26 May 2011

Review: Marie Sexton - Promises

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Book #1 in Coda series
Paperback ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-61581-378-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61581-379-7
Pages: 228
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Categories: Novels, Contemporary, Marie Sexton, Promises by Marie Sexton
Book Type: eBook
File Formats Available: .epub, .lit, .prc, .prc, html, pdf
Book reviewed from personal library

Cover Summary:
Jared Thomas has lived his whole life in the small mountain town of Coda, Colorado. He can’t imagine living anywhere else. Unfortunately, the only other gay man in town is twice his age and used to be his teacher, so Jared is resigned to spending his life alone.

Until Matt Richards walks into his life, that is. Matt has just been hired by the Coda Police Department, and he and Jared immediately become friends. Matt claims he is straight, but for Jared, having a sexy friend like Matt is way too tempting. Facing Matt’s affair with a local woman, his disapproving family, and harassment from Matt’s co-workers, Jared fears they’ll never find a way to be together—if he can even convince Matt to try.

My review

The story told in a nutshell:

When Jared and Matt meet a friendship forms but it slowly turns in to something more. Only with changing feelings complications are never far away. Each has to face fears and choices in order to make it work.

My first impression after a chapter:
Niiiiiice! Both Matt and Jared are so likable and Marie Sexton's writing is easy-to-read.

The man who is Matt Richards:
Matt added some fantastic emotional struggles to the story that pulled at my heartstrings. Marie Sexton beautifully portrayed his progress of coming out of the closet. The ups and downs deliver some heartbreaking scenes and it gave Promises a poignant layer I so enjoy in a love story. Matt might be skittish about his feelings but once he makes his choice he goes for it one hundred percent.

The man who is Jared Thomas:
It is from his point of view this story is told and at first sight he seems like an easy-going gay man with an average life. Jared is in a comfort zone when I met him in the first chapter but then bit by bit he's thrown out of it and it shows hidden emotions. The romantic feeling he develops for Matt reveal cracks in his otherwise so normal life. It stirs buried ambitions and it asks more of Matt than he’s perhaps willing to give.

The romance blossoming:
This is probably where Promises shines the most. The romance development was slowly build-up and took me into the life of two guys who were reluctant to let me go. It was progress of a growing friendship turning in to something romantic that was done in such a poignant way I could only flip the pages in hunger to see where they would end up.

The emotional journey:
Every aspect was done with balance; the relationship, de emotions, the eroticism, which made the flow of the story so easy to absorb. I was so "into" the story upon where each shift of emotional change from the characters got to me. The fact that Matt is still in the closet and is a cop adds struggles and complicated emotions to a budding relationship. It is the way Matt and Jared worked through them that made me root for them. They made mistakes, but they learned and this duo claimed the spotlight from start to finish.

The sizzling sexiness:
This is a story with a slow-burn chemistry but when it ignites it sets the body ablaze with desire. Jared has to take careful steps with Matt but when Matt finally feels a bit more comfortable in their passion there is also hunger. The passionate scenes are stripped from any sort of kink yet it is the culmination of Matt and Jared’s attraction that made it hot.

My synonyms for :
Friendship – tender romance - camaraderie - angst - family difficulties - coming out and courage.

My overall reaction:
I just love the way Marie Sexton captivated the friendship turns to lovers trope, so full of camaraderie but also angst and then the romance budding between the main couple was so incredibly well done. Marie Sexton gave a moving story that unequivocally touched my heart to a point where I not could be bothered with anything more than reading Promises! That, in my opinion, is the effect of an incredible story and storyteller. I'm definitely wanting more of what this author has got to offer.

4 stars

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  1. Great review! This book really was fantastic. The whole series is great... hope you enjoy the rest :)

    If you haven't already, try 'One More Soldier' as well... it's a standalone short, but tears at your heart.

  2. The entire series is great. Definitely read the rest of the books as you get to see Matt and Jared again as well. Glad youenjoyed it.

  3. And after you read the next book, there's a free short you need to read before continuing.

  4. @mariana -glad you enjoyed the review! Scribbling down the title. I really look forwared to exploring this series further :))

    @Tam - I felt like gobbling up chocolate and wanting to binge but refrained from it, trying, hoping for some way to savor them instead of gorging on it.

    @Chris - thanks for the heads up on the info, what would I do without you * wink*

  5. So good!! And excellent overall series!

  6. Well you already know how much I loved this series. I'm so excited for your to read the rest of them.

  7. I loved this one. Now you have to read A to Z, The Letter Z, Strawberries for Dessert and Paris A to Z. Especially Strawberries was another 5 stars read for me. At first you might think "what?!, a book about these characters... what is this...", but OMG it ends up being so awesome. I actually read it straight after Promises, even though A to Z and the Letter Z take place before Strawberries...


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