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Thursday, September 8, 2011

To Have and To Hold

My Review:

"Them there Yankee's are overrunning the island again!" shouts an elderly woman holding a loaded shotgun, while keeping an eye out over the grove of oak trees just off the porch of the house.

Not knowing what is causing the commotion, Audrey Cunningham comes running from the house only to see her elderly housekeeper, Thora, getting ready to fire again as a poor young man attempts to wave a white handkerchief from behind a tree.

Taking the shotgun away from Thora, Audrey reminds her that the war between the North and the South has been over for quite some time. Still mumbling to herself, Thora heads back into the house.

Now that Bridal Veils island is undergoing a huge renovation to complete with another renovation going on at Jekyll Island, across the river, there will be a lot of construction crews coming and going from the property her father still owns. A wealthy developer, Mr. Morley is working with other investors to build a clubhouse and hotel to rival that one being built on Jekyll Island. Audrey is hoping along with her father that this will help pay the years of back taxes her family owes on the house and 20 acres of property. Without it, they will be forced to sell the home that has been in her family for generations.

Her ailing father, Boyd is hoping to last long enough to see Audrey through the start of the process before his illness from many years of drinking takes its toll. His goal is to see her use faith in God to get her through this trying time and to hope that Marshall Graham can use his own experience in dealing with his father's death to help Audrey when the time comes.

I received, To Have and To Hold by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller, compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. Set in the late 1800's in the deep south, we get to see a struggling relationship between Audrey and her father Boyd, come to an understanding and a renewal of faith before her father's death, while he hopes that he can find a way to provide for her and save the land she has come home to save.

I would rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It took me a few chapters to get into the story before I was really hooked but once I was, I couldn't put it down. While I was reading, I was hearing the dialogue between Audrey and Marshall, like Rhett and Scarlett would have had. The relationship at the beginning has the volatility of two enemies but later you can see the softening as they learn to work out their differences and become friends.

Here is even more great information about the book, the authors, and where to get a sneak peek back into the deep south!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
To Have and to Hold
Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
Tracie Peterson
Judith Miller


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels. She received her first book contract in November, 1992 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row. In 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers. She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests. Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max.

Judith Miller's first novel, Threads of Love, was conceived when she was commuting sixty miles to work each day. She wanted to tell the story of a pioneer girl coming to Kansas and the faith that sustained her as she adjusted to a new life. Through a co-worker, she was directed to Tracie Peterson who, at that time, worked down the hall from her. Having never met Tracie, Judith was totally unaware of her writing career, but God intervened. The rest is, as they say, history. Since that first encounter many years ago, Judith has been blessed with the publication of numerous books, novellas and a juvenile fiction book. Joyously, she and Tracie had the opportunity to develop a blessed friendship. In fact, they have co-authored several series together, including The Bells of Lowell, the Lights of Lowell and The Broadmoor Legacy.


When Audrey Cunningham's father proposes that they move to Bridal Veil Island, where he grew up, she agrees, thinking this will help keep him sober and close to God. But they arrive to find wealthy investors buying up land to build a grand resort on the secluded island--and they want the Cunninghams' acreage.

Contractor Marshall Graham can't imagine why the former drinking buddy of his deceased father would beckon him to Bridal Veil Island. And when Boyd Cunningham asks him to watch over Audrey, Marshall is even more confused. He has no desire to be saddled with caring for this fiery young woman who is openly hostile toward him. But when Audrey seems to be falling for another man--one who has two little girls Audrey adores--Marshall realizes she holds more of his heart than he realized. Which man will Audrey choose? And can she hold on to her ancestral property in the face of overwhelming odds?

If you would like to read the first chapter of To Have and to Hold, go HERE.

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