Note: This ARC was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
"Relax, Marla. Have a little faith."
Faith? Faith was something I hadn't thought about in some time. Faith was believing in something I couldn't see, and I'd much rather something be tangible. But when I looked into those sparkling eyes, I thought I might be able to believe in him and give him that faith. "I'll try."
Joshua McKenzie may very well be an undeniable specimen of physical male perfection, but Marla Sullivan is done with men who spend way too much time in the gym bulking up and trying to be all that but turn out to be nothing much at all. The marketing specialist, however, can't help it if her eyes stray in the physical trainer's direction whenever he's around. Neither can she stop herself from fawning over his adorable mutt, Hank. But when Marla is mugged on her way home, Josh and their friends insist that she learn how to protect herself better. Thus begins a hesitant friendship between Josh and Marla, one composed of a step or two forward and then taking a leap back. He's protective of her and would love nothing more than to take care of her, but she's used to taking care of herself and the last thing she wants is to rely on a man. But the more time they spend together, the more Marla wonders if she could have been wrong in her original assessment of Josh, and if she can admit that she was wrong, will she finally be able to allow herself to admit that there's a distinct possibility that maybe she doesn't totally hate him?
Gah! Josh, Josh, Josh. Do men like him actually exist in the real world, because if they do, someone please tell me they aren't all taken. Introduced in A Promise Kept, Josh McKenzie gets to have his own happy ending with Marla Sullivan in A Promise Made, both books written by Anissa Garcia. This must be the day for British book boyfriends because Josh was the second fictional Brit who won me over today. The guy's discipline and patience was unlike anything I've come across as of late, and I admit that there were times I wondered if Marla was really worth it. She treated him as if he had the plague early on, and then there was one particular point where I found myself gobsmacked at how she blindsided the poor guy. It took me a long while to like Marla, especially with how she wanted to make sure Josh understood how she was independent and that no guy could control her but yet she allowed herself to be treated like crap by her boss's son and didn't call him out on it. Still, she finally did win me over, and by the end, I saw how she and Josh really did seem to be destined to be together after all the obstacles.
Catholicism is mentioned here and for the sake of full disclosure I happen to be a Catholic--born and raised though I see myself as more of a progressive Catholic now that I'm older than a traditional one--but this wasn't an in your face promotion of the religion. Rather, the focus here was on faith--faith in something greater than ourselves, faith in love, faith in other people, and it was something that I so appreciated. Marla was certainly lacking faith in different aspects, but it was Josh who opened her heart and mind to it, and how, in turn, faith can help heal you. Josh was a man of his word and he kept any of the promises he made. Yes, he was hesitant to share his entire past with Marla, and understandably so, because when I found out what he had been through, my heart broke for him. Yet, in spite of it all, he is the man that he is today. Seriously, the guy should be on everyone's list of top book boyfriends--British or otherwise--because he loves his woman, his dog, and his friends and he's loyal, trustworthy, and respectful. With an inspiring and heartwarming story about love and faith, A Promise Made gets five-plus stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Promise series:
A Promise Kept (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
A Promise Ignited (short story) - five stars - My Review
A Promise Made (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Date Read: 16 November 2016
Learn more about Anissa Garcia.
Purchase A Promise Made on Amazon.