Monday, September 19, 2016

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

To Have and to Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories (A Year of Weddings Novella) by [St. Amant, Betsy, Ganshert, Katie, Wade, Becky]

From the publishers:

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.

My Review:
Charlotte's bakery had me getting up and making something delicious just so I could eat along with her characters. Seriously, the writing made you want to visit this place.  I love how Will and Charlotte have a friendship, even though they don't really know each other, just from him visiting the store so regularly. 

It also was a good read because so many of us have things in our past that shape us and often times hold us back from the future.  This book, through the character's struggles, will help readers comes to realize that it doesn't have to hold them back, it might shape them, but it doesn't mean they can't have a full and complete 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 fiancĂ©e 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?

My Review:

This was a brilliant novella.  There was a lot packed into this little book and yet, it was just perfect. I loved hearing all of the details about the flower shop and Amelia's life as a florist.  The supporting characters were definitely a strength to the book.  There were people to love and dislike in a way that is only human and natural in real life.  This story felt like it could easily have happened.
I felt just as eager as Nate and Amelia felt to read each others email.  I was in agony when there was a lapse in communication.  Why did he/she write back yet?!  Written as only Katie Ganshert can write this beautiful love story is perfect.  Not because the characters are perfect, or the situation, but because of its imperfections and the way that it all works together for good.  I like the emailing back and forth.  It added a different dimension to the story and allowed the reader a new way to get to know the characters and see what was going on. 
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 Review:

As soon as I read the first pages, I felt myself sinking into this novella.  Josh and Holly's high school love that ended too soon made my heart ache.  Yet, it shows how sometimes things that happen, that we won't enjoy--can still benefit us in the end.  Holly and Josh have grown since they have been apart and also grow with their interaction to each other. I love how Becky Wade's book can make you swoon and feel all romantic, and yet she tucks in truths that are solid and deep.

Becky Wade's writing is wonderful.  Even in this novella you could tell that she was the type of writing to draw you in and keep you.  I wanted to read more about Josh and Holly, but the novella was perfect in its novella form. 

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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