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.
Sissy: The Wedding Chapel was one of those books that was so beautiful to read. You hear books described all the time as “heartwarming”. Well, some of them are and some I’d describe more as “cheesy” or “cute” but this one was genuinely heartwarming. It made me feel so happy and good right down to my bones. Plus, any story that has hidden secrets and things that have to be figured out and revealed appeals to me. Didn’t you feel the same way, Bubby?
Bubby: Absolutely. There were certainly several parts where I didn’t feel the heartwarming-ness, I must admit, but that was only because I wasn’t supposed to in those bits. You can’t have a great plot without drama and tension, two (of the many) things that Rachel Hauck’s writing excels at. I think that it’s difficult to write characters like Taylor’s grandmother Peg. Taylor loves her dearly even though she is “difficult” (just like I love Sissy, even when she’s a bit of a handful) but Taylor doesn’t know what has happened in the past. Let’s just say that I wanted to be able to reach through the screen of my Kindle and strangle Peg with my bare hands. She is quite the piece of work.
Sissy: I am never a handful. Possibly a pinky full on the rarest of occasions. I agree with you about Peg, though; even the strangling bits. I also had trouble with Jake at times. It reminded me of those people that we love who behave badly or do stupid things and it’s so frustrating because we can’t do anything about it.
Bubby: What? We have people like that? Impossible.
Sissy: As is the case in The Wedding Chapel, there are always people in one’s life who could be doing so much better if they just changed one little thing, but they can’t see it. And you can’t make them see it. Fortunately, as with Jake and Taylor, Colette and Jimmy, and also Grandma Peg and Taylor’s dad, with the passage of time things often turn out ok. Too bad real life doesn’t pass by that fast, because it makes me crazy waiting for things to change.
Bubby: Oh, is that what it is? I’ve been wondering for years what exactly it is that is to blame for your craziness…
Sissy: And who do you think I’m waiting for to change?
Bubby: Must be your husband. I’m perfect. Let’s talk about the namesake building; the wedding chapel itself. Now I know that my man loves me with his whole soul but I can’t see him building a chapel for me as a token of his love. Buying me a mountain bike, yes. But seriously, who does that? And the fact that he infused every stone in the place with so much love that his heartbeat (and God’s, of course) literally pulsed in the walls? Wow.
Sissy: It was indeed such a beautiful and romantic thing to do. All the subsequent misunderstandings and secrets and wasted time made me want to fling myself on the floor in a fit of exasperation, but hey. It sure makes a good novel. The Wedding Chapel is truly a fabulously satisfying read and I’ll say it again: heartwarming. The heartwarming-est of heartwarmings. Top that, Bubby!
Bubby: I’m not even going to try. You’re just too amazing, Sissy. I give up now. I’ll even go one step further and agree with everything you’ve just said. Yep. Loved it. Great read. I want a sequel. Hooray!
Click HERE to buy The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck