The Gentleman's Promise by Frances Fowlkes
Series: The Daughters of Amhurst #3
Also in this series: The Earl's New Bride, To Win a Viscount
Publisher: Entangled, Scandalous
Publication Date: April 17th 2017
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A social pariah due to her scandalous activities, Lady Sarah Beauchamp yearns for redemption to obtain a husband. The assistance of Society darling Mr. Jonathon Annesley gives her hope of success. However, the more effort he puts into helping her, the more she realizes the only esteem she wishes to earn is that of the handsome Jonathon. However, her reputation would potentially ruin his political aspirations.
Offering a gentleman's promise to help his sister's friend regain the favor of the ton should be easy for son of a viscount, Jonathon Annesley. After all, he's well liked and considered a rising star in Parliament. Until he learns Sarah's ultimate goal is a husband. No man is good enough and could ever appreciate her for all she is. But she is not for him—his focus rests solely on gaining reforms for society's weakest members. Yet, a promise made cannot be broken…
Two years ago Sarah tried to help her sister out with a man by trying to get the competition out of the way. She concocted some herbs and voila, it worked. Unfortunately her other sister took such a liking to Sarah’s tea that she drank too much and almost killed herself. Since that time Sarah has been in social exile. No one wants anything to do with her as they believe that she poisoned people with nefarious intentions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Her two sisters are married now and she feels like they’ve almost pushed her out of their lives as she can’t relate when they talk about marriage and children.
She does have her best friend, Olivia, and her family who she is staying with. When they get an invitation to a hunt Olivia’s older brother Jonathon invites Sarah along and states that since he’s well regarded he can get people to change their minds about her. He really had no idea how bad things were. Nothing he says or does gets people to judge Sarah fairly. Of course spending so much time with Sarah makes him realize he’s in love with her but his political aspirations make it so that he can’t marry her as his judgement would then be called into question and all the reform he’s been campaigning for would be an impossibility.
This was a sweet story that I enjoyed reading. The concept of people looking down on women who are well read and smart makes my blood boil even though I know that it was historically common. In the case of Sarah she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and talk about things that interested her, especially if it could help someone else. This didn’t do her any favors as she just couldn’t play the role of a no-brain debutante. Jonathon did his best to play up Sarah and her beauty but people just couldn’t get past the “poisoning.” Even when she helped a Marquess with a cold/flu people believed that she had poisoned him so that she could save him to make herself look better. Ugh! So frustrating.
I liked Jonathon and Sarah together. It was a slow, sweet build-up to the romance and it was well written. I liked their characters and Olivia’s as well. We got to see Lord Satterfield again, who played a role in the first two books. He was an ass in this book, imho, contradicting himself left and right. Overall I thought the book was well done.
Rating: 3 out of 5