Book Review-A Promise Given

Book Review-A Promise GivenA Promise Given by Samantha James
Published by Harper Collins on October 6th 2009
Genres: Historical Romance, Medieval Era, Scottish Highlands
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
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A Promise GivenThe proud head of his Highland clan, Ian MacGregor has returned, cloaked in secrets, to the place where he spent many carefree years, in order to marry Margaret Kincaid--the lowlands lass to whom he has been betrothed since his youth. But it is the wild spirited and hauntingly beautiful Sabrina Kincaid who catches Ian's eye. And when Margaret mysteriously vanishes, he willingly accepts Sabrina as his bride in her sister's stead. A Promise KeptDutybound to honor her father's wish, Sabrina reluctantly agrees to wed the rugged chieftain--though she fears the rumors of Ian's dark past. . .and the whispers that now blame him for Margaret's disappearance. But her sensuous soul bids her to pay no heed to her doubts and mistrust, and to submit instead to the searing passions that burn within her. For Ian's stirring yet tender caress speaks of a noble, gentle heart. And if peril is Sabrina's fate, so be it--for she is determined to learn the truths that will set them both free and carry them aloft together on the wings of incomparable love.

A Promise Given is one of the classics of Samantha James. Its a re-read for me, but its been a few years since I have read it. I wanted to read this one because I hadn’t read it in a while, and I was in the mood for a love story among the highlands. Which is where this story takes place, when William Wallace and Robert the Bruce were fighting against England for Scotland(Samantha James Website). Its a turbulant time to be sure, it starts out in the 1300’s. Sabrina Kincaid is one of the daughters of her father, who is the Laird of the Kincaid Clan. Her father has always blamed her for her mothers death, her older sister Margaret her father has always favored. Sabrina has always been the one to be given tasks, and kept continually busy, and always criticized and ridiculed by her father and even at times her sister. When she takes a swim in the lake, she turns to find Ian Macgregor, who she knew when she was young. Both his father and his step mother have recently passed away and he has become the head of his clan. So he comes to the Dunvely Keep to honor the agreement of his marriage between Margaret and himself. When Margaret disappears however, Sabrina is put in her sister’s place to be married to Ian. Sabrina is very against being married to Ian, she has just lost her sister, but she doesn’t want to be forced into marriage. But she knows of her duty so she does, even though things between Sabrina and Ian are tense to say the least. But there is a stirring and rising desire between them, that cannot be denied. Where they will find tender and beautiful love that blossoms endure present dangers that could destroy it.

This was a beautiful and enchanting love story that will pull you in. I found that this was one of my favorites of Samantha James that I have read. I have always loved the whole scottish theme to story, especially love stories. We have strong virile men, kilts, swords and filled with adventure. What more could a girl want in a good romance right? The only thing that I didn’t really like about this book is the lack of trust between Sabrina and Ian. After their relationship develops and they start to fall in love with one another, their is a lack of trust. What is love without trust right? At least for me there is, but other than that it was a great enjoyable read. The writing was well written which flowed smoothly and drew me in from the first to the last page. A truly remarkable story that will endear the characters to your heart.

About Samantha James

Growing up in Joliet, Illinois, Samantha James had many childhood aspirations--being a writer was never one of them. When she was ten, she was certain she was destined to be an astronomer. That soon changed (happened a lot during those pre-teen years!) when she decided archaeology was in her future. Detective work was her next goal, thanks to the Trixie Belden mysteries she was reading, and before long, nursing beckoned (courtesy of the Cherry Ames series). In college, she set her sights on teaching history, then briefly entertained the notion of becoming a flight attendant, only to discover she did not like to fly.

Having been raised in a family of avid readers, she was rarely without a book in hand. Her tastes were rather eclectic. She got hooked on the Doc Savage series and Edgar Rice Burroughs after her older brother finished them, in her teen years, moved on to Agatha Christie, Daphne DuMaurier, and Phyllis A. Whitney.

In the meantime, the right guy came along. They met on a semi-blind date at an office Christmas party. She was told he wanted to go out with her, and he was told she wanted to go out with him. Six months later, the U.S. Army shipped him off to Germany--and she wrote faithfully at least three times a week--she often jokes this was the start of her writing career!

Marriage followed, as well as three daughters. Samantha left the detective work to her husband and turned her attention to raising their girls. When her youngest was six months old, two things happened: 1) she read Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain and scrambled to find every historical romance she could lay her hands on; 2) her older brother revealed he was writing and submitting his short stories to big-name magazines. As he put it, "I've been rejected by the best of 'em."

The seed was planted. Rejection was a dreaded word, but Samantha figured, "Well, if he can take it, so can I."

That summer, she wrote not one book, but three--longhand, in a notebook, during naptime. Bedtime. Any time she could. The burning desire to write was a long time in coming--she was nearing thirty by then--but she discovered that once she set pen to paper, she couldn't stop.

Those three manuscripts did get the dreaded rejection letter (they're still languishing somewhere in her attic), but she finally hit pay dirt with her fourth. Samantha's brother promptly proposed collaborating on a fantasy together--alas, still unwritten... Nowadays, she's firmly convinced she's the queen of rejected titles for her books. She's only managed to retain two original titles thus far, but writing is indeed a dream come true...

To date, her books have been published in numerous foreign countries (her daughters' number one choice for show-and-tell were always the foreign editions of Mom's books). Known for her heartfelt, emotionally charged "three-hanky reads", her books have been nominated for numerous awards, and have consistently hit the bestseller lists.

Maybe someday she'll do that fantasy-romance collaboration with her brother. For now, she's having a great time spinning dramatic, passionate tales of old...

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