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Monday, February 8, 2010

Promise Me by Deborah Schneider

Promise Me by Deborah Schneider
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (282 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fern

After spending years in an arranged marriage as the repressed wife of an older man, Amanda Wainwright has learned the hard way that money can’t buy happiness. She arrives in Willow Creek determined to keep a deathbed promise to her husband and do something to help other people. When Amanda meets a handsome, mysterious stranger who tempts her with sweet promises and long nights of passion, she discovers a fiery, passionate nature that could lead her to disaster.

For Samuel Calhoun, falling in love wouldn’t just be foolish, it could be deadly. He’s in Willow Creek, Montana as an undercover agent for the Secret Service. In order to maintain his secret identity, he accepts an offer from a consortium of mine owners to seduce, humiliate, and ruin the Widow Wainwright. Before long, Sam knows he’s met the woman who can banish the aching emptiness in his soul, and he’s willing to risk everything – even his life – to be with her.

I have a confession to make – I’ve lusted after a copy of Promise Me ever since I got a look at the cover on the coming soon page of The Wild Rose Press. It’s absolutely lovely, and to my delight, the blurb indicated the story would be right up my alley. Secrets, attraction, desire, betrayal…how could you possibly go wrong?

What I didn’t know was just how much I would enjoy the heartbreaking and unforgettable characters that weave their way into your heart and remain there long after you’ve finished the final page. Author Deborah Schneider has crafted an incredible story of love and loss, trust and deceit, and forgiveness and understanding.

Amanda is a young widow on a mission to fulfill a dead man’s wish. Having forgotten what it’s like to live, she finds purpose in assisting those in need. Yet, it’s her meeting with the handsome businessman Samuel that ignites a spark in her heart. It’s wonderful to see her emerge from her tightly constructed shell into a playful woman who embraces a chance at happiness.

Of course, there is a flipside to every coin, and in this case it’s Sam’s bargain to shame Amanda and force her to leave town. Even as he falls for the beautiful widow, you know their future is on a collision course with the truth. When Sam is forced to come clean, all bets are off. Although I thought I knew what would happen, I was shocked to learn I wasn’t even close. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, and was intrigued by the unexpected twists and turns that kept me on my toes.

There is so much more to Promise Me than meets the eye, which is what makes it so memorable. While I can’t reveal too much for fear of spoiling the story, the varying subplots, tension, and chemistry between the protagonists are woven together perfectly and kept me turning the pages. This is a definite must read for the TBR list, and is wonderfully written, plotted, and presented. If you’re in the market for a story that leaves an indelible impression, look no further. This is the first story I’ve enjoyed by Ms. Schneider but it most assuredly will not be the last.