Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Aloha to Marilyn Pappano and A PROMISE OF FOREVER - Book Review


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?

File:Battery A 142d FA at Fort Sill 1930's.jpg
Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1930s
Public Domain (link)

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.  - Mahatma Gandhi

A PROMISE OF FOREVER is Book 4 in the Tallgrass, Oklahoma, series.  Tallgrass is home to the fictional Fort Murphy where a group of Army widows have formed the Tuesday Night Margarita Club to find solace among their own. Sergeant First Class Avery (Avi) Grants arrives in Tallgrass to visit the widow of her commanding officer who died during her recent deployment to Afghanistan.  She does not expect to meet, let alone find herself attracted to, the widow's estranged son.

Ben Noble holds onto his resentment towards his mother, who left her husband, his sisters, and him to marry an Army officer. He reluctantly leaves his lucrative surgery (and bachelor life) on the weekends to rebuild a relationship with his widowed mother.   Ben is surprised by his instant attraction to the Army soldier who holds his mother - and the man who broke apart his family - in high esteem.

Pappano delivers a quiet drama of family, romance, and grief.   The title plays upon Ben's feelings towards towards the broken promise of forever as he comes to grips with his mother's abandonment.  In contrast, Avi relishes her parents' long marriage.  She looks forward to finding her own promise of forever once she returns to Fort Gordon, Georgia.  She plans to finish her military service and start a family.  If only she wasn't distracted by Ben who is solidly planted in Oklahoma with his medical practice and his tight knit sisters. 

Pappano hits the target by painting a realistic picture of military life - the rewards, the challenges, and the unexpected. I commend Pappano for creating two honorable characters whose careers and families impeded their relationship ... or so it seems.   

Pappano also depicts Tallgrass as a comfy small town to delight readers.  She brings out the splendors of Oklahoma in contrast to the recent news of tornadoes and floods.  Pappano makes it a desirable place to live and love.   

I have not read the previous novels in the series but felt right at home in A PROMISE OF FOREVER.

Recommended read for fans of sweet contemporary romance, unlikely lovers, and military life.  

I received an ARC from Forever Romance for my honest review.

File:(Left to right) U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Powell, outgoing Fort Sill Garrison Command Sgt. Maj., Col. Raymond Lacey, Fort Sill Garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Hall, incoming Fort Sill 100831-A-UT312-014.jpg
Fort Sill Change of Command
Public Domain (link)

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about Oklahoma - what do you know about it?  I grew up in Miami and often attended the Orange Ball Parade.  I remember the Oklahoma University Sooner band marching proudly in the parade. 

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, July 11, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 12.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Marilyn and her books at marilynpappano.net.

Check out my interview with Marilyn at this link.

A Hero to Come Home To (Tallgrass, #1)1792398919162695


  1. I know that Oklahoma tends to have tornadoes. My step daughter moved to Oklahoma last year and this spring we had several tornado update phone calls from her.

  2. I've forgotten much of what I've learned about the history of Oklahoma from school.

  3. We visited Oklahoma several years ago. We went to see my aunt in a nursing home outside Oklahoma City. She passed away a few months later. We visited the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah and the Har-Ber Village Museum. We have driven through the state and visited a few spots further west on another trip.

  4. I've never been. Mostly, I know about the football rivalries with Texas teams. :-) One of my daughter's friends is going to a small college in Oklahoma and has fallen in love with the state.

  5. The musical comes to mind, but not much else. I'll be singing the songs all night now.

  6. I know absolutely nothing about Oklahoma... I don't think I've ever even read a book based in Oklahoma :(

  7. I know Oklahoma has a tremendous number of tornadoes and see much devastation each year from them. I know they also have some wonderful museums. It's a beautiful state.

  8. Oklahoma is one state that I know very little except the obvious.

  9. I do not know to much about OK except they have a college football team name the Sooners and they had a horrible dust bowls and tornadoes.

  10. We lived in Oklahoma (Tinker AFB) for a year, back in the 70's. I didn't like it. It was dry, dusty, sometimes very hot, and sometimes very cold. I also hated it when there was a tornado alert, and we had to seek cover.

  11. I've never been there but I sang Oklahoma in my high school choir one year with several other singers. lol

  12. Sadly Oklahoma the musical is all I can think of.

  13. I grew up in Muskogee, OK during the 50s-60s and went to school at OK State.
    Muskogee is home to Oklahoma School for the Blind, where my dad was superintendent and my mom was a teacher. Between them they had over 60 years of service working with visually handicapped children.
    Muskogee is also home to the Five Tribes Museum and Honor Heights Park, which is know for its Azalea Festival in the spring.
    Except for a few years in Tx, Oklahoma is home. I've been in Tulsa (and now Broken Arrow) since 1976. This is a great state and Marilyn's works describe it beautifully.

  14. I know they've been getting a lot of very rough weather lately!

  15. I thought about it for a long time, but I don't know anything about Oklahoma.

  16. Just finished Avi's story and have read the previous ones.
    I know nothing about Oklahoma.

  17. Oklahoma is located in the Great Plains region above Texas. It frequently has severe weather and is part of Tornado Alley.

  18. I don't know much about it, sadly!

  19. I've don't know a whole lot about it except that they have lots of tornadoes.