Firefly Promise does not begin with a lightening bang-Caleb Coleridge and Jocelyn "Joss" Maxwell fumble on their footing, with Caleb coming off a bit pathetic and Joss manipulative. As such, it takes more effort on the reader's part to fall in love with the characters and their story. It is easy feel sympathy for their respective tragedies, but the lack of personal depth and growth derails the development anything more significant. Caleb does evolve, with specks of his charming personality shining through the drudge of his suffering. However, Joss falls short of being a likable person; the things that she does, and her reasons for doing them, are not products of a logical mind and so she appears to be a bit maniacal. She redeems herself by virtue of being a good mother, but there is very little development to her as a woman.
The sexual chemistry is there, and Caleb's episode with another male is a funny addition (as well as an ingenious way to demonstrate his growing feelings for Joss). The story would have been stronger had there be a firmer demonstration of the character having moved beyond the past. Instead, they seem to be stuck at a crossroads with Caleb heading in one direction while Joss stands immobile. She is rooted in uncovering Caleb's wounds and healing them; but what of herself? Even though Caleb is there to support her, ultimately, Joss doesn't really work through her grief. And that is the problem: the writing is good, but the words chase after Caleb and leave Joss cold. Perhaps if more insight is shed onto her character, her intentions and motives would appear less devious and illogical. Firefly Promise is not an easy read, carrying heavy emotional baggage, but when the ending comes, it will be very satisfying and cathartic.
Joss has given up. Two years of chasing after her estranged husband and the daughter he kidnapped, and she's finally resigned herself to the inevitable. Her ex is too smart and too rich to be caught. But when she returns home to find comfort and rejuvenation, she finds someone who needs hope even more than she.
Caleb has lost everything. After ten years of married bliss and two beautiful children, a tragic accident has left him desolate and alone. He throws himself into his career and empty sex in order to forget his grief and guilt. When his wife's friend Joss appears in his life, he is ill-prepared for his reaction to her and her situation.
An unexpected tip from an informant in Italy sends them off to Florence in search of Joss' daughter. Strangely, the possibility of reuniting Joss with her daughter gives Caleb new hope. And the whirlwind trip, full of adventure, deceit and passion, also gives them an opportunity to discover things about themselves and each other that could change their lives forever.
Reader Advisory: Contains mild male/male sexual interactions.