Is sixty years too long to wait for love? Two stories of romance, one in 1949 and one in the modern day, meet in Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Chapel. When Taylor Branson takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time. When Taylor’s journey intersects with Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.
The Wedding Chapel entranced me from the very beginning. The dual timeline added an element of intrigue that kept me turning the pages and inhaling the words as quickly as possible. I especially loved the fact that readers get to see the story from various perspectives as the focus alternates between the four main characters. To me, this kept the plot flowing and the emotional investment strong.
As always, Rachel Hauck writes with grace and heart, her words flowing masterfully across the pages. The vivid characters felt like real people, and I was sad to say goodbye to them when the story concluded. I could have easily set up camp there in Heart’s Bend for quite some time, and that’s in large part a result of Hauck’s talent for descriptive phrasing and depth. The town, the plot and the people wrapped around me like a hand-stitched quilt and refused to let go.
A fellow reviewer mentioned that she felt sin was “excused, justified, and even glorified” in The Wedding Chapel but I personally saw none of that here. What I saw was a family torn apart and devastated by sin. I saw broken hearts and wasted lives and needless pain. One small decision that could have been justified as only affecting two people rippled out and tangled countless people in its destruction. Some innocent. Some not so innocent.
But, take heart, dear readers! Tucked away between the family history mystery and the wedding chapel is the even more important theme of love. Not just romance. But true love, the kind that lasts for sixty years even when rejected time and time again. The kind that sticks it out when the marriage falters or veers off course. The kind of love that confronts painful secrets and difficult truth and still forgives. The kind of love that accepts the abandoned, the orphaned, the hard-to-love and models the Divine picture of adoption – without manipulation or agenda. In today’s world, this reminder is all the more important and vital, and Rachel Hauck paints it beautifully.
Bottom Line: I could not help but think as I read The Wedding Chapel that it would make the perfect book club read – or a Hallmark movie. It has all the right elements: emotional tug, compelling characters, an enduring story, and romance (of course). I would easily recommend it to fans of Kate Morton, Katie Ganshert, Susan Meissner or any of Hauck’s previous novels, for that matter. This is a wonderfully uplifting and incredibly engrossing story that will remind you of the power of secrets and restoration … and how the Truth (and the love of a Father) will set you free.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
Join Rachel in celebrating the release of The Wedding Chapel by entering to win a copy and a $100 cash card—perfect for finishing up your Christmas gift shopping!
- A copy of The Wedding Chapel
- A $100 cash card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 17th. The winner will be announced December 18th on Rachel’s blog.
Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as “The Wedding Dress,” “Love Starts with Elle,” and “Once Upon A Prince.” She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, “Softly and Tenderly,” one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.
Find out more about Rachel at http://www.rachelhauck.com/