Journal

Review: A Year of Weddings Novella Collection (Spring)

I’ve been enjoying this series of novellas. If you haven’t read it yet, you can read my first set of reviews from this collection.

These stories offer a great opportunity to sample work from a variety of authors, not to mention something to look forward to reading each month. Since I decided to start reading these books a bit later, I’ve been able to catch up and look forward to the future releases of them. 

Check out the following links to see the rest of my reviews on these wonderful novellas:

Winter (December, January, February)

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**I received free copies of these novellas from Zondervan and NetGalley in exchange for my honest reviews**

A March Bride by Rachel Hauck

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.  Susanna Truitt is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.  Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own—right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

I enjoyed this novella quite a bit. This is probably one of the more romantic stories I’ve read out of this collection this far. After all, what’s a fairytale ending without romance? That is really what this novella is, a conclusion to Rachel Hauck’s novel, Once Upon a Prince. While I think someone would enjoy this novella on it’s own, I think I enjoyed it even more after having recently read Once Upon a Prince. I already knew who Susanna is as well as Nathaniel and everything that was leading up to this big moment in their lives. As for this actual novella, I read it one setting. Yes it is short, but it also kept me quite interested in what was going to happen Nathaniel and Susanna. So many problems are getting thrown their way just weeks before their wedding.

With this novella, I was quite impressed with the element of faith that was woven into the story. One of the characters offers quite a bit of wisdom with his conversation about what it truly means to be a citizen of heaven.

Rachel Hauck’s novel captures the same fervor that surrounded Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding and redirects it towards her fictional royalty. So if you enjoyed that wedding, you’ll probably want to read this novella.

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

An April Bride by Lenora Worth

War changed everything . . . even their love. Bride-to-be Stella Carson cannot wait another day to marry her longtime sweetheart, Marshall Henderson. But her plans fall to pieces when she receives the terrible news that Marshall has suffered a near-fatal head wound while serving overseas. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he asks to recover privately in a D.C. hospital, and Stella gives him space to heal. But when Marshall returns home to Louisiana, it becomes clear to them both that he is not the man he used to be. Marshall’s memories of home have disappeared, and he suffers from violent, vivid nightmares night after night. Struggling to regain their life together, Stella reintroduces him to their town, reminding him of his history and their love story and watching glimpses of recognition dance in his eyes. But there is one dark corner in his memory, one important part he can’t remember: his life with Stella. With only weeks until the wedding, Stella and Marshall must choose between a marriage built on the past and faith in long-ago love or a very different future than the one Stella imagined

This is probably one of the more emotionally charged stories that I’ve read. Most of these novellas have been fairly lighthearted. But this one had me feeling for Stella more than I have for many of the other heroines in this novella collection.

Lenora Worth does a wonderful job capturing how insecure Stella feels about going through with marrying Marshall after he has lost his memory due to a bomb in Afghanistan. She also captures Marshall’s anxiety as he deals with the loss of this memory and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. The whole story builds to a climax with a “swoon-worthy” moment at the end.

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

A May Bride by Meg Moseley

Ellie has prepared for her wedding all her life . . . but she has forgotten the most important part. Ellie Martin, a country girl living in Atlanta, has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life—a wedding just like the one her younger sister is planning back home. Even though Ellie is realizing her dreams in the big city as an up-and-coming real-estate agent, she’s missing a key ingredient to her plans for the future: a groom. Then Ellie meets Gray Whitby—at a wedding of all places. Gray is handsome and fun, and he sweeps her away in a whirlwind romance. In a matter of months, Ellie knows Gray is “the one,” but her mother isn’t so sure, judging Gray to be the freewheeling type, like Ellie’s runaway father. When Ellie jeopardizes her own future for the sake of her sister, Gray feels like he’ll always be second to Ellie’s family. Can Ellie and Gray find their own way together amidst the demands and perceptions of others or will their romance end before it has truly begun?

A May Bride has probably been my least favorite out of this series. The characters felt hard to relate to and the storyline lacking something.

While the events of the novel did unfold in an interesting story, I couldn’t help but feel like the characters were all quite selfish. Not only that, but their backgrounds and personalities just didn’t connect with me. Often in stories I like to see a transformation take place within the characters. I feel like we saw it a bit with Ellie, but the other two main characters of the story, Gray and Ellie’s mother, we never really see it. Some of this could be due to the novel being told in a first person point of view from Ellie’s perspective.

The one part of the story that I did enjoy though was the overarching storyline. Sometimes it is hard to not bring family drama into a relationship, especially when it is the sort that Ellie’s mother brings. The first meeting between Ellie and Gray was also quite fun. But again, I just wish that the novella didn’t feel as rushed as it did.

Perhaps this is a story that would have been better as a novel length that would have allowed for the characters to be developed a bit more and more scenes to show how they have changed.

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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