Friday, November 1, 2013

[Kame's ARC Review]: "To Have and to Hold"

To Have and to Hold by Leigh Greenwood
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (November 5, 2013)
Series: Cactus Creek Cowboys, 1
Genre: Historical Romance

The Blaine brothers learned how to survive at a young age the hard way. But after a life of working odd jobs, Colby thinks he might just be ready to settle down. Until his fiancĂ© jilts him for a man with more money. 

Naomi Kessling is already plagued by nightmares and a violent past when her wagon train is attacked. Colby saves her life, but Naomi is convinced he's been sent by the army to arrest her for a crime she can't remember. 

Colby will help her face her nightmares, but will her love be enough to break down the wall he's built around his heart?

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Kame's Review:

Imagine living in a small community where most neighbors are part of your extended family, and then something unimaginable happens, making the leaders of the community decide to pick up and move across the rugged west to find a new safe place to live. This is Naomi’s reality. 

Naomi and her family have formed a wagon train, crossing toward Santa Fe from where they once called home in Kentucky. Out of fear they have asked their guide to follow less traveled routes, increasing their risk of being ambushed by Indians to avoid soldiers. The plan was sound, but they were ambushed anyway, when it was certain they would all perish a stranger comes and drives the Indians away. Colby Blaine had no one to call family in the world, a former union soldier who has no place to call home. Colby agrees to serve at the wagon train’s new guide.  Soon Colby is doing more than show them the way, he is taking on the role of mentor and helping them all learn the ways of the west. Naomi is eager to learn all she can to help her adapt, Colby realizes there is nothing Naomi can’t do with her determination.  She will make a fine wife for someone someday; too bad Colby’s heart won’t let him love again.

“Out here everybody needs help to survived. People won’t leave you to stand and fight alone even if you aren’t family or distant kin. If I was willing to risk my life for a bunch of strangers, don’t you think it’s only fair at least to act like you like and trust me?”

I adore everything about a good western romance. I love the location, the challenge of their lives; I love the innocence of many of the characters. This book gave me all those things and so much more.  The reason for leaving Kentucky was complicated and secret and the reader does not understand the full reason for their quick departure until Colby does. The unanswered question was not nagging, but a mystery that we kept on getting clues to the solution. Every character in this book was crafted wonderfully. Even the characters that die in the altercation with the Indians had definition. The center of this book however is Colby and Naomi. These characters each evolved as the plot progressed, and I really believe that they needed each other to help them grow to the person they each would love for eternity. Naomi had a life similar to many historical female characters I have read, she is the daughter expected to care for her family after her mother’s passing. Naomi was all I would expect from a young woman in that situation and more. She took care of her family for years and felt duty bound to continue until they could function without her. She had spunk and she was a quick learner. Her blossoming feelings for Colby encouraged her to try new things. Colby was shaped by his challenging past. I especially enjoyed how he interacted with the younger members of the wagon train. There was one scene where he mediates an altercation between two members of the wagon team that says more about his character than any other scene. Colby is the type of character you build a series around, he is the unassuming leader. 

I finished this book and I immediately wanted more. It has been a long time since I savored a book. I read this book slow and enjoyed every word. I am crossing my fingers this is the first in a series. Leigh Greenwood is a new author to me, but I will definitely be checking out his backlist of books

   5 STARS!

Kame received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for her honest opinion.

*Note: The quote used belongs to Leigh Greenwood; Kame and TBQ's Book Palace do not claim it. 

Meet Kame:

Kame is part of a family of readers; one day she picked up the Nook she purchased for her husband and discovered her love of e-books. A few months later he purchased one for her so he could have his back! Kame’s Nook is never far, and she is hard pressed to pick a favorite book, genre or author. As long as there are characters that make her want to sit down and have a chat and a plot keeps the pages turning, she’ll read it.

Kame's GoodReads 

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Thanks for the review, Kame! :) 

Have you read any of Leigh Greenwood's books? Do you have a favorite? 

Do you read many romances written by male authors? I admit, I haven't read any (wait, maybe one or two....)


Until Next Time,
*TBQ'sthis post!


Lover Of Romance said...

Great review Kame!! I just adore this author, and I agree with you that there is a certain uniqueness and innocence to westerns. Definitely going to have to pick this one up soon

Kame said...

Thank you - it comes out 11/5! I think book two comes out November 2014...