Wind Chime Wedding by Sophie Moss
Wind Chime Cafe #2
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Second-grade teacher, Becca Haddaway, is weeks away from walking down the aisle when she learns that the Heron Island Elementary School is about to be shut down. In the midst of a whirlwind of wedding planning, she launches into a last-ditch effort to save it. But the one man who can help her is determined to make her question every decision she has ever made—including the man she’s about to marry.
Former Navy SEAL and son of the current Maryland governor, Colin Foley, is finally starting to feel whole again after losing his leg on a career-ending deployment in Afghanistan. After struggling for months to figure out what to do with his post-military life, he’s found a new mission—opening a rehab center for wounded veterans on the peaceful Chesapeake Bay island. All he needs now is a woman to share his new life with…and he knows exactly who he wants. With a little help from the island’s magical wind chimes, can Colin convince Becca to change her mind before it’s too late?
There is just something so magical about Sophie’s books. I love how the characters leap off of the pages, and the setting is so detailed that I feel like I’m there in the story. I adore this tiny coastal town and its nosy neighbors and how everyone takes care of each other. And I just adored the romance that developed between two characters I grew to love in the first book. :)
Becca Haddaway is a total sweetheart who is strong and confident in herself (even when she isn’t sure of anything). She’s a teacher who loves kids and who does whatever she can to take care of people. She’s also a people pleaser, and someone who is kind of set in her comfortable safety net. It’s why she has a hard time considering breaking it off with Tom and losing the only future she’s ever dreamed for herself. But she’s starting to realize that she wants more. That she wants to stay on Heron Island. That she wants to stay at the school and fight for its future. Throughout the book, she deals with a lot of doubt, insecurity, and uncertainty. And it pushes her into the arms of a man who makes her heart race and opens up her eyes to new possibilities she didn’t imagine she’d ever want. But Becca wants them, and him.
Colin Foley is a hardened former Navy Seal who is trying to reinvent himself. He isn’t quite sure what the future holds, and he’s currently using the present to help other soldiers like him. It’s a worthy cause that he throws himself into, to erase the bad memories and fill it with positive ones. But because of his father’s policies, the ones he helped create, his work is affecting Becca’s school. She enlists his help, and he’s more than eager to step up. Something about Becca makes him start to open up, to dream of something new, and leave the bad behind. She’s a ray of light in this man’s scattered life, and he knows that the feelings he has for her are more than just a passing phase. But she’s engaged to another man, and he doesn’t know if he could give her forever (and he's also still dealing with the rejection of his former fiance). But Becca makes him want to try again.
There is a little bit of a blurred line with the romance because Becca is, clearly, engaged to another man. But I thought it was done particularly well in this story. Cheating is a deal-breaker for some readers, but not me. And, to be honest, though Tom’s personality makeover felt a *little* too easy, it was part of the reason why I didn’t mind the cheating. Becca starts to question her engagement and her fiance after meeting Colin. She’s never felt this way, even with Tom, but how do you give up on someone you’ve known more than half your life? And Colin respects her, lets her work her feelings out without pressuring her into more. He kept his distance. But he was also the type of man to go after what he wanted if she gave him even the slightest reassurance the feelings weren’t one-sided. And when he did chase her? Oh boy! The sparks between them were there even in the first book, and they lit the pages in this one. I definitely could have done with just a bit *more* on the romance, but I adored watching the two of them fall in love and find true happiness.
Heron Island is also full of secondary characters, and I love that. These people, and this town, added a richness to this story. It was so wonderful to see such love and care between people who’ve known each other basically since they were born. There are no secrets, and sometimes the nosiness can be way too much. But ultimately, that just made it all the more charming. I loved that Will, Annie, and Taylor made appearances as well. I’ve missed those three, and I’ve also missed the one and only Della (Will’s aunt and Annie’s chef). And I liked that there were different story-lines with other characters going on too, but I think they pushed the romance to the side a bit too much.
There was a strong focus on family and friendship in this book, and I loved that it intertwined with the plot. So much of it revolved around the fight for the school to not close down, and how that would affect the community and especially Taylor and Annie (one of Becca’s closet friends) if it did. This book does center around Becca and Colin, but it includes almost all of the people on Heron Island. Sophie’s writing is gorgeous, and it doesn’t take me long to get hooked on the story. And it’s not hard to want to keep reading, even when it doesn’t feel like much is actually happening. The pace was a bit slow, but I didn’t mind because it led up to an ending that was worth everything. Loved it!
Wind Chime Wedding was another wonderful book from Sophie Moss! Though not as heavily focused on the romance as one would expect, it still shines with love. With joy. With hope and home and happiness. It’s about two characters who start to want more for themselves and who have found in each other someone who will stick by their side through anything.