Based in Kristen Ashley’s hometown of Brownsburg, Indiana, The ‘Burg Series will be six books following the interweaving tales of friends, family, love and crime in a small town.
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.
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Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
J&G: 5 Stars
‘A grin and wink from Benny Bianchi was the best medicine a girl could have.’
Jenny: There’s just something about Kristen Ashley’s stories that make me feel as though I’m coming home. The passion, the humour, the sweetness, the love and her warm and endearing characters – it’s everything you could wish for in a story and she does it all so effortlessly.
“I’d breath. I’d eat. I might one day laugh again. But I wouldn’t be living. There is no life for me without you.”
If you’re a KA fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And let me tell you, you guys are in for a treat because Benito Bianchi (Benny) is the epitome of a KA hero and once again proves why we love KA’s men the way we do. What’s not to love about this incredibly gorgeous, passionate, hot, alpha Italian American who makes his woman feel as though she is the most precious and beautiful being in existence? Exactly! Be prepared to add another KA boyfriend notch to the bookmark ladies!
“I’m gonna hold the fuck on with everything I got and I’m takin’ you with me, Frankie.”
Being excited over the re-emergence of some of our favourite characters throughout the story is an understatement. My excitement increased tend fold when the one and only Anthony Joseph Callahan was featured throughout and he left me speechless! Cal stole my heart a couple of years ago and still resides there today. Being back with Joe through Benny and Frankie’s story reminded me of the high level of emotion Joe’s story brought to me and I sobbed. Yes, getting back with Joe (and a few surprise characters) was a bonus in what was already a superb story!
If you’re a KA novice and about to pick up The Promise as your first KA experience – STOP RIGHT THERE! I know a lot of people say these books can be read as standalone’s but I totally disagree. To fully experience the emotion, the development of the story and the unique relationships between the characters, especially the relationship between Benny and Joe, you HAVE to read these books in order. To do otherwise would be denying yourself the overall reading experience that is The ‘Burg series. Do you agree Gitte?
Gitte: Yes absolutely, Kristen’s books demand to be read in order! You can’t just meet Joe in this one and not have experienced his and Violets beginnings! You’ll be cheating yourself out of one amazing series where every story counts and leads to this one right here – right now. The story of Frankie and Benny. Sigh….♥
“Do you know why I love you?” ~ Frankie
“Yeah…Because I’m awesome.” ~ Benny
“No…Because you’re everything a man should be.” – Frankie
I can’t even explain how much I love Benny; he’s right up there with all my favourite KA heroes. He is perfection, I have no other words – the man caused me to melt into a puddle on the floor. Can I just say, the amount of panty melting – heart-pounding – romantic lines this gorgeous man comes out with are copious and phenomenal. I highlighted like a mad woman. It was epic; Benny’s epic – Kristen Ashley is EPIC!
“You done being a hotheaded, protective, Italian guy?” ~ Frankie
“I’m never done with that.” ~ Benny
As for Frankie she sure was kick-arse when she needed to be and soft and vulnerable too. She’s one of Kristen’s trademark heroines and I was so excited to read her story. Frankie was so sweet, so hard done by, so forgiving with a heart of absolute pure bloody gold!
“And every breath she takes is half a breath. Nobody can live like that, half breathing. And no person like Frankie Concetti should.”
There was just so much I loved whilst reading this; the most obvious to be honest had to be Joe. He’s been my favourite Burg’ hero since he uttered the words: “Babe you aren’t wearing any shoes.” I’ve never forgotten this line, the impact so tremendous that it’s came to mean everything and it’s truly a sentence that lends to the crux of the very being of every KA hero. The way her heroes treat their women is second to none. The protectiveness; the passion and emotional support is just awe inspiring and is why they will always be embedded in my heart. Now, Benny is in there right alongside my Joe.
Jenny: The Promise was yet another memorable story from an author whose work we know and love. There were so many things I loved about Frankie and Benny’s story and once again this author gave us a heroine who warmed my heart, tickled my funny bone and who gave as good as she got. There were a couple of times the story did seem to drag, but it was soon forgotten, when, in true KA fashion she went and delivered one of THE most kick arse and epic epilogues I’ve read in some time…seriously, this epilogue had IT ALL!
“You were mine, even when you were his.”
She’s not known as the Queen of Epilogues for nothing, and the last leg of The Promise cemented that status and left me in awe of her talent.
“Now go to sleep with the promise of me, and tomorrow I’ll make certain I do somethin’ to fulfil it.”
I sobbed, I whooped, I giggled and I felt a huge surge of warmth settle in my heart. This epilogue and these characters left a lasting memory that I will cherish for a long time to come. It truly was an exceptional ending to a tremendous story wasn’t it Gitte?
Gitte: Standing ovation for the Queen of Epilogues!!! I cried my heart out at the beauty of it; the sentiments; the strength and the pure love. Yeah, I do have to agree that the story did drag in parts, however she reigned it in and finished off in pure classic KA style. Wow. I had to re-read it as my heart melted and my tears fell. Again; the emphasis on family; unity; love, passion and kindness was in abundance. Through KA’s beautiful words her message ran through the heart of this story and I bloody love her for it.
‘The promise of Benny. Every day. Everywhere. It was always with me.’
Frankie and Benny’s story gave us everything of what we love Kristen Ashley for. It was funny, passionate, and suspenseful. It had pure sentimental beauty. Her characters always show such strength and an unrivalled protective nature. We catch up with everyone which is perfection for any KA fan. So yeah, this is a trip down memory lane for so many reasons and watch if Benny doesn’t go steal your heart, he sure did mine!
**ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review**
Purchase THE ‘BURG SERIES here (in reading order)
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