Friday, September 21, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Unbound by Grace

About the book

Book Title: Unbound by Grace  
Author: Michelle Massaro  
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance  
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.


My Thoughts

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

Unbound by Grace is a well-crafted, compelling story with a powerful message for our Christian walk, and I enjoyed it very much. There’s a realness about the characters and the life situations they deal with, and it was easy to instantly connect with Derek and Tori. A few characters from the previous book make appearances, but this story stands alone.

Derek and Tori couldn’t be more opposite socially, but their shared faith and desire to help people provide a sure foundation upon which to build. Both have past experiences that weigh heavily on them. Tori wanted nothing to do with her upper-class life, and she held people at arm’s length out of fear because she didn’t trust their motives. Derek had come to Christ through a prison ministry, and was able to find strength and courage in God’s mercy when his past threatened to beat him down, but still lived with a sense of inferiority. The connection between this unlikely pair is real and I loved watching it grow as they worked with the team building a much-needed women’s shelter for the community.

The book’s title – Unbound by Grace – encompasses the theme of freedom so well. Tori and Derek were both Christians, so their story was one of learning to fully “walk the walk.” As many of us can undoubtedly testify to, it’s easy to intellectually accept the concept of freedom in Christ, yet sometimes difficult to believe it in our heart. Derek and Tori find the going difficult when their backgrounds come into the open, but their story is one of inspiration and relevancy.

I enjoyed Unbound by Grace and look forward to more from Michelle Massaro.


I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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.

Guest Post from Michelle

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 image above or the link below to enter.

Blog Stops

Real World Bible Study, September 20
Godly Book Reviews, September 20
Among the Reads, September 21
The Power of Words, September 21
Bibliophile Reviews, September 22
Fiction Aficionado, September 24
Faithfully Bookish, September 25
Carpe Diem, September 27
Lis Loves Reading, September 28
Simple Harvest Reads, September 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Janices book reviews, September 30
The Mimosa Blossom, October 1
Texas Book-aholic, October 2
Bigreadersite, October 3


  1. Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!

  2. Thank you for having me today! I am so glad you enjoyed the story and that it spoke to you the way it did. That's exactly how I felt the Lord speaking to me as I was writing it and wrestling with these things. Have a blessed day!

  3. Unbound by Grace sounds like a powerful book. I'd love to read it!

    1. Hi, Susie-Q! Thank you for visiting me here today. I hope you get a chance to read Unbound! :)

  4. This sounds like a very interesting story!

    1. Thank you, Emma! I hope you enjoy it. Have a blessed day!

  5. I enjoy your books. I've read e-books so it would be nice to win a print book!