The Hourglass by Sharon Struth

The Hourglass by Sharon Struth
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: Full (275 pgs)
Heat: Sensual
Rated: 4 Stars
Review by Poppy

Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?

Until Brenda McAllister’s husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack’s best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?

The release of Brenda’s second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn’t the only one with secrets—Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn’t always on the map.

Well rounded and believable characters are what make The Hourglass a worthwhile read. The plot is no slacker, either, but it’s the characters that will keep you turning pages.

From the moment I met coffee-deprived Brenda, I liked her. She is strong and determined and I really enjoyed her sense of humor. CJ took a little longer to like, but when he started to open up a bit, I understood what Brenda saw in him. Other characters are involved in the book, but they weren’t as clearly defined. That may be partly due to how sharply I could see Brenda and CJ, so everyone else faded a bit when compared.

I have to admit that having Brenda as an author of successful non-fiction books that focused on relationships stretched my belief system a bit, considering that she’d (almost) had an affair and didn’t realize her husband was suicidal. Still, whether I found that believable or not didn’t really matter, since that wasn’t focused upon, not even in her role as an advisor to CJ for his book. That was more pure psychology than having a focus on interpersonal relationships.

Their chemistry is apparent from the start, even though both spend the first part of the book dating other people. It was interesting watching them come to terms with their feelings, especially CJ as he really didn’t want to feel anything positive toward Brenda.

The mystery of Jack’s death isn’t really a driving force in this book. Its focus is on healing that both Brenda and CJ need to do, and how they do it, and on their relationship. The author does a wonderful job dealing with both things. It’s interesting … the book isn’t edge of your seat exciting, but I was really hooked and read it in just a few hours with very few breaks. I can’t explain exactly why I was so hooked, but clearly the author is exceptionally skilled and knows how to keep a reader entertained.

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you intrigued, even if it doesn’t make your heart pound (but does tug the heartstrings), then I recommend The Hourglass. It’s a book you will read cover to cover and then think about after you’re done.


  1. Wow…sounds like that self-help author might need some help for her own self! Such a rough ride relationship wise! Thanks for sharing!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    • Hi Andra! Thanks for stopping by. Lol, yes, even psychologists sometime need help 🙂

      Long and Short Reviews, thanks for taking time to review my book and hosting it today!

  2. Thank you for hosting

  3. Hi! Thanks for sharing the blurb and excerpt! What did you struggle the most with when writing your book?

    hense1kk (at) cmich (dot ) edu

  4. Sounds like an interesting read!

  5. Hi Kate,
    Great question! My biggest concern was making CJ edgy but not unlikable. In real life, I’m try to recognize that you can’t really know somebody unless you stand in their shoes. Someone who might not seem nice could’ve just gotten bad news or maybe has no real reason to smile in their world. Don’t get me wrong…I might have a few bad thoughts before I think that though :-).
    So CJ was my challenge…and Brenda’s, too! I’m glad to see the readers who have reviewed my book have given CJ a fair chance. They end up loving him and rooting him to get beyond his past mistakes.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Rita Wray says:

    Great review, thank you. I’m looking forward to reading the book.


  7. Hi Rita! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy the book.

  8. Catherine says:

    What a terrific review. For me, it’s all about the characters. I have to like them. They have to be believeable. I also like a heroine with some sass, some humor.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  9. Chelsea B. says:

    Can’t wait to dig into this novel!


  10. Sounds interesting

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  11. Mary Preston says:

    An excellent review thank you.


  12. Karen H in NC says:

    Thanks for your great review. Love the cover too.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  13. BookLady says:

    Congratulations on the publication of The Hourglass! It sounds like a very interesting book. Love to read about older characters. Great review. Will be adding this book to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I enjoyed this book.

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