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The Promise
     

The Promise

4.3 18
by Donna Boyd
 

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"I saw the only woman I ever loved almost destroyed by my secrets. But it was the telling of them, in the end, that brought her to ruin."
From the journals of Matise Devoncroix

Hannah Braselton North has abandoned civilization to spend her life in the Alaskan wilderness. And now she holds in her hands the supposed "memoirs" of one

Overview

"I saw the only woman I ever loved almost destroyed by my secrets. But it was the telling of them, in the end, that brought her to ruin."
From the journals of Matise Devoncroix

Hannah Braselton North has abandoned civilization to spend her life in the Alaskan wilderness. And now she holds in her hands the supposed "memoirs" of one Matise Devoncroix. It is a story of strange desires and forbidden love—the tale of a magnificent hidden race and a tortured, doomed relationship. And it is somehow connected to the critically injured male wolf Hannah pulled from the same airplane wreckage in which she discovered the diary.

But the deeper she delves into Devoncroix's story—and the stronger her recovering "patient" becomes—the more the sad, reclusive scientist realizes that what she is reading is no mere fiction. The world's true rulers have been revealed to her: fierce, strong, beautiful, and sensual creatures who have long dominated civilization in secret. The burned and bloody wolf she has taken into her small cabin is one of them: a living relation of the tragic Matise, Nicholas Devoncroix. And as his broken body mends, his awesome powers of attraction strengthen as well—as do his memories and his rage...and his lust for vengeance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The full moon glows as Boyd follows The Passion with a second chronicle about the Devoncroix pack, chieftains of a hidden race of werewolves secretly responsible for nearly every advancement in human civilization. Bereaved Hannah North has come to the remote Alaskan wilderness to mourn the death of her husband when she rescues a mortally injured male wolf from a helicopter crash. A hardbound book that she finds in the wreckage, which turn out to be the memoirs of Matise Devoncroix, reveals to Hannah that the stunning creature she has saved is Nicholas, heir to the recently assassinated Alexander Devoncroix, leader of all the werewolves. Nicholas, however, bitterly opposes Alexander's dream of peaceable werewolf-human coexistence. Hannah's efforts to save Nicholas, presently trapped in wolf form, counterpoint Matise's eerily hypnotic account of his own loving and vengeful relationship with Brianna, a powerful young female werewolf unable to change from human to lupine form. Matise's book also includes his reflections on the mingled history of werewolves and the humans they originally kept as beasts of burden, a symbiosis marred by the human proclivity for violence and treachery. Boyd's elegant, aristocratic werewolves are more convincing than her brutish humans, and her constant shifts between Hannah's narrative and Matise's memoirs can be creaky, but she makes the esoteric werewolf culture consistently and appealingly exotic, witty and sexy. Redolent with heightened olfactory imagery, this heady exploration of interspecies contact and uneasy accommodation should open the door to a whole litter of sequels. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In the wilds of Alaska, wildlife photographer Hannah North discovers a wounded wolf at the site of a downed helicopter. She also finds a diary that tells a fantastic and utterly believable story of creatures with the power to shift between human and wolf form. With the same sensual prose that she brought to The Passion, Boyd delivers another top-notch story chronicling the sensuous lives and passions of the race of werewolves. Recommended for fantasy collections. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Densely imagined sequel to the werewolf saga begun with Boyd's brilliant horror/love story The Passion (1998). Each literary age gets the werewolf it deserves, and the werewolf for the '90s is the luxuriously high-living ruler of a $30-billion financial empire who also rules the worldwide pack of werewolves that, in human form, run the globe, accept its Oscars for best actor, and hold summit conferences for stratospheric deal-making. Pack leader Alexander Devoncroix has been murdered in Central Park; his son and heir, Nicholas, knows that the Dark Brotherhood of the Moon, supposedly extinct, is actually behind it. Werewolves have lived peacefully with humans for nearly a thousand years and with their superior intelligence and instincts have risen to veiled power over the Homo sapiens herd. Nicholas, who believes that the tie with humans has degraded the nobility of the werewolf, plans to announce an Edict of Separation, which will again part werewolves and humans into separate factions. The edict was opposed by his late father, however, and even Nicholas's closest advisors are against it. Then, on a flight to the North, his helicopter is downed by a hidden bomb. Nicholas's burned and maimed body (in its immense wolf form) is found, kept alive, and brought back to health by Hannah, who has given up civilization to tend to beasts of the Alaskan wilderness. She also finds in the wreckage a family manuscript written by Matise Devoncroix that chronicles his forbidden love for Brianna and the coming of a great werewolf leader. Brought back to health, Nicholas wishes to rescind his edict, but he's been betrayed: the Brotherhood has made sure that the separation is in effect. The ensuingturmoil promises a third installment. A novel no sensible werewolf could refuse, crackling with moonswept courtship rituals whose instinctual electricity would overcharge the merely human reader.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380790968
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.84(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

13:43
Greenwich Mean Time
November 23, 1998

In London, the Westminster chimes began to toll out of synch and out of tune for the first time in the one-hundred-forty-year history of the most famous clock in the world. A computer failure was blamed for the unexpected shutdown of the underground, and the BBC was off the air for an entire four minutes. No explanation for the missing time was ever offered.

In Beirut, electrical power flickered and went out, and in Iran, thirty-six oil pumps suddenly ceased production. In Moscow, three windows in St. Basil's Cathedral exploded outward, and a crack appeared in a three-hundred-year-old mirror. In Paris, in Rome, in Tokyo and in Hong Kong, traffic jams of monumental proportions resulted when traffic lights ceased to function. In Geneva and Lucerne, millions of dollars in transfers were lost when banking computers shut down. St. Mark's Square was deserted in the middle of the day. Ships at sea cut their engines. Planes in flight bowed their wings.

Around the world, humans turned away from meals uneaten, fighting a sudden wave of nausea; they awoke from their beds, shuddering in a cold sweat; they broke off in the midst of a sentence and stared, helplessly, into a pit of despair they could not understand. They would later recall a gold chill, a stabbing pain behind their eyes, an electrical prickling at the base of their necks as around the world the howl went up too loud and too high for their ears to hear yet releasing with it all the depths of agony a soul can know: He is dead, he is dead. . .

In the Park Avenue apartment, Nicholas Devoncroix turnedfrom the window and back into the room where the bodies of his parents lay lifeless on the bed. After the accident their remains had been brought here, away from the prying eyes and probing questions of human officials, so that their children might have a few moments to say their goodbyes before the preparations for cremation began. Nicholas had not been in time to say goodbye, of course. Alexander Devoncroix had died instantly beneath the wheels of a fast-moving vehicle in the dark depths of Central Park, as had the bodyguard who had flung himself before the automobile in an attempt to save his leader. Elise Devoncroix, Alexander's mate for over one hundred years, had died of separation shock and grief only moments after her spouse.

The driver of the vehicle, presumably human, had not been found.

Nicholas went over to the two wolf-formed bodies on the bed. His hand shook as he touched the silver-gray fur of his father's neck, cold now, lifeless and dull. He was a magnificent figure even now, devoid of breath, robbed of power. His body was over six feet long, his head massive, his muscles lean, and for the viewing he had been arranged so that his injuries were not visible, and his demeanor retained its dignity. But Nicholas knew that if he lifted his father into an embrace, the corpse would sag limply in his arms, loose hones and organs sloshing beneath their fragile capsule of skin; fur would deteriorate beneath his touch, and his hand would slide into a cold open wound on the back side of his father's neck. Their bodies deteriorated very quickly after death. In only another hour or two they would begin to rot.

Anguish clenched Nicholas's throat and burned his eyes. "Father, why?" he whispered hoarsely. "Who has done this to you?"

And he could almost hear the walls of the room echoing back, You have, my son . . . You have.

Alexander and Elise had been on their way to see Nicholas when the death vehicle burst out of the night, and the reason they had crossed Central Park so urgently in the middle of the night in wolf form was to try to stop their son and heir from making a mistake . . . what they believed was a mistake, and what he insisted was their only salvation. The last twenty-four hours between Nicholas and his parents had been filled with threats and recriminations, challenges and anger.

And he had been too late to say goodbye.

He looked at his mother, near the same height as his father but lighter, her pale fur longer and silkier, a portrait of delicate strength and regal bearing even in death. He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to fling himself upon her and bury his face in her fur and inhale the sweet soft fragrances of pine resin and mother's milk, of silk and pearls and hearth fire and power . . . but those scents were gone now and the fur was cold.

Alexander and Elise Devoncroix, leaders of the pack for over a century, were no more.

It was a blow. But the pack would survive. He, Nicholas Antonov Devoncroix, would make certain that it did.

Slowly Nicholas straightened up, letting his hand linger for just another moment in the air above his mother's head, and then he dropped it to his side. "I am sorry," he said softly, thickly, "for all I have done. For all I must do."

Nicholas Devoneroix was thirty-eight years old; young for a species whose elderly were still sound at one hundred fifty years. He was the youngest son of the family that had ruled the pack undisputed for almost a thousand years, and as such he had been groomed from the moment of his birth for the position he held today. Born into a world of virtually unlimited privilege and wealth, he had nonetheless spent the first year after his weaning fighting his eleven brothers and sisters for his meals, defending his sleeping space and his running space and his playthings and even the attention of his teachers and parents with his wits, his teeth and his claws.

Meet the Author

Donna Boyd lives in the mountains of North Georgia.

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The Promise 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was truly amazing and left me breathlessly swept away in a land only Donna Boyd could create. She is an excellent writer and captivated me with all her wonderful descriptions. I felt I was right there living the story. She brings a new life to werewolf stories and has done exceedingly well! Kudos Donna Boyd!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The cover does not do this book justice. The writing is so compelling I often forgot it was all make believe. That humans can transform into werewolves seemed completely realistic. I'm looking forward to the next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
at first I was capitvated by the cover, but when I started reading the intro, I was thinking 'what am i reading, hope this doesn't drag as well'...but it was too great to put down, i finished the book in two days and I am a very slow reader...it was great, terrific, better than any other book I've ever read, and by the by..way better than the anne rice books that sound good but drag.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great story by Boyd. My heart ached with Matsie and Brianna's pain. Can't wait for another one!
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Bruhndi More than 1 year ago
This story does have a certain resemblance to Anne Rice's writing, but a different flair. Although enjoyable and intriguing, this is not your token love story. It is something of a brainteaser with intriguing characters. Although erotic, this is not an all out erotic novel I must warn as other books are. When people say this book is erotic, I believe what they mean is the sensual tone the story has although sex is mentioned and described, albeit briefly. It is an entrancing story I must say although sometimes confusing with great depth. It is still a decent book to read with a beautiful story. However, I must warn you: The ending is not...sunshine and roses. And most of the story is told by one reading something of a memoir. I hope this is useful. (Also, my 2 star writing grade is due to the fact that I do not enjoy most of Anne Rice's novels mostly because I do not enjoy her writing style in 98% of her books while this novel was a more bearable version. Personally, no offense to Anne Rice fans)
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Before u read this book u must read the passion, the first sequel to this one. I was so touched at this story of Matsie and Brianna. The Passion leaves you with questions and Ms. Boyd answers every last one of them but I still want her to come out with a new book, another sequel that is, about what happened to their son. U have to read the book to understand anyhting I'm saying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its a great sequel to my all time favorite The Passion.Donna Boyd is a great writer.I couldn't put the book down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
totally cool book! can't wait for the next one in this series to come out. i would recommend this series of books to everyone
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was as exciting and well written as the first. I recommend it to all ann rice fans who followed the vampire chronicles. my only complaint is that I've been waiting now for a sequal and haven't heard anything about one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading all the good reviews for this book i decided to pick up a copy. I was DISSAPPOINTED! i couldn't even read passed the fifth page. sorry everybody. This just wasn't my cup of tea.