Tugs at the Heartstrings
In 'Promises,' by Michelle Lynn, main character Maggie struggles to find her footing after a troubled childhood and difficult marriage. Her past continually comes back to haunt her, from her father to her ex-husband, who also happened to be one of her childhood best friends. The only thing that remains steady in her life is her relationship with her other best friend, Elijah. His promise to always be there for her no matter the circumstance has never weighed on her, but she is finding herself questioning if their relationship is as it should be, or if it should maybe be something more.
Despite the predictability of much of the storyline, it does not struggle to keep readers' attention. The best sections of the novel revolve around Maggie and Elijah's relationship, as well as Maggie's journey to come to terms with her past and the father she felt the need to escape from, and to keep her cousin Jason safe from, too.
The secondary characters in the story - namely Michaela, Jason, Chris, and Josh - helped add some levity to the story, but Maggie's own sense of sarcasm didn't hurt in that area either. Elijah's desire to care for her and be there for her is abundantly clear, and his decision to give her time to figure out her life is a kind decision on his part, especially due to the fact that she is struggling to come to terms with her past. However, sometimes the relationships among the characters were not quite as clear as they could have been. They were obviously all friends, but Josh especially didn't stand out in terms of his connection to the rest of the group. However, for those who have read 'Choices,' his relationship will make more sense.
Overall, Michelle Lynn delivers an engaging and romantic getaway in 'Promises,' in the same way she did in her first novel in this series, 'Choices'. The romantic scenes will make your insides ooh and aah, while Maggie's desire to find strength to move on with her life will at times bring tears. It is a sweet story that tugs at the heartstrings.