Title: A Kiss of Promise
The memory of one stolen kiss is no longer enough for Alaina to believe Martin will return for her. As she recovers from a family scandal, she prepares to re-enter society only to be faced with another. One of her deceased father’s associates emerges from the shadows with a choice—she must pose as his fiancée in America or he’ll send her brother to prison on charges of forgery. Willing to endure ruin and an uncertain future, Alaina agrees—she can do no less for the brother who’s spent his entire life protecting her.
Martin hasn’t forgotten Alaina or the kiss they shared. When word of her sacrifice reaches him, he’ll move heaven and earth to find the woman he’s been building a future for. Martin will make her his, no matter the cost.
Author: Elaine Violette
Published: March 14, 2016
Genres: Historical Romace
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Starting with a tense scene in which the heroine shoots her own father: the action fast-forwards to a year after his death, just after Alaina’s period of mourning has ended. While we are repeatedly told of her struggle to overcome the scandal: no mention was made of any punishment for her father’s death: and since Alaina has no interest in socializing, there are no real examples of her receiving the cut direct, or the mutterings about her.
Her brother away on business, she is visited by an old partner of her father: holding documents that implicate her brother in a smuggling arrangement, and would put him in jail. Solution is for Alaina to accompany him, Phillip, to Boston posing as his fiancé.
So we have the boat journey with a highly irregular ‘chaperone/companion’ to preserve a semblance of propriety, a young woman who was betrayed by her brother and heads off to America, clutching to the hope that the son of the man her father had ruined still would want her: and he is in Boston as well.
The story was a bit muddled: too many characters and different elements interfering without any real emotional connection to any of them. Alaina is purportedly scared and tense: but her entire character just screams spoiled child in a temper. Phillip, looking to trade in opium and various other nefarious items is tightly restrained: he just seems surly. And we won’t forget the man she has crushed on for years, Martin. Younger son of the man her father ruined with false evidence; now a successful horse breeder with an estate in Virginia – who never forgot about Alaina, but wrote only once.
It wasn’t a lack of information, it was too much. There was a flow to the writing that easily described place, but there was an emotional element that was missing throughout the story: little of the tension or emotion in the lengthy prologue that served as the background for the story was apparent further on. This is a decent read that passes the time well, without requiring much from the reader.