A Gentleman’s Promise by Penny Hampton /. Kibworth Beauchamp, Matador Trubador, 2018.
This better-than-average Regency Romance appears familiar at first. A viscount and both his sons die unexpectedly. A distant family member is surprised first by the news that he is heir and then by a series of apparent attacks on his life. The real heir and his very protective, unusually well educated older sister appear alive and well after being declared dead. The heroine visits a brothel disguised as a young man. A puzzle is solved by collecting bits of information from shady characters. These subplots weave together to tell the story, a series of events that do not follow a predicable pattern.
The hero, consistently a true gentleman, appears to live with the after effects of traumatic stress; his slight obsession with order and symmetry is a minor quick, not an impairment. Living family members treat each other with love and respect. When an unknown, illegitimate cousin is embraced by the family, he is supported in his atypical romance, not despite it. These are several unexpected twists.
I read this book one evening with great enjoyment. It is well written with characters that are well developed, decent, and intelligent. Historical elements support the story without distracting from it. There is more substance to it than found in most Regency Romances. I would give it 4.5 stars if I could.
by Jackie MacDonald
This is my first book by this author and I must say I enjoyed her style of writing. The hero is Richard who is traveling to estate that he has just inherited and he is very sure that someone is trying to kill him as there have been many attempts on his life. Emma and her younger brother James have been travelling across war torn Europe to reach her Grandfathers estate after the death of both of their parents. This beginning of the story leads to a greedy villain, a lovely romance story, adventure and a story I enjoyed reading.
I like Emma as she was a very independent woman who found it very hard to trust and Richard although a tribe dull came up to snuff by the end of the story. I will be very interested to read more books by this author. I recommend this book.
by Patricia Liebe
“A Gentleman’s Promise” by Penny Hampson is a tale of what one tries the hardest to avoid ...might in the end be the very best thing for one. Such is the story of the Honorable Emma Smythe ..her brother ...and new Viscount Easterby ...Richard Lacey... now the a rousing good romantic tale with intrique ...because sometimes inheritance can be dangerous ...especially with a companied by a nasty greedy villain ...but be assured a HEA is in the cards. MUCH enjoyed...and Highly Recommended.
by Jill Anna Freeman
Richard Lacey, having just inherited the title of Viscount Easterby, is certain someone is out to see him dead. When a ragged pair appears on his doorstep, the true heir to the title and sister who had been presumed dead, he promises to get to the bottom of the situation and keep both safe.
From the start, Richard inspires sympathy. He inherited a title he didn't want, a title which someone appears to be determined to eradicate. Multiple times he is nearly killed, and facts begin to point to an old family skeleton. Opposite him is the Honorable Emma Smythe, who has crossed countries to get her younger brother home safely. She has lost her family and is thrust into a mystery that threatens her brother.
It is easy to read the clues that are revealed, though our main characters are less astute. There are odd flashbacks interspersed through the narrative, to explain some backstory, that are a bit jarring when they occur. There is also acceptance of certain situations that would not have been at the times.
An easy read and one I would recommend to readers who are not sticklers for historical accuracy.
by Bethany Swafford
Emma and her brother, Jaime have just travelled across war torn France. Their parents are dead and they're hoping to get to back to England to their grandparent's house. When they get there, they find that their grandfather has died and their grandmother has gone to London. Someone else has taken over the house and the title. Richard Lacey has just arrived to the estate after being informed that he is next in line to be the Lord of Easterby. There have been several attempts on his life while traveling to the estate. Is it because he is taking over the title or some other reason? If it is because of the title, then Jaime is also, in danger as he is now next in line, not Richard. Emma and Richard have a deep attraction for each other, but Emma does not want to be put aside as unimportant as many wives are. An informant has come up with the name of the most respected Duke of Wheatley. But who is he and what is his interest? He has a most profitable estate and a title. Will Richard with Emma's help uncover the mystery of the attacks? Will Emma trust Richard enough to love him? I liked this book. It is well written and full of mystery.
by Marie Angel
When the Honourable Viscount of Easterby died, he left no issue, for his sons were dead. So who would inherit? Richard Lacey had never expected to become the next Viscount of Easterby, in fact, he did not even know he was related to the late Viscount!
Emma Smythe’s father thought nothing of his family’s welfare. Charles had been an adventurer, an archaeologist, but now he was dead, as was Emma’s mother. Emma had no choice but to cross war-torn Europe and fall upon the mercy of her grandfather. But, to her great dismay and heartache, Emma discovers that her grandfather is dead, and the new Viscount is already installed in Easterby Hall.
Emma had never harboured any thoughts about marrying. Her parents’ relationship was enough to put anyone off the whole idea of matrimony. But then she met Richard and slowly but surely her opinions began to change.
The last thing Richard wanted was a sharp-tongued, opinionated young woman as his wife. Emma should have sent him running for the hills, but instead, he found himself inexplicably drawn to her. However, now was not the time to start a courtship, for his life was in danger, and so was James’, Emma’s younger brother. For someone wanted to kill all of the decedents of the Easterby estate.
Like all good Regency romances, A Gentleman’s Promise by Penny Hampson starts with a brooding hero and a feisty heroine. This sweet romance seduced me from Chapter 1, and I was utterly enchanted until that very last word.
I adored the characterisation of Emma. She was a courageous and spirited heroine. Emma was not some porcelain doll that needed protecting and shielding from the dangers of the world. I thought her character was refreshing and she was certainly no shy debutante. If Emma wanted to do something, there wasn’t an awful lot anyone could do or say to stop her. I admired her character for that. Likewise, I thought Richard was a gentle hero who was dedicated to the welfare of his family. And although at times Emma really tried his patience, particularly when it came to her own well-being, he never once lost his temper, and he respected her opinions — even when they did differ to his!
A Gentleman’s Promise was a wonderfully gripping story, with some very likeable characters. I enjoyed this book very much, and I think it will be one that I will come back to again.
by Mary Yarde
The beautiful gentleman on the cover of this book I could get an ARC of to review, caught my attention. It is a regency novel, or a kitchen maid literature as they call them here: a romance novel set in the 19th century in the better classes. But this one turned out to be slightly different. For one there is a strong gay element in it, there is no sex in it, the pace is slow and the main characters are developed into three dimensional people
Richard inherited an estate from a distant cousin but the evening he arrives there the lost heir a teenager and his sister arrive as well after they have travelled all the way from Greece. Someone tried several attempts to kill Richard since he was declared the new viscount and now Emma and Richard start wondering if the deaths of the other heirs were accidents after all. They hope to solve the mystery.
Richard is pictured as a man who is very orderly and really wants to avoid adventure (illustrated by his behaviour with sorting his cloths and rearranging the figurines on the mantle piece) . He likes Emma but thinks she is very unsuitable as a bride. Way too adventurous.
Emma seems to have an too modern take on independence for women to seem fitting for the time period. But the writer comes up with a solid reason and also the fact that she had to survive such a dangerous trip will have shaped her.
At first the story seemed too slow for me but that turned out well after all as it was all building up to certain character developments.
Richard's sister and brother-in-law, Emma's grandmother they all serve a shaping role in the characters of the main characters. The war in Portugal against Napoleon, the Elgin marbles, molly houses they all picture a time period.
I do agree with earlier reviewers that the interaction with the main villain is strange.
by Wytzia Raspe
A Gentleman's Promise is a good clean romance with mystery and intrigue. I've rated this book so highly because the author really took the time to make the story believable. She was able to create a romantic story without any of the usual (and often vulgar) love scenes. This is also one of the few clean romances that I have read that were not also steeped in religious rhetoric.
The mystery aspect actually made sense. I deducted a star for the "bad guy" and their motive being made pretty obvious to the reader, even though it too way too long for the main characters to figure it out.
All in all, I think it is better than your typical romance novel and it's doubly attractive to anyone who likes a good mystery. Worth the read.
by Brianne Cellemme-Short
A lot of very modern societal thinking in this Regency romance, and a few unbelievable circumstance, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not the very best of the genre’s offerings, but I was able to read it all in one evening, and it kept my interest enough that I’d like to read the next in the series (assuming that was the author’s intention with the addition of Phil and the young woman in the brothel). There was some bolder subject matter, but this is still definitely considered a clean read, in my opinion.
by Caroline Willoughby
I've been passionate about books ever since I first learnt to read. A common refrain at home was that I always had my nose in a book; things haven't changed, even though I'm now somewhat older.
History is a passion too; it's great that these two interests combine so well.
With degrees in history and historical research, I've spent a chunk of my life helping others to achieve publication; now I've decided it's my turn.