“The Gentleman’s Promise” is a sexy and intriguing installment to Frances Fowlkes’ Amherst Sisters series. This novel focuses on Lady Sarah Beauchamp. She inadvertently poisoned a houseful of debutants who were seeking the attention of the Earl her sister ended up marrying. Unfortunately Sarah miscalculated her recipe and many of the girls became deathly ill including her younger sister who almost died. Sarah’s a social pariah in the ton. Regardless of having a sizable dowry she has no suitors nor any invitations to balls or soirees. Her only solace is her best friend Olivia Annesley who is steadfast in her loyalty. Despite of the infamous poison incident Sarah still educates herself in the study of herbs. She dedicates herself in becoming extremely knowledgeable regarding the effects of herbs and their effects on the human body. Sarah’s also become a skilled vintner of curative wines.
Olivia has several brothers the eldest, Jonathon, disbelieves that Sarah’s situation is as dire as she and her sister describe. Jonathon’s a young and up and coming member of the Tory Party in Parliament. He’s working on garnering votes for a radical pet project, the formal education of former prostitutes. Jonathon, needs the backing of influential and conservative members of the House of Lords. He believes accompanying her and his sister to several social events will help Lady Sarah regain the ton‘s acceptance. Almost immediately Jonathon and Sarah find themselves thinking of each other as more than just friends. They’re attracted to each other, especially when Jonathon discovers Sarah’s fascination with the Kama Sutra. Even though they both know that Sarah isn’t good for Jonathon they begin to succumb to their chemistry and attraction. Jonathon’s attracted to many of the very qualities that make Sarah unacceptable in society.
Jonathon realizes that aligning himself romantically with Sarah is political suicide. Unfortunately at the same time he realizes he’s completely in love with her. Especially the moment an influential Lord takes ill she’s immediately accused of poisoning the man by his wife. Lord Vincent’s health declines becomes during the night. And Jonathon is told to bring Sarah to help relieve the him of some of his ailments. After a long night Jonathon and Sarah’s resolve is weakened by their exhaustion. Jonathon declares his love for Sarah and tells her he plans to marry her, he takes her to his bed.
In the morning the guests of the house party are still accusing Sarah of poisoning Lord Vincent. They say her plan all along was to cure him in an effort to redeem herself. Sarah’s believes that no matter she does she’ll the ton will never accept her. And if she marries Jonathon, their children will be shunned by society. Her friend, and Jonathon’s sister, might never find a husband. And Jonathon’s political career would be over. Sarah decides she must distance herself from Jonathon completely. She declares to all of the guests of the house party, she’s officially giving up on conforming to society’s standards. Sarah tells Jonathon all of the reasons why she can’t marry him and he fights against her reasoning. But then he sees her logic, how it could affect his sister, and his future children. Then Jonathon lets her leave him.
I love the Daughter’s of Amherst series. Frances Fowlkes creates unique and intelligent Heroines and Heroes who in their state of smitten-ness encourage and support them. The romance is definitely a slow burn. “The Gentleman’s Promise” is filled with characters who are charming, engaging, and lovable. Sarah’s origin story began in the first book of the series and has followed her throughout. Jonathon is a fabulous character in that he’s a combination Alpha/Beta. He has the possessive protective Alpha traits and the Beta’s nurturing and caretaker qualities. This series has been a true pleasure to read. I hope there’s a spin-off series featuring Olivia and her brothers. I’d also like to see Lord Satterfield finally get the girl. Here’s hoping.
I’m giving “The Gentleman’s Promise” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Gale Warning
This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed