The hero, Levi, is just out of the military, having seen battle up close and personal. Val is left a widow with two small children because of the war. Levi and Val are both strong characters and doing their best to figure out life without Tomas, Val’s husband and Levi’s best friend, and their struggles to adjust are realistic. This story isn’t a light read, showing how war can affect both the soldiers who come back and the families left to fend for themselves when their loved ones don’t return.
I don’t give many books 5 stars, and I’ll give this one 4. I had two reservations. There were a number of characters introduced, specifically Levi’s brothers, who will likely have stories of their own, but I didn’t feel a real connection to them, or to Val’s in-laws, who are supportive but seem to have gotten over their son’s death very quickly. Also, the characters never simply “breathed” or “sighed.” Instead, they “huffed out a breath” or “pushed out a sigh” or something similar in almost every scene until the author’s attempt for unusual or distinctive phrasing became a bit distracting. How a character says or does something shouldn’t detract from what they’re actually saying or doing.
Still, “A Soldier’s Promise” is a good read with a nice steady pace and enough description of their small town in New Mexico to make the setting into a character, as well. I’d recommend it for readers looking for realistic modern romance with a guaranteed HEA.