The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck (review by Kristi)

The Wedding Shop

About the book:  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.

Paperback, 384 pages                         Published August 16,2o16 by Zondervan

 

My review:  I liked the first book in this series, The Wedding Chapel, but I absolutely loved The Wedding Shop. From the cover, which is so pretty, to the last page, this dual timeline story captured my attention, kept my interest, and left me wanting more. A perfect book for readers of romance.

I love dual timeline stories when they are done right and this one is done right! The stories focus on Cora Scott and Haley Morgan. Cora’s story takes place in the 1930’s and Haley’s story takes place in the present. I thought the author did a wonderful job of going back and forth between the two main characters and their stories. It was a perfect mix of both stories and both storylines unfolded wonderfully.

I found myself drawn more to Cora’s story and loved reading about her life as the proprietress of the wedding shop. With the author’s attention to detail and descriptive writing, it was so easy to imagine the daily happenings in the shop. I could easily picture myself there with the brides and their families going through the process of finding their perfect gown. I also liked reading about Cora’s life outside the shop but got somewhat frustrated with her because she couldn’t see Rufus for what he really was. It was easy to dislike Rufus while being enchanted by Birch Good. Birch was a gentleman and true friend to Cora.

Haley’s story was interesting and while I felt a connection with her it wasn’t as strong as the one I felt with Cora. I liked the way Haley was determined to open the shop and wouldn’t let the naysayers get her down. I did enjoy reading about the restoration of the wedding shop.

Dual timeline stories always connect at some point and I wasn’t sure how this one would. I really enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t obvious and there were surprises along the way. I thought the author did a wonderful job of connecting the two storylines. Cora and Haley had similarities in their relationships with people and I liked the way the author presented these in a way that wasn’t overly obvious but something the reader discovered naturally while reading.

While this is the second book in the Heart’s Bend series, it can be read as a standalone. Two well-written romances combined into one wonderful story. This book is one for the keeper shelf.

I received a free copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the author: New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.

A RITA finalist and winner of Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues.

She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and sits on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers..

A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Urban Meyer.

An avid Diet Coke fan, she is caffeine free. Sometimes you just have to compromise.

She’s never skied or jumped out of an airplane. She leaves such hijinks to Jason Bourne.

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