Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart.
Warwickshire, England, 1812
Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.
There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match—to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams.
Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.
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Promised is a LOVELY escape to England with a swoony romance! This story has all the fun elements one can expect from a Regency story since Jane Austen set the standard. More than witty characters, though, and a search for a convenient love match, Promised features a sensible and intelligent romance whose main couple is matched in humor, intelligence, AND love.
This story is told in first person POV, a rare and tricky thing in the historical genre. Leah Garriott manages this well, though there were a few times I struggled to like the heroine, Margaret, or understand some of her reasoning. She does exhibit growth, though, and I like the way she finally makes some conscious decisions and chooses to extend forgiveness to a certain character in the end.
The colorful cast of characters, likened to an Austen cast (again), is a fun treat! I particularly liked Mr. Lundall and his humorous role — and the way he figures unexpectedly in showing Margaret a few things about herself. Margaret’s siblings, too, have a playful and sweet dynamic. The best relationship, though, is between Margaret and Lord Williams. Any time they share a scene together, the tension is palpable. From a love/hate stance to tentative respect to understanding, I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow.
The Regency era setting brings to light Margaret’s socially expected role in life versus the way she is trying to shield herself with her own choices. Through some subterfuge, connections over music, a “Pemberley” moment, and lovely banter with the hero, Margaret begins to find hope for her future, even if it is unexpected. I will look forward to whatever historical novel Leah writes next — and I hope we get a future glimpse of these characters again!
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.
“Promising Regency-set debut. Vivid period details and the hero’s grand romantic efforts will please fans of historical romance.”—Publishers Weekly
“Debut -author Garriott’s smooth prose and character-driven story will enthrall readers looking for sweet historicals with Austenesque plots.”—Library Journal
“Garriott’s impressive debut distinguishes itself with its expertly evoked Regency setting, a cast of realistically flawed yet eminently relatable characters, and a sweetly satisfying love story. Teen fans of Austen-era love stories will fall hard for this impeccably crafted romance.”—Booklist
“Promised is a sweet regency romance and one that I recommend to all of you romance fans, especially those of you that enjoy stories inspired by Jane Austen.”—The Book Diva’s Reads
“…a fun, entertaining, and perfect addition to the Proper Romance collection.”—The Readathon
“With an Austen-like focus on minute emotional detail and some amusing secondary characters, Garriott’s gentle novel promises a treat for Regency fans who like their characters well-bred, their interiors comfortable, and the romance no racier than the hero turning up in a wet shirt.”—Historical Novel Society
Though she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She’s resided in Hawaii and Italy, walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She’s currently living her own happily ever after in Utah with her husband and three kids. Leah is represented by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.
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ABOUT THE BLOG TOUR
Debut novelist Leah Garriott tours the blogosphere February 17 through March 15, 2020 to share her new historical romance, Promised. Forty popular book bloggers specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, exclusive excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed Regency romance novel.
2/17 My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog) | Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
2/18 Katie’s Clean Book Collection (Review) | Wishful Endings (Interview)
2/19 RelzReviewz (Character Spotlight)
2/20 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)
2/21 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)
2/22 The Debutante Ball (Interview)
2/23 Adventure. Romance. Suspense (Review)
2/24 A Bookish Way of Life (Review) | Austenesque Reviews (Guest Blog) | Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)
2/25 Frolic Media (Excerpt)
2/26 Heidi Reads (Guest Blog) | The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Interview)
2/27 Wishful Endings (Review)
2/28 Lu Reviews Books (Review)
2/29 KJ’s Book Nook (Review)
3/1 My Vices and Weaknesses (Excerpt)
3/2 Bringing Up Books (Review) | Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review) | For Where Your Treasure Is (Interview)
3/3 Heidi Reads (Review) | So Little Time…So Much to Read (Excerpt)
3/4 Romance Junkies (Guest Blog) | Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)
3/5 Laura’s Reviews (Review)
3/6 Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books (Spotlight)
3/7 Fiction Aficionado (Review)
3/8 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)
3/9 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
3/10 Bookfoolery (Review) | From Pemberley to Milton (Review)
3/11 Faithfully Bookish (Interview)
3/12 Impressions in Ink (Review)
3/13 Robin Loves Reading (Review) | The Green Mockingbird (Review)
3/14 Inkwell Inspirations (Review)
3/15 The Calico Critic (Excerpt) | Bookworm Nation (Guest Blog)