To Love and Cherish

Sometimes you can set yourself up to be disappointed. When I received To Love and Cherish by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller I was so excited. I even thought how could this book be bad. Two amazing authors combining their talents.  Well sadly I was disappointed. First things first, what is this book about:

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?

Again let me state that I really do like these two authors. I have read some of their books before and have never been this disappointed. I did realize a bit into the book that it was the second in the Bridal Veil Series, but you do not have to read the first to read the second. They are stand alone novels.

We begin the book with Melinda and Evan being forced to say good bye a few weeks early due to a surprise visitor for Melinda’s employer. Melinda is hoping (in fact seemed overly desperate) for a marriage proposal from Evan. I am not exactly sure what Peterson and Miller were trying to do with Melinda’s character. One minute she dripped desperation and the next she was willing to work hard just to impress Evan. There were even some places that she came across as snotty, especially when dealing with a certain maid named Sally. By the end of the book I was getting a bit of whip lash from all the different directions she was going.

Evan seemed to  be struggling on so many different levels. He worked so hard to impress everyone and just kept relying on his own strength and not God’s. He kept running from his past that seemed to make his decisions for him. It wasn’t until the end of the book that we see any sort of decision making on Evan’s part and even then it wasn’t until someone’s life literally hung in the balance.

For me there wasn’t too much chemistry between the two characters. They did struggle with what they wanted vs what God wanted but by the end of the book their characters didn’t seem to have much growth. The ending was a bit abrupt and just seemed wrapped up in a pretty bow. I wanted to fast forward ten years to see if they were still dealing with the same issues they were before they were married. (Sorry for the spoiler).

Truth be told I was more interested in the sub-plots. The horse thief, the assassination attempt on the President, and even how they rebuilt the island after the hurricane. It was the smaller plots that kept the book going for me. I haven’t decided yet if I will go back and read the first of this series. The third book in the Bridal Veil Series does come out in December, so I have a bit of time to decide. Overall though I say with just this book in particular if you don’t read it, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. No other goods were exchanged.

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