13 September 2012

Review: The Promise by Lesley Pearse

The Promise by Lesley Pearse

Published: 19 January 2012 by Michael Joseph

Pages: 503 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Historical Fiction, Romance

The Promise is the sequel to Belle (my review HERE) - this review may contain minor spoilers if you have not read Belle.

Check It Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads) 

London, 1914. Belle Reilly finally has the life she's dreamed of thanks to a devoted husband in Jimmy and the hat shop she's wanted to own since she was a child. But as the storm clouds of World War One begin to gather, Belle's already turbulent life is to change in ways she never imagined possible. — When Jimmy enlists in the army and leaves for the battlefields of Ypres, her world is shattered and she realises she can no longer stand by and watch, she must volunteer to help the wounded. But her work as a Red Cross ambulance driver in France throws her into the path of Etienne, the enigmatic man who played a significant role in her childhood, and Belle finds herself torn agonisingly between forbidden passion and loyalty to a good man.

But the past returns to haunt her present in other - more unpleasant - ways and Belle's character is put to the test like never before. Can she survive this most brutal of wars with her spirit intact? And will destiny finally lead her to lasting happiness even while war rages all around?

My Thoughts

As soon as I finished reading Belle, which I really enjoyed, I got my hands on a copy of The Promise - I had to find out more about Belle and see what her future held, particularly as The Promise is set during World War I.

Picking up almost exactly where Belle finished, The Promise continues the story of Belle's struggles upon her return to England after being kidnapped and sold into prostitution as a teenage girl, her budding career as a milliner, and her time as an ambulance driver in France during the war.

There is far more romance in The Promise than in Belle, and although the story line is in parts slightly predictable, it's still an emotional, harrowing read, and a real page-turner. Lesley Pearse is a straight forward writer which works well with this story - the pace is excellent, and her storytelling really puts the reader in the time and place the story is set.

One thing that I found a little bit disappointing after Belle, was Belle herself - in the first book she is a much stronger, determined character, and at times in The Promise I was just waiting for her to wake up and get back that fire that had carried her so successfully through the first book. However the other characters, old and new, still play a major part in the story, and there are some very moving scenes, particularly in the second half of the book.

The ending of The Promise plays out almost exactly how I suspected it always would, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a touching and emotional journey getting there.


  1. I didn't read your whole post because I haven't read Belle. But it sounds so good.

  2. I want to read Belle and this one really bad :) Glad to hear that they're as good as they look.
    -Kimberly @ Turning The Pages

  3. I think I need to read Belle and this one asap. Thanks!



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