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Genre: Historical Romance, Continental Locales
Longtime Joyce fans know to expect the unexpected and that this multitalented author will often pay homage to the genre by recreating, in her style, a classic romance. The Promise takes the traditional theme of “second chance at love” and adds timeless plot points (lost love, pride, abduction, murder) to craft an abiding romance that faithful readers and those new to the genre will savor.
Captain Alexi de Warenne is happy to return to Ireland to see his childhood companion, Elysse O’Neill. Alexi has always been her champion, but when he appears to pay her little attention Elysse begins flirting with Alexi’s shipmate. What begins as an innocent flirtation ends in death. To save her reputation. Alexi marries Elysse and then sets sail. Over the next six years, Elysse builds a seemingly carefree life, but yearns for Alexi and plans for the day he returns. No one knows their marriage is an unconsummated sham. Thus when he does return Elysse vows to make theirs a true marriage. Alexi does his best to resist the temptation of falling in love with his wife and he runs off to sea, again. This time Elysse follows him, but when she is captured and held for ransom she can only pray Alexi will come to her rescue and she can tell him of her love. (HQN, Oct., 377 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed By: Kathe Robin
Published: October 2010