Strong-willed Monica Scott has come to Lake Tahoe to grieve the death of her father…and to build the house he’d designed for the lot he’d bought there. Maybe then she can sort out her feelings about Stephen, the man her domineering father had planned for her to marry. She loved her father, but finds Stephen to be a similar character, and Monica has only to look at how her mother submitted to her father’s every whim to rebel at that type of relationship for herself.
Enter Greg Linsey, a planner with the TRPA (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency), whose job is to tell Monica the house cannot be built, though he has long admired Armand Scott’s architectural brilliance. Laws have changed, and the stream running through the property is deemed to be at risk.
People just don’t tell Monica Scott no. Regardless of how cute and sincere Greg Linsey is, she’s committed to building this house her way, no matter what means is required to obtain the permits. When Greg can’t be bribed, she hires a consultant who claims he can circumvent the ruling.
Meanwhile, in their off-time, Greg is drawn to Monica and feels that if he can only show her the Tahoe Basin as he sees it, she’ll understand that the fragile ecology must be preserved.
The story line rotates between their personal attraction and their adversarial relationship as builder and planner as Monica begins to wonder if, just maybe, not all men expect instant obedience from the women in their lives and an enduring romance with Greg is a possibility. But first she must decide, once and for all, the place that Stephen holds in her life.
I hoped this would be a book after my own heart and, in many ways it was. It’s not often you find a Christian romance with environmental themes at its core! I also enjoyed a vacation at Tahoe a few years ago, so the book brought back fond memories as I recognized specific places in the story.
I completely respected Greg’s position, as his personal beliefs were a foundation to his work with TRPA. However, after a while I began to gloss over his many lengthy discourses on the fragile ecology as he tried to sway Monica to his way of thinking. It seemed, at those times, that the purpose of the story was to whack the reader of the story over the head with environmental concepts.
Please understand that I’m coming from a personal belief that Christians need to respect the environment and actively pursue care of God’s creation.
Monica was a trial to me from the beginning. I have a hard time with characters that walk all over everyone else to get what they want, not caring in the slightest who they harm along the way. Yes, some reviewers have made similar accusations about Jo in Raspberries and Vinegar. I understand that characters come to authors fully fleshed and that without dynamic personalities, some stories would never take place. It took a long time for cracks to appear in Monica’s armor, but then it was interesting to see the steps the author took her through to soften her even more.
Would I recommend Love’s Promises? Yes, I would. It’s different enough and important enough that many should read it and catch a glimpse of the difference one person can make in caring for God’s creation.
Sandra Leesmith loves to hike, read, bicycle and write. She and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome where she enjoys the outdoors, plays pickleball and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project. At one time, they owned a home at Lake Tahoe. Renovations introduced her to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency where Greg Linsey works. She knows first hand the issues the heroine, Monica Scott, must face to build.