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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 5 star ratings
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    BEAUTIFUL STORY!

    THE SECRETS OF PAPER AND INK is a beautifully written time-slip novel that explores the true depths of two women’s (Sophia and Emily) hearts and as a bonus, shows how another woman’s (Ginny) heart is forced to grow because of negative circumstances. Each of us has a story deep within us. In fact, we live our stories for all the world to see. There is a deeper meaning to our story that we keep hidden deep within our soul and we reserve those secrets for paper and ink and only to be read by the most trusted friend in our life. One of the reasons that I love this book is that it is set around a bookstore in Cornwall, England. Emily and Sophia who end up running it together have never met, come from totally different backgrounds and have totally different dreams. Yet they find themselves drawn together during a time of crisis, attempt to rediscover who they are and find what the future holds for each of them personally. Also, there’s the man factor. One is dealing with the death of an abusive one & one is trying to win back the love of the husband who abandoned her. Oddly enough, it takes finding an old journal in a stack of books in the bookstore to prick the attention of Sophia and she is captivated to find out if the journal is real. The journal tells of an intense friendship of a young girl and the heir of a wealthy family. They grew up playing together from toddlers on and left each other stories and personal notes in the Story Tree on the boy’s family property. He considered her an equal because he recognized she had a beautiful mind and was an incredibly talented writer. As the years went by, they continued to be friends and her love and admiration for him continued to grow. He, of course, had no clue, she felt such intense feelings for him because they had never discussed such things. The quest to discover the authenticity of the journal begins and during the search many answers are found. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have the help of a fabulous professor (William) as a helper while you’re searching either! Discovering the authenticity of the journal and the identity of the author brings validation to Sophia. It helps her face her demons and come to grips with why she can’t share her own story through paper and ink. Sometimes the pain is so intense and keeps you almost paralyzed. When Sophia finally feels the freedom to share her deepest feelings - the total baring of her soul completely - through the sharing of her secrets through paper and ink, she allows her best friend (William) to read what she could never tell him with words. It is a beautiful act of total trust and it is life-changing for Sophia. This act proves to be the door opener for Sophia’s future. I was provided an ARC of this book by the author. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
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    3 Things I Loved About The Secrets of Paper and In

    #1 Writing can bring healing.On a really personal level, I loved the exploration of writing as a means of healing in these women's lives.  I love to write, and yet sometimes when I need healing I almost avoid writing.  I've been considering journaling for just that purpose recently, and so it was really special to walk that journey with these women. #2 The journey brings healing.Even though I kind of knew the mystery almost from the beginning of the book, I loved discovering all the connections between past and present with the characters in this story.  Sometimes, sitting at home is what we need, but sometimes, we need to chase after something. It's that search, that journey, that discovery, that God uses to help us put our broken lives back together. #3 There is hope in the midst of very messy lives.One of the things we love about fiction is the happily ever after, the things that finally go the way they should.  But so often, real life isn't like that. Life is so messy.  (Side note: That's why I love how messy the Bible is!)  It's broken, and sometimes it can't be fixed in this lifetime.  The women in these stories certainly found that to be the case.  But even so, even in the midst of trauma and grief and broken relationships and unrequited love and failing businesses...these women found hope.  They found a strength and an identity in God rather than in a business or a relationship.  And, they found healing and new relationships, too.  Maybe it didn't go the way we wanted it to go...but God still brought something good out of it, and these women found love and fulfilling lives even though all the broken stuff didn't get fixed, maybe even can't get fixed in this lifetime. What I Didn't Love About The Secrets of Paper and Ink I don't like that William gets involved with someone who doesn't share his faith - and there doesn't even seem to be any conflict over it.  This is a pet peeve of mine with a lot of Christian romance.  We try to do the faith story and the romance story together, but often it comes out looking like "missionary dating" or simply like a relationship I wouldn't recommend...and it's portrayed as if the way it happened was a good thing. Christian guys, don't get involved with a girl who doesn't share your faith.  If she's on that journey, pray for her and wait around if you want.  But dating her is a sure way to break your heart and your faith (or hers). I also felt like the spiritual element of this story was hinted at towards the beginning, and was very strong at the end, but was hardly noticeable in the middle of the story.  It's not necessarily wrong, but it made it seem a little bit like an afterthought and kind of a surprise at the end. Would I recommend The Secrets of Paper and Ink? Yes, I would recommend this book.  I really enjoyed the story, especially the historical sections, and I would like to see more from this author. I received a review copy of this book; all opinions are my own.
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    Charming romantic tale

    The Secrets of Paper and Ink is charming tale that combines the stories of three woman. We get to see them overcome pain and loss to move forward as stronger, fulfilled women. The authors flowery descriptions of Cornwall transported me to the area. I like how the three stories are woven together into one lovely story. While Sophia and Ginny’s section are told in the third person, Emily’s journal entries are her personal accounts (first person). The Christian element is light but pivotal. It is important to have faith and realize that only One person is truly in charge. The Secrets of Paper and Ink is well-written with thoughtful pacing. We get to see women overcoming adversity and taking charge of their lives. The romance is light and sweetly knitted into each ladies’ tale. I appreciated how the story comes together with a heartwarming ending. The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a perfect for those readers who like to read women’s fiction and watch romantic movies.
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    Beautifully written

    The mix of contemporary and historical were intertwined beautifully in this novel. It’s an amazing journey of friendship, healing and a little mystery. I truly enjoyed this story and how the three women’s lives wrapped together. I would highly recommend this book! I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
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    Growing into a beautiful picture

    'The picture on the puzzle might not even make sense until the last piece is popped into place. Then it will form a beautiful picture.' This is a lovely portrayal of the stories of Emily, Sophia and Ginny. All three had things in their lives in which they had to come to the realization that they were not defined by their failures or successes, but rather by their relationship with the Creator. A fabulous story about hope, relationships and God's trustworthiness in each of their lives. As Sophia wrote in her journal - 'I am strong ..... because I have finally learned to be me - and to be okay with who that is', a principle learned by all three! I received this incredible story through NetGalley and CelebrateLit. All impressions and opinions are my own.
5

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