Review | To Have and to Hold – Serena Bell

In February and March I read the first two books in the Returning Home series (Hold on Tight & Can’t Hold Back) and I lved them. Serena Bell knows how to make you connect with the characters and want them to have a happily ever after. This week the third book, To Have and to Hold, was released for a second time. A big thanks to the author for providing me an ARC to read and review!

He doesn’t remember her. She cherishes every moment of their time together. Is there any hope for a second chance?

Hunter Cross has lost a year. There’s a gap in his memory, and the woman who is living in his house has disappeared into it. He slept with her, fell for her, loved her—and he doesn’t remember any of it.

He knows he should send her away—except for one little thing. At night, when she slips into his bed, his body remembers hers.

Trina Levine is heartbroken, alone with her memories. Hunter won’t claim any of it—not the joyful days, not the steamy nights. It’s like Trina Levine dreamed it, and it hurts like nothing else could.

Except when Hunter cries out in his sleep and Trina comforts him. At those moments, Hunter’s body knows hers, and for a few, brief, blissful moments, Trina’s sure everything will be okay again.

Until morning comes.


After reading the first book in this series, I knew Jake was my favorite. That changed after reading the sequel and Nate became my favorite. Let’s just say it happened again, Hunter has now reached the top of the list! To Have and to Hold now has a very special place in my heart!!

Trina doesn’t believe in happily ever after. Her daughter’s father didn’t hang around and she’s done just fine on her own. That is until Hunter starts breaking down her walls. They have an amazing time together before he deploys with the promise of them having a fresh start of their own when he returns.

Hunter doesn’t believe in relationships either after his first marriage. They only got married for their daughter. His daughter is his everything, so when his wife passes away he does the best he can. With a new deployment around the corner, he gets close to Trina when they suggest she takes care of his girl. She’s friends with her daughter and it seems like the perfect thing to do.

Things take a turn for the worse when Hunter comes back from deployment after being injured and has lost a whole year of his memory. Having this story being told from both Trina’s and Hunter’s POV really helped me connect with these characters. Trina is devestated and thinks this is another reason to not believe in love. Hunter is scared he lost a year and doesn’t know if he’ll ever get it back.

Seeing Trina being so close to not only her daughter but his was so heartwarming! She started caring for her as her own without even being asked. It all came so natural. How can she move away from her after taking care of her for a year?

Hunter is a character you just want to hug. He just wants to know what he’s missing and the nightmares he has don’t help. Are they only dreams or also memories? Once again, he doesn’t want to promise anything to Trina, but he feels a connection!

Hunter and Trina really just belong together. There is a clear connection, even when he doesn’t remember their time together. I loved seeing them connect all over again and him even thinking of things to do he did the first time around. Old Hunter was there, but just not aware of it yet.

Taking a chance on love again, even when missing a part of your memory, isn’t easy. Seeing them slowly realize they need each other left a smile on my face. It was nice to see their daughters play a bigger part in this story as well. They all just wanted a family and a place to belong.

To Have and to Hold is filled with amazing characters, a lot of emotion, family, humor and some steamy moments. If you’re looking for all of this and an amazing love story, definitely pick up this book. I know we still have one more book to go in this series, but I will be surprised if the next character can top Hunter!

I love it when a book hits you in a certain way! This is one I won’t forget anytime soon!


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