Leigh Greenwood is a new author to me. I was very fortunate to have met this lovely man (yes, a man writing romance) at RWA in San Antonio this Summer and I grabbed his first book in the CACTUS CREEK COWBOYS series, To Have And To Hold and fell in love.
After a disappointing marriage to a man her father basically sold her to, Laurie Spencer and become a widow after the sudden death of her husband Noah. Instead of going into mourning, Laurie takes a breath of relief. Her husband didn't let one day go by without insulting her appearance or discounting her intelligence and abilities. She is finally able to live the way she wants to without anyone telling her what to do, how to dress or how to act...or so she thinks. When Laurie appears at the bank for her brother in law, Norman Spencer, to read the will, he tells Laurie that he is to dispense the inheritance as he sees fit as per Noah's wishes. Once again Laurie is to be under another man's thumb. There must be a way for her to escape from the clutches of overbearing men wanting to rule her life.
Fresh out of the Army and new to Arizona, Jared Smith buys himself a ranch with her nephew and a few good ex-army men and sets out with an idea to raise Hereford cows on the ranch instead of the preferred Longhorns. When he approaches banker, Norman Spencer about a loan, he is summarily rejected and leaves the bank in a huff. Having heard some of the goings on about the loan, Laurie comes up with a plan to free her from Norman iron fist.
Laurie approaches Jared Smith about a partnership in his ranch for her fronting the money for the livestock. Jared is surprised to find the widow Spencer is not only a beauty, but she has brains and determination to boot . But take money from a woman? That might be a bit much for this man. Jared is about to refuse the offer, when he comes up with the idea for Laurie to work as his housekeeper, but the sparks that are already flying between these two are bound to ignite into a full-blown fire if they remain in each other's vicinity for any prolonged amount of time. Laurie has insisted that she will never marry again after her stint as Mrs. Spencer has left her with a bitter taste for marriage, and Jared is so wrapped up in his ranch and the loan, that he fails to see what's right in front of his face until he is about to lose it.
TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH by Leigh Greenwood is a gripping tale of renewal. The residents of Cactus Creek have all begun to prosper and welcome new members into their fold. When Jared comes to town, a single and very handsome man, there is bound to be speculation as to his goings-on at his ranch. Jared has an open appreciation for the female persuasion, and his attraction to Laurie is out-shined only his need to succeed with the ranch and the search for his long lost siblings. TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH is a well written and endearing story and I hope to read more from Leigh Greenwood in the future.