Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Layla Hagen’s One Beautiful Promise is a sweet romance grounded in Hagen’s Very Irresistible Bachelor’s series. Each book of this series has introduced us to one of the Winchester children (plus Hunter, their cousin). With four of them plus Hunter, there are stories to be told, and Hagen has done a fine job of crafting this series within her book universe. With this story, Hagen gives us Cole Winchester. Nicknamed “The Charmer,” everyone believes it will be a long time before Cole finds his soulmate. In fact, Cole takes pride in being a single man with no encumbrances. He is the Winchester most known to tease his cousin, brother, and sister for their journey into loving relationships. On a trip to Rome for business, he’s encouraged to meet Laney, a medical resident studying there for a time. And it is there where she captures his heart.
At its core, One Beautiful Promise is a story about second chances. This isn’t the second chance trope that we’re used to reading. Instead, OBP is predominately Laney’s story as she must overcome her past in order to find a present and future with Cole. In it, Hagen shows her readers how to fall, how to embrace new opportunities through her characterization of Laney. We find that hiding behind work or anything else only presents a life with little meaning. Through the course of the story, we see her transformation, and that occurs because Cole shows her how to live an abundant life. Yes, Cole is a confirmed bachelor, proud of his meaningless hook-ups. However, as the story progresses, Cole’s character suggests that the right woman can turn any man into a “forever” kind of man.
One Beautiful Promise is very sweet. It isn’t angsty, and it’s easy to see how Cole and Laney fall in love. For me, it’s my least favorite of the Winchester stories because it feels a little one-note at times. For all of his singleness, Cole falls pretty fast for Laney, and he never looks back. I would have liked to see him struggle with that a bit more. But this story is what Hagen does best: offering up romance that allows you to feel good all the way through it.
In love and romance,