Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Tour for To Have and To Hold by Charlene Raddon (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Today I bring to you an intensely emotional historical read, To Have and To Hold by Charlene Raddon, who's a new to me author.  So keep reading to discover what makes this story so memorable and make sure to comment for your chance to win some great goodies......

A woman without a prayer…
A widow with two children, Tempest Whitney had to mortgage everything to repay the money her husband had stolen. But even as she struggles to hold onto her Utah homestead, a scheming rancher buys up her debts, demanding she either get off his land or marry him. Then a dark-haired stranger shows up, claiming to be her dead husband…
A man without a past….
Buck Maddux spent two years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now a death bed promise has brought him to Tempest’s dugout. A man without roots, he doesn’t plan to stay—or to feel so fiercely protective of this feisty beauty he saves from a forced marriage. Suddenly, Buck yearns for a home, a family, a lasting love. But what can he offer Tempest? The surprising answer lies in the forbidden canyons of an ancient Anasazi tribe, where fortune and danger await—along with a passion more precious than gold…

EXCERPT:

“Don’t recognize me, do you, Richard?” the man said finally.
Richard! Years had passed since Buck last heard his given name used. His grandfather’s name. Richard Henry Maddux. How proud he had been to carry that name. How badly he had let the old man down. “Should I?"
The man snorted. He was younger than Buck by about ten years.
“Ma would have kittens, hearing you say that.” He turned his profile to Buck as he watched a red-tailed hawk soar overhead.
Something clicked inside Buck’s brain. His heart began to thud. He stepped closer, examining the man's lean, hawk-nosed face, while memories—old memories put away long ago in self-defense—battered the wall that shielded Buck from the darkness of his past. “Whip?” he whispered.
The man laughed. The mocking tone, as familiar as his profile, levered another brick from Buck’s protective wall.
“No, I’m Cale. Whip . . . well, he’s another story, best saved for later.”
“Cale.” Buck’s voice was soft, a whisper of wind in the leaves. In his mind he saw twin bundles wrapped in flannel, motherless babes who wailed, waved angry fists, and demanded attention, always at the same time. An imaginary missile the size of a buffalo rammed Buck in the chest, near his heart. “Judas. Cale. I can’t believe this.” He moved quickly toward the half-brother he hadn’t seen in fifteen years, his mind so full of questions and emotions he didn’t know what to do or say first. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?”
Equally quickly, Cale backed away. Anger emanated from him like a bad odor. “Don’t bother with that phony ‘glad to see you’ act, Richard. If you gave a damn about any of us, you wouldn’t have run out on us all those years ago.”

BUY AT AMAZON here.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

To Have and To Hold is the kind of story that pulls you in from the very start and never lets go of your heart.  Ms. Raddon has turned back the clock and immersed us in a rugged historical town full of colorful characters, a hero and heroine drawn together in the most unexpected way, and a villain truly worthy of the title.

Tempest Whitney has no need for a man in her life as all they've ever brought her is pain.  From a dead ex-husband who left her with nothing while he ran off to make his fortune, to the town's richest man who sees women as his playthings and doesn't take no for an answer, to a ruggedly sexy man carrying demons of his own who swore an oath to help her.  She has two children relying on her to keep them safe as well as a drunken father who takes any extra bit of money from her. She's tired, lonely, and running out of options on how to pay off the debt she owes the disgusting and villainous Jonas Creedy.  On the day her debts are do she's forced to the altar opposite Creedy knowing the pain to come when a most unlikely savior arrives in the form of Buck Maddux claiming to be her long dead husband.  Their early interactions are volatile as she's still distrustful of him and he wants to keep his heart locked away from the sense of family and acceptance she and her kids represent.  Tempest is a tough woman who hides her fears behind a facade of belligerence and smart alecky remarks.  She fights her attraction to Buck but it's hard to ignore the loving gestures and care he shows her and her children, a longing for a real family that's always been denied her is what he unknowingly offers her.

Buck considers himself a loner, a man unworthy of happiness because of a cruel twist of fate when he was younger.  A recent stint in jail has him further questioning his reliability and right to claim someone as good and special as Tempest.  But the more time they spend together the more he can't deny the joy and happiness they bring one another. He feels selfish wanting to claim her but she offers him understanding and acceptance from the grief he carries and he'll ultimately put his life on the line for her to prove his worthiness.

Along with a wonderful main couple whose attraction grows slowly from allies to friendship to lovers, there's a wonderful cast of colorful secondary characters who add some heartache and heartwarming moments to this picture of small town living.  From the hookers with a heart of gold to an old one-eyed woman who talks to her dead husband to a giant Swede looking for his own special someone it's easy to become fully immersed in this story as you root for so many HEAs.  These unlikely allies work together to end the plans of the truly vile and nasty Jonas who I wished death upon every moment he was on the page!

This is a story that makes you laugh with its witty banter between the protagonists while breaking your heart over the pain these two kind yet hardhearted people have had to endure.  The sexual interludes are a rich reward after witnessing their slowly evolving relationship full of sexual tension.  There's a definitive and immensely satisfying HEA that still allows an opening for another story branching off this heartfelt world thanks to a missing relative of Buck's.  Ms. Raddon's writing style transported me back in time to a memorable place and time and I look forward to the heartbreaking journey she'll take us on next.

My rating for this is an A.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Charlene first serious writing attempt came in 1980 when she awoke one morning from an unusually vivid and compelling dream. Deciding that dream needed to be made into a book, she dug out an old portable typewriter and went to work. That book never sold, but her second one,Tender Touch, became a Golden Heart finalist and earned her an agent. Soon after, she signed a three book contract with Kensington Books. Five of Charlene's western historical romances were published between 1994 and 1999: Taming Jenna, Tender Touch (1994 Golden Heart Finalist under the title Brianna), Forever Mine (1996 Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award Nominee and Affaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist), To Have and To HoldAffaire de Coeur Reader/Writer Poll finalist); and writing as Rachel Summers, The Scent of RosesForever Mine and Tender Touch are available as e-books and after January 24, To Have and To Hold will be as well. When not writing, Charlene loves to travel, crochet, needlepoint, research genealogy, scrapbook, and dye Ukrainian eggs.

htp://www.charleneraddon.com/
http://www.charleneraddon.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CharleneRaddon?ref=hl

**********GIVEAWAY*********

Charlene will give away a free copy of one of her other books at each stop and, at the end of the tour, one randomly drawn commenter will win a $15 Amazon gift card.

-To be entered, leave a comment, along with your email addy.
-Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 4/26.

38 comments:

  1. Good morning. First let me thank Goddess Fish for setting up this promotional tour. As for my host, I think I love you. What a wonderful book review. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story. Thank you so much for hosting me and for reading To Have and To Hold.

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    1. Thank YOU for being here and for writing such an amazing story! Do you plan on writing a sequel to this since the door is open in regards to the missing brother?

      The Scarf Princess

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  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks To Have and To Hold is an amazing story. Charlene, you're a fabulous storyteller!

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    1. Morning Kem. Thanks for joining us, and for the nice compliment

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  3. I'm sorry I wasn't able to follow all the stops on your tour, Charlene, but I'm glad I made it to this one. Very nice review.

    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks, Alison. So glad you stopped by.

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  4. Thanks for this excellent review. Looking forward to reading this book for myself.

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  5. This sounds like another great read from Charlene! Looks like my TBR pile is getting higher.

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  6. Hey, Paty, how nice of you to stop by. I appreciate it. I wonder if your TBR pile is as big as mine. If so, you're in trouble, lady.

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  7. Great review, Charlene. And what a great love story To Have and To Hold is. It's the kind of book I enjoy reading.

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    1. Hi Peggy. I appreciate your comment and your stopping by to visit.

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  8. What a wonderful review. The story sounds great, I can't wait to read it.

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  9. Hi Ingeborg. I'm curious if you had the same problem I did at yesterday's stop where only one comment was posted. I left two messages and neither one was published. Did you try to leave a comment there? I'm worried that some of the readers who have been following me on this tour will be cheated out of a chance at the grand prize so I hope they'll let me know if they tried but were unable to leave comments yesterday.

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    1. Hi Charlene!

      I just wanted to say that I commented yesterday! The first one, and then again because it didn't seem to get published the first time. I'm not sure what's going on over there. Maybe she just needs to approve comments? Cheers!

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    2. Every now and again a comment doesn't post properly on my site either. It's very exasperating and I always feel responsible, even though I know I have no control over it. That's why I have a note in my sidebar that tells people to email me with their comments if they don't post properly and that way I can post it for them. I've had to do so once or twice actually.

      The Scarf Princess

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  10. Another great review, and well deserved, Charlene.

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  11. Hey, nice of you to drop in. Thanks. I signed up to host you one day on your GF tour.

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  12. Wow! What a wonderful review! Really makes the book come to life! Thanks so much for sharing!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Hey Andra. Hi. Yeah, isn't the review nice? I'm happy.

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  13. Fantastic review! I know I am really enjoying the book. I haven't had a lot of time to read this week and I am a slow reader. Thanks so much for sharing your books with us.

    quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Aw, Quilt Lady, I'm so happy you like the book, and I'm thrilled to share my books. That's why I wrote them, to share.

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  14. Very nice review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thank you bn100. Haven't seen you around before. I hope you stick with the tour.

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  15. Charlene, To Have and to Hold sounds like a wonderful read. It's going on my TBR list for sure. Nice to learn more about your writing!

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    1. Thanks, Lyn. You'll have to let me know how you like it. Glad you stopped by.

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  16. Sounds like a great read. Love finding a new author and book to read.
    lauratroxelatyahoodotcom

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  17. Thank you for the chance. I enjoy meeting new to me authors!

    Kassandra
    sionedkla@gmail.com

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  18. Kassandra, I enjoy meeting new authors too, and readers as well. Thank you for stopping by.

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  19. Oh, this hero. This hero sounds so swoony! A good tortured, conflicted hero is always of the good ;-)

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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    1. Buck definitely is swoony, Chelsea. I love tortured heroes too.

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  20. Great excerpt! I cant wait to read this one!
    -Amber
    goodblinknpark(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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    1. Thank you, Vamped. I'm so glad you stopped by.

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  21. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! SHELLEY S. calicolady60@hotmail.com

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    1. Thanks for joining us and for the good wishes. I wish you lots of luck as well.

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  22. Well, it's been a great day, but now it's time to announce the winner for today's giveaway.
    Congratulations, laura troxel. You've won your choice of one of my other books. I'll email you for arrangements.

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