naomi lecroy to hold and to heal

TO HOLD AND TO HEAL: Nice is at her wit’s end, struggling to keep her alcoholic father’s bar and grill open after the death of her brother, dealing with flaky employees, and just about working herself to death. She more than needs some sexual diversion, so when a sexy vet with a limp offers her a one night stand, she takes him up on it–only to have him walk through the bar’s door the next day. As it turns out, he was one of her dead brother’s best friend’s. He promised her brother he’d take care of her, and he’s not going home until he does.

to hold and to love naomi lecroy

TO HOLD AND TO LOVE: When Alyssa starts writing a Navy Seal in a pen pal program, she has no idea that their letters back and forth will eventually ignite sparks in both their hearts. But when her Navy Seal gets back to the states, will his extreme PTSD keep them from realizing the relationship that started through letters?


The Good:

TO HOLD AND TO HEAL:  I rarely read surly female characters that I actually like, so Nice was a great surprise. She’s surly, but for very good reasons. She has a lot on her plate, and she’s self-sacrificing to a fault. I think a lot of readers while identify with her. The story itself is not only touching, but pretty dang romantic, and I adored her best friend Peg, who told it like it was, while always seeming to have Nice’s best interest in mind. I also loved that the hero has all his stuff figured out, while she does not and that his love and healing inspires her in terrific ways.

TO HOLD AND TO LOVE: I loved watching the H/H get to know each other through letters first. The Navy Seal hero is sympathetic, and I was definitely cheering for him. Really great initial courtship.


The Bad:

TO HOLD AND TO HEAL: The hero is a little underdeveloped, but the author makes up for this by not  giving him a POV.  Good choice. This line from the hero addressing the black heroine was weird: “You turn such a pretty shade of red when you’re embarrassed.”

TO HOLD AND TO LOVE: This story starts off great but then runs into a bunch of craft and structure issues. The hero and heroine spend way too much of the book apart, which really stagnates their growth as a couple and the romantic arc of the story. And, most of the conflict is either summarized or conveyed through interior thought which gave the novella a very rushed feeling and ultimately rendered it an unsatisfying read. The characters never  really deal with each other, and all of their healing takes place either off page or while they’re apart. In the end it was hard to see why the H/H needed to be together, and this made the novella’s sweet epilogue feel unearned.

The Naughty:

TO HOLD AND TO HEAL: Steamy. Good sex scenes.

TO HOLD AND TO LOVE: Steamy verging on erotic. Good sex scenes.

Editing issues:

TO HOLD AND TO HEAL: Some typos. Exclamation mark abuse.

TO HOLD AND TO LOVE: Several typos. A few convoluted sentences.

Publisher: Naomi Lecroy

Length: HEAL: 95 pages LOVE: 83 pages

Final Grade: TO HOLD AND TO HEAL: B+


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Theodora Taylor writes and reviews in Pittsburgh, PA.




  1. Interracial Romance Author
    Aug 7, 2013

    As a fellow interracial romance author I think writing bad reviews of other books in the genre is in bad taste and doesn’t speak well for our genre. It’s not any different than running around Amazon leaving bad reviews on your competitor’s books. Theodore, your books do well enough that you don’t need to belittle the new writers who are, I’m sure, trying their best. I’ve read Naomi Lecroy’s first book and thought it was pretty good for a first book. Most of her Amazon reviews were 4 and 5 stars. How do you think she would feel if she read your review of the second one? While we don’t need to give away our trade secrets, I do think as a group of authors we should strive to have some class and be above doing things like this. Sure, there’s some pretty bad books in the IR romance these days, but I would never give someone a bad review in our same genre because its bad karma. What if we all started review blogs and ran down each other’s books? We all use the same keywords, etc. so this is just BAD business. Let’s all show some class ladies! We don’t want to end up like some of the urban fiction writers who are threatening to fight each other on a daily basis. Seriously, this doesn’t set well.