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Authors: Robin Lee Hatcher

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A Promise Kept

BOOK: A Promise Kept

Acclaim for Robin Lee Hatcher

“A beautiful, heart-touching story of God’s amazing grace, and how He can restore and make new that which was lost.”

— Francine Rivers,
New York Times
best-selling author, regarding
A Promise Kept

hits the mark. Hatcher’s books have it all: characters full of personality, attention to detail that makes the history feel real and a gentle message of second chances. “

Romantic Times
4½ star review for

“A wonderful, 19th-century-Idaho spin on the story of the prodigal son,
has everything a great novel needs: genuine conflict, heartfelt emotion, characters you’ll love rooting for, surprising twists and turns, and a breathless pace that will keep you reading late into the night. Above all, a powerful message of redemption rings through each chapter. You will love

— Liz Curtis Higgs,
New York Times
best-selling author of
Mine Is the Night

“Hatcher is a consistent ‘must read’ author. Her books are always engaging, and
is no different . . . You’ll feel a warm, satisfying glow after turning the final page of this touching novel.”

Romantic Times
, TOP PICK! 4½ star

“Featuring an eye for detail and a strong female heroine, this wholesome romance marks a good start to this new inspirational historical series . . .”

Library Journal
starred review of

“Robin Lee Hatcher has created a memorable historic romance . . . she weaves in just enough historic fact and setting to transport the reader to the time and place without getting in the way of the story.”

Idaho Senior Independent
review of

“Tender, evocative, and beautifully written,
is a journey about love after loss, and about two hearts destined to become one—despite their stubbornness!
is Robin Lee Hatcher at her best!”

— Tamera Alexander, best-selling author of
Within My Heart
The Inheritance

Also by Robin Lee Hatcher






A Vote of Confidence

Fit to Be Tied

A Matter of Character


Dear Lady

Patterns of Love

In His Arms

Promised to Me


A novella in

A Bride for All Seasons

Heart of Gold

When Love Blooms

A Carol for Christmas

Return to Me

Loving Libby

Wagered Heart

The Perfect Life

Home to Hart’s Crossing

The Victory Club

Beyond the Shadows

Catching Katie

The Forgiving Hour

Whispers from Yesterday

The Shepherd’s Voice

Ribbon of Years





© 2013 by Robin Lee Hatcher

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected]

Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE. The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission; and from the King James Version.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Hatcher, Robin Lee.

A promise kept / Robin Lee Hatcher.

pages cm.

Summary: “Allison believes God made her a promise. So why didn’t her life turn out the way she expected? Allison did everything she could do to rescue her marriage, but her husband left anyway. Their marriage is over. She retreats to the mountain home she inherited from her great-aunt Emma, a woman she thought she’d known well. But the trunks she discovers in the attic hold keepsakes, photographs, and journals that reveal secrets; and the stories of a kindred spirit. As Allison learns more about Aunt Emma’s life, she also learns more about her true self; and what it means to surrender completely to a sovereign God. Heart healing and moving forward with her life; making new friends, making new plans; Allison never dreamed of the many unexpected ways God can keep His promises”—Provided by publisher.

ISBN 978-1-4016-8765-6 (pbk.)

ISBN 978-1-4016-8766-3 (eBook)

1. Divorced women—Fiction. 2. Promises—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3558.A73574P74 2014



Printed in the United States of America

14 15 16 17 18 RRD 6 5 4 3 2 1





To Ami, who recognized what was in my heart before I did. Thanks a million!
And to Jerry, for continuing to fight the good fight. I love you.



For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.

2 C


May 2011

This wasn’t the life Allison Kavanagh had imagined for herself, but it was what her life had become. Like it or not, she had to get on with it.

She turned the key in the lock.

Hidden away in the mountains north of Boise, the two-story log house—built many decades before but completely remodeled on the inside—was open and airy with a state-of-the-art kitchen, modern efficiencies throughout, and spectacular views of the rugged Idaho mountains from every window. The place had been left to Allison four years earlier in her great-aunt’s will. Never in her wildest dreams had Allison imagined she would end up living in it one day. Perhaps Aunt Emma had seen the future a little more clearly than she had.

Welcome to your new home

A lump formed in her throat, but she fought back the tears. She was weary of crying—it was all she’d done for months and months. Sometimes it felt like years and years. Setting her mouth, she dropped her purse onto the small table inside the front door.

Some of her own furniture filled the living room. She was glad of it. Made the place feel a little less foreign to her. Not that it
foreign to her. She’d visited her aunt’s home many times throughout her life, and after it had come into Allison’s
possession, it had served as an occasional getaway, a place of peace when life’s storms became too much to handle.

Dear Aunt Emma. The sister of Allison’s maternal grandmother, Emma Carter had been considered somewhat of a “rebel” in the family. Never married and financially independent because of her success as a nature photographer, added to sound investments and careful spending, she’d lived as she pleased. Oh, the stories Aunt Emma used to tell about World Wars I and II, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression. If ever a woman was born with the gift of storytelling, it had been Emma Carter. No wonder Allison had adored her.

“How do I get on with my life, Aunt Emma?” she whispered.

If Aunt Emma were still alive, she would have answered honestly and directly. No mincing words. Emma Carter had never sugarcoated anything for anybody. Not even for her favorite—as she’d always called Allison—and only—as Allison had pointed out in return—great niece. But Aunt Emma was gone. Allison would have to find the answers on her own or muddle along as best she could without them.

She passed through the living room and walked down the short hallway to the master bedroom. The new queen-sized four-poster she’d purchased sat against the opposite wall, bare of bedclothes other than a quilted mattress cover. Staring at the bed, she felt her aloneness afresh. It burned through her like salt in an open wound.

She looked away.

In a corner of the bedroom sat her large desk and credenza. It too was naked. Allison hadn’t entrusted her MacBook, large external display, or printer to the movers. Those important items were still in her car in the driveway.

A design deadline loomed closer. She’d best get her office set up and make certain the Internet was turned on as promised by
the cable provider. Her to-do list was too long to ignore, even for a few days. And besides, keeping busy took her mind off many less pleasant realities. Immersing herself in work had been her salvation. For years, really, but especially over the past eleven months. Ever since the day she’d uttered her ultimatum.

The lump in her throat returned. She swallowed again.

“Tough love” some would have called her take-it-or-leave-it demand, and she’d been certain tough love was required in the situation. But she’d believed what she said would be that last straw, that illusive bottom, those words that would change everything.

changed everything. Just not the way she’d hoped they would. Not the way she’d wanted. Not for the better. Not as promised.

Why didn’t You keep Your promise?

It was the most she’d said to God in a while. The ability to pray seemed to have shriveled inside of her. One more loss added to so many others.

With a shake of her head, Allison retraced her footsteps to the living room, went out onto the wide redwood deck that circled three sides of the house, and descended the steps to her pale gold SUV parked in the driveway. From behind the driver’s seat she released her dog from his crate and set him on the ground. Gizmo sniffed at his new surroundings.

“You stay close. I don’t want an eagle or a bear having you for lunch.” The tricolored papillon perked up his ears, and she couldn’t keep from smiling. “You’re such a good boy.”

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