Note: This ARC was provided by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
The ache in his body was simply moved aside as he studied her facial expression, her reactions, completely mesmerized. Every time she bit her bottom lip, or sighed out in want, or squeezed her eyes closed, it made him thirsty for more. But when she opened them and gazed into his soul, she was breathtaking.
And she was his.
Now, this is a debut I can most certainly get behind and gush about! Anissa Garcia has shared with us a story about an actor and a romance novelist, one far more well-known and recognizable than the other, and has given it a freshness that doesn't just make it stand out but makes it way too easy to fall in love with. Oh, and did I mention how worthy of being anyone's next book boyfriend the male protagonist is? Yes, fellow bookaholics, A Promise Kept swept me off my feet with its wit, the banter between the main characters, and an overall feeling of love and hope. It may not be a quick read but it's one that's worth every single minute you put into it. I've read quite a few famous-person-and-regular-person-falling-for-each-other books in the past, but this Anissa Garcia-penned release definitely belongs on my list of all-time favorites when it comes this particular romance sub-genre. This was such an irresistibly adorable read and one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to all readers out there who appreciate true romance.
A Promise Kept is about Evan Jonathan Matthews, a thirty-four-year-old actor who isn't known merely known for being the gorgeous specimen of maleness that he is. No, Evan actually backs his reputation up with true acting talent, and he has goals of directing even more movies in the future. Living in Texas while filming the last movie in the franchise that made him a box office draw becomes far more interesting when he meets his neighbor and the property manager, thirty-two-year-old Grace Lynn Clark. His attention may have been caught by her obvious beauty, but it's her feisty nature and lack of interest once he starts flirting with her that makes him far more intrigued by her. His fascination with the multi-published romance author has him willing and able to do what it takes to get to know her better. And as much as Grace tries to resist Evan's charms, the two forge an unlikely friendship, one with an underlying attraction that grows with each passing day. But Grace has a reason why she needs to keep Evan as a friend and nothing more...
Evan was so much more than a well-known actor. While there was attention put on what he did and how his celebrity affected their relationship, it wasn't the sole focus of his love story with his Gracie Lynn. The back and forth between these two was entertaining, Grace nowhere near the damsel in distress waiting for her knight in shining armor to rescue her. Did she need support and a push in the right direction? Definitely, but she was also quite independent, an independence brought about by her very strained and distant relationship with her parents. This is in direct contrast with what Evan shares with his mother and sisters, as well as his brother-in-law and nephew. You see, this book isn't merely about romantic love. It's also very much about the love you share with your family, and it was clearly seen in Evan's interactions with his family and between Grace and her older brother Nate. This was also about forgiveness; not just the forgiveness we bless other people with, but the forgiveness that we sometimes refuse to gift ourselves.
Have I told you how much I adored this book? The fact that it's written as well as it is earns it extra kudos. I'm not saying that it's an absolutely perfect novel, both in terms of editing and storytelling. Based on my personal preferences and own humble editing experience, it does come pretty close. Take note, though, that I am basing this review and rating on an advanced copy, so I'm going to assume that the corresponding corrections (and there were honestly very few errors that I came across) were made prior to the novel's publication. Both Grace and Evan are well-rounded characters, and it's easy enough to like them as both a couple and as individuals, although that doesn't mean that they're ideal or without fault. This also has several supporting characters that I hope will be getting stories as well (i.e. Zach Collins and Hilary Matthews and Josh McKenzie and Marla Sullivan), so yes, my fingers are crossed that A Promise Kept promises to be a series starter. Whether as that or a standalone, A Promise Kept gets five-plus stars. ♥
Date Read: 07 June 2016
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