Stolen Promise

Written by Lisa Marie Wilkinson

The story begins in England in 1806 when Jade, a Romani girl, runs away from an unwanted betrothal. She falls in with Evan Dark, a visiting American who turns out to have close ties to the Romani himself. When Evan returns her to her clan, they judge her disgraced, saying no Romani would want her, and force Jade to marry Evan in a Romani ceremony. Jade makes a bargain with Evan to accompany him to America, posing as his indentured servant. Once in Charleston, Glorianna, Evan’s arrogant betrothed, and his resentful half-brother Colin provide obstacles for the growing attraction between Evan and Jade.

While I like to learn new things via reading historical fiction, the author’s Romani language lessons were too heavy-handed. There are ways to better integrate vocabulary into the story without being so didactic. Either the printer made mistakes and omitted asterisks between certain paragraphs, or else Wilkinson needs to work on transitions. Several times I was confused about where (or whether) the plot was suddenly jumping. The main characters weren’t very likeable, and I thought some of the plot points strayed too far into melodramatic territory. Nice try regarding the unusual Romani setting, but I can’t recommend this historical romance.