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!