Sullivan’s Promise (Bitter Creek: Book 12) by Joan Johnston

Sullivan's Promise: A Bitter Creek Novel by [Johnston, Joan]

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell

Date of publication: April 30th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Bitter Creek

The Men of Bitter Creek: Two Complete Novels—Book 0.5

The Cowboy—Book 1

The Texan—Book 2

The Loner—Book 3

The Price—Book 4

The Rivals—Book 5

The Next Mrs. Blackthorne—Book 6

A Stranger’s Game—Book 7

Shattered—Book 8

A Bitter Creek Christmas—Book 8.5

Sinful—Book 9

Shameless—Book 10

Surrender—Book 11

Sullivan’s Promise—Book 12

Where you can find Sullivan’s Promise: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis:

Two unforgiving lovers reunite for the sake of their child in this fiery contemporary romance from Joan Johnston, the New York Times bestselling author of Surrender.

Facing the unexpected consequences of a life-altering night of passion with a cowboy she met in a Jackson Hole bar, and with her life committed to protecting endangered species, Victoria Grayhawk does what she believes is the right thing. She hunts down the cowboy, seeking his agreement that their baby should be adopted by a loving family.

Montana rancher Ryan Sullivan has no intention of giving away his own flesh and blood, and takes their son to raise himself. When Vick realizes what a horrible mistake she’s made, and wants back into their child’s life, Rye remains inflexible—because once trust is lost there are no second chances—until an attack by one of the grizzlies Vick has spent her life protecting changes everything and Rye learns that sometimes love can heal all wounds.

The passionate Westerns in Joan Johnston’s Bitter Creek series can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
TEXAS BRIDE • WYOMING BRIDE • MONTANA BRIDE • SINFUL • SHAMELESS • BLACKTHORNE’S BRIDE • SULLIVAN’S PROMISE


My Review:

When I started reading Sullivan’s Promise, I was under the impression that it could be construed as a stand-alone book. The blurb states that it can (look above). Having finished the book, I ‘ll say that you need to read the other books before reading this one. There were parts of the book where I was left wondering what the heck was going on or why do people feel that way. I do not like feeling like that, and it factored into my rating.

The plotline was alright. The author did a fantastic job of taking a sensitive subject and showing both sides to it. She was able to explain what Vick went through without taking away from why Ryan was so upset. She also was able to show both sides of conservation. She was able to show the fine lines that ranchers have to walk when it came to protecting their land. My issue with the plotline was that it seemed like the author had to stretch it if that makes sense.

I wasn’t a fan of Ryan. I did admire him for stepping up. It was everything after that I didn’t like. He had a black and white view of the world. He was also unbendable with his opinions of people and events. His treatment of Vick is a great example. I get that he was mad, but she proved over and over that she was a devoted mother. But he refused to bend for five freaking years. That drove me nuts whenever it came up. What drove me nuts was that he wasn’t going to ask his mother about why he had a different blood type than her and his father. Instead, he stewed in it and made up scenarios in his head. Realistic but drove me up a wall.

I did like Vick. Her reactions to finding out that she was pregnant were realistic. She wasn’t happy about being pregnant. When she gave birth, she left the baby with Ryan. But, after six months, she decided she wanted a relationship with her son and got stonewalled by Ryan. I am not going to defend her actions. What she did was wrong. But, she wanted to make it right. Everything she did from that point forward was above board and honest. So, Ryan’s treatment of her was ridiculous. She was more patient than I would have been.

The romance between Vick and Ryan seemed forced. The sex scenes didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t get past Ryan’s treatment of Vick for the first half of the book. What irked me was that when Vick decided to start dating, Ryan ruined it for her. I wanted to pull my hair out at that point.

The last half of the book confused the heck out of me. Instead of being about Ryan and Vick, it was about their extended families, which confused the heck out of me. Other than Ryan’s parentage, I couldn’t understand why the other people were in the book. There were tie ins towards the end, but there were a few chapters where I was going “Why is this in the book? What does this have to do with Vick and Ryan’s story?” I did appreciate those updates, but I haven’t read the other books. So it annoyed me too.

The end of Sullivan’s Promise was your typical romance novel ending. Ryan and Vick’s storyline was wrapped up. It ended like I thought it would of. I did enjoy the epilogue. I liked seeing where Ryan and Vick were a few years later.

Would I have enjoyed Sullivan’s Promise more if I had read the other books in the series. Absolutely. I would have gotten a better grasp of the family dynamics.


I would give Sullivan’s Promise an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread Sullivan’s Promise. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**


Have you read Sullivan’s Promise?

What are your thoughts on it?

Let me know!!

1 thought on “Sullivan’s Promise (Bitter Creek: Book 12) by Joan Johnston”

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