Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Unbound by Grace by Michelle Massaro

Posted September 26, 2018 by meezcarrie in Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Michelle Massaro, romance / 37 Comments


about the book

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Orange Grove Press
RELEASE DATE: July 21, 2018

When the past holds the future captive, there is only ONE chain breaker…

Tori Bishop has carved out a safe circle of friends who know nothing of her privileged status. But when she’s roped into attending a glitzy fundraiser, she brings along strong and steadfast Derek for support. As long as her secret stays safe, she never has to question his motives.

Derek Miller wants his life to count for something, to make a difference—especially in the life of Tori Bishop, the spunky smart-mouth who loves razzing him. But if his prison record comes to light, she’s sure to take off running.

When Tori and Derek get involved in building a local women’s shelter, the extra time together stirs more than an ember of attraction. Haunted by the fear of exposure, each must wrestle with the chains of their pasts to experience freedom, love, and the full depths of God’s grace.

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“They were all just broken people, cracked in hidden places only God could restore.”

This is my first read by Michelle Massaro & I was drawn to the story for its diverse characters. We see so little of this in Christian fiction that I’m always eager to find new-to-me authors who write with diversity in mind. Not only did Tori and Derek come from different ethnic backgrounds, they also had socio-economic cultures and backstories that were about as polar opposite as they could get. I loved that, even with these pretty stark differences, the author used these protagonists to show that really – in our hearts – we are much alike. We’re insecure about the same core things (though maybe the root reasons are slightly different), and we have the inherent desire to be accepted for who we are, regardless of where we came from.

Meaningful messages aside, Unbound by Grace is also a cute romance with fun banter and swoony kisses! #priorities, am I right? 😛 Tori and Derek have an obvious attraction to each other that, though challenged by their individual insecurities and prejudices, gets sweeter right along with their deepening friendship. This may be a novella but I didn’t feel their relationship was too rushed or unrealistically paced.

Bottom Line: To paraphrase the great Lewis Carroll, we’re all a little broken here. Or a lot. And wrapped in this sweet & swoony story of two people falling in love is a tender message of grace amid our brokenness. Our stories shape us but they don’t have to define us, and Tori and Derek are each multi-layered characters who remind us that we are ultimately defined by God’s grace and restoration of our lives. I didn’t really feel like I was immersed in the story world with these characters – but the story itself was compelling and engaging nonetheless.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which i received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Great message!

KissingBook Level: 3  / May forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

MICHELLE MASSARO writes contemporary fiction soaked in grace. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband of over two decades and their four children. She’s dabbled in homeschooling, teaching Creation Science, and leading worship. When she isn’t tinkering with words, Michelle enjoys old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, making kefir, and Sudoku. A new lipstick and a good French roast always make her happy.

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Other Books by Michelle Massaro


When I sit down to write a new story, I tend to gravitate toward some pretty deep emotions. The raw kind we all have known at one point or another. It’s what connects us all as human beings, no matter how different we are on the outside. If we can learn to see ourselves in others I believe that’s where compassion is born, as well as some self-revelation. Like King David hearing the story of the rich man stealing the poor man’s lamb and realizing he was that man!

In Unbound by Grace, I was approaching the story of two super fun characters I had introduced in my first novel, Grace in the Flames. In that book, they were side characters. But I always adored writing their scenes. They were both so entertaining! And the chance to put these two together and give them their own book was just too delicious an idea to pass up.

I got to put them into some interesting surroundings (anyone been to watch a horse race lately?) and take them to some very exposed, vulnerable places as well. Through them I was challenged to get inside someone else’s skin, and understand. Plus, they kept me smiling as well! This story was a blast to write, and I hope you enjoy these fictional friends of mine as much as I do.

It’s such a pleasure to meet new readers. I hope to hear from you soon!


To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize package that includes a notebook, a mug, a bookmark, a pen, a signed copy of Grace in the Flames, and an Amazon Gift Card ($40)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter.

Click here to view this promotion.

This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour for more chances to win!

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37 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Unbound by Grace by Michelle Massaro

  1. Debra Branigan

    I like it when authors pick up their interesting side characters and develop their stories. I enjoy connected stories, so obviously I am a series fan as well.

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for you review on “Unbound by Grace” by Michelle Massaro and for being part of the book tour.

    I’d love the opportunity to read this book which sounds like a great read.

  3. Patsy Curry

    I bought Grace in the Flames on my Kindle this past summer. I loved it so much, I immediately bought Unbound by Grace. They are both wonderful books. I highly recommend them!

  4. Looks like an interesting book! Thank you for the opportunity to enter a giveaway! Would love to win a print copy of Unbound by Grace! Take care and God bless. Lual Krautter

  5. James Robert

    Thank you so much for taking time to bring to our attention another great read. I enjoy these tours and finding out about many terrific books.

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