Thursday, November 12, 2020

Review: The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 384
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

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.

Kritters Thoughts:  A current storyline and one from the past intersect from the very beginning and center around an old wedding chapel that was built for a specific wedding that never happened and has never been used.  Jimmy Westbrook built this chapel for one bride in mind and when that didn't work out for many reasons it sat empty.  Taylor Branson who has long family connections to the small town where this chapel was built is called back to this small town to photograph the chapel for a magazine and as she is trying to build her portfolio she takes the job while in the midst of her own internal demons are brewing.    

This book had quite the cast of characters and I would suggest making a few notes at the beginning with some family trees and such to help keep them all straight!  Some of the cast is in both the present and past storylines, but there are some that are in just one or the other, so to have some notes could greatly help.  

In books with two storylines I always get nervous starting read them and hoping that I will like each one in their own right.  I did in this book, partly because they were so interconnected from the beginning.  I like when the reader knows very early on who is who and what is what and the reason as to why there would be two timelines.  There were still secrets and things to come out and be resolved, but it wasn't why these two were together in one book.  

It had been awhile from reading the first book in this series to this one and I still wonder what makes this book in a series with the first as there are no characters that overlapped or location, from what I can remember, so I am intrigued, but not a question that has to be answered.  Other than one being about a wedding dress and then about a wedding chapel, I wondered while reading this book why it was the second in a series.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
 Ebook 2020 Challenge: 45 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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