Book Review: The Promise by Lesley Pearse

London 1914: Belle Reilly finally has the life she always dreamed of; a devoted husband in Jimmy and a hat shop of her own. But as WW1 shatters peace and Jimmy enlists for the army, Belle realises she can no longer stand by but must volunteer to help the cause. Her work as a Red Cross ambulance driver in France throws her back into the path and arms of Etienne, the enigmatic man who played such a significant role in her childhood and Belle finds herself torn between loyalty and passion. But the past returns to haunt her in other, more unpleasant ways and Belle's character is tested like never before.
Can she survive this most brutal of wars with her spirit intact and will destiny finally lead her to lasting happiness?
I read Belle earlier this month and thought it was fantastic. The Promise begins exactly where we left Belle and continues her story, I was definitely not disappointed.
Belle and Jimmy are happily married and settled in Blackheath with Mog and Garth. Garth and Jimmy are running the pub and Belle has finally turned her dream into a reality by opening her own hat shop. She finally has the life she longed for with a man who loves her and accepts her turbulent past.
Their lives are shattered though when World War One begins. Jimmy feels duty bound to enlist and signs up. Once has has gone to France, Belle is unsettled. There are certain things from her past being dug up that she would not like her new neighbours to know about and she has become disillusioned with designing hats for wealthy women who have no idea of the real world.
So Belle volunteers to be an ambulance driver with the Red Cross and is soon in France herself. Here she discovers that it is not only Jimmy that she is now closer to but also Etienne who is fighting in the French army. Belle has never forgotten Etienne and she is very quickly torn between the loyalty she feels to her husband and the passion she feels for Etienne that has been there from the very beginning. Belle is not even certain she will survive the war but if she does, how will she ever choose between these two great men who have done so much for her?
Lesley Pearse's writing is just superb again. Her descriptions of the war and it's devastating consequences are truly haunting and clearly well researched. As in Belle, Pearse leaves you wanting to read on at the end of every chapter and is never afraid to shock or tell it like it is.
I am so pleased to have been introduced to Lesley Pearse's writing as she has written so many boks which I am really looking forward to catching up on.
I would definitely recommend reading Belle before you read The Promise as you would not have the full picture plus you would be missing out on reading another excellent book. I only have good things to say about this book and I know that there will be several Lesley Pearse reviews on Dot Scribbles in the future.

Dot Scribbles Rating 5/5

Many thanks to ed public relations and Michael Joseph for sending me a review copy, the book is out now!


Jo said...

Another book I need to be looking out for. I enjoyed the Lesley Pearse novel I was given Stolen, which was

Sam said...

Hi! I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award! x

Carole said...

I was wondering whether you would be happy to put up a link in my monthly series called “Books You Love”. The idea is for people to link up posts about a book they loved. It could be an old fave. There is already quite a nice collection of books that can go on our reading lists. Here is the link Books You Loved July Edition

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