Monday, May 25, 2015

Mini Reviews: Serving Up a Sweetheart, All Dressed Up in Love

Serving Up a Sweetheart
Title: Serving up a Sweetheart
Author: Cheryl Wyatt
Series: A Year of Wedding Novella #3
Genre: Christian fiction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: publisher
Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it's served up on a silver platter?
During one of the biggest weeks of her catering career, Meadow Larson’s kitchen roof caves in after an unrelenting blizzard. She has to accept help from the last person on earth she wants to see: Colin McGrath. The tormentor from her past is now a contractor, her new neighbor—and the only person available to take on a project of this size.
Colin is aware God has given him a second chance to make things right with Meadow after bullying her in high school. After years of regret and guilt, Colin is determined to earn her respect and forgiveness, no matter what it takes.
It’ll take an extreme kitchen renovation, several cooking lessons, a little lace, and a lot of grace, but God is using this renovation project not only to restore Meadow’s heart, but also to restore Colin’s integrity in her eyes. Will Meadow learn to trust the new Colin even as their relationship grows from a business exchange to something more meaningful? 
I must say, I think this is my favorite out of the series so far. I loved this one. I have a weakness for couples that go from not even liking each other to more, and this did that so well.
Meadow did not have a good childhood. Bullied throughout high school, the stigma and pain has stayed with her this whole time. But she's followed her dreams and made herself a name in the catering business. Until her kitchen roof caves in during a blizzard. To make matters worse, her new neighbor is the guy in the group of bullies in high school, and the only one who can fix her roof.
I loved Meadow. She was strong, spunky, and independent. She's had a hard life, but she's managed to rise above that and continue with her life. Not only that, she helps other at-risk teens, so that they too can overcome their circumstances. She was kind and gracious, even when that meant taking help from the last person she wants to see. Colin was pretty great himself. He is ashamed of the person he was in high school, and wants a chance to show Meadow that he has changed. He was genuine, fun, and kind. I loved their witty banter as they had to work together, and just the two of them in general.
I also love seeing the wedding business from behind the scenes, especially the food. I loved Meadow's themed wedding catering business, and the scenes with the food were the most fun. This story was sweet, and fun, and I loved it.
This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Cheryl Wyatt:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

All Dressed Up in Love
Title: All Dressed Up in Love
Author: Ruth Logan Herne
Series: A Year of Weddings Novella #4
Genre: Christian Fiction
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: publisher
Greg Elizondo hadn’t bargained for this. Any of this.
Satin. Lace. Tulle. Pearl inlay, embroidered bodices, and Swarovski crystals.
The bridal shop business it took his mother three decades to build, the enterprise that covered his university and law degrees in full, was struggling because he might be part-genius when it came to contract law . . . But corset-style gowns with a mermaid flair? Shoot me now.
Tara Simonetti hated law school, but loved the community grant funding her presence at Temple University’s esteemed school of law. She could not fail. Would not fail. But when a notice for bridal store help appeared on the community notice board, Tara applied for the job immediately. While grants and loans helped pave her way, money for food was scarce. Legal precedence, moot court, and judicial clerking all had their place, but they were nothing compared to Alcenon lace, tucked silk skirts, and a well-placed peplum.
Greg had grabbed her help as the act of a desperate man. Within weeks, he was desperate again, this time to win her heart. But after using community funds to get her degree, how can Tara turn her back on the people who helped finance her goal?
But if she leaves Philadelphia and Greg to return to her small-town in northern Pennsylvania, she’ll be leaving her heart behind. A heart he won, fair and square by posting a help wanted notice on the coffee shop board . . . A heart that filled the missing niche in his mother’s acclaimed bridal store. A heart Greg longed to cherish forevermore.

This story was super sweet and cute and just fun. I loved the setting and the characters, and enjoyed this one a lot.

Tara is a law student, who takes a job at a local wedding dress boutique because she's low on funds. The owner, Grant, is a hotshot lawyer who took over the place when his mother died and has no idea how to run it. But he wants to keep his mother's beloved shop alive, and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep it going.

I liked Tara. She was spunky, smart, and blunt. She wasn't afraid to tell it like it is. She wants to be a lawyer to help people, but its not her passion. She finds her passion while working in the shop, helping brides with their dream day. Grant thought his heart was in the big city at a law firm, but the more he works at the shop, the more he realizes how much he likes the small town, the atmosphere... and Tara.

I liked both the characters, as they were a lot of fun. I had some issues with the portrayal of Grant, as there was a lot of saying what he was, but then he didn't actually show it. In this case, it was a good thing, as Tara has built up this idea of him being a greedy, big money lawyer, but he was actually kind and sweet. But I loved all the side characters too, and loved seeing the day-to-day of the bridal shop and how they all step in to help each other.

The only issue I had was with the ending. I don't want to spoil things, but it went way too fast. Beyond the point of unrealistic and romantic daydream, and into ridiculous. I know I'm not into romance as much as most girls that read this kind of stuff, and therefore may not understand it as much as I should. But I thought the ending was not built up to. It happened randomly, and honestly kind of ruined it for me. But other than that, this was a fun, sweet story.

This review can also be found on   Goodreads

Ruth Logan Herne:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Goodreads

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