December 21, 2015

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck {Book Review}

The Wedding Chapel is the newest romance from the USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, Rachel Hauck. It's a story of an old, forgotten chapel that just might hold the key to love and forgiveness. I was tickled that it was one of the books sent as part of my November reading package from The Fiction Guild!

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For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty...

The Wedding Chapel
by Rachel Hauck is a mix of the past and present exploring the lives of two different couples who's lives are about to collide! We get to visit the past with Jimmy and Collette in Heart's Bend, Tennessee. Jimmy builds the chapel by hand to show his love for Collette. Collette is a WW2 teenage orphan who has come to America to live with her aunt, along with her overbearing manipulative sister. Jimmy and Collette fall in love and make forever promises to each other until a big misunderstanding and family secret forces them apart, never to meet again.

Jump ahead to the modern day where we meet Taylor and Jack. Taylor is a professional photographer who was swept off her feet by Jack, and is now trying to find normal after a whirlwind courtship and marriage. Jack is a workaholic, determined to leave his troubled past behind him...but it's jeopardizing his relationship with Taylor.  Now there are second guesses as they each battle inner demons struggling to choke their love.

When Taylor takes a photography assignment back in her hometown of Heart's Bend, she's suddenly spending time with her great-aunt Collette, a newly retired world famous soap opera star, who has come back to Heart's Bend for her own reasons. When all the journey's and stories collide at the Wedding Chapel and deep family secrets are revealed, second chances at love and forgiveness begin.

What Are My Thoughts?

I think the story was pretty well written. It was blending of three plots into one story, which is no easy feet! Thankfully, none of the characters get lost in it, though I think that more time should have been spent on Jack, Taylor's husband. He's the only one that really didn't get flushed out enough for me. Out of all the characters I liked faithful Jimmy the most. I honestly liked Collette the least...but that might be because not enough time was spent talking about the period of her life after she left Heart's Bend.

I think that some parts seemed rushed at times, as we tried to hurry to the climax. There are mentions of Taylor and Jack as teenagers back in Heart's Bend, but it's all written in memories of the characters. So I felt a little unsure as to what their relationship was back then--and how it changed when they got married and dated. When the story started for Taylor and Jack, I kind of felt like I was missing some pages---I think their backstory, needed to be talked about a little earlier.

I give the book 3 1/2 stars because while it was interesting, I was able to put it down several times and walk away from it. I also think that the story was a bit disjointed as the author tried to piece the 3 plots together--which she did, but I felt it could have been done a bit more smoothly in parts. I still enjoyed the story, but felt it was just average.

by Rachel Hauck
Available in Paperback and Kindle

I have read books by Rachel Hauck before, including her best selling The Wedding Dress. I prefer her Royal Wedding series, of which a couple characters are mentioned in The Wedding Chapel which was fun.

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