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A story that looks at serious themes of wrongful incarceration, but without being unbearably dark. Fun insight into reading body language because the main character is a jury consultant. Mar 13, Allison Armstrong rated it really liked it Shelves: I liked this one. The characters were flawed, but still very interesting.

A Promise of Safekeeping

The ending was a bit abrupt, but still a good one. I liked Will and when they went out "picking". She really evoked Richmond, VA during the summer. Jul 17, Bethany rated it it was amazing. It is by far the closest thing to my "perfect" novel I have ever experienced. Discovering that such a book exists elates me, as I set the bar very high in all aspects of my life. A Promise of Safekeeping is a splendid book because of the sociological and psychological aspects; the complex and sophisticated, yet realistic, storytelling; and the underlying social justice implications.

As a sociology minor, I adore books that allow me to learn about a place, a culture, a career, a lifestyle. However, A Promise of Safekeeping does even more. The beginning of each chapter is preluded by a first-person narrator, which differs from the rest of the story third-person omniscient narration, for those of you curious.

These four or so introductory paragraphs explain the art of reading body language, with a focus on different aspects, perhaps lying, love, eye contact, and so on. These then were a precursor to the further exploration of the theme: No doubt Dale's intimacy with her characters through psychological analysis and understanding aids her storytelling because while the characters are very different from each other and complex individuals, their actions, dialogue, and innermost thoughts teem with verisimilitude.

As a voracious reader, I have read my fair share of good and bad books. As such, I tend to judge books very harshly: A Promise of Safekeeping is very believable. In fact, its verisimilitude had me wishing I could go out picking with Will, join Masie and Lauren and friends for margaritas, and organize Will's cluttered house yes, I love to organize things; yes, I know I'm weird. Additionally, Dale's diction and syntax perfectly blend together to assist the complex plots. Dale's diction was appropriately advanced, but did not have me reaching for a dictionary on every other page.

The Elder Scrolls: A Promise Unfulfilled

Lastly, the romance scenes are tastefully done. I know in the whole scheme of things, this does not matter, but I often wish reviewers would comment on how racy the love-making scenes are. I want more plot than sex, and more than anything, I want to see character development. A Promise of Safekeeping is plot-centered and character driven for sure.

Overall, while I do enjoy watching -errr Dale also juggles the heavy subject of wrongful convictions in A Promise of Safekeeping. I picked up A Promise of Safekeeping about a month ago, but had to finish other books before I could start it, so I had barely creased open the spine when I grabbed it as I headed out the door yesterday morning for my first-ever experience with jury duty. What irony as the main conflict of it focuses on a supporting character's wrongful incarceration!

While I did have to sit through juror selection this morning, I was not chosen, which was probably just as well considering the heavy text-to-self connections I would have made if I had had to pin on one of those juror name badges as I rapidly neared the final pages today. However, the combination of gentleness yet insistence that Dales prods the sleeping giant that is the imperfect justice system with is core-altering.

Dale has crafted the perfect novel, something that I thought I could only dream about since I could never pinpoint what the ingredients for such a book would look like. Apparently, for me, it is sociologically detailed -perhaps with psychological undertones as well-; has a realistic, sophisticated, and complex plot; and hints at a social injustice that we, as society, need to be more aware of so that we can improve it.

I will most definitely be recommending this book to friends and family who want a lighthearted, yet meaningful, read. Oct 14, Leah rated it really liked it Shelves: Then, put yourself in the shoes of Lauren Matthews, the woman who put Arlen in jail, believing he was guilty. Would make you want redemption from the man, who by rights, should hate you? The way the novel is written allows you to see all of the characters as they are. We see Lauren struggle with issues pertaining it seems to her guilt over Arlen.

Early Review – A Promise of Safekeeping: A Novel by Lisa Dale

We see Arlen struggling to re-adjust to life outside of prison. Nine years wiped away! But, mostly, the novel is about truth and forgiveness and second chances. Those are the themes and Dale writes them all very well. At the end of the day, why the hell would Arlen want to see Lauren ever again? I really, really enjoyed A Promise of Safekeeping. From the troubles the characters face, to how they all try and sort through those troubles. I thought it had the brilliant line between romance yes, there is romance, woohoo! Oct 31, Shelleyrae at Book'd Out rated it liked it Shelves: The premise is an interesting one with themes of forgiveness, truth and moving forward.

Lauren Matthews is on the cusp of achieving her life long dream to be named a partner in a prestigious jury consulting firm when she begins experiencing heart problems. She is convinced the cause is the recent exoneration of a man she helped convict for murder and if she is able to apologise the symptoms will disappear. Arlen Fieldstone is not willing to forgive the prosecutors error, he has lost nine years of his freedom, his wife and his dreams. He is a still a prisoner of his experience, hiding in the small flat above his childhood friends antique business.

Will knew his best friend could not have been responsible for the murder of a senator's wife and hopes Arlen will be able to rebuild his life. He wants to hold Lauren responsible, but the ruthless and cold lawyer he sees on television is in reality a warm and vital woman. Arlen and Will are wary of Lauren but perhaps letting go of their anger will be the first step towards healing for all of them. While I admired Lauren's desire to apologise, her motives seem a bit naive for an accomplished officer of the court. The author explains Lauren's drive to seeking forgiveness is rooted in her brother's brushes with the law and her professional pride in her ability to read people.

As a body language expert think TV show, Lie To Me Lauren is appalled that the case that kick started her career was a sham and despite the relentless pressure as she strives to make partner and a recent relationship break up, Lauren is certain that her health crisis is caused by her role in Arlen's incarceration and only apologising will make it stop.

Lauren's self imposed break from her work and routine, and a developing relationship with Will, leads her to reexamine her life. In her own way, she has been imprisoned by her own expectations and those of her family, and she is surprised to find herself reconsidering her future. I strongly sympathised with Arlen's feelings of disorientation and depression upon being released from prison.

Nine years is a tremendous amount of time to have lost and for Arlen it was compounded by the divorce from his wife and the loss of his mother while he was falsely imprisoned. That he had no desire to hear Lauren's apology or justifications was perfectly understandable, even though his anger and resentment left him mired in fear and hopelessness.

I was glad when he was able to consider moving forward and take steps towards reclaiming his life. As Arlen's self proclaimed champion, Will is initially as angry at Lauren and the injustice she had a part of as Arlen is. However Will is an intelligent man and he realises that though Lauren may have been the public face of the trial, she cannot be held solely responsible for Arlen's conviction.

Will is not willing to let her off lightly though and accepts her offer to help him 'pick' for a few days in exchange for considering smoothing the way between Lauren and Arlen. Will has secrets of his own though and Lauren's ability to know what people think they are successfully hiding concerns him.

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He is surprised however to discover an attraction to Lauren and despite his best intentions, and at the risk of betraying his best friend, a relationship develops. In a dramatic conclusion to the novel, the tenuous links between the three protagonists, Lauren, Arlen and Will, are cemented when a stranger decides to hold Lauren to account for her role in exacting justice. It's an unexpected ending though one that reinforces the themes of the story. A novel about forgiveness and redemption with interesting and well developed characterisations, A Promise of Safekeeping is a satisfying read.

Dec 19, Vivian rated it liked it. Lauren Matthews is a successful attorney. Her career is definitely on the right track as she's being considered for partner at her firm. Everything else is slightly off-kilter including her physical health. Arlen Fieldstone was and is an innocent man. Wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit, he spent nine long years in prison He has been exonerated and released but all that he's known is gone.

Will Farris is an antiques dealer and good friend to Arlen, bu Lauren Matthews is a successful attorney. Will Farris is an antiques dealer and good friend to Arlen, but he knows that there is something missing from his life. The Arlen Fieldstone conviction made Lauren Matthews career. She was sure that he had committed the crime and has felt no guilt or worry about the case until he was vindicated, proved innocent and released.

The pressing weight of the role she played in his conviction sends Lauren to Virginia to apologize. She knows that an apology won't really help but she knows she doesn't really have a choice in this matter. The big question confronting her at this point is if the apology is for her sake or truly for Arlen? Upon her arrival in Virginia she encounters Will Farris. Will has given Arlen a place to stay and is the only childhood friend of Arlen's that is still in the picture and it helps that Will has always believed in Arlen's innocence. Lauren and Will begin to build a friendship that quickly turns to a budding romance, but they both have secrets they're keeping from one another.

Can they trust one another with their deepest and darkest fears and create a lasting relationship? Arlen has spent nine years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. During that time, his mother died, he lost his childhood home, his wife divorced him and he's also lost his marital home. The only thing he has left is his friendship with Will. Arlen no longer feels comfortable with all of his new found freedom and is having an extremely difficult time adjusting to being out of prison.


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Will tries to help him by giving him a place to live and offering him money for hours he spends working in Will's shop but he needs more. Arlen needs to find the quiet confidence he had as a young man and try to rebuild his life, but more than anything he wants his life and wife back. A Promise of Safekeeping is classified as a story of redemption and that it is, but it's also a story of second chances. While Arlen, Lauren and Will face their second chances in life, they must also decide what exactly they want from themselves and others.

Their characters were well-developed so that it was easy to understand their fears and hopes. The story doesn't go too in-depth into many of the issues touched upon but they are discussed in an clear and open manner: I enjoyed reading the story and even though it deals with some weight issues, I felt it did so in a manner that was respectful and responsible without being dark and gloomy. Jul 17, Lydia Laceby rated it really liked it Shelves: Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes I really enjoyed A Promise of Safekeeping which explores wrongful incarceration, the effects on all involved and who is to blame.

And what about personal guilt involved? Everyone has a different opinion A Promise of Safekeeping, including the wrongfully accused, his loved ones, and especially the woman responsible for his imprisonment. The short time she intends to take off work to apologize becomes a much longer affair as Arlen refuses to see her, and the longer he avoids her, the more she avoids work. The longer she stays the more she begins to question everything including her unexpected attraction to Will.

The connection between Lauren and Will was palpable and unavoidable and their hesitation understanding. How would having that ability have impacted my life if I had it? Would I have been just as bamboozled in love by untruths? This novel inspires some interesting questions.

His inability to step outside was understandable and his initial observations were eye opening. I thought often to how many things have changed in the last nine years that one would be completely ignorant of and how each decade there are enormous changes that without exposure to would lead to complete incomprehension. The subtleties to this novel were outstanding. For the most part we mostly bob along at a gentle pace like down a meandering stream, but its one that you know could turn into a ranging river at any time. The undercurrent of danger lurked throughout the entire novel and it was so subtle, but had enough effect to keep me on the edge of my seat wondering if anything would happen to Lauren, whether Arlen would turn violent or what explosions would occur should Lauren and Arlen ever meet again.

Unfortunately the quick ending though left me surprised and a little confused, specifically regarding the last few pages. After all the emotion and suspense I wanted more from the ending and ultimately came away a little disappointed. I will definitely read more from Lisa Dale! Mar 04, Amy Lignor rated it really liked it. Lauren Matthews was a prodigy. Unfortunately, she was also dead wrong. Lauren is no longer a prosecutor.

Unfortunately, she never paid Arlen any attention when he was being sent to prison for life. She knows she must head to Richmond, find Arlen and apologize; only then can she have closure and even a shot at living her life without all the guilt. When she arrives, she meets a man by the name of Will. Memorable characters and a fascinating storyline will keep you intrigued to the very end. Until Next Time, Amy Jan 04, Laura Kay Bolin rated it really liked it. Lauren Matthews became a big shot prosecutor nine years ago. She walked in and successfully prosecuted a high profile murder case convicting, Arlen Fieldstone.

Nine years later, the verdict is overturned and Arlen is pronounced innocent. Expecting to just to apologize and go home to her job and promotion, Lauren finds Arlen hostile and his best friend, Will working somewhat as a go between. I really enjoyed A Promise of Safekeeping. When Lauren first arrives in Richmond she is quite uptight and all business. Though I could respect and admire what she was doing she felt less than genuine. I really enjoyed watching her open up not only to Will, to the reader, but mostly to herself. On the other hand, I went back and forth about Arlen.

I understood but also felt frustrated. Then the more and more I read, I began liking him and routing for him. I also really enjoyed getting to know Will.

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The characters were all really well developed and enjoyed watching how they moved forward when they realized they were each at a crossroad. I definitely recommend A Promise of Safekeeping. Sep 08, Samantha March rated it it was amazing. A Promise of Safekeeping by Lisa Dale is an eye-opening tale of redemption, a beautiful story filled with hope that will tug at heartstrings. Lauren Matthews was a fresh-paced young woman just starting her career when she got thrown on the case of a lifetime. Arlen is now released from prison after nine years behind bars for a murder he did not commit, and Lau A Promise of Safekeeping by Lisa Dale is an eye-opening tale of redemption, a beautiful story filled with hope that will tug at heartstrings.

Arlen is now released from prison after nine years behind bars for a murder he did not commit, and Lauren seeks him out, hoping for forgiveness. She runs into his friend Will, about the only friend Arlen has left upon his release. I thought A Promise of Safekeeping was a fascinating story, and one that I could not put down. No spoilers, but the ending bumped this up from a 4 to a 5 star review.

This was my beach read for day 1 at the beach. Finished it, pretty much in one sitting. I enjoyed it a lot. This book touches on a lot of interesting subjects. Of course it's about how one goes about his life after having been wrongfully imprisoned for nine years. And about how the lawyer who prosecuted might feel about her role in that.

It also touches on the issue of hoarding. And the lawyer-turned jury consultant is kind of a prodigy of the type that might have been found i This was my beach read for day 1 at the beach. And the lawyer-turned jury consultant is kind of a prodigy of the type that might have been found in the now defunct "Lie to Me" series -- she reads people's nano-expressions and body language.


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  5. I'm rating this a 4 because I thought all these issues were interesting, and because I liked the characters, but I considered dropping it to a 3 rating just because the author may have tried to do too much in one book. I'd have liked a bit more focus on any of these issues rather than her trying to cram them all in.

    Novel Escapes: A Promise of SafeKeeping by Lisa Dale - Samantha March Review

    But it was a perfect beach read. Jan 02, April rated it really liked it Shelves: It is an emotional story of second chances,ex-convicts,the justice system, hope,wrongful conviction, redemption, forgiveness,secrets,love,romance,female lawyers,hoarding,and nine years of a lost life. This is the story of Lauren Matthews,prosecuted and who made an error in judgement that cost Arlen Fieldstone,nine years of his life,and Will Farris,friend of Arlen and who has a secret no one can know especially Lauren. A must read for any one who enjoys a charming,emotional story of three people who lives collide and who needs forgiveness,hope,second chances and love.

    Received for review from the publisher. I'd have liked an Epilogue at the end of the novel, set perhaps a year later, because the ending is a bit dramatic, and it is a bit rushed, so an Epilogue would have rounded off a pretty good novel perfectly. I'd really recommend the book, b I really, really enjoyed A Promise of Safekeeping. I'd really recommend the book, because it was a book I enjoyed and a book that will speak to a lot of people. It makes you think, but it also has its lighter moments, it isn't just a novel about what's wrong with the Justice system, it isn't saying everyone that's convicted is innocent, instead it covers all bases and I just found it all so fascinating and the characters really bring the novel to life.

    Apr 19, Jenny - Book Sojourner rated it really liked it Shelves: I really enjoyed reading this book. Will hasn't forgotten Lauren from those days, and he hasn't forgiven her for destroying his best friend's life. He is Arlen's keeper, protecting him from suspicious neighbors as well as from Lauren. In the steaming summer streets of Richmond, Virginia, three people's lives collide.

    He needs something too, something that no one can know-especially not Lauren This is my first Lisa Dale book and I was not disappointed! Arlen went to jail for a crime he did not committ, Lauren was the prosecutor that helped send him there. Now Arlen Fieldstone has finally been released, and Lauren