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Better than Fiction

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  39 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published April 4th 2016 by Plaited Press
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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 ·  59 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“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
Gail Hollingsworth
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Maureen Timerman
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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 requir
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Deana Dick
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
MaryAnn Bell
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Tabitha Bouldin
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
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
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: celebrate-lit
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
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"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
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Sandra Devault
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Suzie Waltner
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Patti Pierce
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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 ...more
Janice Sisemore
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
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
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Virginia Winfield
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Kendra Neal
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Kim Paulus
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Denise Voccola
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 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. ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book! Such a creative concept to blend the two stories together. I didn't think I would like the two different time periods but it worked out perfectly. It was like two books in one. Can't wait until the next book from these authors. Michelle Massaro is quickly becoming one of my favorites! This book was just as great as her other book! ...more
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APRIL W GARDNER writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our Southeastern Native Tribes. She is also a military wife and mother of two who lives in South Texas. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.

You can find April at these locations:



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