Audio Review: The Promise by Kristen Ashley

Title: The Promise (The ‘Burg #5)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Narrator: Amanda Bruton
Length: 18 hours 3 mins, 518 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars


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.

Grace Review
Story: 4.5 stars
“You’re the shit, Benny Bianchi.”

Fact: I love Italian men.  They truly are world class flirts.  Sometimes that could be a bad thing, but not in this story.

Fact: I love a man who can cook.  What woman wouldn’t?  And to make a successful business of it, even better!

Fact: I love a man who will drop everything for a woman.

Fact: I love a strong Alpha outhinking a stubborn woman.

Benny Bianchi fits all of the above, so it should be no surprise that he has cracked my KA Alpha top 5 list (truth be told, I think I change the #5 spot with each book, but Benny now holds that spot).

Ever since I read At Peace, I wanted to read Benny and Frankie’s story.  Hell, I almost skipped books 3 and 4 in the series, just to read their book, but I’m a loyal KA reader, so I’d never skip a book.  Anywho, chronologically, this book takes place after At Peace and before Golden Trail.

The story picks up right where At Peace left off, with Frankie recovering from a gunshot wound after trying to help Violet.  Not knowing how Benny has come around for her, she does everything to steer clear of him and his family.  Thankfully, Benny is one step ahead.   Out of the fiction world, his actions are basically kidnapping.  But in the book world, I found his actions to be hilarious because they were ultimately for Frankie’s own good, taken to the Alpha extreme.

The title of the book held two meanings.  First, their was “the promise” of Benny Bianchi.  Frankie has finally found someone who supported her, protected her, and had her back.  Benny offered her the comfort and commitment she craved for so long and never received from his brother.  Benny offered her the promise of a better life.

Second, as KA women are known to do, Frankie often had a wild hair to get involved in dangerous activities, trying to do the right thing.  One time it got her shot.  I loved how they men in her life joked about her bad luck, stating that she could be standing in a field and a dead body would fall out of the sky.

However, with the promise of Benny, guiding her, she shows her commitment and belief in him.  Showing she has come full circle and will do anything to keep the happiness and life she has built with Benny.  I wanted to give her a virtual high five, so proud of her.

With Frankie’s friendship to a mob boss, the suspense in this story was a bit of a surprise.  As mentioned previously, trouble is always finding Frankie.  But I loved how she and her co-workers were determined to do the right thing.  As a major bonus, Nightingale Investigations (Rock Chick series) gets involved.   AND, Luke Stark makes a personal appearance.  *squeeeeee*

In the end, while Frankie may have suffered years of solitude, Benny makes up for lost time and delivers on his promise, in spades!

Performance: 4.5 stars

I have yet to hear one KA narrator I didn’t like.  Their task isn’t easy.  KA’s books are filled with vastly different personalities, and in this story, a number of different accents.  And this narrator delivers on all fronts.  I particularly loved the voices of Sal, and Benny’s parents, Theresa and Vinny senior.

Told in dual POVs, she also captures the various emotions from Frankie and Benny as they take their journey together.

Overall: 4.5 stars
Take one big haired Italian woman, one hot blooded protective Italian Alpha, throw in a mob boss, one Luke Stark, and you have a book that will keep you thoroughly entertained.

– Grace




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