Promises Prevail (Promises, #3) by Sarah McCarty
Series: Promises #3
Also in this series: Promises Linger
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: January 1st 1970
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Wyoming Territory 1870
Widowed and barren, Jenna sees the newborn left on her doorstep as a priceless gift worthy of any sacrifice. She knows she'll need a husband to keep the baby, but nothing prepares her for the man who offers. Big and dark, simmering with a deadly intensity, Clint McKinnely could put fear into the devil. He certainly strikes fear into her. But Jenna soon discovers that the man behind the reputation is the one man she longs to trust.
A hard man burned out by the choices he's made, Clint is looking for a reason to go on. He finds one in Jenna Hennessy. Lushly plump, sweet and shy, she calls to him on every level. When it looks as though Jenna might lose the daughter she loves for lack of a husband, Clint steps forward. Having Jenna in his home brings Clint a peace he's never known, but even as he ferrets out the secrets that haunt Jenna's nightmares, Clint keeps his own close to his chest, knowing this marriage is temporary because there are some sins a man can't expect his wife to forgive.
This is the third book in the Promises series. I reviewed the first one here. The second was a DNF for me. I just couldn’t get past the first few chapters, so I put it down. I don’t feel like I missed anything, either, so I think these can be read as stand-alones.
Clint has always wanted Jenna, but he stayed away from her, first because she was married, then because he felt he wasn’t good enough for her. Jenna is slightly afraid of Clint. He’s a big man and her experience with men hasn’t been the best, so she avoids him whenever possible. She opens her own bakery after her husband dies and is comfortable running it and being on her own. But when a baby is left on her doorstep, she knows she needs a husband or she’ll never be able to keep it.
Clint steps up and asks Jenna to marry him. He’s already claimed her daughter as his own and Jenna reluctantly agrees, not because she wants to, but because she knows she doesn’t have any other choice.
What Clint doesn’t realize is that Jenna was severely abused by her first husband. Not just a little bit like Clint thought, but worse than even he can imagine. Jenna has a hard road to recovery ahead of her, and she isn’t sure she’ll be able to make it. Once Clint realizes the extent of Jenna’s issues, he knows he’ll have to fight extra hard to bring her back.
Once again Sarah McCarty as written a keeper with this book. I truly adored Asa, the hero from Promises Linger, but I think Clint tops even him. Although he isn’t aware of the depth of Jenna’s emotional baggage in the beginning, he’s still patient and tender with her, waiting until she’s ready before he pushes her into a place she isn’t able to go.
I think the most fascinating part of this story is Jenna’s journey, however. In the beginning she’s timid and seems afraid of her own shadow, but with Clint’s help, she grows to be an amazingly strong woman. I loved that aspect of this story.
The secondary characters (The same ones we saw in the previous two books) truly enriched this story. Just as I was about to get bored with Jenna and Clint, someone else would enter the scene and lighten it up accordingly.
I did become frustrated a couple of times with both the hero and heroine, however. I think Clint did his best to understand Jenna’s position, but I don’t think he pushed her hard enough to find out the whole story, especially when it became apparent it was much more involved than he originally realized. And Jenna was somewhat wishy-washy. I was able to overlook this for the most part because of her past, but a couple times I wanted to smack her upside the head. Cougar especially bothered me. He kept wanting to offer Clint a way out of the marriage, but never really explained why, i.e., because he didn’t like Jenna, or he wanted better for her, or whatever. That part bothered me a lot. I was able to move past it, however. And I think part of my problem with him is that I didn’t read his story, so I was somewhat biased.
This is a very character driven story, and though some elements didn’t work well for me, overall it was a wonderful story. I’d highly recommend it.
4.0 out of 5