"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 Fort Laramie, 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?"
With a sprinkling of suspense and a dash of romantic tension, Summer of Promise is an enjoyable read. The story flows at a steady pace and includes some fun elements ranging from peril to a puppy. However, the peril isn't very terrifying, and the puppy's role is a bit overstated for my taste.
The stagecoach situation stands out in the summary, hinting that the book begins with a bang and takes off running. However, the unstated promise isn't quite fulfilled in my mind, as the occupants of the stagecoach have very little time to actually fear anything, and there are relatively few moments of excitement throughout the book. There are certainly some interesting twists, and the setting itself in that specific time period is rather unique. But it seemed at times like the characters were trying too hard without really winning me over.
That being said, this is a good story with a sweet writing style. I wasn't completely satisfied with how everything was done in the book, but it does include some tender romance and some good examples of healing and finding beauty in unexpected places.
*With thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”