Friday, October 30, 2015

The Wedding Chapel

An old, forgotten chapel holds the key to love and forgiveness.

Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—building a wedding chapel for Collette Greer, the woman he fell in love with in 1949. But now a realtor wants the land the chapel sits on, and he sees no reason to hang onto the past.

Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s string of failed marriages. When she falls head-over-heels for Jack Gillingham, a top ad man, their whirlwind romance and elopement leave her with doubts. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to find the right way to show her he really cares.

When a post-mortem letter from Taylor’s Granny Peg shows up, along with an old photo, she is driven to uncover family secrets and the secret to her own happiness, starting with an assignment to photograph an unknown, obscure wedding chapel back in Heart’s Bend.

Taylor begins a mission to convince Jimmy that the chapel is worth saving—and that forgiveness and healing might happen within the chapel’s walls . . . for both of them.

The Wedding Chapel 
 Expected publication: November 17th 2015
 by Zondervan 
5 Stars

Rachel Hauck brings us a heart touching story that spans decades.  It's one of choices, forgiveness and second chances.  

Taylor Branson and Jack Forester are both complex characters with very real issues, but as the story unfolds you see that there's a lifeline for each.  
Both are from the small town of Heartsbend, Tenn.  Each left for different reasons with no intention of ever going back, but everyone knows about best laid plans-you better check with God first.  
Taylor has always been a free spirit and doesn't believe in marriage, but meeting Jack again changes that.  After a whirlwind courtship 8 weeks later find them on a beach speaking vows that bind them forever.  Unfortunately 6 months later and escalating arguments Taylor starts to question if their love is enough to see them into the future. 
In 1948 Jimmy Westbrook sees a picture of a girl and is immediately drawn to her.  Collette Greer is an immigrant from England after the end of World War 2 in which both of her parents were killed.  She and her sister, Peg, arrive in Heartsbend to live with her aunt and uncle where she meets Jimmy Westbrook.  The attraction is immediate and Jimmy starts building for their future, but obstacles keep getting thrown in their path.  In 1949 after graduating high school Jimmy is drafted and Collette is left with choices that are hard to make. 
The description of the sweet, old chapel evoked so many feelings in me.  I could feel the loneliness and the anticipation of it finally being used as God intended.  It vibrated with the love, sweat and tears that built it.   
This is a sweet plot that flows effortlessly. The characters are very complex with very real issues.  I loved the characters of Taylor and Jack.  Each one in their own way fighting for a marriage that seems just out of reach.  The imagery will literally draw the reader in and keep them turning the pages. Even after turning the last page I found myself thinking about the characters. This story reminded me that God is our anchor and with him all things are possible.  
I would recommend this book to anyone. 
**I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for a honest opinion without bias or outside influence.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.  

Rachel Hauck 
RITA finalist and award winning author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida. With strong southern stories, she infuses faith and real life into the lives of her fictional characters.Rachel loves to encourage new writers and is the book therapist for My Book Therapy and writing community founded by
Susan May Warren. Rachel graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism. She's and avid OSU football fan.

Her favorite things are:
  Exercise. Watching the Buckeyes and college football. It’s a “season” in our house.
  Worship/Singing (I’m the worship leader at our church)
  Movies (like Remember The Titans, The Proposal, Notting Hill, It’s a Wonderful Life)
  Love stories (real and made up!)
  A good prayer meeting!
  Family and friends – the spice of life. 

Contact Information:

Books sold at:
Christian Book 
Barnes and Noble 


  1. Replies
    1. Rachel, thank you for stopping by. I loved this beautiful story. It just pulls you in from page one.