Title: A Promise of Forever by Marilyn Pappano
Tallgrass Series Book Four
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 369 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Sergeant First Class Avi Grant’s return to Tallgrass, Oklahoma is a long-deferred wish come true. With her final tour in Afghanistan over, Avi can focus on her future-a job here at home and a family of her own. There’s just one thing she has to do first: visit her beloved commanding officer’s widow and share her grief. The last thing she expected was to feel an instant attraction to the woman’s son. Too bad the sexy surgeon is impossible to ignore . . . and even harder to resist.
The sting of his parents’ divorce still niggles at Ben Noble. So when a warm, funny, and beautiful young sergeant arrives, mourning his stepfather’s loss as strongly as his mother does, Ben can’t help but feel conflicted. If his parents taught him anything, it’s that love doesn’t last-especially with a career soldier. But try as he might to keep his distance, Ben begins to see that Avi-and the spark she brings to his life-is the stuff forever is made of. As Avi’s leave ticks away, can Ben convince her to take a chance on forever with him?
Marilyn Pappano keeps the Tallgrass series fresh with A Promise of Forever, the newest addition to this heartwarming and meaningful series. Instead of focusing on someone who has lost a spouse, this novel centers on two people’s whose lives have been affected by the death of George Sanderson: his stepson, Ben Noble and his best friends’ daughter, Avi Grant.
Ben and his estranged mother Patricia were introduced A Love to Call Her Own following George’s death in Afghanistan. Ben is still struggling with his lingering resentment toward Patricia for leaving him and his sisters when she divorced his father to marry George. His troubled relationship with his mom has improved in the months since their uneasy reunion, but Ben is nowhere near forgiving her for breaking his father’s heart and tearing their family apart.
Avi’s admiration for George is the reason she chose to enlist in the Army and she was overjoyed that she and her mentor finally had the opportunity to serve together in Afghanistan. Now on leave before beginning her next duty assignment, she has returned home to spend some time with Patricia and her parents. Avi’s first stop when she arrives in Tall Grass is Patricia’s where she meets Ben and after the two hit it off, they decide to enjoy one another’s company until it is time for her to report to her new base.
Despite losing many of her friends in combat, Avi is surprisingly upbeat and positive. She loves her career and she is eager to begin her next assignment. Although she still has eight years until retirement, she is hopeful that she will realize her dream of marrying and raising a family someday soon. Avi is surprised by her attraction to Ben, and while she knows there is really no chance for a future together, she decides to live in the moment and grab her chance at happiness even if it does not last beyond thirty days.
Ben and Avi’s relationship is easygoing and stress free. Both realize that their romance has an expiration date, but they do not let this stand in the way of spending as much time together as possible. They genuinely enjoy one another’s company and although they don’t see eye to eye on a few things, no arguments or disagreements mar their time together. But with Avi’s departure date fast approaching, both come to realize that their casual relationship has transformed into something much deeper, but neither can see any way of making their relationship permanent. Avi is fully committed to her career while Ben is firmly entrenched in Tallgrass. Will they sacrifice their love or will they find a compromise that will allow them to live happily ever after?
A Promise of Forever is another warm and inviting installment in the Tallgrass series. As always, the characters are beautifully developed, multi-faceted and so lifelike that it is easy to become emotionally invested in unfolding story. The novel is well-written with a believable storyline and Marilyn Pappano touches on relevant issues in a thought-provoking and realistic manner. Intriguing glimpses of a character with ties to one of the members of the Margarita Club will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next novel in the Tallgrass series.