Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Review: Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot/4 Stars

Ever since I devoured every single book in Amanda Cabot's Texas Dreams series, I have been eagerly awaiting the start of her newest series set in the West.  Her characters have a way of finding a place in my heart, and I find myself thinking about them days, weeks, and months since our acquaintance.

Summer of Promise, while a great start to a new series, didn't quite resonate with me the way Amanda's previous books have.  Abigail seemed a bit uppity to me at first, yet slowly and surely won me over.  Ethan was a commanding officer with a devotion to his soldiers, and underneath his tough exterior lay a gentle soul.  Charlotte and Jeffrey oftentimes shared a strained relationship that suffered a painful ending.  All the characters were well-written, but as a whole, it took longer than I would've liked to make a connection with them.

What I did find interesting, though, was that the story was set during the early days at Fort Laramie.  Amanda wove in a handful of details about the fort that were true to the time period, such as the progress of certain factual buildings or the characteristics of the general area.  It seemed odd to me that there was no mention of a church anywhere near the fort, and I can't help but think (and/or hope) that one will be introduced in a later book.

And as a dog lover to the core, I couldn't help but smile every time I read about Puddles!  My husband and I briefly had a puppy in our house, and Puddles' multiple antics reminded me several times what it was like to clean up after a muddy dog, or to have them cover my face with doggie kisses.  :o)

Fans of historical romance will enjoy this first book in the Westward Winds series.  Personally, I'm glad to know that just like Amanda's first series, each book in this new series will center around a different heroine.  It will be interesting to see how Charlotte handles the new challenges that have come her way in book 2.

4 Stars

Southern?  No
Sassy?  No

Summary of Summer of Promise:

Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont with her sweetheart, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte's letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads West to Wyoming. The endless prairie seems monotonous, but when her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day. 

When circumstances--and perhaps a bit of matchmaking--put Abigail and Ethan together, there's certainly attraction. But Abigail is planning to marry another man and return to life in Vermont as soon as she is finished attending to her sister. And Ethan loves his life in the Army and the wilds of Wyoming. When summer ends, will Abigail go back East? Or will she fall in love with this rugged land herself? 

Book 1 of the new Westward Winds series, Summer of Promise is a tale of following your heart to unexpected places. Readers will enjoy Amanda Cabot's passionate characters and vibrant setting in the beautiful high prairie.

**Many thanks to Revell for providing a copy for review.


  1. I just got done reading this book as well. I found Abigail to be young and having a set plan, thinking that was the way life was to work out. However, as usually happens, we find we have to adapt and this makes us grown. I felt the author showed the growing pains of life very well. Abigail rolled with all life threw her better than her sister. They both were very sheltered which happened back then. It was a good read.

    Glad to see you are reviewing again!

  2. I really liked this one too. I'm anxious for the next one.

    2 Kids and Tired Books

  3. A great review...I think I need to read this book! Thank you!
    I am a new follower and appreciate a good read as you do!
    Hugs, GraceinAZ

    Growing Old With Grace

  4. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review of Summer of Promise. I wanted to answer your question about a church in the area. There wasn't one at the fort, and -- sad to say -- most of the soldiers didn't attend services. Once the administration building was completed, part of it was used as a chapel.


I love your comments!! They make me happier than cold sweet tea on a hot summer day! :o)