Book Review: Carolina Connections by Regina Rudd Merrick

Posted March 5, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Christian, contemporary, Regina R Merrick, romance / 6 Comments


Carolina Connections book review

Carolina Connections by Regina Rudd MerrickCAROLINA CONNECTIONS by Regina Rudd Merrick
SERIES:
A Southern Breeze #4

GENRE: Contemporary Romance Novellas (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press
RELEASE DATE: January 9, 2024
PAGES: 218

Enjoy two novellas connected to Regina Rudd Merrick’s A Southern Breeze series in one convenient volume. Both of these stories were previously included in multi-author collections: “Pawleys Aisle” (Coastal Promises) and “Mr. Sandman” (Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams). Now you can complete your collection of A Southern Breeze stories with this novella duo, Carolina Connections.

Pawleys Aisle Leaving a lucrative position in the banking world for the creative world of weddings, Chelsea Prince finds the perfect venue, Pawleys Island Chapel, next door to the perfect walled garden. Her elderly neighbor and partner-in-planning have an agreement, but when the unexpected happens, she has to deal with the cranky grandson who wants to be left alone to write the next great American novel. Since Chelsea has sworn off men, it shouldn’t be a problem to ignore him and go on her way hosting weddings in the chapel. But when Marc McCallum offers up a compromise, she wonders if maybe there is one man out there that can be trusted.

Mr. Sandman Events manager Taylor Fordham’s happily-ever-after was snatched from her, and she’s saying no to romance and Christmas. When she meets two new friends—the cute new chef at Pilot Oaks and a contributor on a sci-fi fan fiction website who enjoys debate—her resolve begins to waver. Just when she thinks she can loosen her grip on thoughts of love, a crisis pulls her back. There’s no way she’s going to risk her heart again.

 

Other Books In This Series

   


Regina Rudd Merrick’s A Southern Breeze series has been on my TBR list for much too long but, even though I haven’t read the main novels yet, I couldn’t resist this quick-read novella duo. And now I’m even more eager to go back and start from the beginning. Not because I felt lost while reading Carolina Connections – I enjoyed these novellas just fine as standalones – but because now that I’ve met the series’ main characters (who pop in and out of these novellas as supporting players) I can’t wait to discover their stories too!

In “Pawleys Aisle” we meet Chelsea, an engaging heroine who is redefining herself by venturing into the wedding business with a quaint coastal chapel that has the benefit of being located next to the perfect reception venue – a gorgeous walled garden – and the lovely friend who owns it. At least, until the friend’s grumpy grandson Marc vetoes their plans so he can write his next novel in peace. If you’re thinking that sounds like the beginning of a delightful romance, you’d be right! I enjoyed the friendship that builds between Marc and Chelsea, in spite of their differences, and while their romantic relationship does move quickly once it gets going I thought it made sense with their characters and the story. There are plenty of sweet and witty moments with Chelsea’s family and friends, and I loved the idea of the setting as well as what a truly good guy Marc turns out to be. This story would make a great Hallmarkish movie too!

My favorite story in this duo, though, is “Mr. Sandman” which quickly charmed me with its “You’ve Got Mail” vibes, fanfiction subplot, and secondary romance thread. Ian’s grandfather is a hoot and I laughed out loud at several scenes that – to be honest – he handily steals. As for Ian himself, I liked him right away and the more I got to know him the more I liked him and related to him. The author gave him lots of great layers and it’s no wonder that Taylor fell so easily for him. Taylor is easy to love as well, her compelling backstory and engaging personality ensuring that readers will be invested in how things turn out for her. I especially connected with her over snow and its spiritual significance to her. The snippets of fanfiction between chapters were also fun to read, and I enjoyed seeing characters again that I met in the previous novella. And bless their hearts – someone prescribe a month of sleep for Taylor and Ian both haha! – I loved how the title fit with the plot.

Bottom Line: Carolina Connections by Regina Rudd Merrick gives readers a lovely taste of her series, A Southern Breeze, with two entertaining stories and sweet-and-swoony romances. The coastal South Carolina setting fits in well with the themes and characters, and both novellas work perfectly well as standalones while still whetting your appetite for the rest of the series. I so enjoyed meeting Chelsea & Marc in “Pawleys Aisle” and Taylor & Ian in “Mr. Sandman” as well as the supporting characters who add lots of heart. If you’d like to escape to the beach for a couple of hours with stories that will make you smile, then Carolina Connections is a great reading choice!

(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I purchased for my collection. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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Regina Rudd Merrick

Regina Rudd Merrick is a multi-published author, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, lover of all things fun, beachy, and chocolate, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Married to her husband of 40 years, she is the mother of two grown daughters and lives in the small town of Marion, KY. Connect with Regina on Facebook, Instagram, or her website at reginaruddmerrick.com .

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What about you? What makes you want to read Carolina Connections by Regina Rudd Merrick?

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