It’s the early 1930s, but Cora Scott is walking in stride as a career woman after having inherited her great aunt’s wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, where brides come from as far away as Birmingham to experience her famed bridal treatment. Meanwhile, Cora is counting down the days until her own true love returns from the river to make her his bride. But days turn into months and months to years. All the while, Birch Good continues to woo Cora and try to show her that while he is solid and dependable, he can sweep her off her feet.
More than eighty years later, former Air Force Captain Haley Morgan has returned home to Heart’s Bend after finishing her commitment to military service. After the devastating death of her best friend, Tammy, and discovering the truth about the man she loved, Haley is searching for her place in life.
When Haley decides to reopen the romantic but abandoned wedding shop where she and Tammy played and dreamed as children, she begins a journey of courage, mystery, and love.
As Cora’s and Haley’s stories intertwine through time in the shadow of the beloved wedding shop, they both discover the power of their own dreams and the magic of everyday love.
I will make my confession right here at the start. This is the first full-length book I've read by Rachel Hauck. There, I said it! Romance isn't my usual go-to genre but after reading the blurb, and finding out it's a time-split story, I knew that I wanted to read The Wedding Shop.
I was quite pleasantly surprised. This wasn't just a fluff piece, all sugar and cream. There was just so much more to the story than I expected. Both Haley and Cora live almost parallel lives, both of them have made similar mistakes and thus have similar fears. They also have similar lessons to learn. The Wedding Shop is very much a story of forgiveness and in finding one's way back out of the darkness into a life of faith and love.
Even when I had to set the book aside to do other things I found myself pondering the story, the characters, and even the things I could learn from the characters' mistakes and triumphs.
Rachel Hauck's latest wedding story is a must read, for romance fans, historical fans, and those that simply love an emotionally moving tale.
Tell Tale Book Reviews gives The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck a 4 Bark rating.
While all books are my “babies,” this one found a special place in my heart.
This standalone novel is part of the Wedding Collection – The Wedding Dress and The Wedding Chapel – and it came to life when I discovered the story of Cora Scott, a 1930s wedding shop owner.
At 30, she’s an old maid, but the best “bride’s maid” in fictional Heart’s Bend, Tennessee. But she’s in love with a charismatic, charming river boat captain.
The contemporary heroine, Haley Morgan, is a retired Air Force captain returning to Heart’s Bend to restart her life. She’s recovering from a broken heart. The handsome, dynamic, charming man she loved was nothing but trouble.
Returning home, Haley is set on keeping a childhood promise she made with her best friend—to open the old wedding shop.
The shop is legend in Heart’s Bend. Haley grew up with stories of Miss Cora and the shop, hearing the town’s mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers reminiscing about their “day in the shop,” walking down the grand staircase in their wedding gown.
But in 2016, the shop is dilapidated, neglected and in need of more money than Haley possesses.
While writing this story, I had to ask a lot of questions. Why reopen the old shop? Why not just open a new one?
Haley was a combat veteran, deployed to Afghanistan twice, why would she want to open a wedding shop?
I also investigate the meaning of the shop to the town? To Cora? To Haley?
As I developed the backstory for the characters, the shop and the town, Cora’s came to life. She fascinated me. I admired this fictional woman. She exuded ingenuity, courage, and deep, deep devotion.
On the other hand, Haley was a bit of a mystery but from the start, she saw value in something no one else did.
What if we all saw value in people or places others wanted to reject?
Isn’t that what Jesus does for us?
The heroes of the book, Birch and Cole, are just stellar guys. Princes among men. I love writing about slightly wounded but strong and tender men.
The theme of family and community populates the story. Also, how misconceptions and preconceived ideas often ruin relationships.
Booklist gave The Wedding Shop a Starred Review and called it, “Spellbinding.”
There’s a lot of fun drama in this book! I hope you enjoy spending time with Cora and Haley, the men they love and the shop they bring to life.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Connect with me at www.rachelhauck.com.
Rachel Hauck is a USA Today Bestselling author. Her book, The Wedding Dress, was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Her book Once Upon A Prince was a Christy Award finalist.
Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower.
Visit her online at rachelhauck.com
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