Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Eli has been in love exactly one time in his life. His best friend and high school sweetheart, Thad, died just after they graduated college. And if not for Malachi, Eli’s friend and business partner, he may not have made it out of the depression he was sure to sink into. But here Eli is, five years later, still running the Bar Next Door with Malachi. His promise to Thad – that he would find someone else and move on, that he wouldn’t give up on love – weighs heavily on his mind. Especially when Asa is around.
Asa is working at the Bar Next Door part-time while he’s finishing school. He’s had his eye on Eli since he’s been there, but he’s tired of dancing around their seemingly mutual attraction. When his advance is turned down, Asa does the only thing he knows to do. Fight for what he wants. Little does he know of the ghosts in Eli’s closet.
When fighting his feelings becomes too much, Eli faces his fear – his fear of loss, his fear of getting close to someone, and his fear of love. But facing that fear doesn’t mean he can give into it. And when his friends start butting into his business, Eli is forced to make a decision or lose the only man he’s cared about since he lost Thad.
Eli’s Promise is the second book in Lissa Matthews’ Bar Next Door series. I like this series. It’s good. Nothing incredible stands out in its pages. There’s nothing startling or original in its content. Yet it keeps me interested. The previous book, Malachi’s Word, as well as this book are both very sweet stories. But I would have like more – more drama, more action, more oomph!
Eli and Asa were both introduced in the first book in this series, as was the tension between both men. I was looking forward to this story for that reason alone. I really liked Asa. His strength and determination make him a formidable opponent. He refuses to back down from what he wants, especially when he knows it wants him back. But Eli was a bit of a quandary to me. I liked him okay, but he’s kind of a pansy. He takes his mourning to the extreme and refuses to let Asa past his barriers even after he realizes he’s falling for Asa. Like he can suddenly stop feeling something for Asa. It got old after a while – the denial, the whining, the self-pity.
Like I said earlier, the story is good, but it’s not anything I haven’t read before. Boy falls in love with boy. Boy loses boy tragically. Boy refuses to move on. Boy meets new boy. Boy refuses to get close to new boy. Boy falls in love with new boy anyway. It’s the classic love-loss-and-love-again scenario. I was just hoping for something more. Something exciting. Something jaw dropping or eye catching. I didn’t get it.
Above all else, this story is sweet, even a little charming. I had some issues with it, but nothing that would make me not want to read the next in the series. But it’s not a book I’ll pick up to read again on a rainy day.