Promises - Promises Linger Paperback – 25 Jul 2008
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Elizabeth Coyote, desperate to hang onto the family ranch after her father's death, offers a deal to gunslinger Asa MacIntyre. He promises to do all he can to bring the ranch back from the brink of bankruptcy and in exchange she will become his wife. Given his ruthless reputation and his imposing physical presence, Elizabeth feels certain he is the man to keep her home solvent and protected, surely to thrive in future. While she's comfortable with her choice for the ranch's sake, she's worried for her own. For Asa is unlike any man she's ever met. He's incredibly handsome and sexy, but more than that, he treats her differently from any other man in her life. He's supportive of her decisions (at least when he agrees with them), he respects her intelligence and he seems to, well like her! Elizabeth is confused by his smiles and teasing ways. What is she to make of him? Why can't he be like other men, at least then she would know what to expect. At the same time, she's very glad he's not like other men especially when he smiles or looks at her that special way.
Little does Elizabeth know, but she has just handed Asa MacIntyre everything he's ever wanted. A respectable life and a respectable lady for a wife. Being the son of a prostitute and an unknown father, Asa craves respectability and stability. The ranch is more than he could ever have dreamed of and Elizabeth, well she's just the icing on the cake. She's lovely but skittish, prickly but he thinks he glimpses a fire in her that he plans to bring to the surface. He sets about seducing his wife and working to determine if the ranch is being sabotaged, and if so, by whom. The more he is with her the deeper he falls, but the more he looks at the ranch's books, he wonders if he will be able to save her beloved ranch. Will she still want him if he fails?
For me, Asa was the best part of this book. He's wryly funny, sexy, sweet and protective and I loved how he often used reversed psychology to help her shed her fears and inhibitions. Elizabeth was a bit more problematic for me. Dominated by the men in her life - her brutal father and her patronizing friend and neighbor Aaron - her resistance to Asa was understandable but frustrating. Though she is rankled by male domination, she also wishes that Asa would be the typical male - at least then she'd know where she stood - which was contradictory and a bit annoying to me. Asa was so obviously a nice guy and he proved it many times over that her doubts seemed to stick with her a little too long.
If you like your romances hot but semi-sweet, this one may be for you.
Elizabeth Coyote is in danger of losing her family's ranch. Taking the advice of her friend Aaron, she marries (or she thinks she marries) Brent Doyle, a nice enough looking fellow she believes will pull her ranch out of bankruptcy danger. It only takes her one night to see that he's not the man for her (abusive fists have a away of doing that). She confronts him the day after their farce of a wedding to reclaim money he stole from her and to give him the boot, which he naturally does not take kindly to (picture a big stupid man that thinks all women are stupid). When things begin to get a little out of hand in the saloon, Asa MacIntyre comes to her rescue (picture a tall, lean and gorgeous bounty hunter with a soft spot for abused women and children), and steps in as the new man in her life. After ripping Brent a new one, he and Elizabeth tie the knot (for real this time) and forge ahead with an awkward relationship. Asa has dreamed his whole life of a respectable wife and home (his mother was a prostitute, his father was a customer) and he sees Elizabeth as his one chance to deliver that unspoken promise. Elizabeth was raised by a loving mother that was tragically killed and a father that never understood how to raise a daughter. To say they each have their hang-ups is an understatement. Asa is determined though to have a complete marriage, and he gives Elizabeth no mercy in trying to achieve that goal. His patience and understanding know no bounds, despite his wife's determination to keep their marriage as business-like as possible. Asa pursues her with enough gusto to make any woman's heart pitter-patter (I know mine did). Not only does Asa care deeply for Elizabeth, but he is just what she needs to uncover why the ranch is being deliberately run aground and who's behind it.
The characters, especially Asa and Elizabeth, were so interesting and believable. Elizabeth's attitude at times was frustrating to read through, but I came to understand the reasons for her behavior as the book took shape. Asa is a man any woman would be lucky to have, but he needed a strong woman like Elizabeth to be able to hold him. The dynamic between the two of them was just amazing and so much fun to read about. I've rarely felt that kind of chemistry between two lead characters before. The secondary characters were just as well developed and readers will get a glimpse of the two heroes, Clint and Cougar, of McCarty's next two books in the series, both of whom promise to be just as hunky and mouth-watering as Asa.
The thing that really made this book unique to me was Asa. Imagine a man that is reasonable and knows how to communicate with his partner. I know - it's an amazing concept! It's so rare to find that type of man in the real world, let alone in a romance book. I could have died and gone to romance heaven as soon as he entered the story. He was so caring, sensitive and just "there" in every way for his wife. The intimate scenes were some of the best I've ever read, either in regular romance or erotica. I have an all new appreciation for horseback riding, if you know what I mean. Read the book to see what I mean on that one. It's scorching to say the least!
I'll definitely be purchasing the rest of the series in the very near future. Pick up "Promises Linger" by Sarah McCarty - you will love it. It's going on my keeper shelf as I will definitely be rereading it later.
This is a MUST purchase. You will love it time and time again!
I have read all of Sarah McCarty's books and I would buy every single book she writes. They are all with very rich characters and they make you feel very satisfied at the end of the book. You can purchase ebook formats at Ellora's Cave Publishing.
This is the first review I have written on Amazon - that is how strong I feel about her books. Enjoy! I certainly did.
The writer weaves a tale that will pull you in and make you a part of the story and hoping for only one kind of ending, a "happily ever after", which I still believe in, at my advanced age.
Asa MacIntyre has always wanted the respectability that came with having a lady for a wife. Knowing that this may be his big chance, Asa can't turn down Elizabeth's offer. When he soon finds himself falling for his wife, Asa counts that as a lucky bonus. Soon he is fighting to keep the ranch that his wife so loves and with a jealousy that is foreign to his nature.
Promises Linger is an amazing book. Taking place in Wyoming in 1868, you can just feel the helplessness that Elizabeth feels while trying to save her ranch. Trying to overcome a terrible tragedy in her childhood, Elizabeth wants nothing more than to have her husband care about her the same way she cares about him. The relationship that develops between these two is truly heart warming. A marriage of convenience soon turns into so much more. Prissy Elizabeth finds herself matched up to a man that is more than capable of taking care of her and their ranch. I did dislike something about the ending, but don't want to give it away. It just didn't seem to fit.
I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series!