The Wedding Chapel

The Wedding Chapel

4.4 54
by Rachel Hauck

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A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.

For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom


A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.

For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom he lost so many years ago. The chapel is a sanctuary for his memories, a monument to true love, and a testament to his survival of the deepest pain and loss.

Photographer Taylor Branson left her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, to make a new life for herself in New York. She had lots to run away from, not least of all a family history of broken promises and broken dreams. Love catches Taylor off guard when she falls for Jack Forester, a successful advertising executive, and their whirlwind romance leads to an elopement—then to second guesses. Jack, in spite of his very real love for Taylor, is battling his own demons and struggles to show her his true self and the depths of his love for her.

Taking a photography assignment in Heart’s Bend, Taylor is thrown back into a past of family secrets buried deep beneath the sands of time. When Taylor and Coach’s journeys collide, they each rediscover the heartbeat of their own dreams as they learn that the love they long to hold is well worth the wait.

Editorial Reviews

RT Book Reviews
'Hauck tells another gorgeously rendered story. The raw, hidden emotions of Taylor and Jack are incredibly realistic and will resonate with readers. The way the entire tale comes together with the image of the chapel as holding the heartbeat of God is breathtaking and complements the romance of the story.' - 4 1/2 starred and a Top Pick
CBA Retailers and Resources
“Hauck’s engaging novel about love, forgiveness, and new beginnings adeptly ties together multiple oscillating storylines of several generations of families. Interesting plot interweaves romance, real life issues, and a dash of mystery . . . Recommend for mature fans of well-done historical fiction. ”
Library Journal
★ 11/01/2015
For 60 years the wedding chapel that "Coach" Westbrook had built for the long-lost love of his life has stood empty. Six months after a short courtship and quick elopement, Taylor and Jack's marriage has gone stale. Instead of "I love you" they trade barbs, each one more hurtful than the next. Then a photography assignment brings Taylor back to her hometown of Heart's Bend, TN, and the chapel that reveals its power to mend broken marriages and hearts. VERDICT Hauck (How To Catch a Prince) has crafted a masterly romance that depicts the truth about real love: it's hard, messy, and unforgettable. The author's characters burst from the pages in an emotional journey that will be remembered long after the novel is finished. Hauck fans will savor, and so will readers who believe in true love that lasts a lifetime and beyond. Once again, she proves why she is a master of this genre.

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4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at Facebook: rachelhauck Twitter: @RachelHauck

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The Wedding Chapel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this. Rachel Hauck never disappoints. Waiting for her next book...
Anonymous 12 months ago
Romance and our faithful God.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the stories she writes. The charecters the settings but espically I love the clean writting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story – This is one of the best stories I have read in a long time; and, I read not less than five to six books a week. The characters are not only believable but the author writes so convincingly the reader can “see” an actor playing the part if it were a movie. The situations they find themselves in are the same many today find themselves in. The story covers just about everything—war, love, jealously, vindictiveness, manipulations, unbelievable selfless sacrifice, deceitfulness, lies, divorce, misunderstandings to name just a few. Most often I have found it annoying when an author is writing in the present time and then the time reverts back 50-60 years ago only to come back to the present time in the next paragraph. But this author was able to do it expertly while giving the story and the people in it so much more depth. This is a love story which may indeed bring emotional responses to the reader – tissues needed. It is Christian based but DOES NOT preach.
Anonymous 3 months ago
JMEOH 6 months ago
One of the best books by Rachel - and she never disappoints! You won't be disappointed either.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Writer_Girl1 10 months ago
Seriously predictable. The writing is as good as The Wedding Dress but you can guess where it's going.
jacksonmomLV More than 1 year ago
I had read SO many glowing reviews of this book, and it had sat SO long in my to-be-read pile, that I almost hated to open it and find that it fell short of my expectations. But Rachel Hauck does not disappoint - it was a great read that I zipped through in three days. Loved the inter-generational parallel love stories, and the flashbacks that gave depth to this story-within-a-story. You couldn't help but root for the heart-broken characters in this book (which would be about everybody!). Each one was realistic, and the witty conversations flowed easily. Plenty of secrets to be uncovered, and plot twists to be enjoyed. This is a perfect volume to take on vacation when you have plenty of time to turn definitely won't want to put it down! Delicious from cover to cover.
swimreadbreathe4JC More than 1 year ago
The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck is, from what I've been able to tell, a sequel of sorts to The Wedding Dress. I have not read the latter and this book worked as a stand-alone for me. I like Rachel Hauck's works because the are unique in the way that they weave in God's plan for the characters and how He speaks to them. The Wedding Chapel was fairly confusing to me, as I didn't read it in one sitting. Each chapter is from a different of four characters' viewpoints, two in the early 1950s, and two in the present. For me, putting the book down and picking up over a couple of weeks, I quickly got confused which characters and plots were which. Figuring out the relationships between the four was also confusing, but ultimately rewarding. I would still recommend this though! It was a different "romance"; it was more than the boy-meets-girl and falls in love. The Wedding Chapel had many twists and turns and interweaving of characters' lives, so I would say to lean towards reading it when you have a lot of time on your hands. I would also recommend it to a little of an older audience because of some of the themes, betrayal, and choices that the characters made. Overall, it was a fantastic read. Thank you so much to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive, nor were they affected by anything other than the book itself.
readerscozycorner More than 1 year ago
OH THE FEELS!!! I absolutely hate that term but now I know what it means. This book has so many feelings and emotions tied into it, there is no good way to say just how good it is. I loved it from page one and I didn't know I could fall deeper in love with it, but I did. I have never read a book that made me love, hate, cry and smile the way this book did. Taylor and Jack decided to be crazy and elope. Now they were balancing a not so successful marriage with work and trying to figure out how their marriage fit. Collette is a famous soap opera star at the end of her career. Can she go back fifty years to the life she could have had? Jimmy built the chapel for the love of his life. Can he sell it and finally be truly happy. I can't even begin to explain why everyone in the world should read this book! Rachel has now become an author that I will highly recommend and that I will always want to read. She does an amazing job of playing to all of your emotions. If the characters are sad or hurt you are too. If they are happy, you are jumping up and down happy with them. There were times in this book where I was so emotional involved I felt like I was there. She also brings to light how not talking in any relationship can lead to misunderstandings that can ruin a relationship. Even though at times the subject matter would not be suitable for children, she does a good job of getting her point across without saying to much. This has probably been the best book I have read this year and I can't wait to read more by Rachel. I received The Wedding Chapel from The Fiction Guild in exchange for my review. A positive review was not required.
Debi_2014andBeyond More than 1 year ago
The Wedding Chapel was the first book written by Rachel Hauck that I have read. At first, I didn't think I was going to care for this book; it seemed like there was just too much information. While I did think the story was interesting, I struggled with Ms. Hauck's telling of it. As the story progressed though - probably about halfway through the book - the story turned out to be a really good one. I feel that Rachel writes from her heart about real broken family struggles, and the drama that goes along with it. The Wedding Chapel is a complex story of interwoven lives, souls seeking peace, secrets, forgiveness, and second chances. The characters were real and I enjoyed their journey each went on within themselves. The Wedding Chapel reminds me of something like time-travel because the story moves back and forth from Heart's Bend, Tennessee in 1948 where it is a lost love story of Jimmy and Colette and then to flash forward to the present where it is a modern love story of Jack and Taylor in New York. Due to the style of this writing, the reader is following the two different couples on their journey of love. At the heart of this story is the wedding chapel, symbolizing hope and healing, while at the same time conveying that there is no time limit on love and second chances.I loved the location of the chapel and the romances of the four characters. This book is such a great love story and also has a hint of suspense regarding a secret one of the characters held. The Wedding Chapel is a book that I will remember. If you enjoy books about inspirational romance and learning how to depend on God to help see your blessings I would highly recommend this one. This book would make a really good book club reading book or as a Hallmark movie. I received a paperback copy of this book without cost from the publisher through The Fiction Guild, a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
kpeck More than 1 year ago
Rachel Hauck knows how to write a romance novel! Never unbelievably cheesy. Always triumphant. I really enjoy her books. While not a genre I reach for often, when I do find myself wanting to read a romance, I reach for her. Funny, heartfelt and sweet. I enjoyed the historical aspect of this novel as well. The back and forth between the two timelines. Easily recommendable to a broad audience. I ate it up! *I received a copy of this book in exchange for review. However, I am under no obligation and my words are my own*
EpicFehlReader More than 1 year ago
I ended up not loving this one quite as much as The Wedding Dress -- I just thought the storyline in the first book was just a tad more interesting -- but still really enjoyed this one! There's still a bit of historical fiction here for those who liked that about the first book, but it's not the main focus here. The Wedding Chapel focuses more on the intricacies of relationships (both familial and romantic), making peace with emotional wounds that might never get the resolution you want but will probably heal in their own way and in their own time. It also looks at what true love should mean, as opposed to just heated infatuation or obsession, and what one should be willing to do or sacrifice for those they truly care about. Sweet stuff! There was a tinge of sadness to it for me though. Just the idea of Jimmy and Collette being separated for SO many years without a word. The why of this is explained in the end, but there's still a sense of the tragic to it, so much wasted time! But that idea plays well into the theme of letting go of what's passed and embracing what you have right now in the moment. But dang, it took me back to the first time I watched that Mel Gibson Forever Young movie -- gave me the same happy-sad feelings at the end! Speaking of the ending of this book, it's kind of funny that Collette is an established soap opera actress because those little twists and reveals at the end -- talk about soap endings!
Memawof4 More than 1 year ago
The book was great! Love, loss, deception and forgiveness are all a part of an intricate story that spans multiple generations. The author does not do a good tie in of the characters at the beginning but once she gets rolling you can't put the book down!
Yamma1212 More than 1 year ago
A story of two couples plagued by miscommunication and assumptions, yet redemption and second chances exist, with some Divine intervention. Jack and wife Taylor struggle as newlyweds, and are thrown into their past. Will they be able to overcome it? Collette and Jimmy "Coach" both struggle with the "what-ifs" of the past. Will they ever speak or see each other again? With numerous family secrets, there is a lot to be discovered. How will a little-known, silent wedding chapel bring everyone together? This book took me on an emotional roller coaster; from frustration and heartbreak, to hope and joy. I enjoyed seeing the pieces fall into place. I received a copy of this book for free as a member of the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review, which I have provided.
Peaches1AM More than 1 year ago
I received this wonderful book from Fiction Guild for an honest review...Usually this kind of book is not my kind of reading material, but It got me from the beginning!! I enjoyed this spans over sixty years, it weaved in and out of past and present. Between New York and Heart's Bend, TN. It was full of love, loss, history and family. I thought this story was very well written and kept my attention from start to finish. I loved the characters in this book, but I did think! That two of the characters could have just as easily had there own story. I thought there where a lot of surprises in this book. It was like you always knew what was going to happen like some books. I did love the journey that this book took me on, with ups and downs, struggles they had to the beautiful passion it held and their fight for love. It made you believe that Heart's Bend was really there! I know I will be reading more of Rachel Haucks books in the future.
MichelleKrim More than 1 year ago
First Thoughts: I always enjoy a dual storyline in a book, and The Wedding Chapel has two great romances, one in the present and one in the past. With Jack and Taylor already married, it's not your typical plot, but I enjoyed having a newlywed point of view. The story was well written and raised enough questions to keep me guessing what would happen next and what went wrong in the past. Plot: In the present day, Taylor Branson and Jack Gillingham have recently married and both of them are devoted to their chosen professions. While Taylor struggles with doubts about their marriage, remembering Jack words that if it doesn't work, they can just walk away. Meanwhile, Jack is worried about the not-so-subtle attempts Taylor's boss is making to woo her away from Jack. A return to her hometown of Heart's Bend to photograph an old wedding chapel may be just what Taylor needs, but to Jack going back means facing his past demons. During World War II, Collette Greer and her sister were sent from England to live with relatives and football star Jimmy Westbrook falls for her. The past story of the teenagers is interspersed with the present day famous actress and small-town football coach. Figuring out what happened in between was my favorite part of this story. Recommendation: If you enjoy the blend of historical and contemporary stories, this is an excellent read. It's told from the perspectives of all four main characters, making a well-rounded story. They have plenty of depth and are made to face some problems within themselves. Rating: 4/5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
"Wow" is the only word I have to describe Rachel Hauck's latest book, The Wedding Chapel. The mix of past stories, present stories, and family secrets made this book one of the best I've ever read. Jimmy Westbrook, also known as "Coach," built a beautiful wedding chapel for the love of his life Collette Greer in the 1950's. For sixty years, it has stood silent and unused in Heart's Bend, Tennessee. When special interest in his chapel appears, Jimmy is thrust back into the world of his emotions, the ones he thought he'd buried long ago. Taylor Branson left Heart's Bend to rid herself of the many family problems that lurked there. She finds herself in New York, and she falls in love with Jack Forrester, who is also a Heart's Bend native. Their love connection leads to an elopement and some second thoughts, as Jack battles his own inner demons. When Taylor takes a photography assignment in Heart's Bend, she discovers secrets and events that could change everything for her family. This book was absolutely amazing! Once I started reading it, I could literally not put it down. I would wake up earlier and go to bed later just to catch one more chapter of the story. The way Miss Hauck set up the story was so different. Parts of the chapters were in the past, while there were whole chapters in the present. The Wedding Chapel taught me that love runs deep, you should never give up on love, and always go where you hear God’s voice. There were so many mysteries and questions I had, but by the end of the story, every one of them was answered. I give this book five out five stars because it is probably the best fiction book you will ever read. I highly recommend reading The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck. I received this book from Zondervan Publishing and The Fiction Guild in exchange for my review.
HeidiMain More than 1 year ago
AMAZING! Rachel Hauck has done it again, I adore her stories.The Wedding Chapel has an amazingly intricate plot, there was nothing predictable about it. With amazing twists and turns, the storylines were braided to perfection. And the dialogue, so fresh and unexpected. Perfection.
MamaCallie More than 1 year ago
I so enjoy finding authors that are new to me and books that I have not read before. The Wedding Chapel is another one of these books for me. The drama, the family history full of pain and deceit, the deep unending love of true love. This book had it ALL. And oh my, how I enjoyed every page of this book! Taylor Branson had it all, but she was still lacking, she just didn't know why. Her husband Jack also had it all, but he also couldn't seem to find true happiness. Not in each other, even though they tried and tried. Love seemed like a feeling that they would never be able to explain or even enjoy with each other. The Wedding Chapel though changed everything. Taylor and Jack come "home" to Heart's Bend to find that true love can and does exist and everyone can find what their heart desires. Colette and Jimmy are some of the most fantastically written characters that I have read lately. They make this story come alive. The history they have, the lives they have led, the future that they still have. Some of the best parts of this book included this lively pair. Age had no restrictions on behavior. Not even for these two! Emotional rollercoaster book for me. I loved the personal depth that each character was given, it made them so much more real. I laughed, I cried, I raged when some of the characters did, I felt it all. There is no replacement for a story that is well told, and this story is one that I throughly enjoyed. I look forward to reading more from Rachel Hauck in the future. She writes well, with developed characters that I greatly enjoy. If you are looking for an excellence book, one that takes you deep into the pages, this is that book. Absolutely. *I received a free copy of this book from TNZ Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest opinion and review. No other compensation was given.*
THersh27 More than 1 year ago
Coach Westbrook’s wedding chapel has stood empty for decades, never seeing a wedding. Taylor Branson, a photographer who left Heart’s Bend to pursue her career, falls head over heels in love with Jack Forester after bumping into him in New York, but did they rush things? When Coach Westbrook and Taylor’s paths cross paths during a photo shoot in Heart’s Bend, many secrets are brought to the surface. Will they both discover the love they long for, despite their past? This was a wonderful romance full of unexpected twists and turns along the way. It keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next. The characters were complex, and very well developed. I very much enjoyed this read; at first I didn’t like the bouncing back and forth from one character’s story to the next, from the past to the present, but by the middle it got better and easier to follow, and by the end I was completely drawn in and I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good romance. **I received this book free from the publisher through The Fiction Guild by Zondervan /Thomas Nelson for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
SavannaKaiser More than 1 year ago
There is so much to love about this story. This was the first book by Rachel Hauck I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. She has a way of drawing you into her world and making you care for these characters upon introduction. The story has so many layers to it, so much “real life” in it, readers won’t easily forget The Wedding Chapel. For one thing, I loved how the whole book wrapped around this special little “Church in the Wildwood”. As the story grows, so does your heart for this lovely chapel and its story. The tale is told through four different individuals. Each of the main characters were so real. I felt like I was reading a true story about real people. The characters are hurting and lonely and longing for love. It’s quite a journey for each of them. A beautiful journey. The story has a split timeline in a way, so historical and contemporary readers alike should both enjoy it. There are some sad moments, where hurting people do some cruel things, but love triumphs in unique ways on the page. This book was a hard one to put down. The story is full of faith, love, and learning to let go of the past. It’s romantic and full of life. This story has a heartbeat! This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Thomas Nelson & Zondervan’s Fiction Guild for my copy.
pagesandthreads More than 1 year ago
This was a good book! At first I was wondering how all the characters would tie together, but as the story progressed, it became clear. I love the idea of a beautiful hidden chapel! I also really enjoyed that it wasn't a typical romance story. While I love a good romance, it was nice to see a couple already married (Taylor and Jack) and working to figure out the best way to love each other and be totally committed to each other. I also enjoyed the other main characters--Collette and Jimmy. The themes of regrets being of overcome by forgiveness and love for a lifetime were interwoven in both couples' stories and brought to a full circle by the end of the book. A wonderful story! I thank Zondervan for the chance to read this! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
This is a multigenerational story of love, heartbreak, lies, jealousy, and God's care. The Wedding Chapel covers it all in ways that I had never read before in any other book. I was blown away from start to finish. I stayed up late for two nights reading to see what was going to happen next. Imagine a wedding chapel standing unused for over 60 years, locked up tight. Jimmy built it for his one true love. He started it when he was 19, then circumstances kept him from finishing it right away. So over a period of 10 years he labored to finish it. Why was it never used if he built it for his love, Colette? He fell in love with her from a photograph before he even met her. The story begins in 1948 and continues to 2015. The many secrets are slowly disclosed throughout the book as the history of these characters are told. I really enjoyed reading and learning why the behaviors of each character happened as they did. As they looked back, and told their stories, new revelations were shown to them. Each character was very well developed. Communication is so very important, the theme of this novel. So many assumptions were made that wasn't true simply because they failed to talk to each other. They failed to let their feelings be known. A good lesson for us all. I received this book from The Fiction Guild for my honest opinion, which I have given.