To Have and to Hold

To Have and to HoldTo Have and to Hold by Becky Wade, Betsy St. Amant, Katie Ganshert
Series: A Year of Weddings
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Zondervan on August 30, 2016
Pages: 368
Also in this series: A May Bride, The Perfect Arrangement, Love in the Details
Also by this author: The Art of Losing Yourself, A Love Like Ours, The Perfect Arrangement, Love in the Details, Life After

 

Publisher’s Summary:

Love Takes the Cake by Betsy St. Amant
Charlotte Cantrell is always the baker; never the bride. When Will, a regular at Charlotte’s bakery, catches her attention, she can only hope that he is the reliable man this single mother has always hoped to find. The problem is that he’s regularly stopping in to buy cookies for another girl. But when Charlotte is hired to bake a host of wedding goodies for a difficult bride and finds out Will is the best man, she has the perfect opportunity to get to know him better—and find out how serious Will is about this other girl in his life.

The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert
Amelia Woods is a small-town wallflower and the proud owner of Forget-Me-Nots, a quaint flower shop. Despite her success in business, her love life has always been a bit lackluster. Until she spies on her ex-boyfriend’s wedding and ends up in an embarrassing fender-bender with handsome wedding guest, Nate Gallagher.

Meanwhile, Amelia’s younger brother, William, has proposed to his girlfriend. Amelia would be excited except she has evidence that the fiancée is not who she says she is. It seems Nate is the only one available for any advice-giving, and he’s good at it—and pretty fun to talk to, too.

As Amelia works to craft the perfect flower arrangements for other people—including a ninety-year-old “fairy godmother” named George—she begins to wonder if real love is better than the dream. And if it is, will Nate still be interested when he learns who she is?

Love in the Details by Becky Wade
When Josh returns to his hometown of Martinsburg, Texas, to help his best friend get married, he didn’t intend to run into church wedding coordinator—and ex-girlfriend—Holly. He can’t help but pine after the girl he never got over.

Holly broke up with Josh years ago in an attempt to ensure his future success. But she loved him then and still loves him now. As she helps him plan his best friend’s wedding, she can’t help but feel horrible for the pain she caused him. And even though she longs to be with Josh, she doesn’t feel worthy of his big-time lifestyle when she is more comfortable in her small town world. Will Josh and Holly be able to keep things as they are when their true feelings threaten to surface at every turn?

In Love Takes the Cake, Charlotte Cantrell knows what she’s about – providing brides with delicious cakes for their wedding day. What she doesn’t count on is being drawn to a regular customer, Will, who comes every week to buy cookies for the mysterious “Melissa.” Humorous misunderstandings abound in this confection of a story. I haven’t read any of Betsy St. Amant’s full length novels, but definitely want to after enjoying this fun story. The story could easily find its home on the Hallmark channel (and really who is complaining about that?), but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t also a dose of realism thanks to the back stories of both Charlotte and Will. The unraveling of the tangled threads of misunderstandings is a joy to read.

I was expecting a charming story, but this one truly blew me away.

I admit that The Perfect Arrangement was the story I was most eager to read, simple because I am always eager to read anything that Katie Ganshert writes. I was expecting a charming story, but this one truly blew me away. Amelia Mason is a bit quirky and a very relatable character. I’m a big fan of epistolary style narratives, so I love how the author includes email to tell the story. It’s a fresh twist that adds a lot of fun and charm to the characters interactions – Nate is a particularly endearing male lead. This may seem a small thing, but I also appreciated that she included a family with step-siblings. It’s not something I’ve seen much in Christian fiction, but it’s a real part of life, and it is done very well here. I also found the story of how Amelia came to own a flower shop and how it got its name to be such an endearing part of the story. This is one of my favorite novellas I’ve read in 2016.

Love in the Details is nothing less than what I expect from a Becky Wade story – the characters are endearing, and it’s easy to root for them the entire time.

Love in the Details is nothing less than what I expect from a Becky Wade story – the characters are endearing, and it’s easy to root for them the entire time. She realistically portrays two people who were once in a relationship, meeting again after many years and different roads of life. It’s a genuinely sweet story that had me smiling while reading because they are just such likeable people. I appreciated the cautious, realistic way that they began to reconnect with one another – their reconnection doesn’t move too fast, nor does it drag, but rather it strikes the perfect balance with the length of the story. I also liked getting a peek into Holly’s writer life – I’m sure the author pulls from personal experience there, so it was fun to read about that.

Before you pick up your Christmas books, I highly recommend squeezing a bit of “fall” into your reading this month with this wonderfully charming collection.

I know that many readers start picking up Christmas books well before the month of December rolls around. But before you pick up your Christmas books, I highly recommend squeezing a bit of “fall” into your reading this month with this wonderfully charming collection.

 

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