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.

Sweet Caroline

Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Caroline serves others with little time to enjoy the sweeter parts of life. Until her old boyfriend returns to town–and she’s given a second chance at first love.

Life hasn’t always been so sweet for Caroline Sweeny.

She’s sacrifice her desires for others–unlike her mother who abandoned their family years ago. But when a friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Spain, Caroline says “yes” to a new destiny.

But before she can pack her bags, Caroline suddenly finds herself the new owner of the run-down Frogmore Café–and forced to choose between her friends and her future.

Then her first love, Mitch O’Neal, returns home and encourages her to seek God’s desires for her future. With his help, she may just discover the true sweet life.

Ope’s Opinion:  I went to my bookshelf and looked for a book that had been put there a long time ago.  This was one of them.  It is a very sweet, christian fiction.  It is the first of a series.   If you like the first one, you will like the whole series.

The characters have flaws, which makes it easy to relate to them.  Caroline was wishy washy.  She had trouble making decisions.  She wanted to please everyone.  A few times I did feel like it was a bit preachy.

The ending was left open because there are two more books to follow.

A March Bride

Author:  Rachel Hauck                                        march bride
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction 
Source: Netgalley 

Goodreads:   Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.
Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, her heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.
Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own — right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is very much a cinderella, princess story.  It was a very fast, easy read. It was a sweet story.  There was a small twist before the expected ending.

This was a faith based book, which I enjoy.  At times, I did feel I was being lectured to about faith, instead of persuaded by their faith. 

I am looking forward to the rest of “A Year of Weddings”.

Rating:  Three Chairs – I like the book enough to suggest it to a friend or two.
3 chairs

Lambert’s Code

Author:  Rachel Hauck                                  lamberts code
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Pages: 173
Genre:  Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  After three years of medical treatment, Julie Lambert faces the irrefutable truth: She will never have children. Devastated, lost, and alone, she buries her pain by making several life decisions that threaten her relationship with her husband, Ethan. Ethan Lambert can’t imagine a life without Julie. Yet, his marriage is failing and he doesn’t know how to save it. Urged by his grandpa, Ethan launches a journey to understand the Lambert Family Code – submit one to another. Can Ethan and Julie overcome the loss of their dream and rediscover their love for each other? Will they learn to live by Lambert’s Code? Fall in love with this inspiring love story and our entire collection of Christian romance novels from Heartsong Presents!

Ope’s Opinion:  If you enjoy Christian Fiction you will like this book.  The story is very God centered. Not preachy at all.  This is one of the first books Rachel Hauck wrote.  Her newer books are still God centered, but not as blunt.

This book has wonderful characters with flaws.  It was great to read about a marriage as a work in progress.  Ethan and Julie have difficulties to overcome and work out.  They weren’t always being mature and communicative.  This is so real and awesome to read about.  It was nice to see the people who surrounded Ethan and Julie wanted their marriage to succeed.  So many books are written as though a marriage is disposable.

This book is very uplifting and encouraging.  I will be reading more of Rachel Hauck.

Rating:  Three Chairs – I like the book enough to to suggest it to a friend or two.
3 chairs