I had this blog post all composed in my head (on my extra long walk this morning after the bus broke down the final time) and then I remembered it’s Valentine’s Day, so happy day dedicated to romance! For any of you gents out there reading this, I have the perfect book for your reading lady. Read on.
It was an interesting morning. I could probably write a blog filled with stories of my trips to and from work on the bus, but I don’t think anyone would actually read it. Thankfully, this morning I had Becky Wade’s Love in the Details to keep me company so I didn’t find the whole bus thing nearly as perturbing as I otherwise would have. I finished up The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert last night which is also joined by Love Takes the Cake by Betsy St. Amant, all in the To Have and to Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories collection of novellas. Then to put the icing on the, um…doughnut, I got into work and there are doughnuts! God bless whoever brought them.
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.
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 fiancée 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?
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?
Love Takes the Cake: This was a sweet story with the perfect novella recipe of character development, tension, and romance. I felt that the author did a great job of working within the confines of limited space while still creating a story that was complete and wrapped up nicely. And Zoe is a spitfire. Maybe one day we’ll get a story about grown up Zoe.
The Perfect Arrangement: I love flowers so the flower shop setting was spot on for me. I’m not usually a first person narrative fan, but Katie does well with breaking it up by using emails between the main characters and two others which help with their perspectives. I thought it was an interesting twist and combination of some classic storylines (some are even mentioned in the story itself). The only drawback was that it felt like it ended quickly with a neat little bow. I would have liked to see more from these characters and it would’ve made a good full-length novel concept.
Love in the Details: I’m not sure how I hadn’t read this before as I’ve read everything else by Becky Wade. I confess I’m only a few chapters in (in part thanks to this morning’s “ride,” a.k.a. the wait and walk) but I am hooked. Unfortunately, I have to do the job that earns a paycheck and not spend the rest of the morning finishing the story. BUT I WANT TO! (Some days adulting is HARD.)
So, pick up this collection and read it to celebrate Valentine’s Day!