Review: Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty

Posted December 19, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Promises Linger by Sarah McCartyReviewer: Holly
Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty
Series: Promises #1
Published by Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: 2004-07
Genres: Fiction, Erotica, Romance, Historical, General
Pages: 432
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four-half-stars

Promises Linger By Sarah McCarty 1868 Wyoming Territory Elizabeth Coyote will do anything, anything at all, to save the ranch she loves, including marrying Asa MacIntyre, a broad shouldered, lean hipped silver eyed gunslinger with a ruthless reputation for getting the job done. Asa dreams of a place of his own, a wife, and the respect that comes with both. Marrying Elizabeth may have started as a means to an end, but nothing in Asa's wildest dreams prepares him for the excitement of unleashing the carnal woman beneath his wife's prim and proper exterior.

The first book I read by Sarah McCarty prior to this was Caine’s Reckoning. When Casee reviewed that book, she said something about the cover being a vast improvement from SM’s other covers…At the time, I said she was crazy, because I didn’t like the cover for CR. But then I saw the cover for this one and her other Promises books and now I understand…this cover is horrid. Those people scare me. shudder

Anyway, it’s lucky I don’t judge books based on their covers. This one was a fabulous read.

Elizabeth Coyote is in a pickle. Her father died and left her his ranch, but a woman alone in the late 1800’s can’t run a cattle ranch on her own..she needs a man to help her. So she marries the first man that comes a’courtin, Brent, only he turns out to be the worst scoundrel ever. Since it turns out the marriage wasn’t legal and never consummated, she turns instead to Asa McIntyre. He’s got a reputation for being mean as spit when he’s riled, but also gentle with women and children. She doesn’t have the best opinion of men, but figures to go with the lesser of two evils and marry Asa to save her ranch.

For Asa’s part, he’s always wanted a spread of his own and a lady for a wife. So when Elizabeth proposes marriage to save her ranch, he figures this is just God’s way of telling him dreams do come true. But he’s in for a surprise, because Elizabeth isn’t quite the lady he made her out to be, and saving the ranch could be his most difficult task yet.

I’ve never been a big fan of Westerns (Sorry Sybil). There isn’t a particular reason, they just aren’t my cup-a, but Sarah McCarty is going a long way towards changing my mind about this. I love her writing voice and the way she weaves her stories.

Before I go into my thoughts on this, can just say SM really knows how to open a story. Every book I’ve read of hers (I’m on my 4th now) so far has started off with a bang. This book was no exception. I was absolutely in awe of the heroine when she marched into a saloon, held her erstwhile husband at gun point and demanded he return her money and walk away from her. And when she smacked him across the face with a stool I cheered. Talk about starting with a bang.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story of Elizabeth and Asa. He’s tough as nails, but also caring and tender when it comes to women and children. And though Elizabeth is stubborn and independent, she’s not gratingly so. She realizes she needs a man to keep her ranch going and though she makes a mistake the first time around, she quickly realizes it and does what she can to correct it. And once she marries Asa, she does her best to be a good wife to him.

Asa was good to Elizabeth, too. Though he’s always wanted a spread of his own and a lady for a wife, he doesn’t take it for granted once he has it. He treats Elizabeth with respect and does his best to tease her into good moods. He understands that Elizabeth has had a rough time of it since her father died and does his best to take care of her and keep her safe.

Elizabeth is scarred by more than what’s happened since her father’s death, however. Turns out dear old dad wasn’t a shining example of parenthood and she’s got some unresolved issues. But she doesn’t shy from Asa..much. She tries her best to overcome her fears to please him, and I was captivated by their story.

I did have a few issues, however. The main one being the way Asa constantly shrugged aside Elizabeth’s offers of help around the ranch. She just wanted to be thought of as an equal partner, and he just wanted to keep her safe, but the way they skirted around the issue without really talking it out started to bug me. Her good friend Aaron also got on my nerves. He acted condescending and rude, and Elizabeth just shrugged it off. That might not have bothered me, except whenever her husband acted that way (or one of his men did) she got her knickers all in a twist over it. That seemed incongruous to me. Of course, it all worked out in the end, though, so the above mentioned wasn’t enough to ruin the story for me.

I’m giving this one a:

4.5 out of 5

You can buy it in print here or ebook here.

Be sure to check out the other two books in the series, too.

Promises Linger
Promises Keep
Promises Prevail

four-half-stars

9 Comments
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9 responses to “Review: Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty

  1. This is my FAVORITE McCarty book evah! Love, love, love me some Asa. He’s just perfect. My favorite scene… under the tree on their picnic when they are about to do it and she says, “It won’t go in” and he tells her he’s not ready. SIGH. Love him!

  2. I really like these books too. If you have not read the second one yet, it starts out kind of rough/violent, but it is really good, stick with it.

  3. Kris,
    I already stopped reading the 2nd one. I just couldn’t do it. *sigh* But I’m halfway through the 3rd and loving it.

    Anne,
    Yup, loved me some Asa. He was so great. 🙂

  4. I’ve read these, and enjoyed them, though maybe not as much as some people. I’m not a big fan of westerns either, so that might be part of it. They are definitely a bit darker. Great review.

  5. Most writers don’t get a say so in their book covers (unless they’re bestsellers and sometimes not even then) but I agree, those people are scary!

  6. Stacy,
    I couldn’t even read the second one, so I understand. And yes, they are on the darker side.

    Ladytink,
    I know it’s not the authors fault, but still….EEK! LOL

  7. Chantal

    *Dreamy sigh* I love Asa. He is uber yummy!
    I finally have books 2 and 3 again, and I plan to start the second book as soon as I am finished with the one I am reading right now.

    I wonder if I will have to stop reading the second one, too??
    You

  8. Rowena

    Hmmm, I haven’t read anything by SM before but I think I’m gonna start with this story, I love westerns and I haven’t read a good western in quite some time, maybe I should start with this one.

  9. I loved this book. Loved the series, but Promises Prevail I think was my favorite of the three.

    You ladies are really kicking some bootie with great posts. You’ve had a little bit of everything. Good work. REally. I wish I had more time lately to keep up with everything.