True to You by Becky Wade

Becky Wade pens contemporary Christian romance books that touch the hearts of her readers.  I have loved every single one of her stories.  I learn along with her characters to trust God more in a variety of areas of life … Continue reading

To Have and to Hold

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To Have and to Hold

By Betsy St. Amant, Katie Ganshert and Becky Wade

To Have and to Hold was a joy to read.  Three sweet stories of finding love while planning (or spying on) a wedding.  The heroines were easy to identify with.  The men were swoon worthy (even the “other” guys in each story).  And I enjoyed the anticipation of how each author would bring about the happily-ever-after.  Speaking of authors, I read this book because I absolutely LOVE everything Becky Wade writes!  Besty St. Amant and Katie Ganshert were new to me though.  I love finding new authors and I think novellas are a great way to “meet” them.

Betsy St. Amant’s story, Love Takes the Cake was first up.  With a bakery and a friend’s wedding as a backdrop, how could you not be enchanted?  Charlotte tugged at my heart with her sweet countenance and great love for her daughter.  I love Will’s loyalty to his friend and how God uses a scary situation to help him realize the truth.  This story was a pleasure to read.   I’m looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Next up was The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert.  I must admit, I was a bit disappointed, after reading the first paragraph, to realize this story was written in first person narrative.  I generally struggle to engage in first person stories, so I tend to avoid them.  This is a short story, written by a writer friend of Becky Wade AND it has a flower shop in a small town as the setting, I decided I NEEDED to read it.  I am SO glad that I did.  It was a delightful story that gripped me from the get-go.  I was expecting to have to push my way through, but surprisingly found myself pulled along instead.  I couldn’t read it fast enough.  Amelia’s fun and quirky personality was so much fun to read and the email exchanges that launched the events of the story were perfect.  I was pleasantly surprised to get to the end and realize through most of the story I’d forgotten that I was reading first person narrative AND I didn’t want it to end!  Well done Katie Ganshert!  I loved it!!

Finally, the last story in this collection, Love in the Details by Becky Wade.  I knew I would love this story before I ever started reading it because, as I said above, I LOVE everything Becky Wade writes.  Josh and Holly’s story grips you by the heart from the very opening lines.  I love the way this story shows that God is in control always, in the good times and in the hard times.  I love that this story is real-to-life, following God isn’t easy.  He is there to walk with us through the difficult things, and we can have a peace that we are following His guidance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t still be heartbreaking and painful, even in years to come.  I loved to see how this story was brought full circle.  I loved Josh’s devoition and Holly’s generous spirit.  Spring can’t get here soon enough for me!  I’m ready to read the new Becky Wade novel now!!

To sum it up, this is a great collection to purchase.  Whether you know and love all three authors or are going to be meeting them for the first time, you won’t be disappointed.  The stories are beautifully written and leave you wanting more.  Although I read this book via e-reader, it will definitely be one I’ll purchase in hard copy for my bookshelf!

That Certain Summer By Irene Hannon

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Irene Hannon is a fabulous author!  I have absolutely loved every book I’ve read by her and I am continually looking for the next one.  With that said, That Certain Summer was not at the top of my to-be-read stack.  I had no doubt that it would be a good book, but I was hesitant since the other books I’ve read of  hers have all been suspense AND I had other books on my list that I really wanted to read.  I ended up with That Certain Summer almost by chance.  I had a coupon expiring that day and the book I went to the bookstore looking for was not in stock.

When I picked up the book to begin reading it (after having it home for a week or so), I noticed that this story would be told from four different perspectives.  Sometimes that can be confusing, but Irene did an amazing job of building her characters and interweaving the story line in a way that leaves you feeling as if you’re right there with them and I had no trouble at all following each of them.

Irene tackled multiple important and difficult issues in this book from divorce to abortion, and becoming disabled to death.  She seamlessly interweaves the issues each character is experiencing with the love, hope, forgiveness and grace we can find through Christ.  And she gives us amazing examples of how we ought to respond and react as Christians in the midst of these types of scenarios.

I highly recommend this book and I know I won’t hesitate in the least to pick up her next contemporary novel.  For now, I’m waiting in anticipation for Trapped, the second book in her Private Justice series that expected out next month!