Signet, Sep 2001, 6.99, 352 pp.
In 1760 London, tutor Rebecca Neville has no family to protect her when her employer Sir Charles Hartington accuses her of stealing and tries to obtain sexual favors. Pretending to accept his offer, Rebecca bashes her odious, suitor in the head. Believing she killed Charles, Rebecca flees, escaping in a passing carriage carrying a very weak Elizabeth Wakefield and her one day old son James. Elizabeth sensing a fellow desperado brings Rebecca to America with her and her son.
A decade later, Elizabeth is dead, Rebecca has raised the partially deaf Jamey in the colonies as her beloved child. However, Sir Oliver Birch arrives to take James back to England where his father the Earl of Stanhope can raise his heir. Though she does not want to return to London, a reluctant Rebecca accompanies her Jamey back to his rightful position. In England, Rebecca and Stanmore begin to fall in love though they disagree about what is good for his son. However, the past surfaces leaving a future together seemingly grim or impossible.
THE PROMISE is a powerful Georgian romance that focuses on the rights of women in eighteenth century England. The story line is well written as May McGoldrick uses her plot to tell the plight of females rather than just espousing and preaching her theme. The characters make the tale as Rebecca is a heroine willing to go to prison to insure “her cherished son” is safe and loved. Readers will strike gold with this fabulous historical romance.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner