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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Review and ARC Giveaway: To Have and To Hold by Leigh Greenwood

This is a solid romance with good characters and good movement in a realistic, historical setting.
To Have and To Hold
by Leigh Greenwood

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (November 5, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1402284462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402284465
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
"Greenwood's books are bound to become classics."—Rendezvous
A Stranger to the Rescue
Colby Blaine has been a longer his whole life. And he isn't about to change now. But that doesn't mean he can ignore people in trouble. When he rides up to an inexperienced wagon train under attack, he doesn't hesitate to jump into the fray. It's only after the raid that he really lands himself in hot water...

Naomi Kessling is certainly grateful to Colby for saving her family and agreeing to lead their train to safer territory. But the man has an infuriating way of knowing just how to get under her skin—he asks too may questions about a past she doesn't want to remember, and his touch makes her long for far more. Yet the more time they spend together, the more Naomi sees that perhaps it's Colby who needs rescuing the most...

"Greenwood never disappoints. Continuous action, sharp intrigue, and well-rounded characters captivate."—RT Book Reviews.

Naomi is a strong young woman who has been the “mother’ in her family since the death of her mother. She helps her doctor father and has helped raise her two younger brothers, one 17, only a year younger and the other a 10 year old. Both boys are beginning to assert their own personalities. Naomi and her family are heading west on a small wagon train with all other families in their small Kentucky community. She doesn’t know the true reason they all decided to move but she suspects it has something to do with Union soldiers and perhaps something that is causing her unexplained nightmares.

When the wagon train is attacked by Indians they are saved by Colby, a lone stranger, who rides into their circle to help lead the fight. Colby prefers living his life as a lone wolf but he couldn’t stay by and watch without trying to help. Colby is impressed by Naomi’s bravery and determination as she helps defend the group and then helps reorganize the people, especially the hysterical young mother whose husband was killed in the attack.

Everyone else is friendly and welcoming to Colby except Naomi. He doesn’t understand her hostility towards him and wants to find out, especially since he is surprisingly attracted to her.  Naomi is afraid of the man in the Union Army uniform even if he does attract her more than any other boy or man she has met. He seems so capable in many things but she senses he is hiding a secret too.

The relationship between Colby and Naomi develops slowly through admiration and friendship. Eventually they will learn each others secrets but they will have to decide if they can risk trying to make a life together. The relationships of family and neighbors in the stressed community as it struggles on the trail makes an interesting background to the romance. Colby and Naomi are strong characters but a few of the other participant characters are developed enough to add interest and contrast. The story is not necessarily action packed but it has plenty of forward movement that kept me interested to read on to find how the issues resolved.

Although this may not be spectacular or flashy I enjoyed this very solid romance story. I recommend it to readers who enjoy sweet, historical romance with emphasis on the romantic development with addition of interesting historical detail. This was the first book I have read by this author but I am fairly sure I have another in one of my boxes and I look forward to reading it.

I received this ARC from Sourcebooks for an honest review.


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  1. I love reading Leigh's stories. I didn't realize he had this one coming out so soon. I have added it my list to get. One of my favorite books by Leigh is "Winners Circle".

  2. Leigh is a 70 year old man who was a music teacher

  3. I see that Leigh write a series about Seven Brides - 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' is a favorite movie of mine, I guess I should look for this series.

  4. Leigh has a BA in Voice and an MA in Musicology from the University of North taught music in schools and/or was an organist/choir director in churches for thirty-two years before retiring to write full time

    tiramisu392 (at)

  5. I love seeing a new book out from Leigh Greenwood. Oddly enough I have a western historical romance by the same title. I can only hope it is as well written as Leigh's.

  6. He started writing romance stories after reading some of the romance books his ex wife left lying around.

  7. I'm anxious to read a romance written by a man.

  8. On the author's website I learned that he has been writing romances for 25 years.


Your comments are always appreciated!


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