To Have and to Hold: A Returning Home Novel

To Have and to Hold: A Returning Home Novel

by Serena Bell
4.4 25

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Overview

To Have and to Hold: A Returning Home Novel by Serena Bell

In this emotionally charged novel from the bestselling author of Hold on Tight (“Sweet, sexy, and real.”—Jessica Scott), a war hero fights to remember the love he left behind—and the woman who refuses to fade away.
 
The reunion is supposed to be the start of the rest of their lives. But when Trina Levine sees the soldier she promised to love forever, Hunter Cross looks at her like she’s a stranger. The connection is gone, lost in the blank stare of those soulful brown eyes. Hunter remembers his young daughter but not Trina, and he certainly can’t recall why Trina and her own child are living in his house. Although his lean, rugged frame bears the scars of battle, his mind took the worst hit.
 
But Hunter Cross hasn’t forgotten everything. His body remembers caressing Trina’s delicate curves, holding her close, never wanting to let go. Was it just a dream, or was it real life? Now, as he tries to put the pieces back together, Trina’s the one who comforts him when his night terrors strike. It’s Trina whose warm touch rekindles a connection no man could deny. Even with the odds stacked against them, Hunter wants to believe. Because passion has the power to awaken the past—and remake the future.
 
Praise for To Have and to Hold

“I have loved every second of this series and I hope that there will be many more installments to come. This series has everything that I look forward to in getting my love and romance fix.”—Twin Spin
 
“An absolute must-read . . . To Have and to Hold is fabulous.”—The Romance Reviews
 
“Five stars . . . [To Have and to Hold is a] cracking read that’s full of emotion and drama.”—Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews
 
“A great story that unfolds beautifully . . . There’s a great balance of drama and romance, and I really liked the characters and their journey.”—The Escapist Book Blog
 
“A well-crafted welcome addition to a great series . . . [with] plenty of passion.”—I Love Romantic Fiction
 
Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101886762
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/19/2016
Series: Returning Home , #3
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 166,046
File size: 875 KB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author and RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee Serena Bell writes richly emotional stories about big-hearted characters with real troubles and the people who are strong and generous enough to love them. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen closely enough, and she adores hiding in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head. When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also her enormous collection of constantly changing and passionately embraced hobbies, ranging from needlepoint to paddle boarding to meditation.

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To Have and to Hold: A Returning Home Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Marichus-Real More than 1 year ago
I was given a gifted copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Trina and Hunter are single parents. Both of them have a pre-teen daughter and they go to the same school. Trina and Hunter help each other with the girls and they become more than friends. Unfortunately, a mission gets in their way and when Hunter comes home from that mission, he is not the same man. He suffers from amnesia, he has lost a whole year of his life, precisely the year when he and Trina developed their relationship. An emotional travel down memory lane or should I say lost-memory lane? We can feel the raw desperation to get Hunter’s memory back, not only from him but from all the characters. A touching story which made me cry a lot. Although I liked Hunter and Trina, I liked best the two little girls who had learned to love each other and become sisters in their heart. They didn’t know what to do to keep their parents together and be a real family. They tried everything they could think of and also sometimes they got Hunter’s mother suggestions. Well-written, well-developed and well edited, a book to enjoy without any doubt.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
To Have and To Hold is a sweet novel that melted my heart. It is the story of Hunter, a returning veteran, and Trina, is child's caregiver and his girlfriend. Hunter and Trina had a storybook romance. They fell in love because their daughters were best friends. Trina volunteer to watch His daughter while Hunter (a widower) is deployed and his mother is unable to care for her. Hunter and Trina spend time together and he convinces her to move into his house while he is away. When Hunter returns home a year later, he doesn't remember the previous 2 years, including his and Trina's relationship. Trina deals with situations as best she can, but she soon realizes her future will different than the one she planned. Will Hunter recognize his past with Trina? This is one of the best military romances I have read in a long time. I loved the story, characters, and ending of this book! Overall I would recommend it to fans of military and second-chance romance. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
War. For every soldier that goes to battle, there are victims that arise in the aftermath. Serena Bell’s To Have and To Hold is the story of a returning soldier, wounded both physically and mentally as he struggles to remember the woman who has waited for him to come home. Hunter’s memory has been stolen, not of everything, but of Trina and their love, the fact that he had promised to marry her. Trina is stunned, hurt, but she must maintain the strength necessary to either pull Hunter into remembering or to know when it is time to move on and re-build her life. Head trauma, PTSD and love all flavor this heart-wrenching tale of love forgotten. From Hunter’s child to Trina’s child, there are victims who are suffering just as much as Hunter and Trina. Strong as she is, will her heart allow her to continue searching for the man who left her to go to war? Can she continue to act as if the man who came home will remember her? Is time the answer? His nightmares are raw from the horrors he has seen, but her nightmare goes beyond the night time and has become her life. Oh my! Serena Bell has mailed the torment and uncovered the reality of living with PTSD and the lives it affects. Trina is amazing, what a force to be reckoned with as she continues to give and to love without getting anything in return. Hunter suffers, and it looks real, as heinous as those who truly live with the aftermath of war. Thank goodness for their young daughters, they added that sparkle of light this tale so sorely needed! This one is one that will push every button of humanity you have while becoming larger than life after you finish that last page. I received an ARC edition from Random House/Loveswept in exchange for my honest review.
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
Based on the blurb, I think I expected something a little different than what I got. For some reason I read that as Trina fighting for Hunter but in reality it is something so much more complicated. We start with Hunter coming home and not recognizing Trina, but at that time he doesn’t realize that he’s lost a year of his memory. With all the hub-bub of getting him healthy and home no one recognized that there were gaps … until he comes back and finds Trina waiting for him, obvious signs that she’s more than just a friend. I feel so bad for both Hunter and Trina. He’s freaked out by the memory loss and because of his first marriage very hesitant about giving his heart to anyone again. Finding that he’d apparently started a relationship with Trina sometime during his missing year only adds to his stress. Without any basis for it, and only remembering what happened with his wife, he’s not ready to try to rekindle anything. Trina doesn’t have a good history with men. She got pregnant in high school, only to have the boy chase his dreams and leave her & the baby behind. She wasn’t necessarily looking to fall in love but Hunter convinced her to trust him with her heart … only to break it when he doesn’t remember her. With an opportunity to go to California so her daughter can be near her dad, and without Hunter as a reason to stay, Trina starts packing. But first Hunter talks her into staying just until he can get comfortable in his home and with his daughter again. Lots has changed in a year, especially with a preteen girl, and he needs a little help to get settled. The only problem is having Trina in his home, and knowing that they had something together, makes the situation even more complicated. There’s such a jumbled mess of emotions in this house – the girls don’t want to be separated (from each other or Trina & Hunter), Trina started to love again only to have it turn on its head, and Hunter is scared and confused. Bell does a fantastic job of showing their confusion, heartache and hope. And of delivering a fantastic HEA ending. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
OMG. So. Good! I honestly had a hard time putting this one down--except during the parts where things got totally intense, when I really needed to take a break and decompress...and even then, I was back about thirty seconds later, unable to wait and see what was going to happen next. "I know my feelings, and they're not going to change." Gah! Remember that line...because it takes Hunter a really, really long time to. This has got to be one of the best--if not the best--uses of the amnesia troupe out there. Poor Hunter doesn't even realize for quite some time that he has holes in his memory--his brain has developed such a clever loop that he believes everything is hunky dory (except for the brand new, impressive scars he's sporting) until he gets home and finds that life is not quite as he thought it was. His mom has a new boyfriend he should remember, but doesn't. His daughter has grown and changed more than a year's worth of growing and changing. And his dead wife's good friend and her daughter have moved into his home...and he doesn't remember asking them to and can't imagine why he would have. Seeing things from Trina's POV is heartbreaking--it took so much for her to trust him in the first place, when everything in her was screaming "Don't do it! Men leave! Love doesn't last!" and having it all torn away just as she'd started to depend on them? Devastating. Seeing things from Hunter's perspective isn't any easier to read either, because not only is he confused as heck about what's going on and totally frustrated, he's also practically drowning in guilt--guilt over his former wife, guilt over missing chunks of his daughter and mother's lives, and guilt over the pain he can see he's causing Trina. And then there's the girls--Hunter's daughter Clara and Trina's daughter Phoebe--they were already BFFs before Hunter left, and now they're more like sisters than ever. Hunter and Trina's estrangement tears them apart too, in more ways than one. I wasn't sure Ms. Bell was going to be able to fix this situation...but holy cow, did she ever. It. Was. Brilliant. I may have cheered. And cried, just a little. There may also have been a bit of spontaneous clapping. Definitely my favorite of the series so far. If there's going to be a fourth (and there is a single guy hanging around our Returning Home heroes, so I am optimistic!) it has a lot to live up to :) To Have and to Hold is the third in the series, but it would work well as a standalone. The heroes and heroines from books 1 and 2 (Hold on Tight and Can't Hold Back) do play small roles, but if you haven't read their stories yet you won't be at too much of a disadvantage. But your TBR will probably grow by at least 2 more. 4 1/2 stars / A I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
To Have and to Hold, A Returning Home Novel,  Serena Bell Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: Romance,   I’d read and loved the first two Returning Home novels, so looked forward to getting stuck into this. Once more I got a story and characters I could fully engage with – Trina, poor Trina. What an terrible position to be in, my heart broke for her, but she handled it incredibly well. Hunter too – it must be awful to have gaps in your memory, to have that weight of expectation put on you when you can remember nothing of what relates to it. The two daughters were wonderful characters, as was the gran. Her actions – well, if I’d been Trina or Hunter I too would have been angry,and yet she did things from the right motives. Its a heart breaking read, where you can see Hunter wants to do right but just doesn't remember the feelings he had, where Trina can see the man she loves and yet he’s not that same man anymore, looks like him, talks like him but inside there’s a huge gap, and you wonder if they can get past this hurdle, if his memory will return, and what will happen if it doesn’t. Hard times and I felt for all of them. Another cracking read that's full of emotion and drama, and fits perfectly with the two earlier books, but which can also be read as a stand alone if you haven’t read those. Stars:Five, a great addition to the series. ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher
Momscookingthebooks More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I have read this author and it won’t be the last. This is the third book in the Returning Home series and it can be read as a stand-alone, however, there are cameo’s by the characters from the previous books. This is such a powerful story about Hunter, a widowed father and Army solider that is returning home with PTSD and amnesia after suffering a traumatic injury after being deployed for a year. He doesn’t remember what happened from the time he left home a year ago to the time he woke up in the hospital. When he steps off the plane, his daughter Clara and his mother are there to greet him. He sees Trina standing there holding a welcome home sign with a loving expectant look on her face, but he doesn’t understand why. Trina is a single mom who had Phoebe when she was 17 with her high school boyfriend. Phoebe’s dad left. He lives and works in Hollywood as an actor. He isn’t involved in Phoebe’s life except to send expensive presents and the occasional child support payment. Phoebe and Clara are best friends and Trina was friends with Dee, Hunter’s wife. Dee was active duty and died while in Afghanistan. Hunter’s mom and Trina helped to care for Clara, and this is when the attraction started for Hunter and Trina. They denied the attraction and told each other that they needed to keep this on the friends’ level, but the pull was too strong. Hunter didn’t want to have another serious relationship, as he had to marry Dee because she had gotten pregnant with Clara. He didn’t love her the way she needed him to. He provided for them and he tried to be a good husband and father, but he had wished things were different between them. He harbored guilt when Dee was killed, as they had a fight before she deployed and she said I wish you could love me the way that I love you. As fate would have it, Hunter and Trina fell in love before he left for his yearlong deployment and they made promises to each other. Trina was scared that she would be abandoned again, but Hunter said “I know my feelings and they’re not going to change.” He even had Trina and Phoebe move in with Clara while he was gone. However, as circumstance would have it, for Trina his feelings did change, as he didn’t have any feelings for her at all anymore, he couldn’t remember their relationship. My heart hurt for both of them. Hunter felt so much guilt and he had such a hard time with his loss of memory that he would have terrible headaches and nightmares. Trina tried to help ease the transition of Hunter being home, and she was trying to find another place for her and Phoebe to live. Clara and Phoebe were so close; they were like sisters. It broke her heart that she would have to leave Clara behind and Clara was having a very hard time adjusting to the thought that Trina and Phoebe wouldn’t be living with them anymore. Will Hunter get his memory back? Will he try to find a way to forgive himself for his life with Dee? Will he ever let himself love Trina and Phoebe? Will Trina, Phoebe and Clara get their HEA? You will have to read this book for yourself to find out more about this story! There is a lot I didn’t tell you! I really enjoyed this story and I hope you will too.
CCarroll More than 1 year ago
You just know for the blurb that this is going to break your heart, and yes, it came true. Anytime you are dealing with injuries, ptsd, war related issues, it sucks. I have read several of Serena Bell's works, including book 2 of this series, so I knew I was going to put my heart on the line. This book brings you heartache with flashes of happiness as Hunter and Trina try and figure out their life and soon realize a wisp of memory of once was is not enough. This author knows how to pull you in and never let you go. She takes you through the life of a vet with such amazing clarity and depth, you are innately changed once you read her stories. With tissue in hand we are lead to a sweet and touching HEA we can live with in hopes that life will be perfect some day soon for Hunter. With visits from some of his buddy's from Can't Hold Back (a 5 star read for me), this is a stand alone, but why would you miss this series? Thoroughly engrossing with some delight and humor too, this is one not to be missed for true romance lovers. * copy received for review purposes
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars To Have and to Hold was a beautifully written emotional and heartwarming read. I fell in love with the characters and their story touched my heart. I'm a big fan of Serena Bell's writing and once again she's given her readers a storyline and characters that will entertain you from start to end and leave you with a heart full of love. I highly recommend To Have and to Hold and the Returning Home series.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
4.5 - "I know my feelings, and they're not going to change..." Stars! The third novel in Serena Bell’s Returning Home series offers up a trope that we don’t see used as much as it once was, and is, when done well, definitely still one of my favorites, but this time the author has served it up with a modern twist. In that Hunter Cross is suffering from amnesia after returning from being injured whist on tour with his unit in Afghanistan, his external injuries are on the mend, but he has lost the last year of memories. Something that only comes to light at the airport when he is greeted by his daughter; Clara, her friend Phoebe and Phoebe’s mother Trina. "It’s different this time…" "Everything’s different." It soon becomes apparent that Trina is or was more than just the mother of his daughters best-friend that he thought he had secretly lusted after prior to going on deployment. And as their story develops on his return, you are given the background of their initial coming together when he was last home on eight weeks leave. "I won’t let you give up your life waiting for it to happen again." It becomes apparent very quickly that although Hunter cannot remember them taking the step with Trina to get together into a relationship, that on a subliminal level, he still remembers all and everything that Trina had become to him. But is it enough to keep them together as a couple, and to keep Trina and Phoebe, in his and Clara’s life in the long term. "She remembers for you... When you forget." Adding children to a story always adds an extra dimension for me, and the author used Clara and Phoebe really well in this story. Hunter and Trina as a couple were sexy/hot even when he was struggling with his memory, and reluctant to commit to her because of it, in-spite of his feelings. "I lose my breath when you get close to me." Serena always manages to add a little twist of her own to her books, and I loved that we got to see the guys and girls from the previous two books in the telling of this story. I also hope we get to see more from this series, as I believe there is plenty of scope to keep adding to it going forwards. Another winner for me from this author, and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for her readers next. ARC generously provided, via Netgalley, and it was my absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
The reunion is supposed to be the start of the rest of their lives. But when Trina Levine sees the soldier she promised to love forever, Hunter Cross looks at her like she’s a stranger. The connection is gone, lost in the blank stare of those soulful brown eyes. Hunter remembers his young daughter but not Trina, and he certainly can’t recall why Trina and her own child are living in his house. Although his lean, rugged frame bears the scars of battle, his mind took the worst hit. But Hunter Cross hasn’t forgotten everything. His body remembers caressing Trina’s delicate curves, holding her close, never wanting to let go. Was it just a dream, or was it real life? Now, as he tries to put the pieces back together, Trina’s the one who comforts him when his night terrors strike. It’s Trina whose warm touch rekindles a connection no man could deny. Even with the odds stacked against them, Hunter wants to believe. Because passion has the power to awaken the past—and remake the future. Review: Fair warning! Have the tissues ready!! I love a good emotionally charged romance, that makes you cry and tugs at your heart. This book was so tender and loving from the get go. Trina and Hunter have just fallen and made commitments for when he gets home from his tour of duty. Trina stays home and takes care of their two daughters and starts building a life for them, then Hunter is hurt. This is when things really start to get emotional. They are waiting for him to get off the plane and when he sees Trina he basically looks right through her. I cried for Trina, she is thinking that he has changed his mind about them, but he cannot remember anything from the last year. How do you survive something like that? Well, Trina tries to stay strong and makes plans for her and her daughter to move to LA. I need to stop, I am going to end up telling the whole story in this review. Let me say that their struggles throughout the book are very real and very poignant. Their second chance romance was so engrossing and I really came to care for all the characters. It is not all crying and heartache...there is happiness, humor and a little sexiness woven in the story to make it truly well-rounded. 4.5Stars *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book to read. I am glad that the subject matter was not as heavy as I was anticipating. But do get ready to have your heartstrings pulled. There were so many emotions felt while reading this story. Hunter was so unsure of what he missed and how he was supposed to feel. All this in conjunction of what he went through. Broke my heart. Trina was a strong woman. She fought for their relationship even when she thought it better to walk away. Their daughters were definitely entertaining. Phoebe and Clara were excellent pot stirrers and scene steamers, both humorously and emotionally. I read this story with a huge gulp in my throat but was very pleased with the ending. It turned out better than I imagined. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
disneytothemax More than 1 year ago
Wow! This story was so heartfelt, emotional and so good! Hunter is deployed and when he gets home he knows Trina will be waiting for him. However, when he gets wounded, he now has amnesia. His homecoming with Trina isn't at all what either of them expected. He doesn't know mentally who she is (although his body remembers) and he is looking at her like she's a stranger. Will Hunter's mind remember what his body does? I enjoyed the characters in this book, they were very "real". For me, it was a quick read and very enjoyable! Thanks to Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley for a copy of this book!
Peachey04 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book immensely as Hunter and Trina journey to find their happiness. The author brought to light some of the struggles a family endures when a love one returns from war. The story line is full of emotion, indecision and the characters have remarkable interactions and chemistry. This is a book I highly recommend you read! Gifted a copy for an honest review
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
To Have and to Hold is the third story in Serena Bell’s Returning Home series, a selection of emotional romances that aptly describe some of the difficulties wounded soldiers encounter when finishing their tours of duty and reuniting with their loved ones. And this particular story is based on a situation that one would hope never to encounter – the loss of memory of that loved one. Is it possible for a story to be heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time? Because those are definitely my feelings about this deeply emotional romance.  From the moment that Hunter arrives home and realizes that a year of his life is missing, his struggle to adjust tears at the heartstrings. He had already survived the loss of his wife, also a soldier, in a combat accident years earlier when Clara was quite young. He’d adjusted, moved on, and had been thinking of ending his military career after this last deployment when the accident happened to force his hand.  Trina and Phoebe are obviously very comfortable in his home and it’s clear that his daughter Clara has grown very attached to them in his absence. Trina tries to hide her devastation at the fact that the memory of their relationship now belongs to her and her alone, but Hunter can see what his lack of emotional response does to her. He has nightmares, and knows there is something about his accident that he is forgetting that holds the key to remembering what happened. But when Hunter’s cries in the night draw Trina to him, she can’t help but offer him comfort. A soothing voice, a hand gently stroking his hair … and in that state of dream or memory, Hunter pulls her into a kiss, and then more. His mind may have forgotten her, but his body has not. One thing leads to another, and the sensual love scene that follows is intense but bittersweet – when Hunter comes fully awake and realizes what they’ve done, it doesn’t mean he remembers her. There is no magic ‘aha’ moment in this story. Hunter doesn’t suddenly regain all his memories at once, nor does the doctor try to give him false hopes. He might remember bits and pieces, or he might not. But what does happen (and this is the hopeful part), is that after that night together when their bodies connect the way they used to, Hunter begins to appreciate Trina for who she is now. As the first few days blend into a few more, his attraction to Trina becomes deeper and stronger. He wants to hear about the things they did before, and finds himself actually getting jealous of the man she knew, the man he used to be. Their connection at the deepest level is still there, it just needs the time and patience to flourish. It’s safe to say that as much as there are tears of sadness for what might have been, there are also tears of joy when Hunter and Trina find their way back to each other. And this time around, they know without a shadow of a doubt that they are meant to be together. It's a truly wonderful story, and well worth the read.
Rhondaz More than 1 year ago
To Have and to Hold by Serena Bell....What a beautifully written emotional story about love, lost love and finding love again. Serena Bell has done it again, she never disappoints the readers. Trina and Hunter are both single parents and find love in each other, but Hunter gets deployed overseas and is injured. Hunter gets sent home early due to his injury and doesn't remember their love for each other. Will these two be able to make their relationship work. This is a must read or any book by Serena Bell. I was given a complimentary book by publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
ZR1000 More than 1 year ago
When only one has the memories… This is the third book in the Returning Home series that can be read as a stand-alone. Before leaving on a yearlong deployment, perhaps his final one before rejoining civilian life, Hunter Cross had fallen in love, making plans and promises for when he returned. Sustaining a serious injury during a mission gone wrong sends him home early to find things much different than he remembers. His adolescent daughter is not being cared for by his mother but by the mother of his daughter’s best friend and they are living in his house. Something is definitely wrong with the picture he sees causing a deep sense of panic, there was more than just the physical damage to his body which in the aftermath of his physical injuries had not been diagnosed. Retrograde amnesia the doctor he went to see called it, memories from the period in his life before he left are gone and may or may not return, add to that PTSD in the form of nightmares and headaches and he has much to resolve. Trina Levine took a chance on a soldier and had many expectations upon his return. When he doesn’t acknowledge their relationship at the airport or even that they’re friends she knows something is wrong. After the separation of deployment and with everything he’d been through the possibility that he might have changed his mind was not inconceivable but to find out that he has no memory of them breaks her heart. How do you deal with the one you love forgetting they ever loved you? Can they fall in love with you again? Do they even want to? What they have now is awkward and she has her own daughter to protect. Being the woman that she is she’ll help Hunter transition to life with his daughter again then leave, yet she hopes for some sign, even a small one, that will change things. But is it wise to take a chance on an unremembered love? She’ll forever covet the memories of them. What an emotion filled, heart wrenching story this was. To fall passionately in love and then to be forgotten is a nightmare no one expects. How do you fight for a love that was real against memories that no longer exist? Trina is an admirable woman, exuding patience and caring for another with her heart breaking every moment that he doesn’t remember the beautiful love that they had shared. And Hunter not wanting to give her false hopes is so understandable. Yet the attraction that first drew them still very much pulses between them. But what else is hidden with the memories that were forgotten? What trauma so shell-shocked him that his mind blocked his memories? And what would remembering bring? This was a beautifully done, touching story illustrating some of the realities of war on soldiers and the people who love them. It was an emotional journey of self-discovery as well as a journey to re-find a love and to face the truth of one’s past. An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
To Have and to Hold by Serena Bell is a well-written military romance with a unique plot. It is the love story between single mom Trina Levine, and army veteran Hunter Cross. They meet through their preteen daughters who happen to be best friends. This is the third book in the Returning Home series and it can be enjoyed as a standalone. During the eight weeks before his year-long deployment, Hunter and Trina fall in love. Since they plan on committing to each other once Hunter comes back, Trina agrees to care for his daughter while he is gone. Both she and her daughter move into Hunter's house and begin a new life. Hunter gets injured and comes home in a little less than a year's time. Unfortunately, his trauma has affected his memories, and he has no recollection of his relationship with Trina. While Trina is still in love with him, Hunter only feels friendship. As Trina's life spins out of control, she helps Hunter deal with his nightmares and the missing pieces of his memory. They share amazing passion, which makes their upcoming separation even more difficult. Luckily, Hunter begins to feel again and at the very last minute, he realizes he is still in love. Overall, I liked this book. It is an emotional romance that kept me engaged from beginning to end. Trina and Hunter's daughters have a sisterly relationship and their shenanigans are quite imaginative. Hunter's mom is fun, and even though her role in the book is small, it adds a lot of lightheartedness. If you are in the mood for a military romance with distinctive characters and an interesting plot, pick up a copy of this book. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
Hunter Cross is a widowed dad, still in the Army with an 11 year old daughter, Clara. In the few months before Hunter's next leave, he falls for Trina Levine, the mom of his daughter's best friend, Phoebe. Just before he leaves, he declares his love for Trina and has her and her daughter move into his house to watch Clara for the year he will be gone. Fast forward almost one year later, Hunter is involved in an accident that leaves his mind not remembering things, especially his time with Trina. It was so emotional what these two went through after Hunter's return. He was frustrated because of his memory lapse, and she was frustrated because he didn't remember his feelings for her. Boy..this story was sure an emotional one. I cannot even imagine what Trina Levine went through. It was fun watching him have to deal with an almost teenage daughter (having 3 daughters it brought back some fun and not so fun memories). I just adored Hunter's mom....she is a hoot! All our favorite guys from the previous books in this series make a quick visit. Overall, this was an enjoyable, emotional read.
Cornish1 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed Trina and Hunter's story of a wounded soldier coming home to the woman he doesn't remember falling in love with. It works on so many different levels with the touching story of their two daughters and how badly they want to become one family but also the very sensuous side of their relationship. It all combines to bring Hunter back - not to the man he was but to a different and in some ways better version more capable of lasting love. Thanks to Net Galley for the copy I received in return for an honest review.
LoraJ More than 1 year ago
4 out of 5 stars Trina and Hunter’s story starts so perfectly and the promises of what life will be like when he returns from his last tour overseas all seem to be just what they both want and need….then life happens and everything changes. This story is full of ups and downs -- Trina’s faith wasn’t strong enough to get her thru and then it was perfectly strong enough. Hunter’s missing memories threaten to tear them apart, and then the missing memories are what magically brings them together. I enjoyed the way the story was told and had real, honest feelings throughout the entire book. I also enjoyed the teenage girl aspect and how that helped and hindered the growing romance. The little surprises and the love story were perfectly woven together to create a tale I could hardly put down. This was a first for me by Ms Bell, but I enjoyed her writing style and the way she crafted characters that I had to know more about. I look forward to reading more of her works.
Timitra More than 1 year ago
To Have and To Hold is a beautiful yet emotional story of love conquering all. It sheds light on an issue that is not the easiest to depict but I think the author did a great job rendering it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am looking forward to reading more of this author's work.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
I really loved this story! I found it very unique and fresh. Great characters and equally great writing made this a very enjoyable read. Trina Levine is anxiously awaiting the return of Hunter Cross. Before his last deployment their relationship had finally turned from friends to lovers and promises of happily ever after were spoken. Trina and Hunter had been friends for a long time due to their daughters closeness but the fact that Hunter was afraid to commit after the end of his first marriage kept their relationship to friends only. Until that last time. Now he's finally returning after an injury but the homecoming isn't exactly what Trina had planned. Will they ever find their way back to each other? This is absolutely a book I would recommend to everyone!
PennieM More than 1 year ago
This is a heartbreaking and beautiful story of love and loss. Trina and Hunter pledge their love to each other and make plans to let everyone else know after his deployment and in the meantime Trina moves into his house to take care of his daughter who is the same age as her daughter and best friend. It is the best plan for everyone. Emails and letters early in the deployment keep the love alive and then what no one wants to happen...Hunter comes home after recovering from a near death injury but unknown to him until he arrives home he doesn't remember the last year. What follows is a heart wrenching story of a family, father and daughter, mother and daughter, who try to come to grips with a homecoming that was not as expected. This was such a well written book I recommend it and don't give up until you get to the end. **Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
The minute Trina Levine's boyfriend steps off the plane she senses something is different about him, especially when he looks at her like he has no idea who she is, nor why she is there to pick him up. They had a plan, he would return home, and they would start their lives together, but Hunter Cross is returning a changed man, a man who has no memory of their relationship. Now what was suppose to be joyful reunion, is a first introduction that may lead to heartbreak... Hunter Cross is returning home a broken man, one who doesn't remember much of his life from the past year, but he is determined to get those memories back, and get his life back on track. The minute he steps off the plane he sees a beautiful woman there to pick him up, but he has no real memory of what she is suppose to mean to him or what they shared before he left. Even though his mind can't remember her, his body seems to have some recollection to her, and he feels a undeniable magnetic pull to her, one that keeps him fighting to regain his memories. From the moment I started this beautifully hypnotic tale I was hooked, and left with an insatiable desire to know more, an immediate addiction ensued and I knew there was no way I was putting my tablet down until I had devoured every last page!! These wonderfully crafted characters have a way of reaching out and literally grabbing you by the heart and holding on for dear life. The story line was well written, thought provoking, packed with raw emotion and brimming with unwavering passion that completely captivated everything in my world from start to finish!! I truly loved every minute I spent reading this one, it is definitely one of the most touching stories I have had the pleasure of settling down with this year, Highly recommend it!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.