Title: Promise Me We’ll Be Okay
Author: Nell Iris
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 92 Pages
At a Glance: Sweet and earnest, Promise Me We’ll Be Okay is a feel-good, second chances story that scores all the sentimental romantic points.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: What do you do when your past comes knocking?
Six hundred and ninety-five days. That’s how long it’s been since Jude’s fiancé broke off their engagement. With the help of his brother and his all-encompassing love for music, Jude glued the broken pieces of his heart back together, but when his ex shows up on his doorstep late one evening, Jude fears it will fall apart again.
Two years ago, Vincent made a terrible mistake. He left the love of his life for stupid, ill-advised reasons. It took a traumatic event to bring what was truly important in his life into focus. Older and wiser, he’s now ready to do whatever it takes to win Jude back.
Their chemistry is as explosive as ever, but will they be able to work through the real issues? Can trust once broken be rebuilt?
Review: There are three things I loved about this little novella: the second chances trope (always a favorite), the feel-good emotional payoff of the redemption story, and that title. In the wrong hands, the title is a pie-crust promise, as Mary Poppins would say—easily made, easily broken. In the right hands, it’s the forever kind of vow that this genre is built on.
There’s no question this story aims right for the heart-tugging, and that aim is true. There’s quite a bit of emotional orchestrating and conducting in the story, and Iris makes no apologies for it. In fact, it plays a great deal into all the song and music references she sprinkles liberally throughout. Jude is a musician and a teacher of music, so all the lyrical metaphors add to the crafting of the story, even at the risk of maybe pushing it just a skosh too far. The device was unquestionably clever but came thisclose to wearing thin for me. Not close enough, however, to keep me from enjoying the story overall.
Crafting a new relationship in so few words works well in Promise Me We’ll Be Okay, thanks in large part to it being rebuilt upon a history that, while it ended in wreckage and ruin two years before this story begins, is still a history that was sustainable in spite of the mistakes that were made. I had no trouble whatsoever investing in the belief that Vee deserved a second chance with Jude, for them each to have the opportunity to do better than they’d done the first time around, and that was based quite a lot on the fact that Nell Iris writes with an immense amount of romantic sincerity. Vee made a huge mistake, yes, but not an unforgiveable or uncorrectable one, and it’s his acknowledgment of it and his willingness to not only accept responsibility for it but to make amends for it that works.
Sweet and earnest, Promise Me We’ll Be Okay is a reminder that it takes two people to begin a relationship, two people to make it work, and as much as the self-reflection may have been painful to confront, it takes two to end it. Jude’s awakening is an important turning point for him, and Vee’s regret and grief are the catalyst he needed to give him the courage to try again. And, in the end, I enjoyed the simple truth that sometimes love is all you need.
You can buy Promise Me We’ll Be Okay here:
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