Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"to love and cherish" by tracie peterson & judith miller

About the book: Melinda Colson has been waiting months for Evan, the assistant gamekeeper at the Bridal Veil Island resort, to propose. Without an offer of marriage, she must return to Cleveland with the family she works for as a lady's maid.

Evan isn't afraid of hard work, and he hopes to be promoted soon. He wants to marry Melinda—but not until he's sure he can support her and a family.

Letters strengthen their romance until a devastating storm strikes the island. With no word from Evan, Melinda knows she must journey back to Bridal Veil in search of her beloved.

But the hurricane isn't the last calamity to shake up Bridal Veil. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but still no offer of marriage comes her way. Has she given her heart to the wrong person? Will she ever find a man to love and cherish?

My take: You know how sometimes a book comes along that you should like, one that's well written with a plot in the same vein as others you've enjoyed, but you just can't connect with it? That was my experience with To Love and Cherish.

Usually, I really like Tracie Peterson's books, and I wanted to like this one, too. (In my recollection, I'd never read anything by Judith Miller prior to this book.) It is written well, giving a good glimpse into the 1890s. And I very much enjoyed a subplot involving President McKinley.

Unfortunately, two aspects of the book overshadowed the good parts: the heroine and the pacing. Melinda is one of the most unlikable heroines I've read about in a long time. She is impulsive, headstrong, and a bit manipulative—character traits I've looked past in other heroines, but something about Melinda just rubbed me the wrong way. For most of the book, I wasn't sure if she and Evan would end up together, and I really didn't care. Although I didn't like Melinda, I think what really kept me from enjoying the book was the pacing. The first 3/4 of the book moved. so. slowly. I had to force myself to keep reading. Then, with just a few chapters to go, everything shifted into high gear, and I could barely keep up!

Had the entire book been like the last quarter, I think I would have liked it a lot more. But as it is, my feelings are so-so. 2-1/2 stars.

Note: This is book two in Peterson & Miller's "Bridal Veil Island" series, but you absolutely do not need to read book one in order to understand the plot.

Read an excerpt below: 
To Love and Cherish

About the authors: Tracie Peterson
is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Visit Tracie's Web site at and her blog at

Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. When time permits, Judy enjoys traveling, visiting historical settings, and scrapbooking the photographs from her travel expeditions. She makes her home in Topeka, Kansas. Visit her Web site at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through their book reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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