan is having trouble in her marriage and is also an aspiring author. Winifred is a mechanic from 1916, something unheard for those times. The 2 storylines molded well together and the charac Two books in one? Ohhh, YES!! I wasn't hesitant in the least to read and review this book, who doesn't love 2 books in one. The book goes back and forth between the past 1916 and the present. I really liked reading 2 different time periods at the same time. There are 2 main characters, Megan and Winifred. Megan is having trouble in her marriage and is also an aspiring author. Winifred is a mechanic from 1916, something unheard for those times. The 2 storylines molded well together and the characters really came to life in this book. I felt a personal connection to them throughout the book! I really think the overall message in the book about being true to one self's and not being grateful for what we have, it a WONDERFUL message that is much needed in today's society. Too many times we forget to be grateful for what we have and complain about life constantly. Gratefulness takes our lives in a completely different direction. GREAT BOOK! I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Spurgeon

    Clever Unusual handling of two story lines but it worked extremely well. A current romance and a historical one. I enjoyed reading it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim Paulus

    Bonus....two stories colliding with each other! Megan is an author trying to hold it all together all by herself...marriage, family, friends, and writing the book that will make her a "real" author! The reader gets to read the story Megan is writing, a female mechanic in 1916. Meet girl mechanic in 1916...unheard of, so unlady like....Winifred Fisher. Winnie is breaking into a world where women have never dared tread, fixing cars in her families garage. Along comes handsome Russell, owner of a r Bonus....two stories colliding with each other! Megan is an author trying to hold it all together all by herself...marriage, family, friends, and writing the book that will make her a "real" author! The reader gets to read the story Megan is writing, a female mechanic in 1916. Meet girl mechanic in 1916...unheard of, so unlady like....Winifred Fisher. Winnie is breaking into a world where women have never dared tread, fixing cars in her families garage. Along comes handsome Russell, owner of a race car. He needs his car fixed and ready for a race, she needs the money to get her family out of debt. Megan starts to live out her emotional needs through her characters while her marriage isn't as she always thought it should be. Where is God in all this? Readers will be hooked, I know I was as I pulled for both the author and the authors characters.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I liked this story-within-a-story for the most part. But the part that was unbelievable to me was *SPOILER ALERT* Meghan's husband not sharing his secrets or the reasons for his behavior with her, thus causing her to question his love for her and their children and his desire to stay in their marriage. As the good Christian husband and father he supposedly was, he should have been more open with his wife and could have spared her the anguish, instead of trying to "protect" her like a child. That I liked this story-within-a-story for the most part. But the part that was unbelievable to me was *SPOILER ALERT* Meghan's husband not sharing his secrets or the reasons for his behavior with her, thus causing her to question his love for her and their children and his desire to stay in their marriage. As the good Christian husband and father he supposedly was, he should have been more open with his wife and could have spared her the anguish, instead of trying to "protect" her like a child. That behavior was almost as wrong in my mind as what she suspected him of. He almost drove her away, had it not been for her strong faith in God and belief in marriage. I know that without his behaving like that, there would have been no contemporary story, but I was angry with him all the way through to the end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Denise Voccola

    I enjoyed this book for many reasons. The writing, which is shared between the two authors, is so good, and it flawlessly moves the reader between two time periods: modern day and 1916. The history of the days of motor car racing was fascinating, and I loved seeing real life through the eyes of modern-day author Meghan and how she used her experiences to develop her characters. The cover illustration captures the story so well, and it was what first drew me in. I was happy with the ending but sa I enjoyed this book for many reasons. The writing, which is shared between the two authors, is so good, and it flawlessly moves the reader between two time periods: modern day and 1916. The history of the days of motor car racing was fascinating, and I loved seeing real life through the eyes of modern-day author Meghan and how she used her experiences to develop her characters. The cover illustration captures the story so well, and it was what first drew me in. I was happy with the ending but sad to see the book end.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lientjie

    A wonderful book, very well written! The two different story lines work well together and keeps your interest until the last page. I loved the "story within a story" idea! Looking forward to more from these authors. I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion, which was given. A wonderful book, very well written! The two different story lines work well together and keeps your interest until the last page. I loved the "story within a story" idea! Looking forward to more from these authors. I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion, which was given.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    A very enjoyable and touching read. I got a little lost in some of the race car scenes (which is not surprising since I'm not into cars and racing), but I loved the story-within-a-story aspect of the novel. It was fun to see how events and emotions from Meghan's life found their way into the book she was writing. A very enjoyable and touching read. I got a little lost in some of the race car scenes (which is not surprising since I'm not into cars and racing), but I loved the story-within-a-story aspect of the novel. It was fun to see how events and emotions from Meghan's life found their way into the book she was writing.

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