Rating: 3.5 stars
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Length: Novel

Much to the consternation of his family, wild child and known substance abuser, Noah Greystone, made sure his last will and testament specified his entire, considerable estate would pass to his husband, Logan Tate. Noah even made sure own cousin, Rafe Stanton, would ensure his blood relatives would “not undo the one good thing” Noah had ever done. When Noah dies in a car crash, Rafe jumps into action. His first order of business is to ensure that Logan is not just some gold-digging twink. That image is quickly dispelled when Rafe realizes Logan has absolutely no idea just how wealthy Noah was, or that Noah had made Logan his sole heir. Logan lives humbly in an in-law apartment owned by a sweet older man and his police officer niece. Just as quickly, Rafe finds himself drawn to the extremely attractive widower; as inappropriate as that is, he has reason to hope the attraction is returned. But Rafe has a tough challenge of executing Noah’s final wishes without simultaneously letting them eclipse the possibility of a relationship with Logan.

Logan Tate had a good relationship with his husband…but not necessarily for a whirlwind-style love affair of passion. Rather, Logan and Noah balanced one another. Noah and his fortune provided stability to the disowned Logan; Logan gave Noah attention and companionship that his immediate family withheld. When Logan inherits that massive fortune, it throws his world into a tailspin. Not just because of the extremely dashing lawyer who comes to grill him over his relationship with Noah, but Noah’s mother and brother doing their level best to get every last dime of Noah’s fortune for themselves…and resorting to any means necessary. All while Logan starts feeling true romantic feelings about Rafe. But if the matter of Noah’s estate isn’t soon settled, it could ruin everything.

Promise Me is a contemporary romance set in the upper northeast. It stars a very well-to-do lawyer named Rafe and recently widowed, former stripper named Logan. Despite the marriage and very recent fact of Noah’s demise, the story quickly jockeys Rafe and Logan into position as romantic interests for each other. Personally, I thought this was a bit rushed given Logan’s being married; it later becomes much more clear that Logan and Noah were not madly in love with each other, but more like friends with benefits. Still, this didn’t seem very clear to me at the beginning, so when Rafe and Logan first meet and soon start panting over one another, I thought it felt a bit rushed. The entire book is also very steeped in melodrama and our MCs both have a tendency to take things in the most literal/worst/disadvantageous way possible. If you like over-the-top angst for the sake of angst, I think this book delivers big on that front. There is hardly a moment where our MCs are not grappling with finding happiness despite their respective “damaged goods” pasts.

Indeed, the pasts of Rafe and Logan are redolent with self-reproach. Rafe has something of a saviour complex and does an excellent job of blaming himself if and when anyone in his social circles, personal or professional, meets some misfortune. As a result, Rafe completely falls apart when he holds himself responsible when a witness at one of his trials later gets beaten into a coma and for failing to save Noah any one of the many times Noah reaches out to Rafe while he Noah is drunk or high. This is the best/worst combination for Logan’s insecurities: that no one wants him because his own parents kicked him out for being gay. Rafe’s determination to uphold his promise to Noah, i.e. ensuring Logan gets all the inheritance, becomes a huge elephant in the room before it outright interrupts their budding romance.

My biggest critique here is just how often both Rafe and Logan seem to immediately take comments during intense discussions in the wrongest way possible without doing a single thing to confirm their interpretation is in any way correct. Personally, I can understand why Logan would be expecting the worst and want to head it off at the pass…but Rafe is both older and a lawyer whose job is to think through things. It was somewhat annoying, but again, for people who enjoy very overt angst and misunderstandings, I think you’ll be satisfied with how much of that there is (but you still get a HEA ending).

The book is also very spicy. Much like Logan and Rafe quickly fall onto one another’s radar, they also quickly get physical. I wasn’t a huge fan of the “I don’t care if it’s wrong if only I can have you tonight” and I was a bit turned off on the constant commentary about how hot the MCs are. For me, I think it was the sense of imbalance between how well-matched Rafe and Logan seem to be physically and how brick-wall they are when it comes to communicating. Still, there are several intimate scenes for those who look forward to that aspect of romance novels.

Overall, I’d say this get-together book provides a lot of over-the-top elements. It’s a fast paced romance with plenty of misunderstandings that cause frequent angst. The deceased’s relations add an element of thriller to it, especially during the climactic scenes. Our MCs enjoy a HEA ending and, though a bit drawn out, closes the “Rafe and Logan get together” loop very neatly.

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