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Promised (Proper Romance Regency)

by Leah Garriott

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202884,652 (3.79)None
After the heartbreak and humiliation of a broken engagement, Margaret Brinton is determined to never allow her heart to be hurt again. But will her resolve hold when her father arranges for her to marry Lord Williams, a man who had once publically snubbed her, but who might be more than he appears?
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I received an ARC of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program.

A romance set in the regency-era, this is no Jane Austen story, but it's still sweet and fun, a quick read. There was no explicit sex beyond some tender moments of hand-holding, caresses, her hand on his chest, that kind of thing (plus one not-so-tender moment of a man forcing a kiss on our heroine). This book presented a well-worn enemies-to-lovers plot, but thankfully it avoids re-hashing some of the clich├ęs that were established in "Harlequin Regency Romances" of the 80s (e.g. the author's discussion of wardrobes was kept to a minimum).

There was even a nice treatment of the heroine's growing realization that she loves the male lead, slow enough that it felt endearing (as opposed to feeling artificial).

Some of the details didn't ring true, such as when one character introduced another to a third character (I'm pretty sure there were some formalities the author glossed over). The story would have been stronger if the author had done more research into the mores of the era. Perhaps it's not critically important to the story, but it does mean that this story doesn't hold up to Jane Austen. I liked the main romantic leads (both the man and the woman), which is what made this book fun to read, I think.

Recommended if you're looking for a light story, but I wouldn't pay full price for this book.

~bint ( )
  bintarab | Feb 21, 2020 |
Margaret Brinton doesn't want a husband, especially after the fiasco of her last engagement, but she knows that society dictates she must have a husband. As a result, she decides that she will marry but she doesn't want to marry for love and is willing to settle for a loveless marriage just so her brother can arrange his marriage and then her younger sister will be able to marry in the future without difficulties. It is for this reason that she accepts an invitation to join a weekend party at the home of friends of her mother where she will be introduced to potential suitors. Her brother Daniel thinks her plan is somewhat foolish, but he's willing to go along as she doesn't choose an inappropriate suitor. Fortunately, Margaret meets a man that she thinks will fulfill all of her requirements, Mr. Northam, a self-professed rake. Unfortunately for Margaret, both her brother and Mr. Northam's cousin, Lord Williams are out to sabotage any possible match between these two. Lord Williams feels the only way he can save Margaret from herself and his cousin is by proposing marriage himself. What ensues is a series of grave misunderstandings and comedic errors that will either result in a love match between Lord Williams and Margaret or a hatred that will never fade. Can Margaret maintain the promise she made to herself or will she need to break it and make all new promises to marry for love?

I've been experiencing some serious vision-related issues as a side effect of the many years of chronic migraine and even with glasses, have difficulty focusing on the printed page for prolonged periods. I started off reading Promised in print form and the only reason I set this book aside was to request a digital galley from the publisher (changing font size, backlighting, etc. is quite helpful). Once I downloaded the digital galley, I finished the book in just a few hours. I quite enjoyed the Jane Austen mash-up, a little bit Pride and Prejudice mixed with a little bit of Sense and Sensibilty in this story. Margaret's previous fiance is a little bit like Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility, Northam is a bit like George Wickham from Pride and Prejudice, and there's even a Mr. Collins like character with Mr. Lundall. Margaret's brother is a bit like Bingley with his relationship with Margaret's best friend, Louisa, and Lord Williams is a cross between Darcy, Edward Ferrars, and even Colonel Brandon. Margaret's younger sister Alice is much like Margaret Dashwood but gets seriously ill like Marianne Dashwood. Much of Promised focuses on the interactions and misunderstandings between Margaret and Lord Williams, but the story would be lost without all of the other characters. I enjoyed the action, settings, and the romance. I also enjoyed the flaws that each character exhibits because it made them more realistic and all-too-human. It may difficult for those of us in the 21st century to understand how marriage might be built on a relationship that develops without dating, texting, or even phone calls. Margaret and Gregory aka Lord Williams probably spend about 24 hours in each other's company, but they learn quite a bit about the other's sensibilities, values, sense of humor, and more. 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. Of course, you may read it and find that my take on the characters is completely different from yours. If so, please let us know what your thoughts are on the characters and action. I can't wait to lend my print copy to my 85-y.o. mother to read. She enjoys these romances almost as much as I do. I hope you'll add Promised by Leah Garriott to your TBR list. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Happy Reading, y'all!

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This review originally posted on 02/04/2020 at https://www.thebookdivasreads.com/2020/02/2020-book-47-promised-by-leah-garriott.... ( )
  BookDivasReads | Feb 4, 2020 |
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After the heartbreak and humiliation of a broken engagement, Margaret Brinton is determined to never allow her heart to be hurt again. But will her resolve hold when her father arranges for her to marry Lord Williams, a man who had once publically snubbed her, but who might be more than he appears?

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