Monday, September 19, 2016

3 Incredible Love Stories

When you think of weddings what is your first thought?

Love, romance, commitment?

For most, yes, that is the first thing that comes to mind, but if you ask the bride of even her mother that's not always the first answer.  It's the details or behind the scenes that actually brings a wedding together.  
This year has been a busy one for my family in the romance department.  I have had 3 nieces who got married and a nephew that is getting married this week.  Each wedding has been different, but filled with much joy.  As I spoke with each parent their greatest desire was that all the details were handled with precision so that the day would be enjoyed by not only the bride and groom, but also guests.  
Yes, a lot more goes into planning a wedding than one would imagine.  The behind the scenes details are important.  I'm talking about the choosing a venue and working with the planner, the cake and flowers.  
To Have and To Hold is a great collection of novellas from 3 wonderful authors, Betsy St.Amant, Katie Ganshert, and Becky Wade,  that take the reader behind the scenes and highlight not only the dedication, but the work involved in bringing a special day to the bride and groom.  

To Have and to Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories
  Published August 30th 
2016 by Zondervan
Book Description:
Love Takes the Cake by Betsy St. Amant
She’s known for her delicious cakes, but there’s no recipe for dealing with the new man in her life.
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

Meeting Nate was truly an accident—but Amelia finds that he’s one of the few people she can count on.
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 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—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

She left him to save his future, but they’ve never gotten over each other.
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?
Available for Purchase:
Meet the Authors:
Betsy St. Amant  
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.

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Katie Ganshert 
Katie (K.E.) Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She’s won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun.

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Becky WadeDuring her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian romance and couldn’t be more thrilled with it.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

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 My Thoughts:
 What a wonderful collection of 3 novellas!!!
Zondervan had released  a fall collection of love stories that  each easily wove their way into my heart.  I met some unforgettable characters. Each were artistic and dedicated to their own profession.  I think one of the greatest common denominators among the characters was not only their ability to put on smile on someone's face, but also that they focused on each client as though they were the only client.  Each have a dream they are trying to fulfill, but at the same time hoping they would get a chance at romance and love.  
In the first story we meet Charlotte Cantrell who is the baker and owner of The Doughknot. She is a single mom who doesn't want to let anyone close enough to hurt her again, but her attraction to a man who came every Tuesday evening might just leave her in knots before it's over. 
In the second story we meet Amelia Woods the owner and designer of Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop.  Life had not turned out as she had expected.  This is almost like a Cinderella story.  Amelia's mother owned a flower shop where Amelia had helped and learned the art of the trade.  With her mother's death she thought the shop was all but lost to her, until she was able to buy it.  It's success was her greatest desire.  A happenstance meeting with a stranger involving a car wreck and the exchange of emails has Amelia looking for love in all the wrong places.  
Last we meet Holly and Josh, who were high school sweethearts looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together.  Holly makes a decision that will break both their hearts.  Now with Josh back in town to fulfill an obligation as best man and Holly the church wedding coordinator will they get another chance at love or will the past be too much to overcome?
These are three sweet romances that quickly pulled me in and kept me turning the pages.  Each plot is well thought and the characters are easy to love.  
This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a good, clean love story.  
*I received this book from the author in exchange for a honest review without bias or outside influence.    

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