The Wedding Shop

Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Two women separated by decades. Both set out to help others find their dreams when their own have crumbled.

It’s the early 1930s, but Cora Scott is walking in stride as a career woman after having inherited her great aunt’s wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, where brides come from as far away as Birmingham to experience her famed bridal treatment. Meanwhile, Cora is counting down the days until her own true love returns from the river to make her his bride. But days turn into months and months to years. All the while, Birch Good continues to woo Cora and try to show her that while he is solid and dependable, he can sweep her off her feet.

More than eighty years later, former Air Force Captain Haley Morgan has returned home to Heart’s Bend after finishing her commitment to military service. After the devastating death of her best friend, Tammy, and discovering the truth about the man she loved, Haley is searching for her place in life.

When Haley decides to reopen the romantic but abandoned wedding shop where she and Tammy played and dreamed as children, she begins a journey of courage, mystery, and love.

As Cora’s and Haley’s stories intertwine through time in the shadow of the beloved wedding shop, they both discover the power of their own dreams and the magic of everyday love.

Ope’s Opinion: This is the third of The Wedding Collection books.  You can read this alone, but it really is better if you start with the first book The Wedding Dress.  This book had both a historic story line and a contemporary story line.

It was wonderful to see where and how the wedding shop got started and where it was now.  The story started slow and built as you read it.  As I read, I became more invested in the characters and their out come.

The ending was all you would have wanted and expected from this story.

 

The Wedding Chapel

Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  An old, forgotten chapel holds the key to love and forgiveness.

Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—building a wedding chapel for Collette Greer, the woman he fell in love with in 1949. But now a realtor wants the land the chapel sits on, and he sees no reason to hang onto the past.

Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s string of failed marriages. When she falls head-over-heels for Jack Gillingham, a top ad man, their whirlwind romance and elopement leave her with doubts. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to find the right way to show her he really cares.

When a post-mortem letter from Taylor’s Granny Peg shows up, along with an old photo, she is driven to uncover family secrets and the secret to her own happiness, starting with an assignment to photograph an unknown, obscure wedding chapel back in Heart’s Bend.

Taylor begins a mission to convince Jimmy that the chapel is worth saving—and that forgiveness and healing might happen within the chapel’s walls . . . for both of them.

Ope’s Opinion:  I really enjoy Christian Fiction and this one was above and beyond the average!  Rachel Hauck is one of the authors that I go to for a good read.  She has characters in this book that are real, with flaws and real world difficulties.  The characters don’t always handle things the best way, which feels so real.  It shows God’s forgiveness – which we all need.

This ended as you would expect, but the journey to get there was what made the read worthwhile.

Autumn Skies

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Margaret at Harper Collins

 

 

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and A December Bride (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third and final novel in the Bluebell Inn series!

When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both?

Ope’s Opinion:   This is the third of the Bluebell Inn series.  As usual Denise Hunter writes amazing characters, who are easy to care about.  At the start of the story, I was having a little bit of a struggle with Grace and Wyatt’s first hike – for me parts of it just didn’t feel natural.  

After they came home from the hike, the rest of the story and their relationship picked up and was fun to read and follow.  I always enjoy how Denise brings her characters together, how they respect each other and how the romance is slow and clean.

The end is amazing – some of which you expect and some little surprises.  Such a good read!

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In October I hope to read….

 

Publication Date:  October 20 , 2020
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and A December Bride (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third and final novel in the Bluebell Inn series!

When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both?

 

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!

You’re Gonna Love Me

Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Who knew fate could twist a tragedy into a second chance at love?

Samantha Winters lives her life the way a good accountant should—measured, deliberate, and safe. After watching her father die in a tragic skiing accident, she decided never to allow risk into her life again. But she didn’t count on falling for Nick Chastain, who embodies everything she doesn’t want in her safely constructed world.

Against Samantha’s warnings, Nick plans a dangerous kayaking trip over spring break. Furious that he’s so careless with his life, she ends their fledgling relationship with harsh words.

Two years later, Samantha is desperately in need of a change. When she learns her grandmother has had an accident and is in need of a caretaker, Samantha quickly packs her bags and heads to Thunder Creek, Idaho. But nothing could prepare her for the surprise awaiting her in her grandmother’s hospital room . . . Nick.

With the charming backdrop of small-town friends, beloved cousins, and a whole church congregation rooting for them, can they set aside the disastrous ending of their first try at love? Has Nick changed enough to meet Samantha in the middle—and can she realize that a risk in love might be worth taking?

Ope’s Opinion: This story started out really well, but after a while I was tired of the back and forth – Sam and Nick got close, Sam got scared and pulled away – they got close again, Sam got scared and pulled away – over and over again.  The first time – okay, but after a while it got old.  

I really liked Sam’s Gran and the relationship between the two of them.  Gran was a wise women, who did not interfere with Sam’s and Nick relationship, but was there for guidance.

The ending was what you expect – it was good, but rushed.

The Menu

Author: Steven Manchester
Publisher: Luna Bella Press
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Steven Manchester

Goodreads:  Blessed with a high emotional IQ, Phinn Reed enters the world with the promise of finding his soul mate. With heaven’s memories erased, his romantic quest teaches him that the heart often sees clearer than the eyes—and that not everyone has ordered the same items from The Menu. Evidence that love stories come in many different forms, The Menu is a spiritual journey involving more than just a man and a woman; it is a modern-day tale that reaches far beyond the boundaries of reason. 

Ope’s Opinion: I have been a fan of Steven Manchesters from his first book.  If you have not read his books yet, this one would be a good place to start.   If you have a church library, this book needs to be there – you may need more then one copy!

This is a story of life, love and faith, which is written in such a heart felt way that it will stick with you long after the read.  More than likely, there is someone you will want to pass this book on to.

This book is about choices and living with them – one of your choices should be to read this book!

Things I Never Told You

Author: Beth K. Vogt
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  “With tenderness and skill, Beth Vogt examines the price of secrets, the weight of tragic loss, and the soul-deep poison of things left unsaid.” –Lisa Wingate, NYT bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine–as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.

But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

Ope’s Opinion:  I think it is really 3.5 – I just don’t have a half of a chair.  If you are a Christian fiction reader, have a church library, or just love a good family story, this book is for you.  It is the first of three books about sisters.  Each sister gets her story, but no ones story is ever in a bubble, so you see all three sisters throughout the book. 

I did get a little tired of Johanna’s pushy personality and the other sisters not standing up to her, but it was also very real.  I think most of us can find ourselves in one of these sisters.  Or maybe you have a sister like one of them!  

This is a relatable story that like life isn’t always easy or pleasant.

 

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In May I hope to read….

Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Goodreads:   A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything.

Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—,the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down.

Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters.

When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.

This Bluebell Inn romance takes us to a quiet North Carolina retreat that holds more secrets than it shares.

 

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!

Lake Season

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom  and  A December Bride  (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the first novel in a brand-new series!­

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic home back into an inn.

Adam Bradford (a.k.a. bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive author with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to a North Carolina lake town, the setting of his next novel. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

When Molly finds an old letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But the guest she invites along has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

Ope’s Opinion:  Denise Hunter writes the best stories!  She weaves God into the lives of her characters.  The story is wholesome ( not steamy ), the language is creative ( not foul ), and the characters are relatable and real.  

The North Carolina setting was perfect for this story.  The perfect backdrop for an author to find his muse and fall in love.  This easy, breezy story had depth and a few twists along the way.

This is the first of a series, so I am really looking forward to the next one.  The ending was everything you would want from this romantic story.

A Promise to Remember

Author: Kathryn Cushman
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  When a car accident kills two teens from opposite sides of the tracks, the aftermath threatens to tear a community apart. On one side, Melanie Johnston – a grieving single mother – is convinced her son will be forgotten. On the other is Andie Phelps, a reserved woman who retreats even further into herself with grief.

These two sympathetic characters fight her own way through grief and pain – sometimes wisely and sometimes with choices that have the power to divide family, church, and even their small, seaside town.

Ope’s Opinion:  I decided to read the first book I put on my Goodreads shelf.  I hope to do this a few times this year, which means I will be reviewing some older books that most of you will have already read.  Hope you enjoy looking back.

The two main female characters in this book are relatable.  Their journey feels real and hard.  Their relationships with other people and God grew and changed throughout the story.  The lawyer in this had no redeeming characteristics, he was self centered and out for money.  He irritated me from the beginning to the end.  I was disappointed he did not grow in his relationship to others or to God.

The ending was what you would expect for Christian fiction.