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REVIEW: Promise Me Forever by Lorraine Heath

Dear Ms. Heath:

I was lured into buying your book by positive reader comments and a $1.00 off coupon from Borders. I really have to work on the whole willpower thing. You see, I haven’t really been happy with you since you began transporting your characters from Texas to the Ton. I suppose in an effort to gain new readers or a larger market share or whatever. Since you’ve left your roots of writing, I haven’t enjoyed your books. They seem full of TSTL heroines. (I particularly thought Lydia in Love With a Scandalous Lord needed a good bitch slapping, but ALAD), cardboard heroes, and hackneyed plots. I can forgive the hackneyed plots but not the one dimensional characters. Romance is, after all, a character driven story.

Lorraine Heath Promise MeSo what was I thinking when I bought your book? In my defense, it was late. You had a good theme: childhood friends who grow up to be lovers. I had worked 15 hours and wanted to just go home with a good book. Yours was not it.

I made it up until about 60 when I threw the book at my DH and asked him to toss it on the ground and stomp on it. The huge problem of your story was that it promised something in the blurb that you did not deliver. You promised me that Tom and Lauren were childhood friends who had made a pact with one another. What did this pact consist of? A 16 year old Tom trying twice to unbutton Lauren’s shirt and failing because of the intercession of Lauren’s mother. That’s it. After that second encounter, lasting all of what – 30 seconds? Lauren and her family move to England never to see Tom again until he shows up as the long lost Earl of Sachse.

And isn’t it incredible that all these titled Englishman are lost in the same small town in Texas? Incredible is right. Incredibly stupid. Incredibly impossible. Incredibly unimaginative.

But let’s return to the childhood friendship which consisted of two brief encounters when pervert Tom wants to defile young Lauren. Cause that is sexy and hot. Based upon these events, Tom just cannot forget Lauren and has come to England to see her and have her make good on disrobing for him. WTF? You expect me to buy into that? Nuh uh.

I did skip to the end where I saw another wonderful plot device:

The society miss, crazed with jealousy, attempts to kill the herione. Tom refuses to leave her side. Sob. How wonderful. Wow. I would have never guessed that one.DNF.

Best regards,


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Keishon
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 15:32:17

    You CRACK me UP. Love your reviews.

    I’ll have to skip this one **tear**

  2. Jane
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 20:20:14

    There are readers over at another message board that are proclaiming the greatness of this book so it is possible that it gets better after page 50 or so but I didn’t have the energy to give that m uch effort.

  3. Keishon
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 21:52:06

    You know, I just put down a book myself because I just couldn’t read another word of it. I don’t think a reader should have to wait half the book to be engaged in the story. Besides, I quit reading Heath a long time ago.

  4. sybil
    Apr 14, 2006 @ 22:20:33

    OH OH OH
    I bet I can guess that message board in three guesses and not even need the first two tries

    le sigh… poor rawley…
    I do want My Heroes have Always Been Cowboys but it is trade! And I am still annoyed with gentry. So waiting to find it used.

  5. Daniela
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 00:06:51

    I might be in the minority here, but I liked the book. It did remind me of THE NOTEBOOK though and for that reason I couldn’t give it an A review. I’m one of the few people who has no idea what Heath was like before her switch to Victorian England. I never read any of her westerns. I just purchased a few on ebay and am looking forward to reading them. Maybe reading them will ruin me for her new books, since so many are saying how bad they are compared to her older ones.

    Yeah…from previous novels in which Tom and Lauren were mentioned, I expected their love to have flourished when they were at least old enough to appreciate it (maybe in their late teens at least)…they were fairly young in PMF, I must admit and that bothered me a bit, but I tuned out completely. I enjoyed the story because it did remind me so much of THE NOTEBOOK which is one of my faves.

    Did you notice the #16 font used? That pissed me off big time.

    Gosh, I need to start reading her Westerns…I must be missing something really awesome!

    Still loving your blog.

    – Daniela

  6. Jane
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 08:04:37

    Daniela – I know that there are others who have enjoyed this book. I find that often to be the case. LOL. It wasn’t Tom and Jane’s youth that presented the plot problem for me. I loved A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith which features very young people falling in love and creating a life long attachment. It was the brevity of the two encounters. It seemed unreasonable to form a life long attachment based upon those two very short encounters.

  7. Kristie(J)
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 11:22:48

    Oh great! Just great! I got sucked into buying this one too hoping against hope it was a return to her wonderful writing of yore. Now you’re telling me you couldn’t even finish it. Sigh. I also am extremely miffed at Ms Heath for leaving her Western roots behind. Why oh why can’t she write those really beautiful stories again? Always to Remember *sigh* Sweet Lullaby *sigh* Parting Gifts *sigh* Texas Destiny *sigh*.
    To Daniela – you really do need to read her older books. Then you will understand why so many of us old time readers are in mourning over what was but what is no longer.

  8. sybil
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 16:57:16

    I have Always to Remember… picked it up at a bad library sale a while back. Haven’t read it yet. Really I hate sad ol books. And I now have three copies of Parting Gifts but is set to go to a new home already. LOL haven’t read it yet either. I swear kristie I buy more books because of you.

    When D. started to say this was like The Notebook I crossed it off to even look at ;). Movie was ok but not something I want to read.

  9. Maili
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 20:32:46

    I’m with Kristie – her earlier works are outwith this world, especially Always to Remember. Heath has written many great Americana romances. Damn shame that she moved to a different house. I can’t get into her later books nowadays. *sobbing*

  10. Keishon
    Apr 15, 2006 @ 21:51:25

    Loved Always to Remember, excellent book.
    That prologue that about pulled you in and wouldn’t let go.

  11. Daniela
    Apr 16, 2006 @ 21:47:20


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