A Promise of Forever by Marilyn Pappano (Tallgrass #4) + Excerpt & Giveaway

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Pappano_A Promise of Forever_MMAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Find Marilyn: Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads/Website

Sergeant First Class Avi Grant’s return to Tallgrass, Oklahoma is a long-deferred wish come true. With her final tour in Afghanistan over, Avi can focus on her future-a job here at home and a family of her own. There’s just one thing she has to do first: visit her beloved commanding officer’s widow and share her grief. The last thing she expected was to feel an instant attraction to the woman’s son. Too bad the sexy surgeon is impossible to ignore . . . and even harder to resist.

The sting of his parents’ divorce still niggles at Ben Noble. So when a warm, funny, and beautiful young sergeant arrives, mourning his stepfather’s loss as strongly as his mother does, Ben can’t help but feel conflicted. If his parents taught him anything, it’s that love doesn’t last-especially with a career soldier. But try as he might to keep his distance, Ben begins to see that Avi-and the spark she brings to his life-is the stuff forever is made of. As Avi’s leave ticks away, can Ben convince her to take a chance on forever with him?

I truly enjoyed this contemporary small town romance that is full of heart. This is the first book I have read from this author and it will not be the last. The military plays a huge role in the series and I like the variety of people that are represented and how their lives are changed through joy and sorrow.

Avi Grant is career Army; she spent four tours overseas and is back in Tallgrass, Oklahoma for a long leave before her new assignment in Georgia. She loved to visit her grandparents here every summer and help them run the Grant Plant Farm. This is where she met George Sanderson, and he is the reason she made the Army her life. When he died several months ago, she was devastated but coming here to visit his widow and work the plant farm again has helped her with her sadness.

Ben Noble is a doctor who lives in a nearby town. His mother Patricia was married to George for many years after she divorced his father. She left Ben’s family when he was a teen, and did not have much contact with her children, something she regrets to his day. The abandonment left deep scars for Ben and his sisters, and their father was never the same. The kids have since forged relationships with their mother, but still the hurt feelings run deep. Ben never knew George and always resented him, but hearing about him through the eyes of Avi helps the healing.

I truly enjoyed this book. I like the personalities of both the hero and heroine; they are fun and extremely cute to watch as their romance grew.

Avi is very likable and extremely well grounded for someone who has been on four different tours. Yes, she has been affected by the war and the people who have lost their lives, especially George, her rock, but she made the military her career and has enjoyed it for the most part. When she meets Ben she is very open with him and tries to see things through his eyes but she loved George and Patricia so much that she actually changes his view. I love how they are together, so cute as they work through how they feel toward each other and a future, and their chemistry works on many levels.

Ben is also very likeable; I was worried because he had such strong feelings about his mother’s abandonment and the man she married. He is still working through the issues he has with her but he is not as bitter as he could be and by the end of the book I was happy with his feelings about the past. Avi helps him go through his thoughts and I like how she views the circumstances and choices that were made. There are several issues to get through before a future together will work, Ben has to let go and move on, which has been difficult for him.

This is the fourth book in the series and I did not have any trouble reading and enjoying it even though I did not read the other books, but be aware that this is a small town with a heavy military background and several of the characters have gone through death, PTSD and struggles together as a group, the Margarita Club is a strong influence on the widows of the town, so secondary characters play a large part in the story. There are also two other stories lines that are started in this book, with conclusions to come.

The pace is moderate and it works well with this story. We watch several relationship grow and change throughout the book, Ben and Avi, Ben and his mother and several other characters that have revolving stories. The next book will bring Calvin’s story to light; we met him here and watched as he struggled with death and guilt, I am looking forward to his happiness. I enjoyed this new to me author and look forward to reading more about Tallgrass and these special people.

I give A Promise of Forever by Marilyn Pappano 4 stars!

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EXCERPT

Outside, the sounds of children playing were louder, the splashes indicating that the kids across the street were enjoying one of the last swims of the summer. Avi and Ben walked silently to her car, parked in the driveway.

She nestled the pie plate into the passenger seat, tucked her purse around to hold it in place, then closed the door before turning to him.

So . . . Would he ask for her cell number? Offer his? Make firm plans to see her again before driving away?

For the first time in a long time, the answers mattered.

Linking his fingers with hers, he pulled her to the driver’s side of the car, then stood, invading her personal She liked it.

“Do you have any plans for tomorrow night?”

Yes! “Not a single one.”

He combed his fingers through his hair. “Would you like to go out to dinner?”

She wanted to blurt out the affirmative as quickly as it had echoed in her head, but he went on. “You would have to drive to Tulsa. Tuesday is surgery day, so if I come here, I can’t get here before seven, and I’ll have to head back before nine.”

Drive to Tulsa? An hour or less. No big deal. She’d had commutes between apartments and forts that took longer, and that was just to work. An evening with Ben was such a nicer payoff. “I don’t mind.”

“I usually get out of clinic around six. We could meet at my house around six thirty?”

A smile spread across her face. “I can handle that.”

“Good.” He wasn’t smiling, but his eyes showed something just as encouraging. Relief, maybe, or satisfaction. Hmm. She could show him satisfaction.

He leaned closer, just slightly, and lowered his voice. “I’d kiss you good night, but we have an audience.”

Glancing over her shoulder toward the house, she caught just a glimpse of Patricia before the blinds at the living room window settled. Looking back at Ben, she smiled. “Kiss me anyway.”

He closed the last of the distance between them, lowering his mouth to hers, giving her a sweet, gentle, tender kiss that set her blood on fire. It was impressive and surprising and just a bit scary, considering she’d had tons of kisses that were a whole lot more passionate and evoked a whole lot less of a response.

When he lifted his head, her fingers curled, wanting to wrap around the back of his neck and pull him down again. Her heart skipped a beat or two, and something deep inside her felt deprived.

In the dim light, Ben looked impressed and surprised and a bit scared, too. For a moment, he stared at her, all intense and searching, then he gave a rueful shake of his head. Stepping back, he asked for her cell phone, input his number, and texted it to himself to get her number.

“Six thirty,” he said when he handed it back, his voice rough-edged. “I’ll send you the address.”

“I’ll be there.”

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Pappano, MarilynAbout the author:

Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband’s Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.

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