⭐️⭐️⭐️ REVIEW: The Promise by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

Each book in this series has had a completely different vibe, and I kind of love that. You never quite know what you’re going to get, which keeps things interesting. This one wasn’t my favorite but it was an entertaining and quick read. I can definitely see growth in the authors’ work even from the start of the series – their writing has always been a little raw but has an intensity that’s compelling. The Promise is probably the most laidback in the series (though it has a touch of suspense), and despite what the blurb might lead you to believe, the hero is the most likable character that I’ve read from them. My issue lies more with the heroine and the age gap (more on that in a minute).

The story follows Jude, a college student who comes from a very restrictive family. Her parents are abusive so she sets out to do the thing that will anger them so much that they’ll disown her – lose her v-card. Jude meets Lex at a bar and she’s immediately taken with the big, caring guy. He’s significantly older (30s) and a natural protector, offering Jude shelter and assistance. One thing leads to another and Jude shares a night with Lex that will definitely get a reaction from her parents.

I’ve read most of the books in the series and I keep coming back for more because there’s something about this duo of authors’ writing that works for me – they really do know how to hold your attention and keep the story moving. This one was less successful for me – it’s a little bland and I didn’t love the balance of power between our couple. Sometimes age gaps work and sometimes they don’t. This is one of those instances where you really feel it. Our heroine is young and naive, sometimes reacting like a teen because she is one. I couldn’t connect to her all that well, and that paired with all of the unprotected sex (which you just knew was going to have a consequence) brings this one down. It’s still a steamy, easy read, but not as solid as I was hoping it would be.

Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/3fyCTbM


Giving my virginity to a stranger was my first mistake.
Lying about my age, my second.
Never expecting to see Lex again, my third.
He promised me one night and I took it, never expecting anything in return.

Then a few months later, I see something I shouldn’t have and fate brings us back together again.

I didn’t mean to see it and I wasn’t snooping. I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that doesn’t matter to them. I’m a liability.

Now Lex is everywhere I am. Following me, watching me, and making sure I don’t tell anyone what I saw that night.

He’s dominating, possessive, and downright controlling sometimes. He warns me of how dangerous this could be for both of us. He tells me that he doesn’t want to hurt me, but he has no idea what seeing him again is doing to me.

Not when I have secrets of my own, secrets Lex isn’t ready to hear.

When all the lies are told and secrets come out, will the promises that we made in the dark be kept in the light?

**This is book five in the North Woods Series. Each book can be read as a complete standalone. Contains adult situations, and themes.**


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