Kate Worth's Reviews > The Promise

The Promise by Kate Worth
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's review
Feb 07, 2013

(Review from the author)
it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

Can an author write an unbiased review of her own work? Probably not, but I'll give it a try.

It took me a little over a year to write my first book, The Promise. From the beginning I adored my heroine Jane and her rascally love interest Finn. I set out to write the kind of book I like to read, a sexy romance with an engaging plot, intelligent, believable characters, and interesting historical details. I enjoy a spicy read with blistering chemistry... a romance wrapped in an imaginative, well-constructed story, delivered through evocative prose. My pet peeve: when a love story relies on a far-fetched misunderstanding that could easily have been resolved with a two-minute conversation. Nor can I abide a helpless, clueless heroine or a hero who is fundamentally a worthless human being. No amount of handsome can make up for that.

Notes on Adoption in Britain:

Adoption in the informal sense plays a role in The Promise. In the modern legal sense, adoption did not occur in England until 1926, but people have been informally adopting children for as long as there have been children. According to P.J. Walker, in History of the Family, “Britain had a long history of informal adoption, particularly among laboring families. Family and friends provided for orphan children and those who desired more hands took children into their households when the parents could not provide for them. Historian Anna Davin has documented how often working-class families in the later nineteenth century took children into their households so that the children could remain in the neighborhoods, close to kin and friends.”

Adoption occurred in the peerage, as well. The love child of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, was adopted by her lover’s family in the late 1700s. Eliza was not consigned to a miserable life due to her parents' indiscretion. She married Lt. Col. Robert Ellice who later became Governor-General of Malta. Eventually they returned to London, lived in Mayfair, and were members of good society.

Although illegitimate children could not inherit titles, they were from time to time raised alongside legitimate children. If acknowledged by their fathers, illegitimate children often went on to claim positions of status in the aristocracy. Emanuel Scrope, Earl of Sunderland, fathered several children with his servant and mistress, Martha Jeanes. The eldest daughter Mary married Charles Paulet, Duke of Bolton and became Duchess of Bolton. A second daughter Elizabeth married Thomas Savage, Earl Rivers.

Now, for my review...

The Promise is a story about Jane Gray, a pastry chef in Victorian London who takes in a young, pregnant girl. When the girl dies in childbirth, Jane raises the child, Pip, as her own. Years later she tries to pawn a locket that belonged to Pip's mother and is nearly arrested for theft. She soon discovers her daughter's birth mother, Maura Wallace, was the sister of a powerful duke. The child's family demands custody and Jane's life becomes complicated.

Pip moves in with the family while Jane continues to work and live above the bakery, setting out across town to see her daughter for a few minutes each evening before returning home again. The Wallaces struggle to find an acceptable role for Jane, whose visits they allow for Pip's sake. They also feel a moral obligation to Jane because of everything she did to help Maura.

Handsome, charming Finn Wallace is initially drawn to Jane's warm, caring nature, but his feelings for her soon develop into something more. Finn, the duke's younger brother, is a rake who enjoys his carefree life and hasn't the slightest inclination to change it... until he meets Jane and Pip.

As the story unfolds, we learn Jane is running from a troubled, dangerous past. She has been in hiding from her cousin Tom, an evil bastard who has been helping himself to her inheritance for years. I can't say more without spoiling the story for you.

I am so pleased with The Promise. The pacing is quick, the characters are three-dimensional and believable, from Jane and Finn to the supporting cast. I particularly like Peckham, the Wallace family's butler, and Cameron, the acerbic, taciturn duke. I am working on his love story now.

I hope you enjoy reading The Promise as much as I enjoyed writing it. I look forward to your feedback.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Karen Love your book so far. Will make sure to post a review when I'm finished.

Kate Worth Karen,
I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

Nicole Laverdure Oh I loved it! Please write another beautiful story!

Luisa I'm so happy you're writing Cameron's story! He deserves a love story too.

Kate Worth Thank you, Luisa! I have a soft spot for Cameron, too.

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