Promise Me by Barbie Bohrman
Published by Montlake Romance
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance
Sabrina Chandler has had a rough go at love: just before her high school graduation, she found her boyfriend in the arms of her so-called best friend.
Tyler Anderson, the town’s sexy bad boy, stepped out of the shadows then to save her pride. Drawing strength from him, she left everything behind and sought a new life for herself, far away from the pain and shame.
Fast forward ten years: Sabrina is settled in Miami, happy at last—until her best friend urges her to attend her high school reunion and face her painful past once and for all.
And…maybe meet the mysterious Tyler once again.
Can Sabrina find the courage to face the demons in her past, let go of the pain, and move forward into happiness? Or will insecurity and self-doubt ruin her one chance to get the love she’s not sure she even deserves?
I just want to give a big shout out and thank you to both Steph and Brenna (and AJ too *waves*) for accepting me into their blog world and allowing me to ramble on with all of my book thoughts. Thank you ladies. Your wonderful reviews inspire me to become a better writer/reviewer!
I am a total sucker for books about unrequited past love, so when I read the back of “Promise Me” I knew I was in for a satisfying read. It starts out during Sabrina Chandler’s senior year of high school. On one horrible night, she gets burned by her ex-boyfriend and former best friend. As she witnesses the shocking betrayal, bad boy Tyler Anderson walks into Sabrina’s life and comforts her in a way no one else has.
I know you and I see you, the real you.
Jump to 10 years later, Sabrina lives in Florida but her thoughts still return to Tyler. What happened to him? Why has he been the only one to make her feel safe? Would she ever see him again? After receiving an invitation to her 10 year reunion, she grapples with the decision to go home and face her past; including coming face to face with those who destroyed her trust and faith in relationships, and a chance encounter with the one who comforted her that one night. Sabrina attends the reunion, runs into Tyler and it’s INSTA-connection from that moment on.
“You’re more beautiful than I remember, do you know that?”
They end up sharing a few magical days together and when it comes time to part, they decide to date long distance until they can figure out what their future together might be. Faced with a multitude of trust issues, Sabrina has to take a leap and put her faith in Tyler, and he has to dive into the unknown of developing and holding onto a serious relationship that’s uncharted territory.
“Now, I’ll make you a deal. You let me worry about how this is going to work…because it’s going to work if it kills me.”
Throughout entire build up to the their meet up, I was giddy. I love how Barbie took her time constructing their reunion and also solved some past drama without making it the focal point of the story. Their connection was warm, realized, welcomed and just felt complete, which made me want them to work out SO BAD when everything was just so perfect and right…right? NOT! The catch, the looming downfall, the crack in the foundation was TRUST. Sabrina’s lack of assurance mixed with Tyler’s rocky childhood and committed relationship inexperience made for one toxic cocktail.
“Are you really going to sit there and tell me that because you’re not used to ‘this’, that I should have known better? That I should have seen this coming?”
My only gripe was from the reunion to the time of the downfall, I felt that more could have taken place. I was left feeling a little slighted until the roller coaster picked right back up and took me on a new ride. I never expected what happened next and although I questioned at first if it truly would have played out that way, I realized that Tyler and Sabrina were new kids on the block. Their relationship still needed nurturing and caring, and they just hadn’t had the time to fully develop it yet.
Throughout the entire book, I truly enjoyed Barbie’s writing style. She’s amazing at bringing elements from reality into her her character dialogue, especially the conversations between Sabrina and her roommate Julia (loved the Seinfeld references). I felt connected to Sabrina and when she opened her heart up to Tyler, I experienced the highs and lows with her. One thing in particular that I loved most about her was how she finally stayed true to herself and stood her ground. I can’t say much more but it was refreshing.
And as much as I swooned over Tyler’s bad boy persona with a sweetheart edge, I wanted to punch him in the face for his actions. Seriously. Tyler will get your heart beating and then he’ll crush it. Men…. cue her best friend Julia. Man, did this girl steal the show, and my heart, with her fierce protection of Sabrina.
I was up. I was down. I was left. I was right. I was all over the place with how I wanted it to end. But in the actual end, I was completely happy with the character development throughout and how she completed their journey. Barbie gives you everything you need in this solid, heartbreaking, sweet and emotional tale of two souls finding their way back to one another. I seriously cannot wait to read more from her!