Monday, December 21, 2015

A Season To Wed {Novella Review}

A Season to Wed: Three Winter Love Stories
A Season to Wed by
Rachel Hauck, Cindy Kirk and Cheryl Watt
Publisher: Zondervan
Publishing Date: November 3, 2015

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.
Ten years after what she thought was her almost-wedding, Hope Prentiss discovers that the ceremony counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. After spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce . . . or a real wedding of her own.

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
Revealing the beauty in other women might be Ginger Winters’s specialty—but it will take an unexpected kind of love to help Ginger see the beauty in herself.
Ginger Winters will be the “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.
But when high-school crush Tom Wells shows up looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her from love once again . . . despite Tom’s best efforts.

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt
Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it's served up on a silver platter?
Meadow Larson is having the mother of all Mondays when her roof caves in during a blizzard, right before the most important wedding contract of her career.
Renovation contractor Colin McGrath offers to fix Meadow’s roof, even though he knows he is the last person she would accept help from.
But the more Meadow gets to know the new Colin, the more she realizes God may have something more permanent in store than a new catering kitchen.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy today

My Thoughts: 
Three romance novellas featuring winter and Christmas themes? Count me in! Zondervan has done a fantastic job nabbing great romance authors for their Year of Weddings 2 collection. Here are my brief thoughts on each novella story.

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk
Hope's high school flame is back in town and they are both reeling with the revelation that their adorable HS 'elopement' could very well be real. Is a quickie divorce on the horizon, or are the two willing to give love a chance?

Sadly, oddly?, the thing that sticks out to me the most about this story was the 'private' moment Hope and John share almost immediately after discovering they are legally married. Don't get me wrong, nothing is graphic here! And I am not shocked by wedded bliss (this was so tastefully done). Rather, I think I found it shocking for a Zondervan novel because the two hadn't seen each other in ten years, barely know each other any more and have only just discovered they were married. I feel they probably would have made the same decision even if they weren't married. I guess the whole thing just stuck out as weird to me. STILL: an adorable story of redemption!

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
Ah. A novella work of art. I love when an author can make a short story feel like a fully fleshed out romance. Ginger works as a beautician, making other women feel beautiful when she herself is physically scarred. Now her whole life, her perception of herself and others, is about to change now that Tom Wells has moved back into town.

The romance was slow, relaxed not even the main focus of the story. Instead, I felt the Lord's healing process, for both of them, was the main story. There is a broken past between them and insecurities blocking their hearts. Hauck weaves this all together and then resolves it beautifully. Adorable. Romantic. A fantastic winter romance.

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt
This one starts off an an awkward foot as Colin's character and necessary history is hashed out like a checklist on the front lawn with Flora, Meadow's sister. But continuing onwards is a delicious reward.

Meadow is a no-nonsense kind of gal firmly set against Colin and his bullying past. Colin is moving back to town a changed man and perhaps overly eager to prove himself to Meadow. The characters have some flaws (I thought perhaps Meadow's dramatic childhood should have played a larger part than being shunned by her high school peers) and some of the timeline/setting changes seemed fuddled, HOWEVER: I still found the couple adorable, fun, and a good match. The story progressed well and held all the delicious romance a Year of Weddings winter novella needs.
Considering all three novellas in one book, I think I can confidently rate 'A Season to Wed' with four stars. If you are looking for some romance novellas to pass the bleak, cold winter days, 'A Season to Wed' will warm your heart right up.

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