I was gifted Abby’s Promise as an ebook in order to review and take part in the blog tour that has been happening over the past week or so. The book focuses on a split narrative between Abby and her childhood crush/best friend Joseph Harrison. The book is set 8 years since the end of high school, with Abby having been to college and becoming a professor and Joseph having served active duty as a Marine.
The romance genre isn’t something that I usually go for, but I liked the blurb of the story and thought it might be need to branch out into another area. It’s always good to try and find new authors to read as well.
********* This review contains spoilers ***********
He walked out of my life eight years ago, and for the first couple of years, I wrote him faithfully.
Then life happened, and we lost track of each other. Now he’s back; appearing one day on campus and sweeping me off my feet. He looks the same—rough stubble on his square jaw, broody brown eyes, thick brows that always lifted when I made him laugh. My Jo-Jo has come home after eight years in Afghanistan.
She looks the same as I remember her in high school, but now she’s all woman—sophisticated, educated, and just as curvy as ever. And now she’s a professor, and I’m falling for her all over again like I did at senior prom. War screwed me up, but every day Abby was my saving grace.
She promised one day she’d never let me go, made me promise I’d come back to her. I’ve come back to claim that promise. There’s just one problem: Abby’s moved on. How will I convince the love of my life that a day never went by without her on my mind?
Initial Thoughts on Abby’s Promise
I will hold my hands up and say the start of the book had me confused. I didn’t understand why Abby felt the need to cover up to Joey about her feelings. To be honest, I still kinda don’t. But it did have me questioning if I would enjoy this book at all. It seemed that although the characters were 26/27, they acted like children. As a 26 year old, I felt that their behaviour to each other was weird.
I think I was mainly confused, as the story so far made it seem as though Abby had moved on from what she and Joey had previously. With the slim amount of back story you received up until this point, I couldn’t understand what the problem was. I also didn’t know why she would be so reluctant to talk to him and make contact with him.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a short, quick, fun read but I felt that there were certain things that were glossed over. The main thing was Abby’s marriage to Evan. She didn’t want Joey to know about this as the two had been friends in high school, but Abby and Joey had never dated. I understood that she had carried a torch for him, but this didn’t make sense. The hints that her marriage was more of one of convenience due to her having fallen pregnant was an area that I found interesting but the story never settled on for any length of time.
I really enjoyed the use of the dual point of view for the narrative. Although when the voice first switched, I was more than a little confused. It was nice to be able to get a feel of how both Joey and Abby felt with the unfolding of the mess around them. To see that each person viewed things in a different way, and how that made them react added to the strength of the narrative.
What was Abby’s promise?
Abby’s promise changed within the narrative. Initially this was her promise to keep in touch with Joey and to make sure that they always stayed friends. I think this was more so that Joey had some sort of safety blanket for when he would eventually leave the Marines. But life didn’t quite work out that way. We see evidence of this in remembered texts from the past, where both parties would remember something poignant to the next bit of story. In some cases this was Abby trying to explain away her feelings of ignoring Joey. And for Joey his annoyance that he never told her how he felt sooner.
However, later on in the book Abby’s promise changes. Her new relationship with Joey ends up with her falling pregnant (accidentally) and agreeing to let Joey look after her and her daughter. He asks her to marry him, and although she is shocked there is the implication that she will but not right at that second of being asked.
***** 4 out of 5 stars.
As much as the cheesiness of the romance was detailed, it was a nice change to read something that was somewhat uplifting. Even if I did think that it was perhaps, maybe a little too far-fetched. Joey’s determination to right the wrongs of high school and prove just how much Abby, and her daughter Zoey, meant to him were sweet with a wish fulfilment feel.
I would recommend this books to friends and family as a holiday read. It’s short enough for even the average person to enjoy during a week long holiday in the sun. Plus, the romance is done in such a way that it will help to keep your mood light and happy during the time away as well.
Hasta la fuego