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I was disappointed in book 4 of this series so I was hoping for a good story. Initially I wasn't sure how this would turn out as the proposal was so matter of fact. I just didn't think they would be good together. I admit when I'm wrong and I was wrong about that. :) I was a bit irritated at times with Ralph and Chloe but overall I really enjoyed their budding relationship and the story. This story is of healing and confronting ones past (and present). Ralph needed to forgive himself and to let go of his guilt & Chloe needed to stop running from who she was. They both helped each other overcome a lot and mend fences. I was happy to see them get their HEA; They deserved it. I really enjoyed this one.
I was unsure about Ralph as a hero to be honest. I didn't feel like we knew a lot about him. I wanted to hit him upside of the head a few times but he was a good guy. I eagerly look forward to the next book in the series.
Steam Factor: Low
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Ralph has walls, big thick walls -- around his heart, around his pain, around his common sense. He can't forget his part in the death of his three best friends during the war, and the guilt of their deaths surrounds him like a thick cloud. Out of self preservation, he has suppressed all emotion, rather than be driven to suicide by the pain. He has made an art of feeling nothing.
But he is the heir of a duke, a very elderly duke, who is his grandfather, and he is finally persuaded that he must marry and set up his nursery. The Duchess encourages him to go to London for the season, and find a bride and do his duty, but he feels nothing for any of the young ladies on offer, and he soon returns empty handed.
It is then that his grandmother's companion makes a bold proposal: Marry me. I will give you children, and expect nothing in the way of affection in return. And with that a devils bargain is struck.
While I love all the books in this series, this book was grim for me. In fairness, I had just finished the delightful 'Must Love Breeches,' and probably should have waited a bit before diving back into something as serious as this. I kept wanting and hoping for something good to happen between Chloe and Ralph, but for most of the book, he remained aloof and controlled, and the sex was mostly functional, at best.
Of course, there is a HEA, but by the time it happened, I was tired and ready to put on my cloak, and go home to a glass of brandy, and a cheery fire. I felt chilled by the experience.
I understand his motivation, and her's as well, but the time it took for things to be resolved felt like a bit of a bad joke, and I felt duped somehow. They both deserved so much more.
I am very curious to see how I will feel after a second reading, now that I know what to expect. Perhaps I'll change my mind and find it all played out perfectly, the way it was supposed to. But unfortunately, Audible won't allow me to change my review, and that's a shame. It's also a reason why I often don't review books the first time I read them, because once posted, a review on Audible is forever, even if I change my mind.
I still say it is Highly Recommended, (It is Mary Balogh after all, and a continuation of the Survivor's Club).
Just remember to prepare yourself accordingly, because it is grim.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Only a Promise in three words, what would they be?
Who was your favorite character and why?
I liked the family and friends of the main character. He grows on you and she is understandable.
Which character – as performed by Rosalyn Landor – was your favourite?
The earl and his family.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
When she realises that you can't run away from life.
Any additional comments?
Recommend the series of books.