"To Love and Cherish" by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller is the second book in the "Bridal Veil Island" trilogy. Bridal Veil Island, a fictional island set off the coast of Georgia, is a popular resort area that caters to the wealthy. Melinda Colson became a lady's maid out of necessity after her parents died and left her and her brother, Lawrence, penniless. She regularly spends winters on Bridal Veil Island with her employers, where she meets Evan Tarlow, the gamekeeper for the island resort. A romance between them develops, but the future remains uncertain. After a hurricane strikes the island, Melinda leaves her employers and travels back to Bridal Veil in order to search for Evan. She obtains full-time employment on the island in hopes that will spur Evan to proposing. There are plenty of twists and turns in their journey to the altar!
Overall, this book was a bit slow and contrived. Melinda was a bit annoying in that she spent much of her time bemoaning why Evan hadn't proposed yet. Even when it comes out later that he doesn't want to get married until he is financially stable enough to provide for a wife and family (a noble reason, to be sure), she still doesn't accept it and continues to pout and whine.
The plot picked up more steam and became a bit more likeable toward the end, but it simply took a long time to get there. Normally, I love books by Tracie Peterson, but this book, and the series as a whole thus far, have fallen far short of her normal engaging standard. This series hasn't really been up to par lately so I'll probably be bypassing the final book in lieu of some of the authors' other work.
(I've received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
This is the 2nd book in a series. I have the first one and then saw the 2nd & 3rd at Christianbooks.com. All three books are excellent. Each deals with different characters, but in the same location, Bridal Veil Island. I highly recommend ANYTHING that Tracie Peterson writes and this series was great!
Book Summary: Escape to a Beautiful, Historic Island Resort, Bridal Veil Island, Georgia 1898 Melinda Colson has been waiting months for Evan, the assistant gamekeeper at the Bridal Veil Island resort, to propose. Without an offer of marriage, she must return to Cleveland with the family she works for as a lady's maid. Evan isn't afraid of hard work, and he hopes to be promoted soon. He wants to marry Melinda--but not until he's sure he can support her and a family. Letters strengthen their romance until a devastating storm strikes the island. With no word from Evan, Melinda knows she must journey back to Bridal Veil in search of her beloved. But the hurricane isn't the last calamity to shake up Bridal Veil. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but still no offer of marriage comes her way. Has she given her heart to the wrong person? Will she ever find a man to love and cherish?
Review: I tried real hard to like this book. I gave it time and I mulled over how Melinda must feel and Evan must feel but at the end of the day I was lukewarm. I did grow to like Melinda the best and thought that Evan was just so bland. He may have had the best intentions but really only worked to please her with words when she did not get what she wanted. Even when she was happy he seemed to snub her at times. I think both these authors are talented and this was an awkward plot. Where do you go with a topic for a long period of time with a part time meeting place? Make the female character that starts out exceedingly responsible and mature do something flighty? That did not fit. I can understand how others would find this to be great because all things aside Melinda was smart and had been wealthy. She understood the ways of the rich although her mother taught her kindness and grace. There were many places about prayer and how we fail to do this with the big decisions. That was a grounding reminder that Melinda acts as I do.
I would like to Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Melinda Colson has been waiting months for Evan, the assistant gamekeeper at the Bridal Veil Island resort, to propose. Without an offer of marriage, she must return to Cleveland with the family she works for as a lady's maid.
Evan isn't afraid of hard work, and he hopes to be promoted soon. He wants to marry Melinda--but not until he's sure he can support her and a family.
Letters strengthen their romance until a devastating storm strikes the island. With no word from Evan, Melinda knows she must journey back to Bridal Veil in search of her beloved.
But the hurricane isn't the last calamity to shake up Bridal Veil. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but still no offer of marriage comes her way. Has she given her heart to the wrong person? Will she ever find a man to love and cherish?
As I began reading this story, I could imagine myself in this beautiful resort off the Georgia coast. Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller have mastered their talents with helping me escape to another time and another place. I was a bit frustrated with the story as far as Evan was concerned. Instead of expressing his thoughts about his future and his feelings for Melinda, he kept them to himself. Meanwhile, Melinda, with her "take charge" attitude, made up her mind to marry Evan, yet she gets the impression he doesn't have the same feelings for her. I would recommend this book as light romance but with interesting historical aspects.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Books as part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
This book, To Have and To Hold, written by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller, is definitely a recommendation by yours truly! The story of Melinda Colsen and Evan Tarlow is a touching story, with lessons of love, trust, and Faith!
Melinda and her brother were among the highest of society before the death of their parents, which led to the revelation of financial struggles the family had, that left Melinda and Lawrence with nothing to their names, not even a shred of respect. Melinda stays behind in Cleveland, taking the role of ladies' maid to one of her mother's peers, while Lawrence goes on his own way.
Bridal Veil Island is the winter get-away resort for many wealthy families from northern cities and states, and the home of Evan Tarlow, where he is hoping for a promotion from game and huntsman to a position where he can support Melinda and they can finally marry. Melinda wonders why Evan doesn't propose, and every spring returns, still hoping, to Cleveland with her employers' family.
After their return one summer, however, a hurricane struck Bridal Veil Island and the surrounding areas, leaving disaster and death in its wake. News of the hurricane reached Cleveland, and the household of Melinda's employers. Melinda hadn't heard from Evan in weeks, and now believed that he may have been injured, or at worst, killed in the disaster that occurred on Bridal Veil. Against the wishes and pleas of her mistress, she set out on a mission to return to the resort and make certain her love was alive and well.
With the mysterious and sudden return of Lawrence, Melinda's brother, and his suspicious cargo, Melinda is hesitant but asks for his presence to accompany her on this unconventional mission. Together they set out for the devastated shores of the resort and surrounding areas.
Upon arriving, Melinda discovers Evan is alive and well. Against his better thinking, Evan agrees to Melinda's securing employment on the island until the guest season began. With the arrival of the guests and investors came news of the President of the United States' visit, and rumors and suspicions along with them. Nobody can be trusted, and everyone is held in suspicion. Can Evan trust Melinda? Can Melinda trust Evan, or her brother, Lawrence? Will Melinda see her dreams come true? Will Evan?
Going through trials that test faith, trust, and love can make or break a relationship and any individual. Seeing how they go through their trials, and the outcome (I'm not telling), gives me pause to think about my own response when faced with suspicion and doubt. A great read, and a happy addition to my favorite book shelf!
Provided by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of review. A review I was happy to deliver!