Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Finders Keepers by Sarah Monzon

June 11, 2016 Christian, contemporary, giveaway, historical, romance, Sarah Monzon 28

1698, Spain

The same evil that stole her mother’s life stalks Isabella Castellano. Afraid for her safety and with no one to help her, Isabella disguises herself as a cabin boy and hires on to one of His Majesty’s treasure fleet vessels. But has her flight from a known threat only led her to be ensnared in a sea of dangers?

Present Day, Florida

Summer Arnet will go anywhere to capture the perfect shot that will get her marine photography noticed by the prestigious natural magazine, Our World—even diving in waters haunted by Great White sharks. When a treasure hunter with a ladies’ man reputation approaches her about a sunken ship at one of her past dive locations, it might be the chance she’s been looking for to launch her career…if his charming smile doesn’t derail her first.

A past tragedy has left a hole in Trent Carrington’s life—a hole he’s tried to fill with women, money, and adventure. Could the feisty marine photographer be the missing piece or will Trent finally accept that the treasure he seeks can’t be found where rust and moths destroy? Three lives. Three hundred years. One ship that ties them together.

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SERIES: Carrington Family #1
GENRE: Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Christian
PUBLISHER: Radiant Publications
RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2016
PAGES: 272

“There is always a story.”

Sarah Monzon’s sophomore novel is even better than her debut, and I love The Isaac Project an awful lot. So, if I’m saying that Finders Keepers is even better, you probably just need to go ahead and put it on your “must read ASAP” list. In fact, go on and do that now. I’ll wait.

Are we all back? Ok, excellent!

Summer and Trent captured me from their first scene together – their banter, their sparks (a’plenty), their stories. Their banter kept me smiling. Their sparks kept me fanning. Their stories kept me intrigued. In fact, this may be one of the first Christian fiction books I’ve read Finders Keepers book reviewwhere neither of the protagonists were following Jesus wholeheartedly at the book’s onset. (I’m trying to think of another … right now, I’m drawing a blank.) They both have pasts that bleed into the present, and I LOVE the dimension that their flaws and scars added to the book and to their characters. Sarah did an excellent job of addressing their pasts realistically but not explicitly, and she treated their present stories with grace and discretion.

One of my absolute favorite scenes in the book is between Trent’s mom and Summer, and I sorta held my breath when I first began reading it because it had the potential to get preachy. (Y’all know how I hate stopping my story for a sermon lol.) But I really should have known better by now. Sarah added in bits of humor (A rainbow had thrown up on Anita’s Bible.”) and a lot of tender grace and wrote a scene that touched me deeply and moved the story forward. The conversation between Anita and Summer is so well done and much needed – how can you possibly relate to God as Father when your own father has abused or abandoned you? I am fortunate to have a daddy who has always represented Jesus well to me and to others, but my heart is tender toward those who have a different story and I think this book is a great starting point for conversations that will bring healing.

The dual timeline between present day and 1699 was another of my favorite elements of Finders Keepers. Isabella and Captain Montoya are also full of great romantical tension, and it’s their story thread, in fact, that earned this book a place in my next KissingBooks 101 post 🙂 The 1699 timeline has this added element of suspense along with what’s already embedded in the plot because you know that in the present day Summer and Trent are looking for the wreckage of Montoya’s ship. So you spend the whole story with bated breath, hoping against hope that maybe it’s not the same ship or that the ship is stolen by someone else or any other number of scenarios that would have Isabella and Montoya living happily ever after.  And of course I’m not going to tell you how it plays out – you just have to read it for yourself and experience the same torture-y angst that I had to endure haha! But it’s SO WORTH IT!! Even just for this one particular kiss alone. Whew.

One more thing before I include some quotes I loved. Jonathan. Someone love Jonathan, please. Sarah, Jonathan needs his own story. I’m still crying for Jonathan. If I say his name enough, maybe it will inspire you to write a romance for him next 😉

I super-love Summer’s reactions to Trent when they first meet (and vice versa). They totally made me grin from ear to ear, and I adored the way Sarah phrased them. For instance –

“He smiled at her again, and she almost rummaged through her purse for some Dramamine.”

I also loved Trent’s reactions to Summer (*fan*) and his opinion of Jonathan, Summer’s friend who’s a bit overprotective of her where Trent is concerned. This paragraph is a great example:

“Trent watched Summer walk away. People came to Florida all the time for the view, and right now he couldn’t blame them.

‘You’re not her type, you know.’

Of course the state did boast annoying insects as well. This one of the human variety.”

Bottom Line: Finders Keepers is the perfect book to kick off your summer reading! The descriptions are beautifully crafted, and both story threads will have you dreaming of sandy beaches and ocean breezes. Sarah Monzon’s characters are layered and real, and they feel like people I would want as friends in real life. Humor dots every chapter, and grace coats each word. Breathtaking scenery and breath-stealing romance will have you wishing for SCUBA gear even if you’re reading this safely on dry land – simply because you need another source of oxygen. This sophomore novel is a new favorite and one I will be re-reading for years to come!

finders keepers quote

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Fantastic!

KissingBook Level: 5 / Read this near the freezer so you can cool off easily

Sarah Monzon

Sarah Monzon is a pastor’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world.  Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters.  When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in a small desert town in central Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

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finders keepers giveaway

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finders keepers tour schedule

 June 6–Singing Librarian Books | Zerina Blossom’s Books
June 7–Toni Shiloh Prayerfully-Lifted Romance | Wishful Endings
June 8–Bookworm Lisa | Colorimetry
June 9–Getting Your Read On Katie’s Clean Book Collection
June 10–The Editor’s Note | Book by Book
June 11–Reading Is My SuperPower | Just Commonly

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What about you? What speaks to you about Finders Keepers?

Carrie

28 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Finders Keepers by Sarah Monzon”

  1. Annie JC

    O..I LOVE your review. Captured it all! I was at a lost of words after reading it. But o…that first scene with Thor, I mean Trent & Summer…sizzling..so much fun!

    • Carrie

      Thor LOL – yes 🙂 Going to read your review now that I’ve finally finished mine haha! (P.S. – I had a while to ruminate on mine since I read it way back in February)

  2. Jan Hall

    I have not read it yet. It is on my TBR list. I like the two different timelines and suspense and the fact that they are both dealing with their past.

    • Carrie

      yaaaay!! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!!

  3. Connie Scruggs

    I haven’t read a book that switches between past and present in a long time. I love that type of story line.
    You have done an excellent job with this review, Carrie! I really want to read this book immediately!

    • Carrie

      Thanks, Connie!! I hope you get to read it ASAP! It’s so fantastic 🙂

  4. Marylin Furumasu

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book. I’m looking forward to reading it someday.

  5. emilee douglas

    I just added this to my to-read list. Nice review!

  6. Sarah

    Girl, you made me cry!! Thank you so much for a beautiful review! I’m so glad you enjoyed both Trent and Summer’s story, as well as Isabella and Montoya’s. I’m going to have to print this review and save it for those moments of writerly doubt. Thank you for this blessing!

    • Carrie

      I don’t mean to make people cry. I really don’t lol. But I’m so honored that my review encouraged you. I mean every word <3

  7. Lientjie Human

    Great review Carrie! I read and LOVED this amazing book! Definitely agree with you on the re-reading part as well as wishing for Jonathans story(maybe if enough of us ask we might get our wish)!!

    • Sarah

      Hey guys, don’t get after me about Jonathan’s story. Get after him. So far he’s been silent. Maybe he’s nursing his broken heart or he’s mad at me, but he hasn’t shared any more of his story. Not yet anyway.

  8. Donna B

    I’ve added this one to my TBR pile! Thanks for this review and giveaway!

  9. Rebecca Maney

    This book is in my TBR pile, the setting and the dual timeline sound very interesting!

    • Carrie

      I can’t wait to hear what you think, Rebecca!