Promises, Promises (Class of ‘85 Reunion Series)
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Pages: 65
Goes Well With: Fish and chips

A number of different authors from The Wild Rose Press have contributed to more than a dozen short e-books in the publisher’s Class of ’85 series. Most of the books feature simple stories about growing up and returning home (and, of course, finding love in the process), which make for some enjoyable lunchtime reads—and the latest installment, Promises, Promises, is no exception.

Kelly Burke Kincaid was one of the queen bees of Summerville High’s class of ’85. After graduating, she did exactly what everyone expected of her: she married a wealthy, successful businessman and became one of New York City’s high society wives. But then her rich, handsome husband swindled hundreds of people out of their savings and ran off to Brazil, leaving Kelly to shoulder the blame.

  
 
Lost and penniless, Kelly returns home to Summerville. Her parents are absolutely mortified by the scandal—and by the fact that Kelly gave up her trust fund to cover her ex-husband’s debt—but they reluctantly allow her to stay in the old apartment above their garage.

As Kelly struggles to get back on her feet—working a minimum-wage job—it isn’t her parents or her rich friends who give her the support she needs; it’s pub owner Michael “Little Mike” Doogan, her former classmate. But with all of these changes in her life, she’s reluctant to let him into her heart.

Like other books in the Class of ’85 series (including Fairy Tales Can Come True—also by James), Promises, Promises is another light and enjoyable short romance, with a pair of main characters that you can’t help but love.

It isn’t clear how Kelly became such a conscientious adult, since she’s spent her entire life surrounded by selfish, greedy snobs—and her willingness to sacrifice everything she’s got (and a portion of everything she makes) to pay for her ex-husband’s crimes does seem a bit extreme. Her willingness (and sometimes even eagerness) to be the martyr is sometimes frustrating, too. But, through it all, you’ll understand her fears, and you’ll admire her determination to do the right thing, even if it means being shunned by her friends and family.

We often learn the most about ourselves and our friends when we face our greatest challenges—and Kelly learns that Michael, his dad, and waitress Maggie are truly her friends. Though none of them are developed especially well, they’re kind and generous people who will win your heart right from the start.

My biggest complaint is that the dialogue often feels unnatural. No matter how kind and gentle a man may be, I just can’t imagine a big, brawny guy (or any guy, for that matter) gently saying “Hush.” The awkward lines are most frequently Michael’s, but some of the conversations also progress in unlikely ways—usually to keep things short and to the point.

As is often the case with these short e-reads, I would have liked to read more about the characters and their story. This time, though, it wasn’t because I felt that the characters were missing something; it was because I simply wanted to get to know them a little better. At the same time, though, because of the book’s length, some plotlines (like a not-so-suspenseful subplot involving a home intruder) are completely underdeveloped.

Despite a few flaws and inconsistencies, though, Promises, Promises is a lovable reunion romance—one that’s sure to leave you feeling refreshed and upbeat and ready to get back to the grind after spending your lunch break buried in a book.


Ed. Note: For more on Promises, Promises, visit TheWildRosePress.com.

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