Arms of Promise
Crystal Walton, author
A dancer who won’t back down. A soldier indebted to a promise. The only thing more dangerous than the threat pitting them together is the secret keeping them apart. Contemporary dancer Anna Madison is determined to honor her mom’s memory. With the life she’s built in downtown Chicago hinging on an upcoming audition, now’s the worst time for her childhood best friend—and the only man she’s ever loved—to reenter her world. Her dad’s current DA case instigates enough danger without adding on the risk of losing her heart. Again. Army Ranger Evan O’Riley has always known his place in Anna’s life. Letting his feelings compromise her safety simply isn't an option. Especially when his promise to protect her drives him off the sidelines and into the one place even his special ops training can't save him from. Anna's arms. Keeping her from uncovering the real reason Evan returns is one thing. Trying to hide the reason he left to begin with could destroy them both. But when the past they’ve both tried to outrun launches them down a heart-pounding road of threats, secrets, and attraction, resisting love may turn into the greatest risk they face.
Walton’s chaste contemporary piles on the bathos, as willful Annabelle Madison struggles to make her own way as a professional dancer despite her Chicago DA father’s insistence that she move back home and pursue a sensible career. Worse than landlords and creditors breathing down her neck is the physical threat of a merciless gangster kingpin’s goons. He’s about to face Anna’s father in a life-or-death trial and has put out a contract on the DA’s family. Enter lifelong family friend Evan O’Riley, a former Army Ranger who’s tasked with guarding Anna even though she’s determined to dodge him at every turn. Walton shines at making both characters lovable through their interactions with children and family, but falls short when it comes to bringing Evan and Anna together. Despite obvious, highly charged sexual attraction, it seems like they’ll never find their way into each other’s arms. This one is for romance fans willing to overlook a few plot contrivances so they can read about an adorable couple. (BookLife)