Cover Image: The Forbidden Promise

The Forbidden Promise

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Member Reviews

A World II mystery lies waiting for the right Pandora to unlock its secret. A forbidden affair, allied by circumstances yet axised by heritage, Kate and Constance's stories intertwine despite eight decades spanning their existence. The women are poised at the cusp of their future if they dare to ensure their happiness. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the early read. The story kept me guessing to discover the truth behind the ripped portrait, disinherited daughter and sequestered guest. As a door creaks opens, a locked door is revealed. Lorna Cook masterly crafts engaging plot twists to keep her readers from reaching forgone conclusions.
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Loved the dual timelines in this book and I really did not expect the wartime thread to work out the way that it did! I enjoyed getting to know the characters and watching them develop into new and stronger people. 
The current timeline felt a wee bit cliched in places, but appreciate it was necessary to open up various stages of plot for development and allow details to come out. 
 The details woven throughout the narrative were fantastic, I felt that I could see the rooms in Invermoray House and the local areas, it was a great atmospheric read and one that I really became invested in.
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A historical mystery and a slow-burn modern romance. The romance is slow-burn only because the characters are immature and rubbish at talking to each other or thinking like adults rather than like schoolchildren. The historical mystery is more compelling, involving a downed pilot in Scotland and the daughter of the family that owns the estate on which he crashed, but both narratives drag somewhat until the reveals at the end. Not quite as good as the author's first book, but still not a bad read.
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Very enjoyable historical romance,  intertwining two stories and keeping the outcome unknown right until the end.  I got caught up in the story telling, the setting and the likeable characters and was sorry when it ended.   Will look forward to more from this author.  Thank you.
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This is a interesting love story that is actually two stories, past of 1940 and present day.  I found the past story to be much more interesting then the present story.  The present story seemed to drag on a bit.
There is romance, suspense and insight into what life was like in the 1940’s.
I would definitely recommend this book if you like reading historical romance.  The characters are relatable though not always likable.  All in all, it is a cute story that keeps you engaged enough to keep reading to find out what happens in the end.  A story that makes you think about how the choices we make in life can cause many unexpected chain of events.
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest opinion and review.
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Well written story with a slight twist at the end which I did not see coming!  Believable, well constructed characters. I liked the way that the plot moved between the 2 timelines. Recommended.
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This is a beautiful book to read.   It’s set in wartime and the present.  A house In Scotland by a Loch, with characters from the war time to the present, what’s not to like!    Would thoroughly recommend.
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I think some readers will have issues with The Forbidden Promise if they are wanting more historical fiction and see that this feels more romance than that. As a romance reader, this aspect didn't bother me at all. I did feel that the romance element overshadowed the historical fiction plot line a bit. I am such a sucker for people or places who we see separated by time and in this case that is a beautiful house in Scotland, Invermoray House. I like the start of this book kicking off in the thick of the Second World War. This is my first Lorna Cook novel but her writing was so beautiful and descriptive and really Brought the characters to life. Can't wait to snag a physical copy for myself!
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I love books set in Scotland and hope to one day visit there, myself. When I heard about this book from a fellow reviewer, I knew I had to read it! I am so glad I did. Lorna Cook did a beautiful job on the story that unfolds around Invermoray house on a Scottish Loch. This book tells the story of two different but connected generations, one during WWII and one in current time. Each story has romance, secrets to unravel and tragedy. 

I found The Forbidden Promise to be well written and the characters to be realistic and relatable.  I was very interested and pulled into both story lines. Invermoray house and the surroundings sound beautiful making this another book that has encouraged me to plan a trip to Scotland! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books and Lorna Cook for the ARC of The Forbidden Promise in exchange for my honest review.
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It is 1940 and in the highlands its  Constance's 21st birthday and she escapes her party fed up with everything.
Suddenly a spitfire crashes into the Loch in front of the house.  Constance dives in and rescues the pilot and then she hides an old cottage. He is disillusioned  with the  war and doesn't want to return so she hides him. 

Fast forward to 2020. Kate arrives at the house employed to turn it into a luxury B&B. She stumbles on a picture of Constance and her brother but why is her name scribbled out of the family bible. What had happened here and to the family?

Can Kate solve the mystery and find her own happiness?
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This one was more romance than Historical Fiction, but still a has a bit of a mystery to it. It takes us on a journey of two timelines-1940 and 2020.

I enjoyed Constance's story in 1940 the most. She witnesses a pilot crashing into a lake on the property of her parents. She rescues him and must hide his secrets.

Kate's story takes place in 2020. She takes a job in a B&B and discovers some interesting background and connections to the 1949 story.

I feel the story could have been a bit shorter and some dialogue seemed cliche. In the end, I did enjoy it and it was an "escape" type of read. Predictable, but has a bit of mystery angle too.
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I would give it 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the story, characters and writing style. My favorite part of the book was the James/Kate story-line. Although, most of the problems between them were due to lack of communication. I didn't mind reading about Constance and Matthew, but didn't find them as interesting. That is until the very end, then their story took a whole different twist. I didn't think Matthew was telling Constance the truth after she rescued him. His reasons for leaving the military didn't seem believable and there had to be more. I knew he had to be hiding something. Someone should have pushed Henry in the loch. I knew he would be trouble. Naturally, Constance's parents liked him. Her parents definitely have the flair for dramatics.

Definitely recommend the book, especially if you enjoy historical fiction and romance. It was a cute story with a twist. Loved the cover of the book, it's what first caught my eye. Look forward to reading more books by the author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Avon Books UK through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Lorna Cook has done it again. Fans of her last book, The Forgotten Village (the Kindle no. 1 bestseller) will be pleased to know that her second offering, The Forbidden Promise, is every bit as fabulous - if not more so. The writing is beautifully descriptive and evocative - I felt as if I really was in the Scottish Highlands. I found the historical narrative particularly compelling, but the present day thread was excellent too.  Dual timeline novels are the best sort (in my opinion), and Lorna Cook has absolutely got this format nailed! I can't wait to see what she writes next, and where she'll choose to set it - she has chosen some truly amazing locations so far. I love books with powerful settings that almost become characters in themselves, which is exactly what Lorna Cook writes.

After winning the Romantic Novelists' Association's Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers with her debut novel last year, it's no surprise that Lorna's debut is now up for the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award too. I look forward to The Forbidden Promise enjoying similar success as her debut - it really does deserve to.
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This story had me hooked by the first chapter and I even found myself reading into the early hours of the morning. Set in Scotland at Invwemoray House, the story covers two relationships that occur in two different time periods, 1940 and 2020.

In 2020 Kate takes on a job to establish Invwemoray House as a holiday destination. Employed by Liz, Kate finds that Liz’s son, James, is less than enthusiastic about her arrival. He makes it clear that he is more than able to do the job, and that they cannot afford to employ Kate. Over time, their relationship develops, and Kate finds herself immersed in the history of the house. 
In 1940 with the war raging in Europe and the impact being felt in England, Constance finds herself wanting to assist the war effort. Her parents live quite removed from the hardship of war, celebrating her 21st birthday with alcohol and delicacies. Constance finds herself escaping the party, and the amorous attention of her brother’s friend, only to witness a plane crashing into the loch. Without a second thought, she dives into the loch and saves the pilot, Matthew. Matthew begs Constance not to warn the authorities as he wants to leave the fighting, so she agrees that he should stay in a disused Ghillie cottage on the family’s estate. Over time, the fall in love but Matthew is hiding secrets that have far-reaching consequences.
The two stories were beautifully told, with each story, guiding the events into the other. Lorna writes with such detail that I felt myself immersed in the story and the events surrounding the characters. This book will stay with you long after the final page is read. Definitely one to treasure.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Every now and then you read a book and it’s really special. This is one such book. I loved the dual timeline and the link of the old Scottish house binding them all together. I confess I preferred the historical storyline but the characters in both eras captured me and I loved following their journey. The setting is exquisite, characters well-drawn, the romance beautiful and the writing perfect. I loved his book and would highly recommend it.
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I have recently read some romances which are not my usual genre. Some, I have to admit, have been so predictable and not well written I did wonder if I'd like another.
However this novel gets a thumbs up from me in most respects. Although it does start slowly and once again a bit predictably, the author has taken a very interesting slant in the dual time line with the plot set in 1940. Constance is a the daughter of a well heeled family living in the grand Invermoray House. It is the night of her 21st birthday and escaping the lecherous friend of her brother she heads to the nearby Loch. Suddenly a plane crashes into the water and (this is somewhat unrealistic) Constance is the only one to hear or see it and then dives in to rescue the pilot. He is Matthew, who seems  traumatised by war so she hides him in the estate cottage.
Move forward to 2020 and Kate, who had worked in glitzy PR in London escapes another upsetting sexual encounter to take up a job at the now dilapidated Invermoray House with its eccentric widow owner Liz and her obnoxious son James.
Kate is out of her depth as is Constance in her innocence. In both situations the women seek out their real purposes in life.  As I find is usual with these romances I do find the more historic plot of more interest and this is definitely the case with Constance and the huge twist in the story that takes place when Matthew is discovered by both Constance's horrible friend and her brother.
It will explain the mystery that of course Kate is uncovering as she (somewhat miraculously) along with just two others turn the run down Scottish house into a B & B place of destination.
I am sure there are a lot of fans of this style of novel and I did find it more interesting as the plot unravelled.  I wasn't sure about the product placement by the author of a cookbook ( Ottolenghi!) but for a cold evening in and needing some cheering up this is one of those books you'd pick. Happy ending? well of course!
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A great story in a magical setting. I was totally immersed in this book. I loved the characters and the descriptions of the scenery. The two love stories were very well written and the whole story was believable. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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This was set over two time periods 1940’s and 2019 at Invermoray House in Scotland. Constance McLay is a young woman living at Invermoray House she is not happy with her lot in life and wants to help with the War effort by working but her family won’t let her, they expect her to marry Henry but Constance is not ready for marriage.
Constance secretly helps a pilot who crashes in the lake near Invermoray house which upsets her family.
In 2019 Kate leaves London and goes to Scotland to work at Invermoray House to help Mrs Langley-McLay promote Invermoray House as a holiday destination.
Kate discovers old photographs of Constance McLay and other family members and tries to discover what happened many years earlier.
This is a romance about families and family relationships, the Second World War, secrets and Invermoray House. I loved the way it switched back and forward between Constance in the 1940’s and Kate in 2019.
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This novel was fabulous.  I enjoyed it so much.  My review cannot do justice to let you all know how much I enjoyed it.  the most wondrous tale of a house and two stories, one present day and on in wartime..  marvellous storyline, and characters and plot.  The writing was so evocative you feel like you are in the same place as the narrative.  Couldn’t put it down.  I have not read the authors previous book, but I certainly shall.

I am so looking forward to her next novel.
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I am such a sucker for a dual timeline story - especially one that features WWII.

We meet Kate in 2020, fleeing up to Scotland to take on a new job converting an old country house into a B&B, and Constance in 1940, daughter of the house with a secret.

Yes this book features pretty predictable plot points, but honestly I got past that and loved the story. It's true escapism.
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