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A Gentleman's Promise (Paperback)

A Gentleman's Promise (Paperback)

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Against her better judgement, Charlotte King bows to family duty and marries a man who is not as he seems. Now trapped in a marriage of the worst kind, her life is an endless cycle of pain and fear. That is until Lord Helsing shows her another way to live...

Lord Mason Helsing walked away from the one woman he’d always cared for, but upon returning to London, he finds Charlotte is in a loveless and cruel marriage. Should he throw away the principles by which he lives and follow a different path than he ought?

But divorce for Charlotte means ruination. And Mason is relied upon to marry well and continue his family. Can they overcome the strictures of society and live the life they’ve always wanted? Or will they bow to pressure and do as society deems appropriate?



110 pages


5 x 8 inches (127 x 203 mm)



Publication Date

November 21, 2023


Tamara Gill

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Somerset England, 1818

Charlotte waded out into the lake that ran behind her father's Somerset estate and swam toward the middle of the pond. The chilled water cooled her skin and was a welcome reprieve from the scorching summer heat, which England was experiencing that year.
Heat bore down on her head from the sun and she shrugged off the thought that she would freckle. It mattered little what she looked like anymore. Her future was as set as the seasons. The water was a refreshing change after a morning stuck in the stifling hot drawing room with Mama, going over invitations for the forthcoming season in London. Not that Charlotte cared who called or invited them to their events. Her father’s decision was made and the marriage contracts were signed.
Charlotte floated onto her back and looked up at the endless blue sky above her. Not a cloud marred the horizon to hint a break in the endless heat wave. Not that she minded, for as long as this hot weather held, the longer her mama would demand that they stay in Somerset. And the longer she could remain unmarried.
The sound of a branch breaking underfoot pulled her from her musings and Charlotte treaded water while trying to find the source of the noise. Please let it not be Gus. Her eleven-year-old cousin was the most annoying, vexing boy. Forever reminding Charlotte that he was her father's heir and the future master of her home once the estate passed into his hands, following the demise of her father.
The little rascal seemed to forget she would be long married by then and that he wasn’t inheriting a title, merely land, and a home. Little tyrant. Heir or not, she sometimes had the urge to bend him over her knee and spank him until he howled.
“Apologies, Miss King. I did not realize that you were swimming. Forgive my intrusion.”
Charlotte shut her mouth with a snap at the sight of Lord Helsing's naked abdomen. His skin glistened and sweat beaded down the middle of his chest, just waiting for the cool spring water to wash it away.
Still unable to speak, her attention wavered to his lordship’s skin-tight breeches, which were very snug indeed...Charlotte turned away and splashed some water on her face, hoped that the heat she felt beneath her skin was solely from the sun and not from seeing the man standing behind her on the bank.
“No apology required, my lord. Being as hot as it is today, I had thought to come for a cooling dip.” She paused and wondered what he thought of her staring at him. Hoped against hope he did not realize what a profound reaction she always had when she was around him. Her stomach twisted into knots and her mouth dried, usually resulting in her inability to form words. Blushing was the least of her problems.
“Well, I will take your leave. Good day, Miss King.”
Charlotte turned about, savoring the vision of his back, which was indeed as pleasing as his front. “I was just about to leave. You may stay and swim if you wish.”
His dark, hooded gaze fixed on her and Charlotte fought not to die of embarrassment. They had been friends once. Had in fact been neighbors since they were children. But school and social circles soon placed a wedge between their friendship. As was the case for many children in such circumstances.
“If you're sure, Miss King? I wouldn’t wish to impose upon you.”
“If my lord would be kind enough to turn for a moment to afford me some privacy, I could emerge from the water,” she said, swimming toward the shore.
Lord Helsing turned around and waited for her. Charlotte wrung out her soaked shift as best she could before pulling on her summer gown that buttoned up at the front. Her dress clung to her and was uncomfortable against her skin but she ignored it. The fact that Lord Helsing, one of the most popular gentlemen in town was making conversation with her was too good an opportunity to believe.
“I’m ready, my lord.”
Lord Helsing looked over his shoulder and met her gaze. He smiled and turned before making his way to the bank of the lake and sitting started to take off his boots. Charlotte watched as he slid his stockings off, his long feet oddly different to hers. She’d never seen a man’s feet before.
“Do you mind if I take a swim, Miss King?” he asked, his brows raised.
Charlotte shook her head and then cleared her throat. “No, of course not.”
Charlotte bit her lip as she watched his lordship dive under the water before emerging with a sigh of pleasure. A well-muscled arm came out of the water and pushed back a lock of hair that had fallen over his brow and the breath in her lungs seized. Never had she been so close to a man only half dressed, not to mention a man who unsettled her with just a glance.
“Delightful,” he said.
She couldn’t have worded her thoughts better.
“I thought you would be in town, Miss King. Is this not your debut year?”
Charlotte hid her stockings in her pocket and looked about for her shoes. “We’re due up any day. As soon as this dratted heat abates, Mother will take me to London.” She frowned. “I’m engaged to be married, my lord. Did you know?”
He swam toward the bank, the shock of her statement easy to read on his features.
“I had not heard. Congratulations.” He paused. “May I ask who the lucky fellow is?”
“Viscount Remmick, my lord.” Charlotte watched to see if Lord Helsing showed some sort of reaction to her words. Or more truthfully, hoped he would. Yet, his easy smile at her words dashed any hopes she may have had that he may have found the news unacceptable. Hopes that he would, in fact, run from the water, pick her up and declare his undying love to her.
Instead, he swam back into the centre of the pond and dived out of sight. By the time he had resurfaced, Charlotte was ready to leave.
“It was a pleasure to see you again, my lord. It had been a long time. I hope we may meet again in town?”
“I may see you tomorrow as I have business with your father. But if not, perhaps our paths will cross in London as you say.”
Charlotte discreetly drank in one last sight of him before she turned and walked away. Made sure that she didn’t look back. Not once.

Main Tropes

  • Friends to Lovers
  • Scandalous Affair
  • Regency Romance
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