Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Read: April 29, 2015

A sweeping tale of ambition, treachery, and passion... For generations Lady Diana de Vere’s family loyally served England’s crown. But after King Charles II’s untimely death, her father becomes an outcast for refusing to submit to James II’s tyranny. Charles, Duke of St. Albans—the late king’s bastard son by actress Nell Gwyn—escapes his newly crowned uncle’s matchmaking efforts by secretly pledging to wed Diana, then departing for the Continent to become a soldier. Before the battle-scarred war hero returns to claim his promised bride, political and religious turmoil brings about revolution and yet another coronation. As companion to Queen Mary Stuart, Diana has followed her de Vere forbears into royal service. Though she hopes Charles will abandon his military career after marriage, he resists joining the ranks of the courtiers he despises and mistrusts. In palace corridors and within their own household the young duke and duchess confront betrayals, scandals, and tragedies that threaten to divide them. And neither the privileges of birth nor proximity to the throne can ensure their security, their advancement—-or their happiness.

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A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter wasn’t supposed to be that book. You know what I mean. The one you start, put aside, and can’t shake. I’d agreed to review the novel on a whim, but it quickly became that piece that followed me around which is odd since the period isn’t one of my favorites. 

I was not familiar with Diana de Vere prior to my reading, but I loved how Porter illustrated her story. I can’t speak to how accurate the tale is, but if period detail is anything to go by, I think it safe to say Porter didn’t wander too far from the beaten path. That said, her characters are remarkably engaging and thoroughly enjoyable. The history was new to me, but Porter’s writing drew me in and sparked my imagination. 

A definite must for fans of Andrea Zuvich and Marci Jefferson, A Pledge for Better Times isn’t one to be missed. 

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Placing her hand upon his arm, she drew him out of the formal gardens, eager to return to the place where they had met. On that distant spring morning, standing together on the canal bank, they hadn't guessed their lives would be linked. 
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