I’m back with another blog tour today with Rachel’s Random Resources for A Bachelor’s Pledge by Penny Hampson. Thanks to Rachel for organising this tour, and to the author for providing the book in exchange for an honest review.
Be sure to click on the banner above to check out the other bloggers on tour!
🎉 Happy Pub Day!!! 🎉
Goodreads: A Bachelor’s Pledge
Release Date: 07 October 2020
Genre: Historical Romance, Mystery
The woman who haunts his dreams
Secret agent Phil Cullen is upset when he discovers that the young woman he rescued from Mrs Newbody’s establishment has absconded from his housekeeper’s care without a word. Thinking he has been deceived, he resolves to forget about her… something easier said than done.
The man she wants to forget
Sophia Turner is horrified when she is duped into entering a notorious house of ill-repute. Then a handsome stranger comes to her aid. Desperate that no one learns of this scandalous episode, Sophia flees to the one friend she knows she can trust. With luck, she will never see her mysterious rescuer again.
But fate has other plans…
Months later, Phil is on the trail of an elusive French agent and Sophia is a respectable lady’s companion when fate again intervenes, taking their lives on a collision course.
Traitors, spies, and shameful family secrets – will these bring Sophia and Phil together… or drive them apart?
Some time ago Penny Hampson decided to follow her passion for history by studying with the Open University. She graduated with honours and went on to complete a post-graduate degree.
Penny then landed her dream role, working in an environment where she was surrounded by rare books and historical manuscripts. Flash forward nineteen years, and the opportunity came along to indulge her other main passion – writing. Penny joined the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and three years later published her debut novel, A Gentleman’s Promise, a historical mystery/romance and the first in The Gentlemen Series. An Officer’s Vow soon followed and the latest in the series is A Bachelor’s Pledge.
But never happy in a rut, Penny also writes contemporary suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Her first book in this genre is The Unquiet Spirit, published by Darkstroke.
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).
Well, this was completely different to what I expected and not at all in a bad way! This was a historical romance that had a touch of Jane Austen vibes, with hints of Pride and Prejudice, and elements of Persuasion. Since I’m a big fan of both works, it was definitely a win for me! 😉
Sophia and Phil were both great main characters that you can’t help but feel invested in. Both didn’t have “ideal” upbringings, with Sophia being raised by a cruel and cold relative, and Phil being raised by unloving parents who hated each other. Sophia was an easy character to feel for. She’s tough but there’s a sense of helplessness she feels about her situation due to her station. Still, she’s resourceful when she needs to be and I admired her determination to be unaffected by what happened to her. Phil on the other hand starts off with a fairly misogynistic attitude, which isn’t inaccurate to those times, but which I found a little aggravating at first. He’s well intentioned but his thoughts about women were archaic, although it was a pleasure to see how his character changes his views throughout the story to become a gentleman I can get behind! I loved their enemies-to-friends-lovers romance that even had a fake engagement thrown into the mix! It was a 100% clean romance full of longing but with a satisfying HEA.
Although this was mostly a romance, there was also a bit of a mystery aspect that’s in part due to Phil’s role in the secret service, but also related to what happened with Sophia at the start of the story. There was a surprising amount of action and intrigue in the story, with escaping dangerous situations, multiple kidnappings, which made for a fast and engaging read.
The story also had a bigger focus on the historical context than I expected and although I’m not overly familiar with this part of history, it didn’t confuse or distract me–I personally love historical fiction so it was enjoyable to learn about! Plus, it’s clear that Hampson has not only done the research but is passionate about history because it come alive in her setting and writing.
TL;DR: If you’re looking for a more ‘traditional’ historical romance a la Jane Austen, this is the book for you! Although I don’t have much experience reading about the early 19th century, I loved how authentic the social customs/norms and dialogue felt. The romance was sweet and full of yearning, but beyond that the story was also full of intrigue and action which made it a fast and engaging read!
Have you read A Bachelor’s Pledge or is it on your TBR?