Series: Promises

Promises Prevail by Sarah McCarty

Posted December 27, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Promises Prevail by Sarah McCartyReviewer: Holly
Promises Prevail (Promises, #3) by Sarah McCarty
Series: Promises #3
Also in this series: Promises Linger
Published by Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: January 1st 1970
Pages: 377
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

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

You can buy it here or here.

The Series is:
Promises Linger
Promises Keep
Promises Prevail

four-stars


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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
Also in this series: Promises Prevail (Promises, #3)
Published by Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: 2004-07
Genres: Erotica
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
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


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