New Year’s Promise, Anna Clifton
New Year’s Promise, Anna Clifton
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, women’s fiction
My first read from Anna, and I really enjoyed it. There are plots that could be almost cheesy, irritating and yet they aren’t, they fit the overall story arc perfectly. It made me cry, a lot, towards the end, and I love a book that moves me like that.
When we first meet Ellie and Justin, she’s been working for his firm, and we quickly get pulled into their background, their close childhood friendship. I was a little puzzled how come they’d all managed to remain so close, given Justin moved away when he was a young teen, and I thought they’d lost contact, but I guess I must have missed how they reconnected, or maybe stayed in contact some way – whatever, it’s clear there’s a very strong relationship between Justin and Ellie and her four brothers.
Ellie’s lovely, loyal and adores her family. She’d taken over mothering them all since their mum died, and somehow never seemed to stop…now they’re anxious she takes time for herself with a dream position in Paris opening up for her. Her brother Harry though has a problem, he knows if he tells her about it she’ll drop the Paris job and stay, and he doesn’t want that but he does need her around til the new year. He tells Justin about it and persuades him to tell her he won’t waive her notice period, but accept two weeks instead of the four she should give. Somehow though Justin finds himself asking – well telling – her to spend it with him, so they don’t have to go to the usual holiday events alone, as they’ve both just come out of a relationship. He’s always been attracted to Ellie, but has a huge secret that makes him not act on it. Ellie too has always had strong feelings for him, and they come pretty close at times when they’re out together. In the middle of it all though some huge secrets come out, that shatter them both and cause lots of angst and strife.
Its an unusual romance, more tear jerking story that straight romance, though that angle is well covered. There’s so much more here, illness and how families cope with it, mothers who struggle to do just that, and how the love of a family can provide so much joy to everyone. Its not a book I’d re read, but was one that I loved as a one off, it’s so packed with emotion. As I said earlier some of the plots could have descended into Hallmark film territory, ( fine if you like that but I don’t) and yet they’re covered in a way that’s natural, and doesn’t fall into that trap but feels so real that I was tearful reading it. In the middle of all that Ellie and Justin have to decide what they really feel, and whether they’ll do anything about it or just go their separate ways. Of course as a romantic I was rooting for things to work out, and there were moments when I felt the bars placed between them felt forced. Not the “big” one, that was understandable, but the later little ones when they were at odds with each other over how they thought the other person felt. It just seemed to get over complicated and that’s where it lost a half star from me. I didn’t feel that part felt real, but as if it was put in simply to extend the should they/shouldn’t they emotion.
Stars: Four and a half, a great read and have the tissues ready.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers