[Book Review] A Gentleman’s Promise by Penny Hampson

A Gentleman’s Promise is a regency romance that questions the social and cultural norms of the time, especially the position of women as the property of the male members of the family and the prejudice against same-sex relationships.

A Gentleman's Promise cover
Front cover

There’s a bit of everything in the story — romance, mystery, and adventure. It’s quite different from the usual regency romances in its treatment of certain topics, such as a woman’s agency.

It has a mix of female characters–some willing to live under the thumb of their husbands, others strongly rebelling against any attempt to subdue them.

I enjoyed the mystery angle of the story. Using the clues sprinkled throughout the book, I tried to solve the mystery of who was trying to kill Viscount Easterby. (I wasn’t quite successful!) The revelation surprised me somewhat because I wasn’t expecting the twist.

The push and pull of wills between Richard and Emma was a joy to read. Their sparkling wit and rebuttals elevated the story. The adventures they go on together, unheard of for a gently born female of the time, were great fun.

The writing is taut, fast-paced and hard-hitting. It makes you think about the central themes in the story — homophobia and women’s rights.

Regency romance readers will find some familiar elements as well as a new twist to the story.

(I received a copy from Rachel’s Random Resources with a request for an honest review.)

Some notable quotes:

” Why did a female always struggle to be taken seriously? Why did it always seem necessary to be repetitive, forceful, and even loud in order to get one’s point of view across? And then, of course, she thought wryly, you’d be accused of being emotional and told to calm down. It was so unfair.”

“His mother was right, she told herself. If she didn’t want to live a life of total subjugation, she should avoid marriage at all costs.”

Blurb of A Gentleman’s Promise

A docile wife is what he wants. A husband is the last thing she needs. Can a quest for a killer teach them that they are both wrong?

Emma Smythe and her brother arrive at Easterby Hall to discover that a handsome stranger has laid claim to their ancestral home and the family title. Have her relatives been murdered, and is her brother next? Determined to find the answers, she has no option but to trust the gentleman who insists that he will help. But danger appears in many guises, and for a woman intent on remaining single, her intriguing protector may prove the biggest threat of all.

The attempts on Richard Lacey’s life begin when he inherits a title and a rundown estate. A coincidence? He’s not so sure. Problems multiply with the unexpected arrival of Jamie and Emma Smythe. Long thought dead, they too are potential targets. Richard thinks he wants a docile, obedient wife, but will the task of keeping headstrong Emma safe from danger change his mind?

Embroiled in a sinister mystery, can Richard and Emma work together to catch a killer? And will this dangerous quest teach them that what they both wish to avoid is exactly what they need?

Filled with intrigue, unexpected twists, and faultless period detail, this slow-burn romance is a must-read for lovers of classic Regency fiction.

About Penny Hampson

Penny Hampson

Penny Hampson writes mysteries, and because she has a passion for history, you’ll find her stories also reflect that. A Gentleman’s Promise, a traditional Regency romance, was Penny’s debut novel, which was shortly followed by more in the same genre. Penny also enjoys writing contemporary mysteries with a hint of the paranormal, because where do ghosts come from but the past?

Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).

Social Media Links

For more on Penny’s writing, visit her blog: https://pennyhampson.co.uk/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/penny_hampson

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/pennyhampsonauthor

3 thoughts on “[Book Review] A Gentleman’s Promise by Penny Hampson

  1. Thank you for reading and reviewing my book, Satabdi. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it!

  2. I loved your attempt to infuse topics like women’s rights and LGBTQ issues into a regency romance. I’ve rarely read such stories in this genre. And thank you for offering your book for review!

  3. Thank you. I feel it’s important to explore these topics. Just as today, views about these issues varied throughout society and were not as cut and dried as we are sometimes led to believe. There is documented evidence showing that opinions often differed from the official line taken by the Church and State.

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