The Promise by Kristen Ashley — Jenn’s Review

the promise


It’s Kristen Ashley!




Since his brother’s death, Benny Bianchi has been nursing his grudge against the woman he thinks led to his brother’s downfall. He does this to bury the feelings he has for Francesca Concetti, his brother’s girl. But when Frankie takes a bullet while on the run with Benny’s cousin’s woman, Benny has to face those feelings.

The problem is Frankie has decided she’s paid her penance. Penance she didn’t deserve to pay. She’s done with Benny and the Bianchi family. She’s starting a new life away from Chicago and her heartbreaking history.

Benny has decided differently.

But Frankie has more demons she’s battling. Demons Benny wants to help her face. But life has landed so many hard knocks on Frankie she’s terrified of believing in the promise of Benny Bianchi and the good life he’s offering.

Frankie’s new life leads her to The ‘Burg, where Benny has ties, and she finds she not only hasn’t succeeded in getting away, she’s doesn’t want to.

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The title of this book says it all. The Promise. The wait for Frankie and Benny’s story was a promise; An opportunity for a woman to get a second chance at happiness and for a man to find redemption in her happiness. The wait for their story bordered on excruciating. It was worth every single second.

We first meet Benny and Frankie at the very end of At Peace. To be honest, Benny is a complete ass to Frankie. You can see the words he says to Frankie strikes her hard, but she remains stoic. She’s there to pass on a message and get out of his life… but she doesn’t and that’s when it all changes for Benny Bianchi. You don’t have to read At Peace to follow The Promise, but you should because it is one of Kristen Ashley’s finest books.

Benito Bianchi is a stubborn, prideful, ridiculously hot, Italian man. He is the owner of a pizzeria that has been in his family for over 40 years. His family means everything to him and he wants his own one day, he’s just waiting for the right woman to come alone. Benny is your classic KA alpha male. I flipping LOVED him!

 “You done being a hotheaded, protective Italian guy?”
“I’m never done with that.”

 Francesca Concetti may only be 50% Italian, but she is 100% spunk, sass and all around badass awesomeness. Her family is completely messed up, but she manages to be the sane one and attempts to bring balance to the rest of them. She has been on her own for much of her adult life, after her boyfriend, Benny’s brother, Vinnie, is killed in a mob shooting. Frankie is strong minded and hard working. KA is known for her ability to write the alpha male, but not enough is said about how strong her heroines are. Once again, we get a woman who doesn’t need a man to make her better. I love that about KA.

Benny and Frankie have a long, sometimes tortured, history. Even when Frankie was with Vinnie, she was tight with Benny. The two of them always shared a connection. When Vinnie was killed, so much went down, that the Bianchi family cut Frankie out completely. For seven years they have shunned and ignored her. Benny set out to right that wrong and he did that by kidnapping her.

 “Can you explain why you’re kidnapping me?” I requested to know.
“Kidnapping you?” he asked the road.
“I am in your truck against my volition,” I pointed out.
“Right.” He grinned. I saw it and my mouth went dry. “Then I guess I’m kidnapping you.”

 Frankie can only fight off Benny for so long. Being honest, he is what she has wanted for so long. Maybe even back when she was with Vinnie. That connection she has always shared with Benny, even after seven years of hatred and misunderstandings was still there.

 “You were mine, even when you were his.”

 When Frankie and Benny finally work through their tainted history, their relationship is a beautiful thing. They give and share their love freely with each other. Benny shows Frankie over and over how beautiful she is and just how much she means to him. He never takes her for granted, knowing she is the best thing to happen to him. The ‘Burg series is all about second chances with a crime element thrown in. I liked that in The Promise, this didn’t take away from the story at all, but used it to advance and grow Frankie and Benny’s relationship.

We get to see a lot of Vi, Cal, Kiera and Kate from At Peace. At Peace is one of my favorite KA books (really, who can pick just one?) and I really felt like we left Vi and Cal at a good place, especially with that fantastic epilogue. In The Promise, we get to see so much more of them that I was truly satisfied. Every glimpse of them was awesome.

Just as KA writes kick ass alpha males, she could teach a class in epilogues. THAT EPILOGUE!! Most authors give you a small glimpse into the future. KA gave us years upon years. It was beautiful, it was tear inducing, it was simply freaking awesome. It’s no secret I am a huge KA fan and would read her Christmas Card list if given a chance, but this is absolutely one of her best. You are going to experience so many emotions wrapped up in 500+ pages. I felt heartache, fear, sadness, joy, happiness and even those little stomach drops (Benny is one heck of a talker.) If you have never read anything by Kristen Ashley, read this. You won’t regret it!

“Minute by minute, honey.”
“Minute by minute, baby.”

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