Promise to Possess Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Promise to Possess

A pair of strong-willed engineers in the Texas oil fields butt heads in their battle for authority, and begin to fall in love despite their competitive streak and the fact that he has a reputation for being a womanizer. A story that starts off surprisingly feminist and then takes the dark turn into Harlequin's...well, typical romance. This novel is set in Dallas, and Toni is a petroleum engineer at a big Texas oil company. A graduate of Texas A&M, realistically Toni should've been kind of nerdy. But she's a former sorority girl with the big hair, big heels and long nails, and she seems to have no real sincere science-nerdy interest in petroleum engineering. Too bad because a female engineer is impressive for an '80s formula romance novel.
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The novel insists on telling us how much Toni loves her job without actually showing us that she is that into it, and as she is in a managerial position over junior engineers, it seems that she is really her own, independent woman. Other men in the office have crushes on her but Toni isn't interested in anyone....until her old boss, Dan, who is married with two college-aged kids, transfers to San Antonio and his tall, attractive, and domineering new replacement Mark joins the Dallas office. Mark and Toni immediately have a love-hate chemistry. He is the first man to really challenge her authority. On a search for new land oil rig, where the reservoir of oil is accessed by drilling wells, it is Toni and Mark's job to examine the geologic compositions of the rock underneath to find a rock that might contain the oil reservoir, and develop a plan to drill into the potential oil field. Throughout the process Mark and Toni battle for authority. They clash on the method of well testing, and Toni is irked when Mark condescendingly reminds her to oversee the installation of the oil field equipment and check the maintenance before they are used. But she is also surprised at what a relief it is to have a colleague who knows his mind extremely well, in a way that Dan didn't (Toni had to mother him a lot). Toni begins to fall for Mark's sense of authority and power and is seduced by his masterful flirtation with her, but her friend Stacy, whose older brother went to college with Mark, warns her repeatedly that Mark has no feelings and uses and throws away women. He seems conflicted over Toni, however, and is there for Toni when her dog dies of old age and Toni is inconsolable. Mark helps her bury the dog and takes her to dinner afterwards, concerned and protective. Toni falls for him even more.

However, once the oil rig project is complete, Mark is set to be transferred to Florida, and one day Toni intercepts a call to the office for Mark - it is from a female in Miami, who says breathlessly that she can't wait for him to arrive. Disgusted, Toni hangs up just as Mark enters and informs him that his "new girl" in Florida is waiting for him, and storms out. Mark comes after her and demands an explanation. Toni begins to tell him that she has finally learned that all the stories about him are true, and regrets ever indulging him in his sick game. Mark, to her surprise, tells the CEO that he wants to stay in Dallas and not leave. He begins courting her more seriously, and tells her that he has never found a woman who challenges him the way she does. She finally accepts his love, and he asks her to marry him, and she agrees.
Best part of story, including ending: I enjoyed learning about how oil rigs work.

Best scene in story: When they bury Toni's Labrador. It was really sad but also moving.

Opinion about the main character: I liked that she was an engineer and in a kind of managerial position.

The review of this Book prepared by Princess Peach a Level 10 Peregrine Falcon scholar

Chapter Analysis of Promise to Possess

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Lovers are competitors    -   Yes competing in    -   business arena

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   engineer Age/status:    -   20's-30's

Main Female Character

   -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   scientist


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Texas

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death How explicit is the sex?    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy Focus of story    -   equally on him and her How much dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Promise to Possess

Jessica Logan Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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