The Rebel’s Promise by Jane Godman

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In December 1745, Jacobite troops led by Bonnie Prince Charlie march on Derby intent on seizing the throne. Rosie Delacourt’s quiet existence is thrown into turmoil when she rescues a rebel lord from certain death. A passionate attachment blossoms but there is a price on Jack’s head and he must flee the country. Before he leaves, he makes Rosie a promise that he will return and claim her as his bride. Rosie believes that Jack has been killed in battle at Culloden. She is threatened with ruin and forced into a distasteful betrothal. When Jack returns, he is unable to hide the anguish he feels at her betrayal … and Rosie dare not risk both their lives by telling him the truth. It seems the only feelings which remain between them are bitterness and anger. But, when danger throws them together again, they are reminded of the tenderness they once shared.

Publisher and Release Date: Front Porch Romance, 2 January, 2013

RHL Classifications:
Time and Setting: Georgian England, 1745
Genre:  Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating:  4 stars

Review by Susan

Set in the English countryside in 1745, The Rebel’s Promise transports readers to the time of the Jacobite Rebellion giving them an image of what life was like then, what fears the people had, and the unsettling conditions they faced.  The author clearly did her research thoroughly, as between the melodrama and steamy love scenes, there is an authenticity about the characters, who seem as though they could have actually lived during this time period, dealing with the political corruption and economic turmoil which engulfed English society in the mid-1700s.

Rosie Delacourt finds herself unintentionally entangled with Jack St. Anton, a Scottish nobleman who is wanted by British troops for committing the treasonable act of supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie.  Gravely injured and alone, Jack is nursed back to health by Rosie.  Their budding romance flourishes as the king’s troops start to close in on Jack, causing him to flee in order to save both their lives.  Time goes by and Rosie never hears from Jack and she fears that he is dead.  When her neighbour, Sir Clive, threatens to tell the troops that she nursed the man they’re after, she agrees to wed him in exchange for his silence.  Jack later returns to discover that his beloved has married another man.  Bitterness and anger consume him until he discovers her reasons for marrying Sir Clive.  Together, they turn the situation in their favor as Clive meets his demise.

Traveling from the English countryside and its lush rural estates to London’s high society, The Rebel’s Promise makes it easy to imagine what the aristocratic world of the 18th century was like.  Unfortunately, the conflicts between the hero and heroine are contrived as the author uses more narration than dialogue and action between the characters to tell the tale.   Though the language used by the characters is authentic for the time period, the progression of the tale lacks a natural flow, but the happy ending leaves the reader feeling gratified.

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