Author: Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Howard Books
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him.
Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.
At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese–one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.
Then Chandra Olson–reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges–intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.
Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?
Zack Dylan’s family will have their champion horse farm foreclosed if something doesn’t change. His sister AJ is sick, too (with Down Syndrome and a severe type of juvenile arthritis) and money is needed for her treatment. He feels like the family farm needs to be back on its feet so he can propose to his girlfriend, Reese Weatherly. They have been dating since their freshman year at the University of Kentucky, and he can’t imagine his life with anyone else.
So his opportunity to audition for the TV show, Fifteen Minutes, seems like the answer to prayer. If he wins he can save the farm, help his sister, and marry the girl he loves. His grandfather begs him not to choose fame. Reese is supportive and hopes he will prove everyone wrong, but she realizes that he has a good chance of winning and that winning could change their future. And there is that opportunity in London that is calling her name…
It was really interesting to see the other side of fame. At first Zack talks about his girlfriend and God. But then he is asked to tone down the talk about his faith and he’s kept so busy that he can never find the time to keep in touch with Reese and his family. At first the show belongs to the contestants, but they learn that when they get to New York, the contestants belong to the show. Nothing is happening the way Zack planned and with all the pressure and craziness he’s finding it easier to forget who he really is.
Two of the judges try to stop him before it’s too late. Chandra Olson is 25 years old and is a former winner of Fifteen Minutes. She once had a fiance and parents who loved her. She knows too well how easy it is to get addicted to the fame and lose everything that is important. She has been praying to be an instrument to help someone avoid the trap that she fell into, and hopes Zack will listen to her before it is too late. Kelly Morgan has become addicted to fame and staying young. She has left her husband Cal and her children, but a crisis in her personal life has her re-thinking her priorities.
I really wasn’t crazy about how this story ended… I felt like it needed a stronger ending.
Clean Christian romance.
Rating: 4 stars
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