Return to Promise

Return to Promise

3.7 19
by Debbie Macomber

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The town of Promise, Texas, is a good place to live, to raise a family, to spend the rest of your days with the person you love.

Cal Patterson and his wife, Jane — also known as Dr. Texas — certainly think so. The last thing they expect is a threat to their marriage. But in September, disagreements begin to escalate — with the "help" of an attractive young woman

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The town of Promise, Texas, is a good place to live, to raise a family, to spend the rest of your days with the person you love.

Cal Patterson and his wife, Jane — also known as Dr. Texas — certainly think so. The last thing they expect is a threat to their marriage. But in September, disagreements begin to escalate — with the "help" of an attractive young woman who's got her eye on Cal.

After months of emotional upheaval brought on by doubts about the marriage, the two separate, and Jane returns to her childhood home in California, taking their children.

Cal, now alone on his ranch, is forced to confront what he really wants in his life, what he needs. Jane is confronting the same questions....

How seriously does Cal take his marriage vows? And how important is Promise to Jane? Is there hope for a reconciliation — in time for Christmas?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Macomber's name sells books, and her newest title doesn't let readers down. Sometimes the best things come in small packages. Such is the case here, as Macomber returns readers to Promise, Tex., a small ranching town filled with loving, friendly people and down-home Texas charm. Cal and Jane Patterson had planned simply to relax, but lately Cal has been yearning for his reckless days riding bulls in the rodeo, and Jane (known as Dr. Texas to Promise's townsfolk) has her hands full caring for their two children and working at the medical clinic part time. When Jane's dad becomes ill, she packs up the kids and flies home to Southern California, leaving Cal to fend for himself. Jane's absence is the opening that beautiful, restless (and clich d) vixen Nicole Nelson has been waiting for; she's been attracted to Cal for years and has returned to Promise--after an absence of many years--with the single-minded aim to destroy Cal's marriage and snag Cal for herself. Cal isn't buying into Nicole's scheme, but a couple of innocent encounters with Nicole has tongues wagging and stirs up plenty of unrest between Jane and Cal. Although the extent of those problems strains credulity, Macomber touches on incidences of insecurity and poor communication that nearly every couple faces at one time or another. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Returning to Promise, TX, Macomber spins a pointedly cautionary tale of two people who almost lose their marriage through neglect and misunderstanding but finally manage to save it--just in time for Christmas. Overflowing with small-town atmosphere, a warm sense of family, and engaging secondary characters, this story will resonate with many Americana fans. Unfortunately, the irritating immaturity of the hero and heroine and the overtly predatory behavior of the scheming "other woman" detracts from the book's overall appeal. Nevertheless, the story does bring fans up to date on the doings of the people of Promise. Macomber (Dakota Born) is a respected, best-selling author of sweet contemporary romances and lives in Port Angeles, WA. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

Center Point Large Print
Publication date:
Heart of Texas Series, #8
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Cal Patterson knew his wife would be furious when she learned what he'd done. Competing in the annual Labor Day rodeo, however, was worth Jane's wrath—although very little else was.

    Bull riding had always enticed him, even more than bronc riding or roping or any of the other competitions. It was the thrill that got to him, the danger of riding a fifteen-hundred-pound bull, of staying on for eight seconds and sometimes longer. He craved the illusion that for those brief moments he was in control. Cal didn't do it for the trophy—if he was fortunate enough to take top prize—or to hear his name broadcast across the rodeo grounds. He was drawn by the challenge, pitting his will against the bull's savage strength, and yes, the risk. Jane would never understand that; she'd been raised a city girl and trained as a doctor, and she disapproved of what she called unnecessary risk. He'd tried to explain his feelings about bull riding, but clearly he'd failed. Jane still objected fervently whenever he mentioned his desire to enter rodeo competitions. Okay, okay, so he'd busted a rib a few years back and spent several pain-filled weeks recuperating. Jane had been angry with him then, too. She'd gotten over it and she would again—but not without inducing a certain amount of guilt first.

    He watched her out of the corner of his eye as she ushered their three-year-old son, Paul, into the bleachers. Cal dutifully followed behind, carrying eighteen-month-old Mary Ann, who was sound asleep in his arms. As soon as his family was settled, he'd be joining the other competitorsnear the arena. A few minutes later, Jane would open the program and find his name. Once she did, all hell would break loose. He sighed heavily. His brother and sister-in-law would be arriving shortly, and if he was lucky, that'd buy him a couple of minutes.

    "Glen and Ellie are meeting us here, aren't they?" Jane asked, her voice lowered so as not to disturb the baby. His daughter rested her head of soft blond curls against his shoulder, thumb in her mouth. She looked peaceful, downright angelic—which was quite a contrast to her usual energetic behavior.

    "They'll be here soon," Cal answered, handing Mary Ann to Jane.

    With two children demanding her time and attention, plus the ranch house and everything else, Jane had cut back her hours at the medical clinic to one weekend a month. Cal knew she missed practicing medicine on a more frequent basis, but she'd never complained. He considered himself a fortunate man to have married a woman so committed to family. Once the kids were in school, she'd return to full-time practice, but for now, Paul and Mary Ann were the focus of her life.

    Just then, Jane reached for the schedule of rodeo events and Cal tensed, anticipating her reaction.

    "Cal Patterson, you didn't!" Her voice rose to something resembling a shriek. She turned and glared at him, her beautiful face contorted in a look of exasperated disbelief.

    "Cal?" She waited, apparently hoping for an explanation.

    However, he had nothing to say that he hadn't already said dozens of times. It wouldn't do any good to trot out his rationalizations yet again; one look told him she wouldn't be easily appeased. His only option was to throw himself on her good graces and pray she'd forgive him quickly.

    "You signed up for the bull ride?"

    "Honey, now listen—"

    "Are you crazy? You got hurt before! What makes you think you won't get hurt this time, too?"

    "If you'd give me a chance to—"

    Jane stood, cradling Mary Ann against her. Paul stared at his parents with a puzzled frown.

    "Where are you going?" he asked, trying to come up with some way to mollify her without causing a scene.

    "I don't intend to watch."

    "But, darling ..."

    She scowled at him. "Don't you darling me!"

    Cal stood, too, and was given a reprieve when Glen and Ellie arrived, making their way down the long, narrow row of seats. His brother paused, glancing from one to the other, and seemed to realized what was happening. "I take it Jane found out?"

    "You knew?"

    Ellie shook her head. "Not me! I just heard about it myself."

    "Looks like Jane's leaving me," Cal joked, hoping to inject some humor into the situation. His wife was overreacting. There wasn't a single reason she should walk out now, especially when she knew how excited their three-year-old son was about seeing his first rodeo.

    "That's exactly what you deserve," she muttered, bending to pick up her purse and the diaper bag while holding Mary Ann tightly against her shoulder.


    "Gather your things," she instructed Paul. "We're going home."

    Paul's lower lip started to quiver, and Cal could tell that his son was trying valiantly not to cry. "I want to see the rodeo."

    "Jane, let's talk about this," Cal pleaded.

    Paul looked expectantly from his father to his mother, and Jane hesitated.

    "Honey, please," Cal said, hoping to talk her into forgiveness—or at least acceptance. Okay, so he'd kept the fact that he'd signed up for the bull riding a secret, but only because he'd been intent on delaying a fight.

    "I don't want Paul to see you injured," she argued.

    "Have a little faith, would you?"

    His wife frowned, her anger simmering.


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Jayne Ann Krentz
Debbie Macomber's name on a book is a guarantee of delightful, warmhearted romance. She crafts endearing characters and stories that leave readers feeling good.

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