I liked the simplicity of this book. Some may perceive it as boring, but I would rather describe it as calm. There were no intense scenes of spies or duels. There weren’t many huge secrets that shocked everyone half way through the story. It was simply the story of two souls falling in love while helping each other face their inner demons.
This is another first for me from an author. Being the fifth book, this was an odd place for me to start with this series. However, I never felt lost in the overall story. Mary Balogh did a nice job describing the background without over doing it. I was introduced to several of the other members of The Survivors and am intrigued to read their stories.
Chloe has had a hard time with the beau monde. She had a late debut because of deaths in the family, and then her first season, her younger sister creates a scandal that shames the whole family back to the country. She braves the ton a second time about six years later only to find another supposed scandal from her family’s past brought to light. The poor girl runs again back to the country.
Ralph is summoned to his grandparents’ home for a visit. He is the heir to his grandfather’s dukedom, and his grandmother stresses the importance of him finding a bride and continuing the line for his ailing grandfather’s sake. He expressed his worries about a marriage to his grandmother, completely forgetting that her guest, Chloe, is in the same room.
Then Chloe supplies a bargain for a marriage of convenience where love and emotions have no part. It will serve them both for their purposes. They have a quick engagement and small wedding. Then these two strangers face the world and some very hard times together. They become intrigued with each other and cannot resist learning more about their spouses.
Only a Promise is a simple, sweet love story. I found the lack of an intense side story to be very refreshing. The focus was more on the love story. Ralph really tugged at my heart as a tortured hero, and I felt like Chloe could have been a close friend of mine. I was dragged in and felt like I was there with all of the characters. A lovely read.
**ARC copy provided by Publisher**