Saturday, August 27, 2016

To Have and To Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories

To Have and to Hold
Betsy St. Amant, Becky Wade, & Katie Ganshert
(Zondervan 2016) 

I enjoy love stories set during fall and winter seasons. To me they bring a fresh and hopeful feel as the air changes, the days grow cooler, and the leaves rustle as they fall.

To Have and to Hold held promise. I was captivated by the blurb on the back, the cover seemed romantic, and the three authors were ones whom I have never read before.
There are pros and cons to the book.
Firstly, I will start with the cons. In story one: Love Takes the Cake, repetition of Melissa's accident became a burden to read. Will seemed too preoccupied with her accident and his personality did not seem to mesh well with him being a soldier. Charlotte seemed two dimensional and never seemed to have actually grown as a woman. She seemed stuck as that college kid who made a mistake. To me, if you own a bakery, then you have already moved past the past. If a reader is expecting a Christian romance, then she/he would be disappointed.

In story two: The Perfect Arrangement, I found myself having trouble really delving into the story since most of the story is comprised of emails between three individuals. Amelia seemed too flighty. The fender bender seemed contrived in order to have a plot to the story. This was not a Christian romance, per se. No talk of Jesus or of faith.

In story three: Love in the Details, I found myself with another tired plot, billionaire boyfriend. Although not as repetitious as the others, I did see a couple of things that some more conservative readers would balk at. Coming from Zondervan most readers would not expect borderline phrases that take God's name in vain. The faith portrayed was at best minimal and surface faith only.

The pros for these stories: Each was a clean read. All had a sweet romance air to the story and the happily ever afters that readers would enjoy to read. The writing, although the repetition could have been deleted and more character development portrayed, was captivating. This is a book that can be enjoyed by a variety of readers from a broad age group. 

***I received this book through BookLook Bloggers at Thomas Nelson in exchange of a complete and honest review*** 

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