Thursday, March 30, 2017

To Have and to Hold by Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade, & Katie Ganshert

To Have and to Hold by Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade & Katie Ganshert

Love Takes the Cake: A September Wedding Story 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: An October Wedding Story by Katie Ganshert

Amelia Woods is a small-town wallflower and the proud owner of Forget-Me-Nots, a quaint flower shop. Her love life has always been a bit lackluster—until she ends up in an embarrassing fender-bender with handsome 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, 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: A November Wedding Story 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 longs to be with Josh but 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?

My Thoughts:

This romantic collection of Three Autumn Love Stories begins with Love Takes the Cake by Betsy St. Amant:

A delectably sweet story where love, pastries, and freedom come with a sprinkle of grace. First, let me say that if you're going to read this story you need to have a snicker doodle (or dozen) nearby because I was craving yummy bakery goodies throughout the story. Besides the yummy food description I really enjoyed Charlotte's character and the authentic nature of her past interpreting her choices. Ms. St. Amant did a fabulous job creating characters in need and delivering them full circle in a theme that resonates.

Next up is The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert:

If flowers could talk ... well, they can't but here we meet Amelia Woods the owner of the cutest flower shop (Forget-Me-Nots) who, through a comedic chain of events and a series of emails reminiscent of You've Got Mail, begins to fall for the man on the other end of the dotcom. Two things bothered me about this story: 1) There's another man who becomes the catalyst for these emails to begin but this man is never further explained ... 2) There's a number that doesn't get fully explained either. >>These might seem like trivial things, well, not the first one because it's pretty relevant to pushing Amelia's connection with Nate but Ms Ganshert played up so much of the "can you guess ..." that it was disappointing (for me at least) not to have some closure/answer/explanation. Other than that, the story has humor, fun characters (I especially loved George!!) and Cinderellesque-romance.

And finishing the collection is Love in the Details by Becky Wade:

Everything is bigger in Texas-even the LOVE. Or the love that once was. Immediately readers are privy to a sacrifice made by Holly Morgan that after 8 years still hasn't ceased to cause her heart to ache for the boy she let go ... Josh Bowen. When the two are reunited the embers of a love begin to heat up but so does the hurt and mistrust. I love the way Ms. Wade develops the plot of this story in a way that doesn't feel hurried but rather allows the authentic emotions of the two characters to emerge in a way that sometimes felt torturous (oh, that missed kiss!!) until we get that satisfying conclusion of promise, hope, and all the squishy, swoon-worthy romance.

Overall, this collection of novellas is sweet, charming, well-developed, romantic, and expressive of the many different facets of love stemming from the One who loves us enough and first.

You can purchase your copy of To Have and to Hold HERE 

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