Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"To Have and To Hold" Review

Take a trip back in time to beautiful Bridal Veil Island

When Audrey Cunningham moved with her father to his ancestral home on Bridal Veil Island, Georgia, she hoped the beauty and remoteness of the place would keep him sober and close to God. But now wealthy investors are buying up land to build a grand resort on the secluded island--and they want the Cunninghams' property.

Contractor Marshall Graham can't imagine why Boyd Cunningham would ask him to look after Audrey. Marshall has no desire to be saddled with caring for the fiery young woman who seems to think the worst of him. But when someone appears to be sabotaging the construction work at the resort and Audrey's life is endangered, Marshall realizes she holds more of his heart than he thought and he'll do anything to keep her safe.

Amid a time of growth and change for Bridal Veil, can Marshall and Audrey find a foundation on which to build a love to last forever?

My Take:

From the opening chapters of this novel, the descriptive writing skill of these authors was apparent. I loved the written images of the fictional Bridal Veil Island. It almost seemed as if the island was actually the main character of the book.

Which was a good thing, since I didn’t really feel connected to any of the other characters in the book.
First of all, there were so many investors and workers who were on Bridal Veil for the construction project that I just couldn’t keep them all straight. (Maybe that was why I was confused about who was responsible for the construction sabotage at the end…maybe not.)

Also, while others might feel that the character of Aunt Thora was feisty and funny, I just found her annoying. And rude. And prejudiced. And very dangerous. (Why was this woman allowed access to a shotgun?! She was pretty much crazy with it!) Plus her interpretation of Scripture is irreverent.

I sympathized most with Marshall, who seemed as if he just wanted to do the right thing and to do a good job. I also appreciated that Audrey’s character did seem to grow throughout the novel, even if I didn’t really connect with her very well.

The plot of this book was nice, the pacing was good, and reading about life on the island was relaxing. I don’t think I was ever really bored by the story in this book (except for maybe the parts where they talked about the construction that was taking place on the island), but I wasn’t captivated by this story, either. The mystery involving the possible sabotage of the construction was too lightweight to be interesting. Plus, the conclusion of the mystery was pretty much impossible to guess on your own. If it takes almost three pages to explain the ‘mystery’ at the end of the book, then you haven’t given me enough clues along the way to figure anything out for myself.

To Have and To Hold is a nice, sweet novel with a great setting that just didn’t hold my interest as much as I would have liked.

I will give To Have and To Hold … 2 ½ BookWorms.

To Have and To Hold was written by Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller and is the first in the "Bridal Veil Island" series by these authors.
It was sent to me as a review copy by Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers/Baker Publishing Group as part of their Reviewer Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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