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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 January 2012
I have just read The Promise, the sequel to Lesley Pearse's Belle. I have no words to adequately describe this author's writing. She grabs the reader's attention from the first page and it is extremely difficult to put the book down once started. I was introduced to Lesley Pearse's writing with her title Remember Me several years ago through a friend's recommendation and from that point on I read every title she had written and eagerly awaited her latest release. The Promise was a continuation of Belle's story at the commencement of WWI and the book did not fail me. My interest was kept alive throughout the book and now that I have read it, in about two days, there is a feeling of utter disappointment that there are no more chapters to read. I cannot praise Lesley Pearse enough. She researches the facts of her story and somehow manages to hold the reader's interest. Thank you Lesley for yet another wonderful read.
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VINE VOICEon 15 January 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Promise is the first Lesley Pearce book I have read, and I must admit I was impressed. I didn't realise until I had the book in my hand that there had been an earlier one about Belle, but there was sufficient information in this one to enable me to understand what had gone on before. The amount of research that Lesley Pearce must have done on the First World War and its impact on soldiers and civilians alike was massive and really made the story attimes read more like fact than fiction. I found the characters true to life and at times I actually felt I was there living through their hopes and fears with them. There was much happiness in the early part of the book before Belle's husband Jimmy volunteers to join the army, but as the story develops sadness, pain, hatred and bitterness evolve. As I was reading the book I really felt that some of the characters had become my friends. However, as in all good stories there is a happy ending; one that I hoped to read about but didn't expect
would happen. I don't want to spoil the story by revealing more but suffice to say its a rattling good read and one I would highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Promise by Lesley Pearse was a brilliant conclusion too the first book in this short series Belle. I to be truthful first received The Promise from Amazon Vine and as I read the book though I was enjoying reading it I felt when the author referred back to the first book, I was missing out a lot of Belle's history which would make my enjoyment and understanding of this book so much more. I downloaded the first book for my kindle and as I read Belle's heartbreaking story in the book of the same name, I will admit at times there was parts I found hard to read as the abuse which Belle suffered was wrote about with clarity and detail(this is in the first book only). Even with this uncomfortable details in the first book, I would still recommend the book to other readers but I still believe as I said in my review of the first book believe that readers should be warned there is some parts which readers would have difficulty reading, though I found to book to be a fascinating read. The author, Lesley Pearse has a fantastic gift of story telling which constantly holds the readers attention.
In this book "The Promise" Belle is back in England and she is running the store she has always dreamed of doing, she is married and settled and seems to be happy in life. I to be honest thought she had done all her suffering in the first book and I was expecting a life of domestic bliss. But trouble always finds Belle but what I liked about the character of Belle, she will not lie down and just accept what life throws at her but she will fight for what she believes in and she truly is a woman who faces life with a wonderful strength of character.
This book follows Belle as she serves her country in any way she can but still holds the love of her family within her heart. She lets no-one walk over her but she has a heart of gold and she holds close friendships which she makes are precious to her and she will support her friends and loved ones through thick and thin.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough as it truly was a fantastic read, you will follow Belle to the fields of war in France and then back home again to face wars of her own which she faces with that same terrific strength of character. Her travelling is not finished here and she has many miles to travel before she finds the happy ever after she has pined for so long, there is much heartache and pain throughout her journey which we follow in this wonderful book but then I think it makes the happiness she craves so much more precious for her when she finally does find it. The Promise which was made too her in the first book will be honoured in the second book which made this book even more satisfying to read.
What I loved about reading this book was that the authors writing was so clear and vivid I could see what the characters seen and I could understand the pain and strife which Belle had to suffer daily usually by the hands of others. Never before have I read a book of fiction where the author has missed nothing from the suffering of those that fought in the first world war. The vivid descriptions of the terrible conditions which those poor soldiers had to not only fight through but live through. The squalid conditions which no animal should have ever suffered but men of so many countries fought together, the filth and muck they had to endure and where they fell was usually where they died. I learned so much from reading this book as the author's research was the best I have read fiction wise, I usually find when reading books which are fiction the authors usually give small descriptions or just show some of the suffering but I can honestly say the descriptions which was used in this book I can see what they suffered so much more than I ever could have imagined. This is the best book I have ever read which was based on this period as nothing was missed, as the author clearly wanted her readers to know the actual full suffering of those men that fought through the First World War.
The Promise by Lesley Pearse is one book I would give ten stars if I could and I recommend it to anyone who loves books which are based on the first world war and the surrounding years.
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VINE VOICEon 28 December 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having read many of Lesley Pearse's books, was really looking forward to this one and was not disappointed. Read it within a couple of days as it was impossible to put down. The research that goes into Lesley's novels always amazes me and really 'sets the scene' for the reader which is especially helpful if a novel is set in a time about which you have little or limited knowledge. Really enjoyed catching up with Belle and her friends and finding out what challenges they faced. It is probably a good idea (although not essential) to read 'Belle' before reading 'The Promise' as knowing her past and her friendships helps you understand this latest book more easily.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 December 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Now you don't have to have read "Belle" the previous book before this Lesley Pearse's 20th novel entitled "The Promise".

I have and can see how Belle the main character of this novel has grown and what hardships and plights she has endured to get to where she is in her life with her husband Jimmy. Yes, Belle's character is tested time and time again but for Belle that seems to be the way her life goes, will happiness follow her?

As the author gives a description at the start of this book "The Promise" to give an insight into the plight that Belle has to endure before she can see the clouds in her life clearing. I think this helps but really you should try "Belle" so that you can enjoy fully the full picture of The Promise.

Most followers of the author will have already read "Belle" and now awaiting this latest one. Once you have read one by her, then you get left wanting to look at her other works. All of which have that special something if you like passion and heart warming sagas.

I think from my own point of view that this one "The Promise" has totally blown away anyone's plans of doing anything other than reading this once you turn the page.

This is her 20th novel and the name lives up to the expectations, The Promise of something so good, heartwarming and so well written which is something you become so used to with this author
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on 18 September 2014
The beautiful thing about Lesley Pearse's characters are that they are so real, believable and generally lovable that after reading one of her books, it's almost impossible not to buy the sequel (where there is one) to find out what happens to them. And so, having read Belle, it was always a given that I would go on to read The Promise.

As usual, Ms Pearse does not disappoint. She develops characters very well, and you can empathise with them. They really do feel like normal, every day people who you or I might know (or might have known if we were around circa 1914!). You really feel that when she writes about them, she genuinely lives life through them for the duration of the novel.

The storyline is strong, with enough drama unfolding to keep you reading throughout, and some events which are quite shocking to the reader. The war reference is quite graphic and hard to read at times - you have been warned, but again the way it's written makes it interesting to read.

The only reason I deducted a star is because for me the last 100 pages or so were a little far fetched and unrealistic. And if I'm honest I found the slightly odd relocation (without giving too much away here in case you've not read the book yet) during that time a bit unbelievable and silly. Not to mention the events that unfold after that.... even more far fetched! So I couldn't really relate to that part and didn't enjoy it as much as I had been enjoying the book up until that point. It's not one of Ms Pearse's strongest endings, let's say.

That said, I will still be reading the third book in the series as I love the characters and I love Lesley Pearse's writing! I have read pretty much all her books since she started writing and I'm a big fan of hers.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I hadn't realised that this was a follow on book from the first title, Belle, and felt that there was a lot of trying to remind readers of her previous somewhat difficult life before we got on with the story here. Once we did, the book and the story of Belle, her husband Jimmy and friend Mog was an engaging enough one that seemed well researched with its WW1 setting and a reminder of quite how much the world post war has changed in the last century, in particular for women.

This certainly isn't high literature, but for those who enjoy the genre it's well enough written - bar the interactions of the French characters, notably the attractive Etienne from Belle's past whose dialogue had interjections in French in parts that owed more to Google Translate than any properly researched french (call me picky but speaking French fluently I struggled with the laugh out loud badly translated sentences that would have been better being left out from the book or being edited by someone with a knowledge of French).

That said the relationship between the female characters was convincing and heart-warming, the best parts of the book probably being the relationship between Belle and Miranda, from a different class entirely. I found the ending a little bit convenient and predictable but satisfying none the less and fans of this writer are sure to enjoy this release. I enjoyed it, but I just didn't think it was a book that will stay with me.
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VINE VOICEon 14 January 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
follow on from belle,this book is again another fab read,belle is now happy with husband jimmy,but then world war 1 breaks out and belles life changes again,she works for the red cross as a ambulance driver in france,she meets a man from her past and so she is torn between passion and a good loving man.belles life as always been turbulent but she could never imagine how much turbulant it could get.set in 1914 this is a truly fab read as all lesley pearse books are this is her 20th novel and if you have not read lesley pearse books before i guarntee you will want to read them all as i have,i would very much highly recommend.but i would recommend that you read belle first and then the promise then it wont spoil belle for you and i will add the best prices are here on amazon and free delivery.
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on 28 December 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I must confess to not having read Belle, but this sequel gives so much of the story of that book that I don't really have any desire to go back and read it.
I found the first hundred pages or so very domestic and a lot less than compelling, but when the story moved into WW1 territory it took fire for me and I found the rest of the book, minus the New Zealand episode, totally gripping. Familiar territory, yes, but very well told, and the characters came into their own, especially Belle's friend, the top-drawer Miranda, and the other ambulance drivers in France. It is said that portraying a 'saint' in fiction is a very difficult thing, and Belle does her best not to be 'saintly' but her goodness is a bit hard to take at times.
Glad I read this, generally enjoyed it, and certainly feel it worth four stars for the middle section alone.
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VINE VOICEon 3 January 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a sequel to 'Belle'. I have read everything that Lesley Pearse has written and will continue to do so. This book is no exception, it is superb. The writing and creation of the characters makes compelling reading. You don't have to have read Belle to follow the storyline. Clear, precise writing, intriging characters. Very difficult to put down. Follows Belle on the continuation of her life, the trials and tribulations, a war to complicate things. Twists and turns right to the very end, will there be a happy ending? Well worth the read to find out. Lesley Pearse at her very best, yet again.
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