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Audio Book Review-To Have and To Hold by Leigh Greenwood

by | Dec 16, 2015 | Book Reviews | 11 comments

Audio Book Review-To Have and To Hold by Leigh Greenwood

Audio Book Review-To Have and To Hold by Leigh GreenwoodTo Have and to Hold by Leigh Greenwood
Also in this series: To Love and to Cherish, Forever and Always
Series: Cactus Creek Cowboys #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on November 5th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
Narrator: Devon Sorvari
Length: 10 Hours
Pages: 368
Source: Library
ISBN: 1402284462
AmazonLibrary ThingLibrary ThingLiteral Club

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 fiancé 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?

My Review


Colby, one of the three blaine brothers that were separated when they were children when their parents died. Left his family at fifteen, being tired of being abused both physically and emotionally. He knows the territory like the back of his hand, has worked odd jobs over the years but nothing would prepare him for the challenge of Naomi Kessling and the small band of wagons that get attacked by Indians. Without a though, he rushes in to aid them from getting slaughtered by the Cherokees. Naomi, along side with her father and her two brothers are heading to Santa Fe when the worst happened in their town and they were forced to leave. Naomi knows everyone is keeping something from her, but she doesn’t know exactly what. She knows it is horrible when her nightmares are about blood and death. When she meets Colby, she is intrigued and fascinated. Even though she doesn’t trust him at all she senses something honorable and loyal about him. When Colby and Naomi are tested, their love blossoms despite the dangers of traveling west….a fierce passion forms wild and untamed as the land they travel.

Plot and Story Line

To Have and To Hold is the first of the Cactus Creek Cowboy Series. So far there are three books, and after listening to this one I wouldn’t mind this author doing more books!! I was able to grab this through audiobook and I loved every moment. There was so much in this story that kept me highly entertained and active in the listening of it. I love westerns, I have a weakness for those cowboys but its not very often to see a historical that is western of recent release so I snatched this one up!! Leigh Greenwood is a fabulous author and is a male romance writer!! I know ladies not very common…but he is dang good at what he does. He writes a solid romance in the way I wish every historical romance could be written. With historic accuracy, vivid details and a romance that makes you yearn for more!!

I only had one issue with this book which is why it isn’t a five-star rating!! Its the heroine in the beginning of the story. Now overall Naomi isn’t a bad heroine, she has many fabulous qualities that I came to really admire about her. But she is a bit self-righteous at first especially when it comes to Colby. She thinks he is suspicious, doesn’t trust him and isn’t private about her dislike. She softens toward him once he sets her straight (GO COLBY) But honestly she drove me nuts at first. But I warmed up to her, and it isn’t until her past is revealed that you see that she just doesn’t trust anyone she doesn’t know but she also isn’t timid about it. Her character is in no way timid or shy. She is bold and daring and likes to take control of situations. I felt a kinship to her in a way because she is the oldest and so am i….and I see how she had to be like that….any one that was born being the oldest knows what it is like to have hardly any childhood and to be an adult pretty quickly. I love how willing she is to take care of her family but at the same time she isn’t afraid to state her opinions. Colby was a fabulous hero, he has been dealt some harshness in his life but he also has taken control of his life and does what is right. So Colby and Naomi are very much alike….probably why they butted heads so much. But once they started the kisses….watch out folks!!

The romance once it got going was strong yet sweet. It was quite fun seeing their relationship blossom into something more than just passing friends,…they overcome trials together and in so doing embrace what they have. This was a very heartwarming and inspiring romance that kept me laughing all the way through!!


This narrator was someone I hadn’t listened to before and I LOVED her work…she did so well and instantly she drew me slowly into the story until I couldn’t put it down!!! Loved every delicious moment listening to her and I am eager for more.

The Cover

I love this cover, because of how well if portrays out hero Colby. It shows him being a bit of a loner and independent…only him and his horse. I love the gorgeous backdrop with the sunrise.

Overall View

To Have And To Hold is a sexy and beautifully woven love story in the wild west….with enough desire, thrilling danger, and in depth characters to keep you satisfied for days!!

Series Order

About Leigh Greenwood

Okay, let's get the hard stuff out of the way right up front. Leigh is a man! I know men aren't supposed to write romance, but I do and I don't intend to quit. It's fun.

If you're still mad, you can blame it on my wife. I wouldn't have known what romance was if, after I got married in 1972, romances hadn't started collecting all over the house. They were everywhere I looked, in the den, on the kitchen table, in the living room, stacked along one whole wall in the bedroom, even in the bathroom. When my wife wasn't cooking or taking care of the children, she was reading a romance. I admit I was a little supercilious about her choice of reading material. After all, I was reading Dickens, Hemingway, Austen, the classics! I started calling them her "sin, lust, and passion" books. I said it so often my daughter started calling them Mommy's "celeste" passion books. I thought it was funny. My wife didn't. One day, after what I’m certain was a typically condescending remark (you have to understand I'd never read a romance, just looked at the covers and made a snap judgment), she threw a book at me and told me to read it or shut up.

Being an obedient husband (my wife's expletive deleted!), I read the book. It was Georgette Heyer's These Old Shades. I loved it. To this day it's one of my favorite books. Being thoroughly hooked, I searched new and used bookstores until I'd collected every book Georgette Heyer ever wrote. After reading them all several times, I asked my wife to suggest some other books. Since I have a minor in history, she started me on a diet of the icons of early historical romance, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Jennifer Blake, Bertrice Small, and Johanna Lindsey. By now I was completely addicted.

Somewhere along the line, I read that women could make decent money (more than I could as a music teacher) writing historicals, so I tried to get my wife to write one. She told me she couldn't write, that I ought to write one. I said I couldn't think of a plot. This went back and forth for some time until I said if she'd give me a plot, I'd write a book. She said, "I've lost everything." It wasn't a plot, but it must have been enough. I sat down and started writing. 889 pages later, I had finished my first romance. A badly overwritten romance, but a book nonetheless.

I didn't know much about writing, and nothing at all about the romance market, so I had to write two more books and join Romance Writers of America before I knew enough to sell my first book. Wyoming Wildfire was published by Zebra in 1987. Since then I’ve written 45 more books and four novellas.

Unfortunately, after thirty-six years of marriage, my wife and I divorced. Even though it was amicable, it has been a difficult adjustment. House-hunting and moving from a home I’d occupied for twenty-seven years was no fun, but that’s behind me. My ex-wife is an excellent cook so I gave up cooking once we were married. Now I find that not only do I enjoy it, I’m good at it. In fact, I find myself standing over a simmering sauce or making soup to freeze when I should be writing. I’ve also come to a greater appreciation of what it takes to prepare tasty and interesting meals day after day, but you’re not likely to see any of that in my books. I haven’t written much about cooking since I got letters from readers after Wyoming Wildfire came out complaining that the heroine spent too much time in the kitchen.

I recently celebrated my 70th birthday so I call writing my mid-life crisis career. I have a BA in Voice and an MA in Musicology from the University of North Carolina. I taught music in schools and/or was an organist/choir director in churches for thirty-two years before retiring to write full time. I have three grown children (notice I didn't say mature or responsible!) who are momentarily occupying distant parts of these United States. I enjoy gardening and singing in both church and community choirs. I have just welcomed a beautiful grandson, and a granddaughter is on the way. Now if I can just live long enough to tell them stories about their parents.

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  1. Quinn's Book Nook

    That’s awesome that Leigh is a male romance writer! I am all for that! I’m not huge on Westerns, though. I am always nervous how Native Americans are portrayed.

    I’m so glad you loved this one, though.

    • Lover Of Romance

      yeah he has written some fun westerns. I do see where you are coming from though with the Native American aspect. The second book I just finished and it didn’t have any of that. But what I liked about it in this one, was showing certain characters that believed all native american’s were evil….that not all of them went around attacking and killing…many just wanted to live in peace, have good health and live happy lives with their families. So I really liked how the author shows that race doesn’t define you…your actions do.

  2. Blodeuedd

    Whaaat? I did not know Leigh was a man. Cool!

    • Lover Of Romance

      right?? I didn’t know that for years honestly and i read his books for so long before I found out the truth and couldn’t tell a difference.

  3. kindlemom1

    I love a good cowboy read every now and then and this sounds fabulous! Great review!

  4. Christy LoveOfBooks

    What a pretty appaloosa on the cover and paint in the author picture. I will ALWAYS notice the horses before the men. lol. This sounds like a great romance. I don’t mind heroines like her.

  5. Sophia Rose

    I recently read the last book in this trio of brothers out of order. It was fantastic. Looks like this one is pretty good, too. I’m so glad to see western romances when I come across them.

  6. Melliane

    I can understand the feeling about the heroine, but it looks really good despite that and it’s great that the audio was a good thing. I don’t do a lot of them because it takes too much time to listen one story

  7. Anna@herding cats&burning soup

    Oh I’m so gonna have to try him out for real. Gah at the early bits with the heroine. That would make me growly too I think.

  8. Lexxie

    I love romances that are set in the period when there were real cowboys and Indians, Renee, and To Have and to Hold sounds so good! I’m glad the story overall was good, even if you had a little trouble at first with the heroine 🙂

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  9. kimbacaffeinate

    Hmm, you had me at brothers..lol This sounds like it has many elements I enjoy. Glad the narration was so good, I added it to my audio wishlist


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