Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Spring of Weddings by Toni Shiloh & Melissa Wardwell

Posted April 29, 2017 by meezcarrie in Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Melissa Wardwell, romance, Toni Shiloh / 12 Comments

about the book

A Proxy Wedding (Toni Shiloh)

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all, so when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he must take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved.

Will love become real at A Proxy Wedding?

Hope Beyond Savannah (Melissa Wardwell)

Lily Allman and Nikotemo (Nik) Lagatuo were the poster children for the term “opposites attract.” He was an evangelist and CEO for a non-profit from Samoa who grew up in a large loving family. She was a blond bombshell with a funky style and no family to call her own. Two of the most unlikely people meet in the most unlikely of places, but God had a plan when He brought them together. They never let their differences deter them from the love they had for each other, but when Nik’s mother comes to the States for the wedding, the idea of wedded bliss is shaken. Can prejudices be overlooked, insecurities overcome, and hope for a better future be restored so that these two can have all that was promised?

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GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Celebrate Lit Publishing
RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2017
PAGES: 156

“What would it be like to marry him for real?”

“A Proxy Wedding” by Toni Shiloh is about two people asked to stand in as proxies for their best friends who are in the military (separate bases) and want to get married. It’s not really a marriage of convenience tale but it has a similar feel – so of course I loved it! Carly and Damien are polar opposites, yet deep inside they’re really a lot alike. Watching them fall in love is romantic and fun (though not without its speed-bumps) and I appreciated the epilogue at the end which kept the story from being too “instalove”.

“In your arms I feel safe, like I found home.”

“Hope Beyond Savannah” by Melissa Wardwell revolves around a biracial relationship between a Samoan man and an American woman. They are already in a serious relationship, so this novella isn’t about their romance as much as it is about their love for each other in the face of adversity. Adversity that comes in the form of a less-than-welcoming mother-in-law (who needed a good pursewhomping). Now, don’t get me wrong – it IS a romantic story – lots of kisses and sweet moments. But the focus is on how they navigate life after they’ve fallen in love. This is a heartwarming novella with a message that everyone needs to hear.

Bottom Line: Two sweet stories of love and romance – and of course weddings! Both novellas have unique premises and are well-written and engaging. Their characters are polar opposites, differences which do cause some bumps along the way, but the power of love – and forgiveness – goes a long way.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Sweet collection!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

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Other Books by Toni Shiloh


A Proxy Wedding

By Toni Shiloh

Spring is here! I love it because I always think of new beginnings as the flowers bud and then bloom. The trials and tribulation of the winter season are no longer on my mind. My hope that the winter season would not linger begins to become visible as new life takes shape on the bare trees. The seeds I planted in faith of God’s faithfulness sprout up in hope and promise.

When I sat down to write A Proxy Wedding, I had to imagine spring time, because the dreary, overcast skies outside my window were a constant reminder that I was in a season of sickness. One person would get sick, then the next, and the next. By the time the last person got sick, the round would start over. Visits to the doctor were made. Miserable kids were constantly whining in their discomfort.

It. Was. Rough.

It made perfect sense for me to throw my characters into a new situation. One that would make the stretch, take them out their comfort zone, and search for God’s goodness. I wanted to give them a hint of goodness and throw in a trial or two so they could make the decision that sometimes, risk is worth it. Just as we all react differently to new situations, so did my characters.

Carly was intent on making lemonade from her lemons. She tries to get the handsome broker, Damien, to see the importance of smelling roses and lingering over new adventures. Of course, Damien wasn’t partial to the frivolity. He’s so intent on becoming a success that he had no time to slow down.

In order for them to see God’s handiwork in their lives, I had to remind them that they were not products of their past. That in God, they’re a new creation with new opportunities available to them.

I hope you enjoy A Proxy Wedding. May you think of the Father’s love as you take time to stop and smell the roses.

Melissa Wardwell was born and raised in a small mid-Michigan community living there still with her Husband and three children. She enjoys taking pictures, reading, and leisurely rides with her husband on their motorcycle. All her stories revolve around women who are mothers. Single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.

Her hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life.

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Other Books by Melissa Wardwell


Hope Beyond Savannah

By Melissa Wardwell

I hope you enjoy this story of love, acceptance and new beginnings. It was a joy to write because there is much more to it than the hope of marriage. It is about the blending of two families who are from two completely different cultures. Researching the island traditions, beliefs, and customs was not only fun, but enlightening. Being able to return to my background in bridal as well as the most beautiful city in the United States was just an added bonus.

With Nik and his family being from another country, I gave you a glossary of words and phrases used so you knew what was being said. I found the language to be rather beautiful and to not include it would take away from who these people are. I also give a small explanation as to what Rock-a- billy is. Lily is a funky chick who dresses in a fun and exciting way. When I saw this couple in my head, I knew it would be quite the uncommon match. As you will soon see, they fit together quite nicely.

My point in using a bi-racial couple for this story was based on what we have been seeing in the news lately. It is unlike anything I have ever done but after talking to friends in similar relationships, I knew I had to step out on this limb. I think it is time we begin to look at people through the eyes of God and not man, then we would see how beautiful we all are. It doesn’t matter what color our skin is or what our past contains, we are all God’s creation and we are beautifully and wonderfully made.

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

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This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit. Follow along with the blog tour for a list of tour stops & more chances to win!


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12 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Spring of Weddings by Toni Shiloh & Melissa Wardwell

  1. Kay Garrett

    Both stories sound like they make up an awesome book. Loving the write ups and appreciate Carrie’s review. Thanks for the chance to win A Spring of Weddings Celebration Tour kindle!

  2. Debbie Clatterbuck

    Both stories sound interesting. Hope to read them soon. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.

  3. Melissa Wardwell

    Thank you for taking the time to read and review this book. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

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