I received a copy of More Than a Promise by Ruth Logan Herne from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Widower Matt Wilmot is an excavator by trade, but with his three rambunctious young sons making trouble all over town, he may not have what it takes to dig them out on his own.
The boys' antics have earned them a riotous reputation in their small town of Cedar Mills. When Matt's former mother-in-law, a powerful lawyer and judge, threatens to sue for custody, Matt's sure she means it.
Enter Matt's new neighbor, Elle Drake. She's made a successful career for herself as an artist and potter, but after a disastrously public break-up with her NFL-player ex-husband, she's back in Cedar Mills to lick her wounds and set her roughed-up self-image to rights.
After Matt's oldest son causes damage in Elle's yard, her common-sense approach forces the boy to take responsibility for his actions—and gives Matt the wake-up call he desperately needs.
Initially adversarial, attraction grows between Matt and Elle as they get to know one another. Matt appreciates Elle's effect on his sons, and when he gets cornered into having a Sunday breakfast with Elle and the boys, he has fun for the first time in...well, he can't remember when.
Everything changes when Elle hears the boys' grandmother berating Matt in public and threatening to take the boys. She defuses the situation by pretending to be Matt's fiancée and the boys' future stepmother. When Matt decides it's a brilliant plan and kisses her to seal the deal, Elle knows he's crazy. But he's also sweet, funny, engaging, sexy and strong, which isn't exactly a bad thing!
I really enjoyed this book. Matt has his hands full with 3 young boys he's now raising on his own. He's also trying to keep his family business afloat while his Dad is recovering from a heart attach. As his boys get into more and more trouble around town and in school he has a harder and harder time finding someone to babysit. To top it all off his in laws are always watching and bringing up how bad a father he is. When Matt's mother in law threatens to file for custody of his boys Elle, Matt's new neighbor, steps up and puts her in her place. Elle isn't sure if stepping in is the best thing for everyone, but only time will tell.