Review: A Gentleman's Promise by Penny Hampson

Today, I'm delighted to share my review of A Gentleman's Promise, an intriguing historical romance by Penny Hampson.

My thanks goes to Rachel's Random Resources who provided me with a copy of the story as part of a blog tour, though I have since also bought the Kindle ebook.

A Gentleman's Promise

Penny Hampson

A Regency Romance Adventure

A murderous plot, a feisty heroine, and a hero who doesn't know how to enjoy the good things in life...

A Gentleman's Promise is an unusual Regency romance. 

To his surprise, Richard Lacey, a landowner in Cornwall, has inherited Easterby Hall and its title when he is found to be the only living – if somewhat distant – relative of the late marquis. But shortly after his arrival to his new estate, two urchins land on the doorstep. On closer inspection by the staff, they are found to be the granddaughter and grandson of the previous owner, children of one of his two dead sons. 

Emma and Jamie Smythe survived a perilous journey from war-torn Greece back to England. To be safe, Emma – a slim, petite girl – dressed as a boy. At 24, she took responsibility for her 13-year-old brother, and having arrived at their ancestral home, she's not going to let an intruder ruin Jamie's chance at his inheritance.

To her surprise, Richard is very happy to relinquish the title he didn't really want in the first place, but several attacks on him prior to taking up residency at Easterby Hall made him suspicious, and they agree they should keep the arrival of the true heir a secret until the riddle of the attempts is resolved.

I immediately warmed to Emma. No shrinking violet, she's inventive and daring – she had to be – and is reluctant to consider giving up her independence, even when she begins to fall for the quiet Richard. Her mother's warning – the last words she'd exchanged with her mother before her death by drowning – rings in her ears. So whilst she's happy for Richard to investigate, she also wants to play her part in discovering who was behind the attempts at his life, and if that person was also responsible for the death of her parents. 

Richard is a bit of an anti-hero, reluctantly cast in that role. He's happy poring over his accounts and leaving the clubs and high life to others. But his concern for Jamie, and his growing feelings for Emma, force him out of his comfort zone, and he passes with flying colours. Richard's learning curve through this story is the greatest. His life is turned upside down, and he has to learn that the quiet life he so long coveted – at home with a quiet, biddable wife – is not really what he wants. He discovers what he really wants is an impulsive young lady who survived a perilous journey and whose headstrong views intrigue him. 

But the path to their happy end is littered with political intrigues, dastardly deeds, and a quest for revenge. Only when they confront the culprit does Emma learn about the dark side of her family history.

A Gentleman's Promise is a wonderful romantic adventure with fascinating main characters; a fast-paced Regency whodunit that ticks all the right boxes. Highly recommended.



A docile wife is what he wants. A husband is the last thing she needs. Can a quest for a killer teach them that they are both wrong?

Emma Smythe and her brother arrive at Easterby Hall to discover that a handsome stranger has laid claim to their ancestral home and the family title. Have her relatives been murdered, and is her brother next? Determined to find the answers, she has no option but to trust the gentleman who insists that he will help. But danger appears in many guises, and for a woman intent on remaining single, her intriguing protector may prove the biggest threat of all. 

The attempts on Richard Lacey’s life begin when he inherits a title and a rundown estate. A coincidence? He’s not so sure. Problems multiply with the unexpected arrival of Jamie and Emma Smythe. Long thought dead, they too are potential targets. Richard thinks he wants a docile, obedient wife, but will the task of keeping headstrong Emma safe from danger change his mind?

Embroiled in a sinister mystery, can Richard and Emma work together to catch a killer? And will this dangerous quest teach them that what they both wish to avoid is exactly what they need?

Filled with intrigue, unexpected twists, and faultless period detail, this slow-burn romance is a must-read for lovers of classic Regency fiction.

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About the Author:

Penny Hampson writes mysteries, and because she has a passion for history, you’ll find her stories also reflect that. A Gentleman’s Promise, a traditional Regency romance, was Penny’s debut novel, which was shortly followed by more in the same genre. Penny also enjoys writing contemporary mysteries with a hint of the paranormal, because where do ghosts come from but the past?

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).

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For more on Penny’s writing, visit her blog:


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  1. Thank you for this wonderful review, Cathie. I'm delighted that you enjoyed it! Best wishes, Penny.


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