Tuesday 16 March 2021

Have a sneak-peek between the covers of Penny Hampson's fabulous book - A Gentleman's Promise #NewRelease #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance @penny_hampson


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.

It was almost dark as the Honourable Emma Smythe and her brother James reached Minster Lovell. Their pace had slowed with the passing of the hours, and Emma was growing anxious that they might have to spend another evening under the stars – not a pleasant prospect. The cloudless evening sky was giving a clear indication that a frost was in store.

It was only when they’d passed through the village that she’d at last begun to recognise some landmarks.

‘I’m sure the gates to Easterby Hall are only a short distance up this road. Somewhere on the right, if I’m not mistaken.'

‘I hope so. I don’t know how much further I can walk.'

Emma smiled and gave her brother an encouraging tug on the sleeve.

‘Not far now, Jamie. I’m sure of it, love.'

Don’t stop. Got to get there. Get Jamie home safe. The words repeated in her head. She’d ignore the agony in her feet and the exhaustion of her body until she’d seen her brother safely home. It was her duty as his sister. Despite the pain slicing through her at every step, she knew she couldn’t give up.

Emma’s worn spirits lifted briefly as the vaguely remembered gates came into view, but as she drew closer a shiver of foreboding ran down her spine. The gates were propped up, leaning drunkenly off their hinges and the once-pristine gravel drive was now peppered with clumps of grass, the bordering shrubs overgrown and unkempt. Emma’s apprehension grew. Grandfather had been proud of his demesne. Woe betide the gardener if a weed had been spied amongst the flowerbeds. But ground elder and brambles now trespassed freely across the driveway. This wasn’t right.

In the meantime, Jamie, oblivious to these signs of neglect, had quickened his pace and was peering eagerly through the gloom at the surrounding parkland.

‘Look, lights over there,' he shouted. ‘It can’t be far now and someone is at home. Come on, Emm!'

‘Yes, I see. Please wait for me. I can’t go any faster.'

Jamie slowed his steps momentarily but was unable to contain his excitement.
‘Oh goodness. We’re here at last. But…’

Jamie halted so suddenly that Emma almost bumped into him. ‘Will Grandfather remember me? I was little more than a babe in leading strings when we left.' Jamie turned a worried face to his sister. ‘Emma, do you think Grandfather will even want to see us?'

Emma inwardly recoiled at his question, the very one she’d been asking herself. Ever since they’d set off on their long journey back to England, she’d been harbouring similar doubts about the welcome in store for them.

‘Of course he will. The very idea!'

Behind her back, Emma crossed her fingers and hoped her words would prove true. In fact, there’d been no news from home for years. Despite all her father’s assurances to the contrary, Emma couldn’t help thinking that Grandfather had deliberately cut off connections with his younger son and his family.

‘Of course he’ll see us. We’re his grandchildren.' It was said as much to convince herself as well as her brother.

Jamie helped Emma up the broad steps towards the front door. Almost overcome with exhaustion and fighting to remain upright, Emma closed her eyes and leaned against the wall while Jamie pulled on the bell. The stone felt cold and unwelcoming against her skin.

Footsteps sounded, a key turned, then the creaking door opened, throwing a shaft of light on her brother.

‘Yes? Who’s calling at this time of night?' It was a man’s voice. He sounded elderly. Emma tensed in anticipation. Was he someone who would remember them?

‘We’re James and Emma Smythe, grandchildren of Viscount Easterby. P-please let him know we are here.' Jamie’s quavering voice betrayed his nerves.

The door opened wider, illuminating her brother’s dishevelled and disreputable appearance.

‘Nonsense. Away with you, or I’ll call the magistrate. The Honourable Charles and his family are dead. How dare you come here pretending to be someone you’re not? Away with you, I say.'

Emma’s insides coiled in fear. This wasn’t good; the man was angry. Had her doubts been justified?

To his credit, Jamie stood his ground and persisted.

‘No, no, it’s true. Please let us in. Please let me speak to Grandfather.'

Those were the last words Emma heard as she slid down the wall towards the ground, not even feeling the impact as her head struck the doorstep.

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 in 2018, soon 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? The Unquiet Spirit, a spooky mystery/romance set in Cornwall, was published by Darkstroke in 2020.

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).

For more on Penny’s writing, visit her blog. Penny can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Penny’s Books:
THE GENTLEMEN SERIES (Regency Historical Mystery/Romances)
A Gentleman’s Promise (revised 2nd edition coming soon!)
An Officer’s Vow: purchase link 
A Bachelor’s Pledge: purchase link ~ 
The Unquiet Spirit (A spooky contemporary mystery/romance) purchase link 

A short story by Penny ~ ‘The Rowan Tree’  A tale with a twist, is published in Dark Scotland, an anthology of dark tales. All royalties go to two Scottish charities ME Research UK and The Halliday Foundation.  Purchase link.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring my book on your blog today, Mary Anne.


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx