“The Wedding Chapel” by Rachel Hauck
Review copy source: Litfuse and Fiction Guild
My rating: 4 out 5 Stars
About the Book:
A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long-awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.
For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom he lost so many years ago. The chapel is a sanctuary for his memories, a monument to true love, and a testament to his survival of the deepest pain and loss.
Photographer Taylor Branson left her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, to make a new life for herself in New York. She had lots to run away from, not least of all a family history of broken promises and broken dreams. Love catches Taylor off guard when she falls for Jack Forester, a successful advertising executive, and their whirlwind romance leads to an elopement—then to second guesses. Jack, in spite of his very real love for Taylor, is battling his own demons and struggles to show her his true self and the depths of his love for her.
Taking a photography assignment in Heart’s Bend, Taylor is thrown back into a past of family secrets buried deep beneath the sands of time. When Taylor and Coach’s journeys collide, they each rediscover the heartbeat of their own dreams as they learn that the love they long to hold is well worth the wait.
This was certainly a cute read. I really enjoyed it. :) Normally I don’t pick up too many contemporary books, but having read one of Rachel Hauck’s other books and enjoying it, I wasn’t hesitant to try another, and I’m glad I did! This one had pieces of the story that were set in the late 40’s/early 50’s, and it was all so delightfully depicted.
The only thing I didn’t care for and would warn others about is the amount of ‘intimate’ moments there were. I don’t think they were necessary at all, at least in any detail.
The faith strand was very powerful at the end, and had me a tiny bit water-eyed I admit. :) Though I didn’t “agree” that once you’ve heard God’s heart, it stops and becomes solely part of walking by faith. Yes, we are definitely to walk by faith (amen to that), but we can also hear the heart of God no matter what.
The characters were very real – their flaws and all. I enjoyed the journeys each went on within themselves. Not sure I could pick a favourite…Jimmy and Collette in their teen years especially, and I really enjoyed Taylor’s character. And Jack. At the first introduction of him, I wasn’t sure, but as we got to read from his point of view, my heart ached for him.
I really like Rachel Hauck’s writing – oh! And there was a mention of one of her previous books that I thought was cute. :)
All in all, I found this to be quite an enjoyable book! Recommended for ages 18+
I received a complimentary copy from the publishers/Litfuse/FictionGuild in exchange for my honest review which I have given.