Review of Promises (Coda Books #1), by Marie Sexton

PromisesI downloaded Marie Sexton’s novel,Promises from the Amazon free list.

Description from Goodreads:
Jared Thomas has lived his whole life in the small mountain town of Coda, Colorado. He can’t imagine living anywhere else. Unfortunately, the only other gay man in town is twice his age and used to be his teacher, so Jared is resigned to spending his life alone. Until Matt Richards walks into his life, that is. Matt has just been hired by the Coda Police Department, and he and Jared immediately become friends. Matt claims he is straight, but for Jared, having a sexy friend like Matt is way too tempting. Facing Matt’s affair with a local woman, his disapproving family, and harassment from Matt’s co-workers, Jared fears they’ll never find a way to be together-if he can even convince Matt to try.


I very rarely read romance sans some sci-fi or fantasy element. Be it M/F, M/M, M/F/F, or any other variation, I generally end up gagging on all the feel good factors or declarations of love and/or dedication. I usually NEED something else in the plot to distract me from all that…that…those hearts and flowers. Having said that, it’s probably not surprising that this book’s been on my TBR for almost 9 months. But after randomly seeing a couple favourable reviews of it recently, I decided to give it a chance.

I’m glad I did. It’s very sweet in its own way, without being nauseatingly sappy. These men aren’t the sort to spout off about their undying love, though they’re not too tightlipped to admit it either. I appreciated that. I adored Jared’s voice as a narrator and practically swooned over Matt’s earnestness. Though that same honestness, combined with his readily expressed excitement left him feeling a little like a wide-eyed child at times. But I just wanted to grab him up and squeeze him to death then too, so it’s all good.

Seeing Jared and Matt struggle through their own issues was a bit of a blessing. Now, I don’t know where it falls on the realism spectrum. I suspect a long way from real. But it also didn’t force any “yeah, rights!’ out of me. Which left me able to fully immerse myself in the story and pretend it really did represent life somewhere out there.

I deem this one definitely worth picking up and I would be thrilled to read more of the Coda series and/or writing by Marie Sexton.

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