The Christmas Promise
By Janice Carter
Paperback & ebook, 216 Pages
January 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming
The Christmas season…
Is perfect for new beginnings
After a tragedy seventeen years ago, author Ella Jacobs never wanted to come back to Lighthouse Cove. Not to the whispered rumors, the judgment or even to Ben Winters, the boy she loved. Now she’s returned in time for Christmas—and some much-needed closure. But old flames burn bright. Can Ella find her way back to Ben…or will the secrets of their past extinguish their love for good?
The Christmas Promise is a slow burn, second chance romance. Ella and Ben shared a magical summer romance seventeen years ago, when both were teens–she was part of the seaside town’s “summer people” and he was a golden-boy townie–until a tragedy cut their summer short and ripped them apart. Secrets–Ella’s, Ben’s, and others’–ensured they were kept apart for almost two decades. Though Ella’s family had been spending their summers at Lighthouse Cove for years, at the start of this book, she’s returning to the town for the first time since that disastrous Labor Day weekend so many years ago. And at first, her welcome back goes just as badly as she’d feared…or does it?
Lighthouse Cove is going through its own struggles when Ella arrives in town, and Ben and his family are right in the middle of it all. His family’s construction company is attempting to complete a new housing project, and the town’s old-timers aren’t sure they want or need so many newcomers in their sometimes-sleepy small town. That conflict, along with trouble with the family business and with his father’s reluctance to loosen his reins on the company keep Ben distracted for much of the book, not really allowing him the time and space to fix things with Ella. Ella’s long-held hurt over the years-ago incident, the whispers she endures in town, and her own secret (which she holds on to even longer than Ben does his–goodness!) keep her from moving forward for much of the book as well. At times their story felt like it took two steps backward for every half step forward, which was frustrating at times.
Once things come together for Ella and Ben, though–their secrets finally are revealed and true healing and conversations take place–the ending of this novel is sweet and full of hope. Add in the fact that it all takes place during a small town Christmas with a town tree lighting, skating at an outdoor rink, a family engagement party, and a major snowstorm all acting as backdrop, and The Christmas Promise leaves the reader with all the warm fuzzy feelings you could want from a holiday romance.
Rating: 4 stars / B-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the Author:
Writing has been a passion for Janice Carter since elementary school but her second career after teaching began with the publication of a Harlequin Intrigue, many years ago. Since then, she’s been very lucky to be able to do what she enjoys most – writing about the connections between people, their families and the places where they live. And of course, love is always at the heart of those connections.a Rafflecopter giveaway