Cover Image: The Forbidden Promise

The Forbidden Promise

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Member Reviews

This was a really good read.   Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.  Beautifully written and very well researched.  I loved it.
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When I saw the blurb to this book, I knew that I would immediately love it. A few pages in, and I faced a dilemma: could I pace myself and really take my time? Or would I lose my head and obsess with the book until I had finished it, in as few sittings as possible? Well, life made that decision for me and, returning to the novel several times, I found myself gradually reading faster and faster, enjoying it more every time.

This was a lovely read. I do enjoy a good dual-narrative story. Typically, I find that I prefer one story thread over the other. This time, Cook has made both timelines equally fascinating. She provides equal attention to both, demonstrating to readers that events from 1940 are just as important to present day. Indeed, at times the chapters in one timeline finished on an action that was continued in the other period: a clever piece of writing and a great match on action that you would usually find in films.

Both female protagonists are admirable. Constance is keen to escape the social restrictions that bound her to her parents and is desperate to do something for the war effort. In present day, Kate is also keen to escape – this time from her troubled past (which also links to social expectations, just like for Constance). The two women converge in Scotland and Cook’s descriptions of Invermoray House and the surrounding highlands are so vivid that I could easily imagine myself there. I felt transported across to Scotland and wanted to visit the secluded cottage that was hidden in the forest on the loch.

Whilst the modern day story follows Kate’s attempts at trying to make Invermoray House a business, undoubtedly, this is more of a romance story with a mystery thrown in as well. Kate gradually finds more about Constance after discovering that she was disinherited from the McLay family. As Kate learns more about what occurred, so do the readers. There were plenty of moments where Cook leaves the time period on a cliffhanger and, whilst I was desperate to find out what happened, quickly became absorbed in the next plot developments. Indeed, as the closing chapters were reached, the writer switches each time between 1940 and 2020; I was literally gasping with shock and surprise because I had not anticipated the revelations.

Cook has been on my radar for a while. Having not read her previous book, I was keen to see what this would be like. I certainly was not disappointed! Although the cover is rather mediocre and repetitive of so many current novels out there, (how many more books are we going to see with the protagonist’s back to the camera?!) I do not feel it reflected how good this story is. This book definitely met my expectations and was simply enjoyable. So much so, that I am desperate to read Cook’s other book. Historical, romantic and mysterious – this is a great literary mixture.

With thanks to Avon books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a dual timeline story, one is of WWII, and the other is in present-day Scotland. I preferred the current day's timeline of our leading lady (Kate) is working towards making an old Scottish castle more lucrative for its owners. The other is of a girl on the brink of adulthood who doubts her own capacity to actually do something and feeling at a loss during the war. There is a romantic angle for both women in the tale as well. 

For someone like me who has read quite a few of these dual timeline books (and only because of that), there was nothing new in the tale. The writing was smooth, the characters vivid, and that made the reading worth the time, but I was not too impressed by the twist. It came too late in the older timeline, and by that time, it seemed to be the only possible angle that it could have gone for the situation to be what it was in the current timeline. In fact, I would have preferred more focus on the actual steps and time spent in converting the castle to a working B&B and even lesser time spent in 1940. I recommend this to those like me, who like dual timelines with a war/troubled background and easy like or dislike( the villains of the piece) characters. 

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
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4.5 stars
 I did enjoy this book, the main characters were engaging and the dual timeline worked well. The attitude of Constance’s parents during 1940 seemed to be typical of their class. I enjoyed the romances, although they were different in many ways. The ending was a complete surprise, I had been wondering how the two stories would come together but never guessed how it would. As I found this book to be so entertaining, I have now purchased The Forgotten Village. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A romantic novel with a great twist at the end. In fact Laura Cook's novel deals with two romances, one during the Second World War and the other in recent years. Hidden secrets abound from the start and the stories are intertwined. Very easy to read and perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Kate Riordan."
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Scotland 1940: It was Constance's twentyfirst birthday party. She sneaks out and goes for a walk. But then she sees a spitfire crash into the loch. She jumps in and saves the pilot, Matthew's life then hides them in a disused Ghillie cottage. They love each other but Matthew is hiding something from Constance.

2020: Liz and James employ Kate to promote their home as a guest house. Kate comes up with the idea that there was a monster in the Loch. Kate starts digging into Liz's family and the story that a pilot had drowned in the Loch.

How will promises and decisions change the fate of two women that lived decades apart.

Both stories were set in Invermoray House. Thenstory 8s a little  it predictable at times. The dual timeline eventually intertwined seamlessly. There's a few twists but there is a great one nearer the end of the book. The pace is steady in this well written and descriptive read. Another book that drew  me in from the start.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Avon Books UK and the author Lorna Cook for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a dual timeline book that's primarily a romance but with a touch of mystery, all tied to Invermoray House in Scotland. In 1940 Constance, on her 21st birthday, sees a plane crash in the loch near the house. She rescues the pilot and promises to keep him secret. 60 years later Kate takes on the job of marketing and rebranding the house as a B&B for the family. She's intrigued with the house's history, enough so that she is able to deal with James who presents his own challenges.
Both stories move smoothly and transition between timelines effortlessly. I enjoyed this book...the romance and learning the history of the house.
Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Avon Books UK, Lorna Cook and NetGalley for a review copy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction book set in two very different periods of time in Invermoray. The lives 0f Constance in 1940 and Kate in 2020 are very different but become interlinked.

This was actually the first book I had read by Lorna Cook, I had purchased her debut novel The Forgotten Village last summer but hadn't read it yet (an oversight I quickly rectified after reading this). Lorna won the Romantic Novelists' Association's (RNA) prestigious Joan Hessayon Award for The Forgotten Village. I enjoyed The Forgotten Village but must admit that I prefer The Forbidden Promise.

Constance is a young woman wanting to break free of the restrictions of her parents and pre war society. Kate is escaping life in London and hopes to help a family save their home. Both face major life changes.

A great book to get lost in. This is one of my favourite books of 2020
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I really enjoyed this dual time line story, romance with a little touch of mystery.
1940 in the Scottish highlands, Constance observes a plane crashing into the loch. Her following actions has consequences, which she could never have foreseen.
2019 Kate accepts a position at Invermoray to turn an old family house into a B and B after a uncomfortable experience in her previous PR job. 
As soon as I started this book, I knew it would be one I’d enjoy. It had a gentleness about it and a hint of hidden stories. One of my favourite romance types are where two people clash but don’t recognise that they are attracted to each other, so I was a happy reader with this book. Although I personally felt that the small misunderstanding in the current time frame wasn’t really needed. Still, that was a minor quibble for a number of hours enjoyment.
Thank you to Netgally and the publisher for a copy to read.
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4.5 stars

Split between 2 timelines at Invermoray House in Scotland, The Forbidden Promise looks at the ripples of events across time. In 1940 the house was at peace while the world was at war, but as war ramps up, the members of the household start to feel the pressure of the war. On Constance’s 21st birthday, she is the only witness to a plane crash that leads her to make a promise to keep the downed pilot hidden. Her promise will bring about consequences she could not have imagined.

Sixty years later, Kate is hired to help the current owners reimagine the house into a bed and breakfast, but quickly learns that the task is larger than she was led to believe. Plagued by finances and a reluctant owner, she has her work cut out for her to turn the house into the beauty it once was. But as she works to market the house, she is intrigued by the secrets that seem to be hiding within the history of the house’s past residents. 

The two stories wrap seamlessly around each other, building in similar paces. As Kate learns more about Constance and the house, readers get to see more and more about Constance and the events that would change the fate of the house so drastically. 

I loved the role the house played in moving both storylines forward. Constance’s secret is hidden due to the circumstance of war, and as the house moves forward with war efforts, her attempts at keeping the pilot a secret become that much more difficult. Kate’s entire purpose for being in Scotland is the house, and her intrigue at the house’s history makes it easier for her to look past her initial challenges dealing with James. 

I loved the way the romances unfolded as well. Both time periods have elements of romance and each builds as is appropriate for the time periods.

This is the first book I have read from the author, but I will be looking to pick up her first (previous) book soon. I loved the writing itself and look forward to more from Ms. Cook. 


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Firstly, I would like to thank Avon Books UK for asking me to review this book and for asking me to be apart of the blog tour. 
I was experimentally excited to read this after reading Lorna Cook's fantastic debut novel, The Forgotten Village. Again she had me hooked from the first page and I couldn't help but fall in love with this story. 
The Forbidden Promise follows Constance in 1940 and Kate in 2020 little do they know that both their lives are intertwined. I love the way this story is told each couple of chapters moves from one time to the other but rest assured it is so easy to follow and keep up with, Lorna writes amazingly and has really captured the very essence of each era bringing them both to life. Constance has a secret and one that changes lives. The beginning of WW2 has started and Constance feels she is not doing enough, with a strict upbringing life is far from exciting despite the beautiful setting, that is until a spitfire crashes in the loch. Kate meanwhile is facing a new challenge and changes in her life, little by little a mystery emerges and it might just be one that could save the house. Their two stories begin to mirror one another and I could not help but be drawn to these two characters. Constance may be the favourite of the two although that is a tough choice, perhaps because I love the 1940s and WW2 but also her characetr really spoke to me.
An amazing story that captures the very essence of love, hopes and dreams in times of hardship.
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Stunning story line set over two time lines that interact and resolve brilliantly at the end. Very satisfying read that I just could not put down 
Can’t recommend it enough
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A romantic, historical mystery set over two timelines. Interesting characters and setting. Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the arc.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary advance reader copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.  

I love the way this author tells a story; the way she pieces together memorable characters, stunning vistas and dual timeline stories with such ease.  She always makes me want to travel to these distant locations.  In this book, the past is 1940's Scotland; the eve of Constance's 21st birthday, where events take place that alter her and her family's lives forever.  An event that leaves one dead, one jailed and one disinherited.  In the present, Kate takes a job assisting in getting Invermoray House turned around from money pit to bead and breakfast.  

Great story, I really liked both the past and the present stories, the characters were well written, the scenery lovely.  Lorna Cook is quite quickly turning into one of my favourite authors.
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An engaging and entertaining dual time line novel set in Scotland!  Kate, in 2020, finds herself at the impressive Invermoray House where she's been hired to create a B&B.  She finds a secret- that of Constance McLay.  In 1940, Constance watches a plane crash into the loch and then rescues Matthew- who she hides because he has, well, an issue.  Their love story twines along with the love that Kate finds with James.  Nicely atmospheric with a great setting, this has a different take on the WWII novel.  The characters are well drawn and the storytelling is strong.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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I loved the story and loved the settings. Such a fantastic read that kept me wanting more. The crosses between the past and the present and how they tie in together have caught my interest for a while and this book did not disappoint.
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The Forbidden Promise is one of those books that I just could not put down!
Written as a dual timeline - 1940 and 2020 - I thought that I'd find the parts set in the earlier time period more intriguing as I particularly enjoy books set in the past, but no, I enjoyed them equally - both are full of suspenseful drama. 
I took to Constance straight away and I really felt for her - for a few reasons. As I delved deeper into her story, I felt so many emotions rise to the surface and I kept thinking to myself, just one more chapter then I'll stop, but the chapters had me gripped from start to finish. I just wanted, needed, more; to find out more about this wonderful bunch of characters and how the past would define the future, for the characters, and for Invermoray House. 
This book had so many surprises, I was lost for words. It is written with so much imagination, the scenery so vivid, and well balanced, thought out elements, make this a first class story. I was so engrossed in the story, I was as rooted as the threads of the story were, they were interwoven, flawlessly. 
Kate is the protagonist in the present and although I liked her, I did have a soft spot for Constance.
Kate starts a new job at Invermoray House, Scotland, and I wondered if she would be able to stick it out throughout the whole of her contract. I thought that Liz Langley-McLay, the owner of Invermoray House was a warm character and very welcoming towards Kate and she had a sense of humour that threw Kate on occasion. James, well, I found that there might be a lot to learn about him, but I found him funny, how he just came out with his comments. And like his mother, warm-hearted. 
I enjoyed this story immensely and I loved the ending, clever and conclusive. This is a beautiful, albeit, tragic tale which will draw out many emotions in the reader.
I highly recommend!

Many thanks to Avon Books UK via NetGalley.
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I liked this one much better than the previous book I read by this author. Sweet and interesting dual love stories.  Fun!
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Wow! This book was cleverly written and the descriptive text kept you eagerly turning the pages as the story unfolds , it was captivating and I literally devoured it in a day.  I had to go to work in the afternoon and was almost late because I was so engrossed in the storyline.  

This is a dual time line historical romance with a contemporary modern story interconnecting the past and present . 
Constance  is a wonderful character and you totally relate to the confines put on young women in the 40's . Wandering around the lake ,surrounding the manor house she resides in , She inadvertently becomes part of a mystery surrounding the man she helps save from drowning . Things are not as they seem and there are twists and turns in the plot as their story unfolds . 
Kate has taken a job at a Scottish estate   to escape from a scandal , not of her making . She slowly uncovers a mystery surrounding Constance and  her brother and why they were disinherited . 
I absolutely loved this book and the characters stay with you after you've read the last page.  I can't wait to read the next book published . This book would appeal to readers who enjoy Lucinda Riley or Rachel Hore. I thoroughly recommend it.
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This is my first book by Lorna Cook and wow I wasn’t disappointed. At first the going between 1940 and 2020 I did find frustrating as I was more hooked into 1940 but that did change and I couldn’t put the book down. A love story yes but two different couples in two different ages with two different outcomes. The author keeps you hanging on until the very end in order to read the outcome of both decades. If you love romance with a bit of history and a bit of mystery you’ll love this book. Thanks Lorna and NetGalley.
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