A Royal Christmas Wedding

Hauck, Rachel. A Royal Christmas Wedding: The Royal Wedding Series- Book 4. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2016.

royalchristmaswedding

SUMMARY:
Volleyball champion Avery Truitt is going through a rough time. Helping her mom with the Barbeque place on the beach, having recently lost her dad, and receiving some disheartening news about her beloved sport of volleyball, Avery is also still nursing a broken heart over the Prince of Brighton Kingdom, Colin. With a sister already in Brighton Kingdom married to the king and experiencing a difficult pregnancy, Avery and her mom decide to visit for the Christmas season. With an old tradition rich in romance yet wrapped in peril, Prince Colin must decide if he could persuade Avery to meet him at the Pembroke Chapel on Christmas morning should he ring the bell, even though he broke her heart…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Loving the previous stories in the Royal Wedding Series as well as author Rachel Hauck, I knew I had to read this longer novella in the series. Visiting some of the previous characters, and of course, lots of princess glitter, it was a perfect start to the Christmas season and a good continuation of the story. With a beautiful cover, a good storyline and a bit of tradition, A Royal Christmas Wedding was well worth waiting for.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

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The Wedding Shop

Hauck, Rachel. The Wedding Shop. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2016.

theweddingshop

SUMMARY:
Having finished her time with the military, Haley Morgan returns home to Heart’s Bend, Tennessee. While pondering what direction God may want her to take, Haley visits the remains of The Wedding Shop, a former store building which she and her now deceased best friend, Tammy, pinky-swore they would reopen one day. Through perseverance, faith, confusion, promises, discovery and one very special person, Cole Danner, Haley discovers the connection and parallel lives with the former owner, Cora Scott. At the surprising intersection, Haley must make decisions regarding her future, her faith, her family and her heart…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having read the previous two novels by author Rachel Hauck, The Wedding Dress and The Wedding Chapel, as well as The Royal Wedding Series, of course, I was going to read this one. With a well written novel, including a creative storyline, a faith-filled story, clean romance, and timeless characters, I enjoyed it as much as expected. Easily read yet with a deeper message, Rachel Hauck reminds us to follow our dreams and trust in God for His will.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Wedding Shop from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Every Bride Has Her Day

Thompson, Janice. Every Bride Has Her Day: Brides With Style Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.
*everybridehasherday

SUMMARY:
Katie Fisher and Brady James are finally engaged and ready to plan their dream wedding…but…it appears it may never happen. With a full schedule, a wedding to plan, family, and friends, Katie may not be able to have her fairy-tale wedding as dreamed. With strong suggestions and even stronger opinions swirling around town about what Katie’s wedding should include, Katie soon finds herself in trouble. Laughter, romance, faith and drama complete the Brides With Style series, concluding with Every Bride Has Her Day

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Perfect for the upcoming wedding season, a beach read, or a lazy summer afternoon, Every Bride Has Her Day is perfect. Having read the previous books in this series, author Janice Thompson has become a writer I look forward to reading. Light yet full, this story shares some important messages while offering fun, faith and clean romance. I love the cover to all the books in this series as well as the cute stories found within.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Every Bride Has Her Day from Revell Publishing for my honest review

The Flower Workshop

Chezar, Ariella. The Flower Workshop. USA: Ten Speed Press Publishing. 2016.

flwoerworkshop

SUMMARY:
Beautiful ideas, gorgeous arrangements, timely presentations and easily followed directions all accompany the stunning photographs in author Ariella Chezar’s new book, The Flower Workshop. Included designs range from simple to a bit more involved, as well as cover arrangements for wreaths, displays, celebrations and tables. All uniquely patterned for full enjoyment, flowers certainly add charm, sophistication, contentment and spirit to any location adorned. Known for her flower workshops, the author provides step-by-step instructions, advice and philosophy, and various options for success, all with beauty in mind.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though by no means overly artistic, even I was able to easily and enjoyably create a masterpiece (in my mind anyway) for my front door. With years of experience in flowers, author Ariella Chezar effectively details how to design bouquets, vases, wreaths, garlands and arrangements to meet any needs and/ or grace any site. The photography only enhances a wonderful how-to book made for the novice yet embraced by the more advanced; this book is perfect as a gift or for personal use.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Flower Workshop from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

The Wedding Chapel

Hauck, Rachel. The Wedding Chapel. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
weddingchapelBuilt for a bride who never returned, the beautifully built stone chapel hides quietly in the woods. Football hall-of-famer, Coach Jimmy Westbrook, lovingly erected the chapel for the love of his life. With only memories left, both wonderful and sorrowful, Jimmy must decide if the time to move on has arrived. Taylor Branson, contemporary photographer and newlywed to Jack Forrester, struggles in her new marriage for several reasons, both current and past. As Jimmy and Taylor experience an intersection in their journeys, similarities, questions, answers, and true love await them surrounding the gracefully charming wedding chapel…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Although it took a bit for me to connect with this story, perhaps due to the preconceived notion that it may be more like Rachel Hauck’s previous fairy-tale type stories, eventually it flowed handsomely and quite delicately for me. An emotionally balanced novel, the changing of the point-of-view between the four characters, as well as the shifting of times from past to present, worked well once I grew to know the characters. Definitely a favorite author of mine, I appreciate the varied direction of her work along with the alluring cover.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Wedding Chapel from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Five Brides

Everson, Eva Marie.  Five Brides.  Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  2015.

SUMMARY:
5bridesSet in Chicago, in the early 1950’s, five strongly independent women live separate but connected lives.  On a whim one afternoon, the five roommates try on and buy a conjoined wedding dress to be worn by each on her special day.   Though each in different spots, no boyfriends for any in sight, and each with a very unique story, the wedding dress may be the item that links them together forever…

PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Such a unique yet partially true story!  Based on the experience of one of the involved brides, liberties were taken (with permission) to fictionally fill-in the story.  Though I had a bit of trouble starting the book, the pace did quicken as the pages turned.  Five women, each with a special story, were well characterized and incorporated into this novel.  Though I did have my favorite character, I was curious how the stories would intertwine, with a common ending.  Written in a circle-style manner, perhaps the author, Eva Marie Everson, would consider continuing the story with the next generation?

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Five Brides from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

Every Bride Needs A Groom

Thompson, Janice. Every Bride Needs A Groom: A Brides with Style Novel. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
everybrideHaving everything for the perfect wedding except the groom, Katie Fisher just cannot believe her luck. With the most splendid dress, fairy-tale plans, a dapper boyfriend…all she needs is the proposal. Accepting a job in another town which results in a break-up, Katie is stunned yet humiliated but not necessarily done. Collecting her prize dress from the fashionable bridal shop attended by an enticing pro-basketball player only makes the quandary more interesting…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Such a creative storyline full of humor, forgiveness, amusement and sequins, Every Bride Needs A Groom was a fun novel to read. Perfect for the upcoming wedding season, most girls love a book centered around glitter, jewels, gowns and of course, cute guys. Toss in a bouquet (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) of forgiveness, challenges, God’s timing and grace, and Janice Thompson accomplishes a wonderful new novel as the first in a new series, Brides With Style. Love the salute to Loretta Lynn as well!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Every Bride Needs A Groom from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

How to Catch a Prince

Hauck, Rachel Hayes. How to Catch a Prince: The Royal Wedding Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2015.

princeCorina Del Rey, an American-born heiress, meets the love of her life in a whirlwind romance, resulting in marriage. Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom, war-veteran turned rugby-star, has a secret he deems necessary to keep, resulting in a divorce. Forgiveness, honesty, redemption and love must all come to terms within hearts that hurt, carry guilt, and sustain secrets but still love…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As the final story to The Royal Wedding Series, I was anxious to read this book. Though different than I originally was expecting, I enjoyed it. Full of “princessy-goodness” yet deeper emotions, messages and faith, it was a wonderful ending to the series. With a message of “love well” running throughout and perhaps a bit of fairy-dust included, I loved this novel from the beautiful, sassy cover to the last word. Though book 3 in the series, previous characters were revisited but How to Catch a Prince works well as a stand alone also. Without a next book to anticipate from this series, I hope Rachel Hauck is busy working on a new series…perhaps just as sparkly?

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of How to Catch a Prince from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm

Fisher, Suzanne Woods. Christmas at Rose Hill Farm: An Amish Love Story. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
WoodsPreparing for her Amish Christmas wedding at Rose Hill Farm , Bess Riehl soon receives a surprise she wasn’t expecting…she is engaged to Amos Lapp yet may still have feelings for Billy Lapp, Amos’ cousin who left the Amish community years earlier without any explanation. When a rare rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy arrives to identify it with strong intentions to leave immediately; however, his heart may just have another purpose to pursue…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Being unfamiliar with many of the characters from the Rose Hill Farm Amish community, I was still able to follow the story quite easily. In fact, I plan on returning to Rose Hill Farm now to meet the other neighbors in the community. Well written with a few unexpected surprises yet true to the Amish storyline, I enjoyed Christmas at Rose Hill Farm, particularly at this time of year. I especially found the cover to be very appealing, reminiscent of the story found within.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Christmas at Rose Hill Farm from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

An October Bride

Ganshert, Katie. An October Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2014.

SUMMARY:
octoberSet in Mayfair, Wisconsin, during the stunning autumn weather, Emma accidentally discovers her terminally ill father’s bucket list…which includes walking Emma down the aisle. Having recently broken off her engagement, Emma sets out to find a willing groom to help her dad achieve that event…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a new author for me, I truly enjoyed Katie Ganshert’s style of writing. (The entire collection of wedding novellas has introduced to me to many new authors.) With humor, compassion, faith and reality, An October Bride was probably one of my favorite novellas yet. Of course I appreciated the setting in Wisconsin (Go Brewers) too! Cutely written yet with a deeper meaning underneath, An October Bride is perfect for A Year of Weddings Novella series. Definitely an author I will now seek out further to read; I appreciated the “wordiness” with which she claims she writes!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of An October Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*