The Promise (The Burg Series #5) by Kristen Ashley
Adult contemporary. Recommend you read at least the first 2 in the Burg Series first.
I read At Peace (The Burg Series #2) in 2011. I remembered Vi and Cal and the girls, but did not remember Frankie and Benny, so I decided to do a full re-read before diving into The Promise by Kristen Ashley. Though I don’t think I had to, I am SO GLAD I did. The Promise and At Peace are closely tied together, and I think having all of the details fresh made The Promise a much richer experience. And I have to tell you–it’s old-school Kristen Ashley. The Promise fits perfectly in with the rest of the series. It feels the same. All of Kristen’s descriptive deliciousness is there in 500+ magical pages.
First, I need to say, At Peace was even better the second time around. Since I never did a full review because I read it before I started blogging, I will tell you it was a 5+++ star read, and one of my all time favorites (along with Games of the Heart in this series).
The Promise begins right where At Peace ended (though there are 2 books after At Peace, chronologically, this comes next or at least runs simultaneous). Frankie and Benny appear at the end of At Peace and The Promise begins with Frankie in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound. Frankie (Francesca) comes from a wild and neglectful family with a mom who goes through more men than underwear. Just the opposite, Frankie has had one love, and he was murdered 7 years prior. Having no real family who cared, Frankie had loved and been a big part of her boyfriend’s family, but they held her indirectly responsible for his downfall that led to his death–or maybe it was just too hard to see her.
So for seven years, they cut her out, and Francesca just existed. But as soon as she was shot helping one of their own, that family was right back in there, admitting they were wrong.
“He’s my dead boyfriend’s brother.”
“When’d he die?”
“Seven years ago.”…
“Cause no boy who looks like that comes to the hospital every day for a girl who looks like you ’cause he’s keepin’ an eye on his seven-years-dead brother’s girlfriend”
“But he’s my dead boyfriend’s brother.”
Benny–swoon, I love him!!! Reading this book just made me keep running and hugging my husband. I totally have my own Benny. Hot-headed, possessive, protective, can fix anything Italian. Benny runs one of the most famous pizza places in Chicago, passed down from his dad. He’s always had a bond with Frankie. There was always something there. But she was his brother’s girl. Soon after Vinnie’s death, Frankie came to Benny and made a pass at him in her drunken grief. And they hadn’t spoken since. But for those 7 years, he know she was there–it just took her getting shot for him to wise up.
And he wises up the way a Kristen Ashley alpha male does it–forcing his way in.
“I’m not takin’ you home. I’m takin’ you to MY home,” he clarified.
I blinked. I stared. I totally forgot about how cool his sunglasses looked.
Then I lost my mind.
“I’m not goin’ to your house!” I shouted.
“Yeah you are”
Frankie is flash. Big hair, heavy makeup, takes forever to get ready. But she’s heart. She cares big, loves big. Because of the family she was brought up with, she never learned to love herself, so she never found herself deserving Benny or his family’s love. But Benny let her know right away where he stood. No more games.
“You’re crazy-brave, babe,” he said quietly…You’re crazy-beautiful and I ‘spect you been that way all your life. You’re crazy funny. You’re crazy sweet…Seven years I been fuckin’ up. Right now, that shit ends.”
But Frankie, being Frankie, doesn’t roll over for him. She’s drama, she’s stubborn, and that’s just what Benny likes about her.
There was so much love and family and humor and honesty in this book, it’s everything I could ever want in my stories. I giggled a lot, I had a few times where I read with touched tears rolling down my face, and a few more where I openly bawled. The core of FAMILY is very strong in this series, and this story just shows that family isn’t always blood.
“This was life. This was family. This messy, strange, awkward, crazy conglomeration of people that totally fit when they shouldn’t.”
Benny was so honest and upfront. I loved how he just laid it all out there.
“What makes you happy? What do you want outta life?”
“I…” I started, then changed what I was going to say. “Why do you ask?”
“‘Cause I wanna know if it’s in me to give it to you.”
Let me tell you, Benny was pretty hot in the bedroom as well. He was the whole package.
“Because you’re everything a man should be.”
- A thousand amazing, romantic, funny, perfect quotes to choose from (too many to choose!)
- I loved Frankie and Benny, and so many of the side characters.
- This really felt like a Burg book, it had the same feel and pace of the other books.
- Kristen Ashley’s amazingly detailed descriptions that bring you so far into the story you can’t pull yourself away.
- The moments with Cal and Vi and the girls could not have been more perfect.
- The strong sense of family throughout the book.
- It’s about very typical Italians, I felt like I was reading about my husband’s family.
- Great sex scenes.
- No stupid, reckless moves.
- How forgiving Frankie was to the family who cut her out 7 years prior.
- A special surprise for KA fans.
- One of the best epilogues ever.
- We still have one more in the series!
- If I had to find one, the only negative I can find is that nothing was all that different from any of her other books. The heroes can sometimes seem interchangeable with expressions like “yeah?”, “cake” (money), “scrapin’ her off” or “got shot of her”. But I have to say, since that formula works so well for her, why mess with it? I’ll tell you this, If I ever run into a hot guy who say’s Yeah like Kristen’s guys do, I will not be responsible for my actions, and I think Mr. Ana would be a touch upset with me.
Rating: 5 Stars (leaning to 5++), 4 Heat
Kristen Ashley has done it again. She has written another epic book filled with love, laughter, pure alpha hotness, amazing family and friends, a full, rich story with some excitement, and amazing romance. I couldn’t have wished for a better story for Frankie and Benny, it was everything I want in any book I read and more. To borrow a quote from The Promise:
“Been waitin’ years for this, baby. Thanks for makin’ it worth the wait.”
Purchase The Promise by Kristen Ashley
Look for Kristen Ashley at Wicked Book Weekend Feb 6-8 2015. Tickets on sale soon!