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Only a Promise (The Survivors' Club, #5)
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Only a Promise

(The Survivors' Club #5)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,401 ratings  ·  534 reviews
Ralph Stockwood prides himself on being a leader, but when he convinced his friends to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, he never envisioned being the sole survivor. Racked with guilt over their deaths, Ralph must move on . . . and find a wife to secure an heir to his family's title and fortune.

Since her Seasons in London ended in disaster, Chloe Muirhead is resigned to spinst
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published June 9th 2015 by Signet
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Nicole D. He doesn't seem to talk very much. I have only read books 1 and 2 and can't remember him saying much. All the other characters seem so big (Hugo and F…moreHe doesn't seem to talk very much. I have only read books 1 and 2 and can't remember him saying much. All the other characters seem so big (Hugo and Flavian the most so IMO)that he seems to fade into the background a bit.. But that makes him all the more intersecting to me. (less)
Julie Yes. I did the same thing, knowing that the hero's close friends are probably the "stars" of their own books. Getting to meet some of them in this boo…moreYes. I did the same thing, knowing that the hero's close friends are probably the "stars" of their own books. Getting to meet some of them in this book has helped me decide whose story I want to read next!(less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  5,401 ratings  ·  534 reviews

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Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars, rounded up.

All the books in Mary Balogh’s Survivor’s Club series take as their central protagonist a character who has been seriously injured by war. Sometimes these are physical injuries, as with Sir Benedict Harper (of The Escape) who lost the use of his legs, and sometimes they are mental, as with Flavian Ponsonby (hero of the previous book – and my favourite of the series so far - Only Enchanting). In each case, the author has approached her characters’ injuries and disabiliti
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Chloe Muirhead chances at love have been dashed. Disgraced through a family scandal she’s basically ineligible for marriage, and at the age of twenty-seven she’s well on her way to becoming a spinster. Staying with her mother’s godmother, the Duchess of Worthingham has provided a escape of sorts, out of sight and mind from London society.

Ralph Stockwood only wishes he was ineligible, because he has no desire to fall in love or form any emotional attachment. His emotional scars from fig
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I find I don't have a lot to say about this. Mary Balogh writes well, but this is a fairly formulaic marriage-of-convenience tale with an emotionally damaged hero and a heroine who's had a few hard knocks in her own life.

It's an interesting and worthy idea, writing a series of romances about a group of men and a woman who have been deeply damaged by the Napoleonic Wars in Regency England times. I read The Arrangement a couple of years ago, about Vincent, the one who was blinded in the war (also
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved Only a Promise. It was sweet and poignant and brilliantly written. The angst was handled very well; it was justified and kept to a reasonable limit, unlike, say, The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell by Samantha James. The love scenes were very lukewarm, though, but that didn't really bother me since I realised, later on in the book, that this was not about the romance. The story was all about how Ralph and Chloe developed themselves. How they, because of their marriage, learned h ...more
Only a Promise by Mary Balogh is a 2015 Signet publication.

This book turned out to be one of my very favorites in the survivor’s club series!

I know I sound like a broken record, but this series is appealing to me for a number of reasons. The Survivor’s Club struck a chord with me right off, and so far, I don’t think I’ve missed a single book. The premise is one in which wounded soldiers, mentally, emotionally, and physically, are still recovering from the effects of war. Each story is compelli
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hr-european
Boring with a capital B.
An okay read in an otherwise great series.

Ralph, the hero, is suffering massive guilt and PTSD over his own injuries and seeing his closest friends get killed in front of him. He's been a lesser character in other books, and I never realized until this one he's only 25. So young!

The heroine is struggling with her own baggage: the fact that she may not be her father's daughter and the familial and social ramifications of that.

The romance between the H and h develops very slowly, very slowly, and
Liz F
Nov 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.

I've read all of the books in this series. Some I've liked more than others. I'm actually not a huge fan of this author. For me, it's hit or miss. But this series has captured me and I love it. I can't quit reading it!

I experienced the entire spectrum of feelings when it came to Chloe, the heroine. I liked her just fine at the start. She's been harshly affected by a couple of scandals involving her family. Chloe has never done anything wrong at
Jacob Proffitt
My least favorite of the series so far. Ralph has been something of an enigma through the other books. Indeed, I always struggle to remember that he's one of the Survivors. The trouble is that he's a brooder and kind of egotistical about it.

Chloe is fine, I guess. She has had wretched luck and is kind of licking her wounds when she runs across Ralph. She overhears his frustration with the standard ingénues and a reluctance to blight their lives with a husband who won't care for them (however wel
Most of the book was food for thought. It was extraordinary realistic at times, with the author masterly delineating the somewhat ordinary characters and their everyday struggles in a marriage without love.

There was no cushioning of tragedy, and the whole deal was a pretty straightforward affair showcasing two people that fall in like before being in love. There are no giddy feelings, just deep essential human emotions that need time and effort in order to develop.

Still, while I applaud the pro
Jacqueline J
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely addition to the series. This one is a marriage of convenience story that takes place over maybe 2 months or so. The story mainly concerns the growing relationship between two people who had given up on relationships/love. There was a lot about PTSD and it was dealt with well within the understanding that people had about the illness two hundred years ago. Lovely relationship development. It was nice to see a family that dealt with scandal without casting out the offender which in this c ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: authors-a-b
Book 5 of the Survivor’s Club series is a story of complex characters who gradually grow to love one another. It is a couple that will need to face death, jealousy, and family tension. It is Ralph’s journey with dealing with the challenges of what I believe is PSTD, guilt and forgiveness that guides the couple on their road to HEA.

Ralph, Earl of Berwick is a prideful Earl turned Duke who find himself lost in guilt and pity. Although he has severe physical scars from the war, his underlying issue
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought earlier books in The Survivor's Club series were more romantic. Especially Vincent's book.

I really never warmed up to the hero. He's got a big facial scar, but he's a rich and powerful heir to a duke. He feels a ton of guilt because his 3 best friends followed him to the war and got killed.

The heroine was a spinster at 27 because her younger sister ran off with a married playwright. And there are some rumors that the heroine's father is not her biological father.

The hero and hero dec
Olga Godim
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, romance
It’s hard for me to write a review for this book. On one hand, it made an impact. On the other, I didn’t really like it, even though I couldn’t stop reading. The problem, as is often the case for me, is in the protagonists, or rather one of them, the man, Ralph Stockwood.
The novel is a regency romance, #5 in the Survivors’ Club series. The plot is simple and could be summed up in four words: a marriage of convenience. Ralph, the hero, survived the Napoleonic wars, but all his friends died on the
I don't know if I'm going to finish this. Balogh is a fine writer, but the recent books of hers I've read (the Survivor's Club series) have all had the same set of problems that make me feel frustrated and disengaged.

Premise: your hero, a scarred and traumatized survivor of the Napoleonic wars, is an aging Duke's heir and needs to get married. Your heroine, a spinsterish lady who has recently suffered, through no fault of her own, through a couple of scandals that have rendered her essentially
Juliana Philippa
4.5 stars. One of my favorites of the series this far.

Quite difficult in some ways, because Ralph is definitely a tortured hero. He was the one whose story I was most unsure (though that’s not the right word) about reading, because I felt like I knew him the least thus far out of all the Survivors. (I used the mental illness tag because he has been suffering from a depression; he attempted suicide previously and was suicidal during his rough period at Penderris, the Duke’s house where the Surviv
Jen Davis
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary Balogh’s Survivors Club series never disappoints. I have to admit that Ralph didn’t strike much of a chord with me in previous books. And when I was reminded that he was the survivor with a scar across his face, I expected a much different book. Maybe something Beauty and the Beast-y or the kind of story where everyone is repulsed by his scar and only the heroine can see the real man beneath. It was neither. Instead, the book focuses far more on our hero’s psychological scars and it’s all t ...more
Aly is so frigging bored
I love marriages of convenience tropes :)
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
How many stories about soldiers returning home from war could there possibly be? Many, as Mary Balogh shows us in her latest Survivors Club series instalment. Ralph Stockwood is dead inside, and, for a while, he had wanted to die altogether. He went to war with three of his closest friends, and came home alone -- alive, but not free of the guilt and horror that comes with watching your friends die.

But Ralph needs to go on living, for the sake of his family, for the sake of his grandparents, and
Review written April 22, 2018

3.7 Stars - Lovely as all parts in this series

Book #5
in the historical romances series The Survivors’ Club written by Mary Balogh, books I liked a lot so far. Grownup HR with some seriousness and about a bit “older-feeling” main characters than in more common sweet & romantic stories in this genre.

« The Survivors' Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. »

I was li
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one hit all the right buttons for me. The more romantic sex scenes could have been better, but it's a small complaint.
2.5 stars. I'm a huge fan of MB's older regency books and happy to see some of them being reissued. I consider her more recent ones such as Slightly Dangerous and Simply Love some of the best historical romances. This series is a disappointment for me.
The book, the fifth in the series, is Ralph's story. He is one of the seven Survivors' Club members. Each of them have been wounded different way during the Napoleonic Wars. Ralph's scars are both external and internal. He suffers from a survivor
Chloe Muirhead is twenty-seven years old. At eighteen, her grandmother died and her debut into society was postponed. When she finally came out at twenty-one, her seventeen-year-old sister caused a scandal by running away with a married man. Her brother compounded the scandal by participating in a mockery of a duel. When the man's wife died and Chloe's sister married him, Chloe ventured out again. Only to be inundated by another shock of rumors when the daughter of the man who had courted Chloe' ...more
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a series, the Survivors' Club would get 4 stars. I liked this book in context with the series, but it is the weakest for me in terms of plot, characters, and romance. Ralph has no aversions to marriage and would even welcome it, but his physical and mental scars make him a poor choice of husband for any of the young, innocent girls he meets in the usual social circles even with his title and money. Chloe is on the verge of spinsterhood due to two big scandals that weren't her fault. She propo ...more
Lady Wesley
January 1, 2016
One of my five 2015 favorites on Romantic Historical Reviews. Please follow the link to see favorites from Caz, Wendy, Claudia, Natalie, Sara, and moi.

July 30, 2015
Happy sigh. Mary Balogh, a leading light in the historical romance genre, continued her Survivors’ Club series with Only a Promise) , narrated by the incomparable Rosalyn Landor. Waterloo survivor Ralph Stockwood, whose wounds are psychic and thus largely invisible to the world, is reluctant to take a wife even though
The fact that hero was not only NOT a virgin but visited courtesan/prostitute before marriage was just ick!

He also asked if heroine was a virgin. I don't believe it would have been a deal breaker if she wasn't, he was rather assuming she wasn't but fact remains she was and he wasn't.

Also he was extremely selfish and behaved exactly as it suited him and didn't care a little bit for his wife very easily breaking the promise. I understand it was implied but he was fully aware of the implications an
Well, one book of the series was bound to be the least favorite - and it was this one.

I usually love the slow pace of Mary Balogh's stories, the phrases, repeating over and over again - it's all very charming and fitting the atmospthere of Regency era. In this book, the repetitiveness was annoying..nothing much happened, and I never warmed up to the heroes. The spark was absent, there was zero was all very somber and depressing even at times. I never felt the love between the MCs.
Rating: 3.5 Stars

A very, very different type of historical romance. While I definitely enjoyed this immensely, it isn't an immediate favorite. But, nevertheless, I would not hesitate to recommend this one at all.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really sweet story that begins with an arranged marriage that turns out to be something very much more.
Mary Balogh’s historical romances pretty much speak for themselves. Rather than cashing in on the overt and explicit relationship that readers tend to encounter in the romance genre, Balogh leverages the emotional impact in her historical romances. In Only a Promise Balogh brings her signature emotional exploration to a marriage of convenience and it was wonderful.

Ralph Stockwood has returned from the war alone; his friends having died fighting. Ralph blames himself for encouraging his friends t
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Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curl ...more

Other books in the series

The Survivors' Club (7 books)
  • The Proposal (The Survivors' Club, #1)
  • The Arrangement (The Survivors' Club, #2)
  • The Escape (The Survivors' Club #3)
  • Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club, #4)
  • Only a Kiss (The Survivors' Club, #6)
  • Only Beloved (The Survivors' Club, #7)

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