January 9, 2017

Fresh from the Bookshelf: The Wedding Shop and A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck {Book Review}

Rachel Hauck is a rising star in the inspirational romance genre with her delightful books usually centered around weddings! In fact, both of her top selling series are wedding themed! She has released two new books in 2016 that go with two of her most beloved series. The Wedding Shop is part three of her The Wedding Dress/Heart's Bend series, and A Royal Christmas Wedding is a novella that goes with her The Royal Wedding Series. I received both of these books from The Fiction Guild to review, and because each of these books are wedding oriented, and were both released in 2016, I decided to combine them for a Rachel Hauck Romance Book Review!

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About A Royal Christmas Wedding

A Royal Christmas Wedding is a novella that fills in some pieces from previous novels. You will get to meet Avery Truitt, little sister to Susanna, lead character in the first book of the series Once Upon a Prince. Her love life was left in shambles the last time we saw her, when things with Prince Colin ended. We visit her again now 5 years later and see where she has ended up. Turns out she never has gotten over Prince Colin, no matter how hard she's tried. On the brink of accepting a college volleyball coaching position, she is convinced to travel to Colin's hometown, Cathedral City for the Christmas Season to visit her sister, now the Queen. Things get exciting when it appears that Colin (single yet in a kind of sorta relationship) has mysteriously rung the ancient Pembroke Chapel Bell--something part of a centuries old tradition declaring that the ringer will be married by Christmas morning to the woman of his dreams...so who did he ring it for? Could he have rung it for Avery even after these 5 years of being apart?

About The Wedding Shop

This is the third installment in the Heart's Bend series, following The Wedding Dress and The Wedding Chapel. Just like the previous two books, The Wedding Shop jumps between time eras as it explores the early 1930's and the original shop owner Cora Scott's life, and the present day story of Air Force Captain Haley Morgan who returns home to Heart's Bend after finishing her military service--with the goal to reopen the romantic but abandoned wedding shop. The stories of both Cora and Haley intertwine through time in the shadow of the much loved wedding shop. Both Cora and Haley discover the power of their own dreams, and the magic that comes from every day love.

My Thoughts About the Books

I have had the pleasure of being able to read all of the books in the Heart's Bend series. Each of them touches on the other in some way, and The Wedding Shop is no different--as it brings in some beloved characters from The Wedding Dress story. I really like how the author weaves the original love story in with the present day one, and then ties it all together at the end. How did it compare to the other two books? [You can read my review of The Wedding Chapel that I shared in 2015] Well I think I liked it much better than The Wedding Chapel (3.5★), but not quite as much as the first in the series The Wedding Dress. The plot was well thought out and though I did want to smack Cora a time or two, I think it all flowed very well and things were tied up nicely at the end.

The Wedding Shop earns 4★
Now, A Royal Christmas Wedding is a novella, making it shorter than the other books in the series. It did move faster than I usually like--almost TOO fast in parts. But being that it WAS a novella, this tends to be forgivable. Another reason that the faster speed is acceptable--this is a PICKING UP of a love story, so the novella assumes that the reader should already pretty much know the characters. You definitely could not read this book without having read Once Upon a Prince, but I don't think it was ever meant to stand on its own in the series. Like I said--it's more of a tying up some lose ends sort of book. AND, I can't forget that this IS a Christmas season book--and since I don't celebrate or worship Christmas, I just can't give Christmas setting books as high of a rating as I would non-holiday themed books, because descriptions of Christmas scenes cause me to flip pages until it's done. If you LOVE Christmas, than I'm sure you would rate it higher!

A Royal Christmas Wedding earns 3★
I hope you enjoyed this review of two of the newest books from Rachel Hauck. She's earned her title as best-selling author for a reason, and I hope you will take a chance on one of her books the next time you visit the library! And keep your eyes open for her new novel The Writing Desk, coming out July 2017!

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