Tracie and Judith have yet again proved to be a great writing team in their latest series together. To Have and To Hold is book one in the Bridal Veil Island series. This was a wonderful story that contains mystery, history, and love. A great combo, in my opinion. While this is historical fiction and Bridal Veil is a fictitious island, references are made to real places and names of real people. I love it that Tracie and Judy have shared a little in the back of the book about how they came to write this series as well as what places and people in their stories are fictional and/or real.
I really enjoyed this book, but I don't want to give too much away, so just trust me --you'll LOVE this book!
I have to admit I was excited about this book even before I read it. Since these two authors rank among my favorites, and the Georgia coast is my family's favorite vacation spot, I had a good idea that I'd enjoy this story---and I was not disappointed! :) Since I am personally familiar with that area, I know the authors did an excellent job of researching. The fictional island and characters "came alive" for me, and I am honestly looking forward to the other books in this series. ~ I'm so thankful Bethany House sent this book to me for review, because I highly recommend TO HAVE AND TO HOLD. Five stars!!!
Audrey Cunningham lives on Bridal Veil Island, Georgia with her father Boyd. They moved there from Pennsylvania in hopes that her father would stay sober. When wealthy investors want to build on Bridal Veil Island for a resort, Audrey feels her solitude being threatened.
The investors hire Marshall Graham to oversee the construction of the resort. Marshall is the son of one of Boyd's old drinking buddies. Audrey has heard that Marshall is as addicted to alcohol as her father had been. So she wants nothing to do with him. What she doesn't know is that her father has been writing letters to Marshall asking him to come to Bridal Veil Island. He wants Marshall to promise to look after Audrey. Marshall doesn't want to be responsible for someone who thinks the worst of him.
After construction begins on the resort someone is sabotaging the work site. Little things at first, then they become progressively dangerous. As they try to discover who is behind the sabotage, Audrey and Marshall realize they are starting to develop an interest in each other. Audrey has to let go of her preconceived ideas about Marshall. Marshall has to give Audrey the space and time she needs to let her see for herself what kind of person he is.
This book starts slow and it took me awhile to get into it. I would classify this a romance novel with a little bit of mystery thrown in.
Bethany House Publishing gave me this book for an honest review. I was not compensated in anyway.
I must say while I've not been a fan of historical fiction, I am fast becoming one. I LOVED this book. The setting for this series is in the south on a set of fictional islands near Georgia.
The focus throughout the book on faith was wonderful. The authors specifically quoted scriptures (a lot from Proverbs). And, the Bible and prayer was a source of guidance for the characters throughout! I loved how the authors demonstrated freedom in Christ from bondage such as alcoholism is possible. They also gave several example of how God speaks to us through that 'still small voice'. So, two thumbs up for that.
I also loved the purity of the main character, Audrey. She had never been kissed before Marshall. So, I feel very comfortable allowing my teen to read it.
The plot is engaging also. There's financial dilemma, death, suspense, mild violence, sorrow, joy, humor, love---all rolled into one wonderful read!! I'm sure this series will be a favorite for historical romance readers. I didn't want it to end! Next book in the series, please!!
I received a free copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review.