And then there’s Grandpa’s letter. Not only is she running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money–fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family’s mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and… Dax. No wait, not Dax.
Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there’s a wedding chapel to save.
Lindsey Leavitt is a former elementary school teacher and present day writer/mom to three (mostly) adorable little girls. She is married to her high school lab partner and lives in Las Vegas. She is the author of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE series (www.princessforhire.com), SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD and GOING VINTAGE
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Chapel Wars is my first Lindsey Leavitt book… I know I know… I’ve been sitting on Going Vintage since the day it came out, but I kept forgetting about it. BUT The Chapel Wars made me bump that up my TBR pile!
Holly has just lost her grandfather unexpectedly… and amongst the sorrow she feels, she finds out that he has willed her his business. The business just happens to be a Las Vegas Wedding Chapel… what she doesn’t find out right away is that the chapel is failing and on the verge of being repossessed by the bank. Holly has to save the one thing that her grandfather loved as much as her but the neighboring chapel may stand in the way of that. Victor Cranston has been the family enemy for as long as she can remember and he’s determined to see them fail. What neither counted on was the friendship and relationship that blooms between Holly and Victor’s grandson, Dax.
This story was just wonderfully cute… and fun. So many people in Holly’s life are tied to the success of the Chapel and so at her age she has quite the burden on her shoulders. From her brother James who plays the piano and helps out when he can, to her divorcing parents, they each have a role to play, but aside from them, there is such a wide range of characters to experience in this story. Even Holly’s group of friends are willing to pitch in when and where they can.
I loved Holly’s determination to do whatever she had to, even if it meant doing something her grandpa wasn’t comfortable doing. All of her memories were tied to this place and she wasn’t going out without a fight. And I really enjoyed her relationship with Sam. Sam is her platonic friend and when I say platonic I mean it. There is no underlying relationship tension between them… no hidden feelings to deal with. They are simply friends, and I love that we get to see that portrayed in a book. Plus I have to say that Sam being a Potterhead was the cutest thing ever.
There is a bit of a Romeo and Juliet theme to this story. Dax, of course working for and being related to the man who was a sworn enemy to Holly’s grandpa, is somewhat off limits. But they can’t seem to deny that they have feelings for each other. It was interesting to see the dynamic between the two because of that underlying tension and it definitely made for some drama, though nothing too heavy.
Dax himself was sweet and kind and while he makes some mistakes and stupid choices (don’t we all) I liked the real-ness of his character. He’s definitely got his swoony moments but above all that, he’s just so sincere. He’s not interested at all in the rivalry he simply wants to get to know Holly, but the suspicion and drama keeps getting in the way.
I think the one thing I was left wondering about ultimately is the depth of the dislike between Victor and her Grandpa and ultimately her. I would have liked a bit more of an explanation as to why.
Overall, this was a fun read that hits slightly on deeper issues dealing with divorce, underage drinking and grief. If you’re looking for a contemporary YA with engaging writing and a somewhat unique premise (at least in location) definitely pick this one up!