Saturday, December 25, 2021

[Review] - The Christmas Promise by Richard Paul Evans

If my memory serves me correctly, I was 17 years old when I stumbled upon The Christmas Box Collection, an omnibus paperback featuring The Christmas Box, Timepiece, and The Letter by Richard Paul Evans. It was my first venture in the sentimental holiday romance genre, and I've been a fan of Evans's stories ever since.

The Christmas Promise is the newest romance novel by Richard Paul Evans. Well, due to the size of the book, it's more like a novella than a novel. And, it's not strictly a romance either. It touches on betrayal, affairs, sibling rivalry, death, and depression.  

The story centers on Richelle "Ricki" Bach, a pediatric ICU nurse dealing with a lot of emotional baggage. Years ago, she spat with her twin sister Michelle (Micki). Well, it was more like a falling out - Michelle slept with Richelle's fiance. That unfortunate event put a permanent damper on their relationship. Sadly, Ricki never patched things up with Micki before her death.  

The holiday season is a tough one for Ricki. Her mother had abandoned Ricki and her sister. Their father did his best to raise them. Sadly, he passed away. The only thing Ricki has going for her is a twice per week meetup with the Calliope Writers Group. At one of the events, she meets Justin, a kind man that sweeps her off her feet. Ricki lowers her guard and falls in love with him Everything is perfect until she learns Justin is hiding a dark secret.

Final Thoughts

I haven't had the Christmas spirit this year and was hoping The Christmas Promise would lift my mood - and it didn't! 

The story starts promising, with Riki's point-of-view narrative, which is one of the highlights of this tale. I liked the character from the get-go. She has tons of emotional baggage, dreams of being a writer, and has lots of other flaws. I like the romantic setup between Riki and Justin until all the backstories get revealed, including the shocking twist that I saw coming miles away. Then this sentimental holiday takes a quick turn for the worst. I won't go into details about the twists, but it felt too like a bad daytime soap opera subplot that was only there to shock the viewers, or in this case, the readers.  

Overall, The Christmas Promise was a big disappointment for me. I successfully guessed the big twist by the fourth chapter. Then I had to push myself to finish reading it. Don't get me wrong, "The Christmas Promise" isn't entirely bad. Some readers might like the story. For me, I just didn't like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I adore reading reader feedback! I will, however, remove all spam and pointless comments.

Please take note that I have the right to delete comments from this site. Please only post constructive and respectful feedback.