Title: The Promise (The ‘Burg, #5)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 8 2014
Since his brother’s death, Benny Bianchi has been nursing his grudge against the woman he thinks led to his brother’s downfall. He does this to bury the feelings he has for Francesca Concetti, his brother’s girl. But when Frankie takes a bullet while on the run with Benny’s cousin’s woman, Benny has to face those feelings.
The problem is Frankie has decided she’s paid her penance. Penance she didn’t deserve to pay. She’s done with Benny and the Bianchi family. She’s starting a new life away from Chicago and her heartbreaking history.
Benny has decided differently.
But Frankie has more demons she’s battling. Demons Benny wants to help her face. But life has landed so many hard knocks on Frankie she’s terrified of believing in the promise of Benny Bianchi and the good life he’s offering.
Frankie’s new life leads her to The ‘Burg, where Benny has ties, and she finds she not only hasn’t succeeded in getting away, she’s doesn’t want to.
5 “OVER-PROTECTIVE, HOT, ITALIAN GUY” STARS!
“Minute by minute, baby.”
The Promise is book five in Kristen Ashley’s The ‘Burg series. But damn do I love this series! Therefore, once again I find myself at an impasse when it comes to writing a review for a Kristen Ashley book. I truly do want to eloquently present my thoughts about this wonderful book and explain why I loved it so much; however, formulating coherent thoughts about a book by this author has always been difficult for me. I simply want to storm the gates and scream “READ THIS BOOK, PEOPLE! IT IS AWESOME!” Anyways, I digress. Moving onwards with a review….
Thirty-four year old Francesca Concetti (a.k.a. Frankie) not only lost her boyfriend, Vinnie Bianchi, when he was murdered for his nefarious dealings with the mob, but she also lost his family who decided to hold a grudge against her as they believed she led to Vinnie’s downfall. Having been raised by two parents who were neglectful and who put the “c” in crazy, not to mention having siblings who were just as self-absorbed as their parents were, Frankie never knew what being surrounded by a family that was close and supportive was like. Until she became part of the Bianchi family. That all changed and was taken away from her with Vinnie’s death seven year ago. Since then Frankie has been going through the motions of life. She plays it safe, never gives all of herself away. Simply put, the light that is all Frankie has been dimmed. Well, Frankie has had enough. She’s done with the Bianchi family and has secured a job away from Chicago. She needs to start fresh and that is just what she’ll do….just as soon as she recovers from the gunshot wound she received from trying to help someone she barely knew (this takes place in At Peace, book two in this series, and is incidentally where this book picks up).
Thirty-five year old Benito Bianchi (a.k.a. Benny) and his family had to go through losing his older brother to the mob. This was a choice made by his brother, something no one in his family could have prevented. When Vinnie was murdered, the Bianchi’s in their grief placed much of the blame for the death on Vinnie’s girlfriend. Not seeing beyond the hurt of losing a loved one, they mistakenly thought Frankie was somehow responsible for all the crap decisions Vinnie made. Deep down Benny knew the grudge he was holding onto was wrong but it was surely better to hold on to that rather than fess up to the feelings he had for his dead brother’s girlfriend. When Frankie takes a bullet for his cousin’s woman, Benny is done staying away. He is prepared to face Frankie Concetti, reach out to her and attempt to salvage what he and his family destroyed in their grief.
“You done being a hothead, protective, Italian guy?”
“I’m never done with that.”
“I’m gonna hold the fuck on with everything I got and I’m taking you with me, Frankie.”
“Benny Bianchi was always going to be a promise at the same time Benny Bianchi was the prize at the end of a crazy life.”
Frankie and Benny’s road to a happy forever comes with a lot of obstacles and challenges along the way. Both of them have demons to overcome. Benny and his family walked away from Frankie knowing that she was hurting and all alone after Vinnie’s death. That breach was not healed until seven years later. Benny carries a lot of guilt over this and has much to atone for. Nothing good has ever stayed in Frankie’s life. She craves the love and stability that a good man can bring to her life but somehow feels that she does not deserve such a promise of a wonderful life. After all, she comes from a messed up and crazy family. What could she possibly bring to the table when it comes to having a relationship with someone like Benny?
I loved the fact that Benny had to work for it. He owns the fact that he was in the wrong when it comes to how Frankie has been treated by his family. He is there for Frankie and in typical KA alpha fashion, he is willing to do anything to push his way in and get what he wants despite the fact that Frankie’s new job takes her away from Chicago and Frankie finds herself in the midst of trouble there. He is unwilling to let Frankie hide and hang on to all that has turned her into someone other than her full-of-life and sassy self. Damn, it was awesome and Benny sure had me swooning often in all his crazy, over-protective, hot Italian alpha ways! And, once again Kristen Ashley has written a kick-ass heroine. She is feisty, crazy and definitely not a push-over. With this being said, I adored the fact that Frankie had a big heart and forgiveness came easily for her. She loves the Bianchi family and was quick to welcome them back into her life. As Frankie slowly begins to deal with all the emotional road-blocks that have been in place for the last seven years, her light begins to shine and she begins to give Benny exactly what he wants, a strong and opinionated woman who makes him work for it every step of the way. Benny would not have it any other way.
This book is yet another example of why I love and adore this author like no other. You get a brilliant storyline, a descriptive and wordy writing style, a sexy alpha-male (this time a hot Italian one), an endearing and feisty heroine, witty dialogue, lots of passionate sexy times and family dynamics told with a flare that only this author can create. Frankie and Benny’s journey was beautiful and I was completely enraptured with the magic that is KA’s story-telling. Their story wrapped itself around my heart and had me hanging on to every word. I loved every second of it.
The Promise is simply a classic KA book that wonderfully intertwines with the rest of The ‘Burg series. You get a little bit more of Joe and Violet from At Peace and you even get a cameo appearance from one of the hot bunch. I won’t say who. What you also get is an array of eccentric and lovable secondary characters, a sweet and spicy romance and a story line that only this author can weave together. I loved it! This series will come to an end with the next book which will be Cheryl’s book. I can’t wait for more!
“This was life. This was family. This messy, strange, awkward, crazy conglomeration of people that totally fit when they shouldn’t.”
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About The Author
Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.
Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
Connect with Kristen Online:
Official Website: www.kristenashley.net
Follow Kristen on Twitter: KristenAshley68
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