A Promise of Safekeeping by Lisa Dale
Publication date: January 3, 2012
Nine years ago, Lauren Matthews prosecuted the case of a lifetime. But her error in judgment sent an innocent man to prison for a long time. Now Arlen Fieldstone has finally been released, and Lauren has only one thing on her mind: asking forgiveness. How can she make up for nine years of his life?To get to Arlen, Lauren must first get through Arlen's best friend, Will Farris. Will hasn't forgotten Lauren from those days, and he hasn't forgiven her for destroying his best friend's life. He is Arlen's keeper, protecting him from suspicious neighbors as well as from Lauren.In the steaming summer streets of Richmond, Virginia, three people's lives collide. Lauren needs forgiveness. Arlen needs hope. And Will? He needs something too, something that no one can know-especially not Lauren...
Lauren Matthews is a successful attorney. Her career is definitely on the right track as she's being considered for partner at her firm. Everything else is slightly off-kilter including her physical health. Arlen Fieldstone was and is an innocent man. Wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit, he spent nine long years in prison...nearly one-third of his life. He has been exonerated and released but all that he's known is gone. Will Farris is an antiques dealer and good friend to Arlen, but he knows that there is something missing from his life. Lauren, Arlen and Will are the key characters in A Promise of Safekeeping by Lisa Dale.
The Arlen Fieldstone conviction made Lauren Matthews career. She was sure that he had committed the crime and has felt no guilt or worry about the case until he was vindicated, proved innocent and released. The pressing weight of the role she played in his conviction sends Lauren to Virginia to apologize. She knows that an apology won't really help but she knows she doesn't really have a choice in this matter. The big question confronting her at this point is if the apology is for her sake or truly for Arlen?
Upon her arrival in Virginia she encounters Will Farris. Will has given Arlen a place to stay and is the only childhood friend of Arlen's that is still in the picture and it helps that Will has always believed in Arlen's innocence. Lauren and Will begin to build a friendship that quickly turns to a budding romance, but they both have secrets they're keeping from one another. Can they trust one another with their deepest and darkest fears and create a lasting relationship?
Arlen has spent nine years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. During that time, his mother died, he lost his childhood home, his wife divorced him and he's also lost his marital home. The only thing he has left is his friendship with Will. Arlen no longer feels comfortable with all of his new found freedom and is having an extremely difficult time adjusting to being out of prison. Will tries to help him by giving him a place to live and offering him money for hours he spends working in Will's shop but he needs more. Arlen needs to find the quiet confidence he had as a young man and try to rebuild his life, but more than anything he wants his life and wife back.
A Promise of Safekeeping is classified as a story of redemption and that it is, but it's also a story of second chances. While Arlen, Lauren and Will face their second chances in life, they must also decide what exactly they want from themselves and others. Their characters were well-developed so that it was easy to understand their fears and hopes. The story doesn't go too in-depth into many of the issues touched upon but they are discussed in an clear and open manner: such as Lauren's brother's mental illness or Will and his problems (I cannot disclose what his problem without spoiling the storyline but it is integral to the story line and quite timely). I enjoyed reading the story and even though it deals with some weight issues, I felt it did so in a manner that was respectful and responsible without being dark and gloomy.
Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."