The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck (review by Kristi)

The Wedding Chapel

From 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.

My review: This book intrigued me from the very beginning. I do love a book full of secrets and scandal. I was also intrigued by the way this story was told. Two different stories that are intertwined and told in different decades proved for some very good reading.

There are four main characters in this book: Jimmy and Collette, whose story takes place in 40’s and 50’s, and Taylor and Jack, whose story takes place in the current day. I enjoyed reading about the Taylor/Jack marriage. There was a tension between the two that leaped off the page. Jimmy’s character was ok, but nothing could compare to Collette. Her character was my favorite. She was easy to relate to. I also liked her spunk.

The author did a great job of describing the scenes in this book. Whether in Manhattan or Heart’s Bend, 1940’s or today, the story is full of detail. The wedding chapel scenes were so well described that I felt as if I was there.

The telling of a love story sixty-four years in the making couldn’t be easy to write. The author was consistent with the characters throughout the book. The story had several twists and turns and at one point I had an “aha” moment where I thought I had everything figured out. I love it when this happens and I can read on and see if I was right.

This was my first book by this author and I purchased more of her books before I had finished this one. She has a wonderful writing style that pulls you into the story and keeps you there until the last word is read. Fans of romance and love stories that span decades are sure to love this book.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.



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