Stephen Murray has written another heart-warmingly, gentle romance that is like nothing else out there. Return to the Chapel of Eternal Love is the sequel to Murray’s 5 star rated, The Chapel of Eternal Love. Having read the first book of unique fictional wedding stories, I was very excited to read the sequel. There are numerous couples and individuals whose stories range from a former owner of an escort service to a family in witness protection to a congresswoman and her husband. Of course, Buster, the intuitive little dachshund from the first book, is back and his story continues as well. Just as in The Chapel of Eternal Love, there are joys and sorrows, laughter and tears. Murray elegantly takes readers on a journey of discovery right along side the characters. InReturn to the Chapel of Eternal Love, the characters take a quick, yet powerful, trip down memory lane when the current pastor, Father Mark Roads, contacts them out of the blue. There’s a compelling reason that calls them to return to the chapel.
Return to the Chapel of Eternal Love is so unique and beautiful that I couldn’t put it down. Before I knew it, I’d stayed up and read the entire book. Stephen Murray is very talented when it comes to getting readers to truly feel the characters in the space of individual chapters. Even with so many characters involved throughout The Chapel of Eternal Love and Return to the Chapel of Eternal Love, they are all well developed. That in of itself is almost impossible to do in such a short time span, but Murray just has a knack for expressing them so clearly. Can you pick up Return to the Chapel of Eternal Love and read it as a stand alone? Sure, but I highly recommend you read the first as well because they are both so truly enjoyable. Stephen Murray has hit a home run with these two. The Chapel of Eternal Love and Return to the Chapel of Eternal Love are sweet, romantic, charming and downright classy. Well done!
Originally critiqued by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com
Reviewed By Deborah Stone for Readers’ Favorite
Return to the Chapel of Eternal Love: Marriage Stories from Las Vegas by Stephen Murray is the sequel to The Chapel of Eternal Love. This book picks up five years later when Rosemary is about to retire as the wedding planner for the Chapel of Eternal Love. Couples from five years before are invited to celebrate with them and this gives us a chance to see what has happened in the lives of those couples we met in the first book. This book will stand alone, but if you want the full impact, I recommend reading the first book before this one. Return to the Chapel of Eternal Love is full of emotion and joy as well as some heartache. Did all of the marriages last? Are any of them still happy with the choice that they made five years earlier? How many will return to celebrate a virtual stranger that they met on their wedding day? There are some surprises as we revisit these couples and see where their lives have taken them. As the new pastor seeks a replacement for Rosemary and plans this unorthodox reunion of almost strangers, God seems to have a hand in what is going on.
Stephen Murray has provided us with another tender and moving tale that will require tissues before it is over. This well written and well conceived story is moving, tender, and heartbreaking while being a pleasure to read. Stephen Murray has a way of holding your attention while taking you into his story and making you glad you came. I thoroughly enjoyed finding out what happened to the couples we met in the first book, and witnessing the end of an era and the beginning of a new one for the wedding chapel. Stephen Murray's sequel brings everything full circle and has a lot of impact. After reading Stephen Murray's first book, The Chapel of Eternal Love: Marriage Stories from Las Vegas, I was anxious to read this sequel and I was not disappointed for one second.
This amazing sequel is as memorable as the original. Once again, I fell in love with the characters, and thoroughly enjoyed learning what happened to them over a period of four years after their visit to the Chapel of Eternal Love. And once again, the story revolves around Rosemary and Buster as their retirement draws near. It is a warm, wonderful study of many different personalities that just seem to fit together, such is the artful writing of Mr. Murray. This sequel, along with the first book, will be my “go to” gifts to my bookworm friends this year.
~ Linda Thompson, Host of The Authors Show