Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”
Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancé. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?
As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?
A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.
Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?
The story begins with Vanessa and her fiancé Ted trying to decide where they want to hold their destination wedding. Vanessa is an EMT and Ted is a very practical doctor who wants to get married in Destin, Florida in April since there will be a medical conference going on at the same time. Vanessa balks at returning to Destin since that is the area where she lived when she met her ex-husband Logan. She is convinced she is over him and it's all water under the bridge but when she arrives in Destin and sees him face to face she realizes how wrong she was. She is so certain that drama-free Ted is the guy for her but circumstances keep bringing her and Logan together again and again. Could God be trying to get her attention?
In between the current storyline with Logan and Vanessa dealing with issues in their personal lives and the threat of a hurricane are snippets of their past--how they met, became a couple, and got married as teens before everything fell apart. I liked how Vanessa and Logan were presented as two imperfect people and how the difficulties in their marriage and their current relationships were examined. Both characters still have some growing up to do especially when it comes to confronting their past mistakes and how they've dealt with problems. Vanessa has been influenced by her childhood of constantly moving around and not being able to form lasting relationships with people because of that. She doesn't have many deep relationships because of that. She likes being with Ted because he is uncomplicated and they both are dedicated to the medical profession. She doesn't really have any friends though as she has learned to not get too attached. Even though she no longer has to pick up and move all the time she doesn't have any friends in Colorado so when she has to come up with a maid of honor she asks Mindy, a friend from her senior year of high school even though they haven't been in touch (Vanessa's fault). Fortunately Mindy proves to be a good friend even now and helps her navigate both wedding planning and running into Logan again. Logan's career as a storm chaser may be coming to an end after he made a big mistake that nearly cost the life of his friend and teammate Max. Even though Max and the other team members don't blame him he can't get past his guilt and secretly plans to walk away from the team. Fortunately Logan has some really good friends in his teammates and they are very upfront about calling him out when he needs it. Like Mindy, Logan's friends serve as a voice of reason and honesty. Logan has some issues with communication that he has to work on and that was part of the breakdown of his marriage with Vanessa along with his single-minded focus on his career. I don't read many Christian fiction novels these days but I decided to give this a try because I enjoyed one of her other novels and the premise reminded me a bit of Sweet Home Alabama, one of my favorite romantic comedies. The novel may not have had much in the way of comedy but I liked the journey that Logan and Vanessa went through to get back to a point where they could be together again. I do think that the happy ending was a little rushed. I would have liked it more if they had spent more time getting reacquainted with their grown up selves because people do change from who they are as teens. I wanted to see more proof that they worked through their past issues and how they'd handle things differently in the present relationship. Overall though I thought it was a good contemporary romance with a likable hero and heroine and secondary characters and a positive message about marriage. I would suggest this book to readers who like contemporary Christian romance and fans of authors like Rachel Hauck, Denise Hunter and Susan May Warren. Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss