Promises Unbroken by Kristina Hall (The Moretti Trilogy; 1)

Book Blurb:

How much will she risk to save her sister?

Mae Ashton has every reason to stay in Georgia and marry the man she loves, save one—the disappearance of her sister. Although all evidence points to Hazel’s death, Mae’s discovery of a single picture changes everything. If Hazel is alive, Mae will find her. And she’s left everything to do so.

Davis Everleigh isn’t about to let Mae, his fiancée, go just because of a note that hardly explains her departure to New York City. Instead, he follows her to the city and gains employment with the man Mae believes is somehow connected to Hazel.

As Davis and Mae become further entrenched in their effort to locate Hazel, they find themselves facing a corrupt businessman and his ruthless henchman, Alberto Moretti. In a world of lies, will the truth prevail—both about Hazel and in their own lives?

I received this book from the author. All comments and opinions are entirely my own and this review is voluntary.

Renae’s Review:

Starting in the heat of summer 1922 in the fabulous, but crime-ridden New York City, this book takes its readers back to a time of mobsters and speakeasies. The cover may fool readers into thinking this is just another historical romance, but don’t be deceived! This story is as much a crime suspense book as it is a (clean) romance book, and somehow still manages to very much be Christian fiction! It follows the story of Mae, who has traveled to NYC to track down the sister she was told was dead; Davis, who is in love with Mae and gives up everything dear to him just to help her on her quest; and Alberto, a man who made an unfortunate promise to a mobster and is determined to see it through. 

“‘God has promised, and… and His promises cannot be broken.’… Promises unbroken. Despite the attacks of the enemy. Despite the trials of the world. Despite the horrible grief of loss.”

I really enjoyed this story for its overall message and reminder that, while not all humans can keep their promises, God always keeps His. Author Kristina Hall does a fantastic job at weaving God into the storyline from start to finish, instead of throwing Him in as an afterthought, as so many authors tend to do. Davis and Mae continually turn to God for guidance and comfort throughout the story and ultimately point others to Him along the way, which I loved!

“He couldn’t take away her grief. He couldn’t carry it for her. But he could point her to the only One Who could.” 

The characters themselves are also unique and interesting, and I found it so intriguing that one of the main POVs is written from the perspective of an antagonist! The character in question is also the namesake of the series (Moretti), so to be honest, I expected the story to be more about them than we got. But that also just piques my interest in reading the rest of the series to see if they get more of a spotlight as the series progresses. (Slight spoiler?) They had quite the redemptive arc, so I’m eager to see where that goes. 

“‘It’s not the strength of your faith that counts. It’s Who your faith’s in. That’s what matters.’”

My one critique of the book is that the author was a bit heavy-handed with the anti-alcohol narrative. I get that it’s a Christian book and she was trying to make a point. But it seemed a bit overdone to me and could’ve been less obvious in some places. Not that I necessarily disagree with the message! It just felt like beating a dead horse at a certain point. The violence also seemed slightly overdone sometimes, but not enough to really make me complain. 

Still, as I said before, I really enjoyed this book and definitely look forward to reading the rest of the series! Kristina wrote an intriguing, suspenseful historical romance, which is a genre I didn’t even know existed, but now that I’ve dipped my toes into those waters, I’m ready to dive in! The characters, the setting, the story, and the Message came together to create an unforgettable tale that I am certain I’ll read again. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

Content warnings: Lots of violence (including against women), lots of drinking, references to swear words (but I don’t remember any actual swear words being spelled out). 


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