I'll not take the time to give an overview of the story line, as most of the reviews have already done that. I'm a fairly new fan of Kim's books, having read two so far and working on a third now. This one did not disappoint. I tend to gravitate toward books that are character driven, and "A Promise for Spring" certainly fit that criteria.
The author draws a realistic picture of life during a difficult time period in history, set in a harsh land. Are the two main characters always sweet, loving, and likable right from the start? Nope. Do you want to shake them at times and tell them to grow up? Yes. Is it realistic and believable, based on the circumstances? Absolutely.
Personally, I don't care for sticky sweet, over-the-top romances where the main characters have very few faults. I'd prefer to read books that hit closer to home where the emotions are concern. How would I feel in this situation, if I'd fallen for a man years ago, then come with great anticipation of becoming his bride and he wasn't at all what I remembered? More than likely I'd have been just as ready to run back home as Emmaline.
Some reviewers have commented that they didn't like Geoffery, and felt he was too harsh and unsympathetic. While I chafed at times over his lack of understanding where Emmaline was concerned, I also sympathized with his position. He'd been longing for and loving this woman for years, with absolutely no idea that her heart had changed towards him. Everything he'd done on the ranch was based on what he believed she'd want or like. I can't begin to understand the depth of hurt and rejection a man would feel when everything he'd worked so hard for appeared to be despised, or at best, not appreciated, by the woman he loved.
I felt the author did an incredible job presenting a very difficult situation, and did so by showing both sides of the issue. Both Emmaline and Geoffery were depicted with tremendous depth and insight. Good fiction evokes emotion on the part of the reader, and I experienced a wide range of emotions by the time I finished this book...with the final one being a deep sense of satisfaction at a story well told. I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good romance in a historical setting, and is willing to have their emotions and thoughts provoked beyond the typical 'light' romance.