Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend Book Review: To Have and To Hold

In To Have and To Hold (Bridal Veil Island), Audrey Cunningham and her father move from Pittsburgh back to his childhood home in Bridal Veil Falls in Georgia after the passing of his mother to take care of the family's estate. Although reluctant to leave Pittsburgh, Audrey hopes that by leaving the city behind her father will also be able to leave his drinking problems behind as well. Mr. Cunningham, a recovered alcoholic, has found God and is seeking a new life, and in the process is hoping to save his family's estate at Bridal Veil Island.

A couple of years into their move, however, Audrey and her father are faced with the shocking news that the estate owes a significant amount of money in back taxes that had never been paid by Mr. Cunningham's mother.

So when Mr. Cunningham is approached with the opportunity to earn enough money to pay off the taxes and save the estate, he agrees to allow investors to move onto the island of Bridal Veil and build a vacation resort.

It is this decision that brings Marshall Graham into the scene. Marshall, the son of one of Mr. Cunningham's old drinking buddies (in fact, the very friend who died in a bar fight which ultimately convinced Cunningham to leave the bottle behind for good) comes to Bridal Veil after being summoned by Cunningham himself. Cunningham has hopes that Marshall and Audrey will establish a relationship. But Audrey initially wants nothing to do with Marshall, but rather loathes him and sees him as a threatening connection to her father's drunken past.

As Marshall becomes a permanent occupant at the estate functioning as the head contractor for the work at the vacation resort, he begins to realize that he cares more for Audrey than he originally thought. But now, there is another man interested Audrey - the doctor called to the island while the construction work is going on, along with his sweet, young daughters who capture Audrey's heart. Now Marshall must fight for Audrey's attention and love.

There is also some mystery to this novel as obvious sabotage occurs on the construction site at the resort.

I chose to review this book because it was labeled as a historical novel. And I suppose it was a historical novel since it did take place shortly after the end of the Civil War. However, I found this to be much more of a romantic love story than anything else. I found it to be somewhat cliche and predictable. The mystery twist at the end of the novel was, admittedly, a pleasure. However, I could have passed this book up. But then again, I'm not typically a reader of romantic novels, even if they are Christian and innocent in their content. But perhaps someone who enjoys this genre of fiction would find this book completely enjoyable.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.*

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