A Promise by Daylight by Alison Delaine
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: August 26th 2014
Genres: Romance, Historical
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A notorious rake…
In the aftermath of a near-fatal accident, the virile and charming Duke of Winston vowed to reform his ways. But for an infamous rogue, it's easier said than done. Hiring a personal medic, he sets about recovering from his injuries—and avoiding temptation at all costs. Little does Winston know, the one temptation he can't resist might be hiding before his very eyes.
A tenacious virgin…
Without a friend or farthing in the world, posing as a man is Miss Millicent Germain's only chance to achieve her dream of becoming a physician. But working for the decadent duke is trickier than no-nonsense Millie anticipated—and his touch threatens to awaken her deepest desires. By daylight, the two are at odds…but by night, their attraction may prove undeniable.
The Duke of Winston is a man who enjoys life. Wine, women and song, as the saying goes, are his forte. He spends his days with friends and the company of many women. Until he comes close to death, that is. He’s walking along a Paris street, minding his own business, when a decrepit building starts to crumble – right on top of him. He escapes with many lacerations and bruises but he can’t forget the look of the man who lay next to him who wasn’t so lucky. That man got hit in the head with a piece of the building and died that day. Having come so close to death Winston makes a vow to consider his ways and to try to be the man that his best friend always knew he could be. Except – it’s hard reforming! Especially when he has a fascinating woman under his roof who keeps tempting him.
The woman is Mr. Miles Germain. Ok, Miles is actually Millicent but she’s acting like she’s a man and is hired on as Winston’s medic. He knows she’s a woman from the first moment he meets her but lets her continue on as if she’s a man. Millie only wants to practice medicine but that option isn’t open to a woman and she’ll be damned if she’s going to be thwarted. She takes the job with Winston when he’s still in Paris because he’s supposed to move on to Greece and she wants to attend a school of medicine in Malta. The problems start when Winston, who is tormented about his vow, decides to return to his estate in England rather than go to Greece. Millie is desperate to have him return to his orgy days so that she can get to her desired location! She works with Winston’s valet and butler but no amount of scheming can move him to reconsider heading to Greece.
In the meantime Winston comes clean about knowing that Miles is really a woman as his attraction to her cannot be denied any longer. He does try to deny himself, that’s for sure. He’s promised to reform and seducing a virgin really isn’t under the “right things to do” column. He finds he can’t stay away, however, and Millie finds herself falling in love with the man. When Millie’s friends start to get involved in the relationship things start to turn into what I like to call a clusterf*ck and both Millie and Winston suffer for it.
I’ve not read a book by DeLaine before this but I’m seriously considering it now. This book had a great blend of fun and sensual as well as the romantic. I very much liked both Millie and Winston and together they were even better.
Part of the reason I liked this book so much is that the author portrayed Winston how he really was. He wasn’t a rake who suddenly reformed and was all that was good and right. The man struggled to do the right thing and I appreciated that he went through these struggles as it proved that he was human. No man can change overnight – no matter how many romance novels say they can. 😉 (It’s nice to dream though, isn’t it?) Even by the end of the book he was still the same man – his focused had just been turned and it made for good reading.
Talk about focus…Millie was one focused woman. She was truly determined to live her life out as a man just to get to be able to practice medicine. It spoke of determination and the love of her craft and I had to admire her for that. Millie’s ideas and thoughts did change slightly throughout the book and I think she became a bit more approachable as the story went on. I was happy that she finally found what she was looking for – she just had to take an alternate path to get there.
This book is part of a series that apparently has no name. I’ve looked on both Goodreads and Ms. DeLaine’s site and the books all appear to be stand alone novels. As far as I’m concerned this book really shouldn’t be read before the others. The story encompasses characters that I think I was supposed to be familiar with, but wasn’t. It also had a story line from Millie’s past that truly needed more explanation for the unsuspecting reader (me) who hadn’t read the previous books. Things were said and thoughts were had throughout the book that made me wonder what the heck they meant but thought for sure that all would be told at some point. Not the case at all. I was left hanging in some respects as to what had exactly happened in Millie’s past and that was frustrating. I would have definitely read the other books first had I known.
Overall, and despite a certain lack of information, the book was a good one. I really enjoyed the writing style for the most part and the story was very enjoyable. I definitely recommend this book…just read the others in the series first. 🙂
Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5