Friday, 3 July 2015

Review - A Promise of Forever by Marilyn Pappano

Title: A Promise of Forever
Series: Tallgrass #4
Author: Marilyn Pappano
Release Date: June 30, 2015

Sergeant First Class Avi Grant's return to Tallgrass, Oklahoma is a long-deferred wish come true. With her final tour in Afghanistan over, Avi can focus on her future-a job here at home and a family of her own. There's just one thing she has to do first: visit her beloved commanding officer's widow and share her grief. The last thing she expected was to feel an instant attraction to the woman's son. Too bad the sexy surgeon is impossible to ignore . . . and even harder to resist. 

The sting of his parents' divorce still niggles at Ben Noble. So when a warm, funny, and beautiful young sergeant arrives, mourning his stepfather's loss as strongly as his mother does, Ben can't help but feel conflicted. If his parents taught him anything, it's that love doesn't last-especially with a career soldier. But try as he might to keep his distance, Ben begins to see that Avi-and the spark she brings to his life-is the stuff forever is made of. As Avi's leave ticks away, can Ben convince her to take a chance on forever with him?

Military families are just as complicated…

This is my first visit to Tallgrass, Oklahoma but it will definitely not be the last. Part of a series, I was able to enjoy this story as a standalone but I will definitely be catching up with the other books in the series. 

Avi Grant has been a member of the Army since she left high school. She had no idea the number of tours she would undertake and the number of friends she would lose along the way. She is stateside, hopefully for good, and visiting her family before starting her next assignment. Part of that visit will be to touch base with Patricia Noble, the widow of her CO, the man who started her on this journey in the first place. Meeting her son, Ben was unexpected, as was the love that quickly began to build between them. They are both single but the many obstacles between them may prevent them from having that happily ever after , the life and family, they both yearn for.

This is a sweet love story that gave me so much more. I loved how Avi was a strong woman who embraced her military career, while being a daughter, granddaughter and lover was still a big part of her life. Ben was a successful surgeon, had a loving relationship with his siblings but still struggled to connect with a mother he had lost a long time ago. The insight into military life and the aftermath, for both serving members and their families, was eye-opening as well as heart-breaking. 

“…its narrow borders encompassed so much: Remembrance. Pride. Honor. Sacrifice. Acknowledgment. Heartbreak. Loss. The giving up of dreams.”

I’m not a member of a military family but this story seems to ably convey the real emotion and turmoil behind loss, grief, and guilt felt by servicemen and women, and their families.

Assisted by meddling family, both two- and four-legged, Ben and Avi’s story unfolded in a fun and, at times, emotional ride. A sneak peek into the next story of the series has me grabbing my Kleenex and anxiously awaiting Bennie and Cal’s story.
~ Review by Diane

Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband's Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.

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