A Promise of More: A Disgraced Lords Novel

A Promise of More: A Disgraced Lords Novel

by Bronwen Evans

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Overview

In the second novel in USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans’s sexy Disgraced Lords series, two very independent souls find themselves fighting to resist a deepening passion.
 
When Beatrice Hennessey sets out to confront Lord Coldhurst, the notorious rogue who killed her brother in a duel, her intent is to save her family from destitution. She’s determined to blackmail the man into a loveless marriage. She’ll make the wealthy Lord Coldhurst pay for the rest of his life. But while greeting his ship, Beatrice takes a tumble into the Thames—only to be fished out by a pair of strong masculine arms that tempt her to stay locked in their heated embrace forever. That is, until she realizes those arms belong to Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst himself.
 
The little drowned mermaid has an interesting proposition indeed; one that Sebastian is surprised to find quite agreeable. Although he’s had women more beautiful, she is pleasing to the eye, and besides, it’s time he fathered an heir. Beatrice promises to be the ideal wife; a woman who hates him with an all-consuming passion is far too sensible to expect romance. However, it isn’t long before Sebastian’s plan for a marriage of convenience unravels, and he’s caught up in the exhilarating undertow of seduction.

Look for the enchanting Disgraced Lords series from Bronwen Evans:

A KISS OF LIES | A PROMISE OF MORE | A TOUCH OF PASSION | A WHISPER OF DESIRE | A TASTE OF SEDUCTION | A NIGHT OF FOREVER

And don’t miss her novels in the Imperfect Lords series:
ADDICTED TO THE DUKE | DRAWN TO THE MARQUESS

“Bronwen’s historical romances always make the top of my reading list!”New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jen McLaughlin

“A page-turning, sensual adventure.”New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle

“Evans pulls the reader into the story and holds them there long after the last page. I can hardly wait to see what’s next in this fast-paced, drama-filled [series]. . . . A must read!”—My Book Addiction Reviews

“Five out of five stars . . . I just loved this second book in The Disgraced Lords series. I was hooked from the first chapter.”—Laura Tague

“There is immense power in loving and forgiving someone. Ms. Evans demonstrates that more than once in Sebastian and Beatrice’s relationship.”—Written Love

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345547293
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Series: Disgraced Lords Series , #2
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 147
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She has always indulged her love of storytelling and is constantly gobbling up movies, books, and theater. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer? Evans is a two-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
London, April 1816

Despite the earliness of the hour and the crowded bustle of the dock, Beatrice Hennessey stood out like, well, like the notorious rakehell Lord Sebastian Hawkestone, Marquis of Coldhurst, would stand out in a nunnery.
She hated standing out. She lived in a world where she took great pains to blend in. She was nobody of note and definitely not one to buck the respectable trends of the ton.

It was absolutely scandalous to be alone on the busy dock. The trepidation she’d felt in dismissing the hackney and driver over two hours ago was nothing to the mortification she was feeling as the men, and some women, leered at her. Given how she was dressed, as a respectable lady, the fact she was standing on the filthy Thames dock unescorted made her as visible as a diamond necklace dropped in an East End street.

Stupidly she had thought her presence might go unnoticed.

The longer she stood looking at the ship berthed in front of her, the more lecherous the stares became. Originally the looks had been simply curious. Clearly she was a lady; where was her escort? Why was she here? Did she have anything of value?

She had sent the hackney away because she could not afford to keep it waiting. She carried nothing of value. She was alone because there was no one else to count on, no one else to do what must be done to save her family.

However, two hours later, when she still stood in the same place with her hands clasped firmly in front of her, the mood of the men and women around her had changed to contempt, overlaid with a veneer of politeness, worn as thin as her remaining patience.

Where was Coldhurst? She’d assumed since he had been away from England for several months, he’d arise and disembark early, possibly as soon as his ship docked. She’d been wrong there too.

However, the worst assumption she’d made was about the place she should confront the scoundrel. Beatrice wasn’t the only woman waiting at the bottom of the gangplank to Coldhurst’s vessel, the Seductress. Several ladies of questionable character made a flagrant display of their wares, determined to be the first to sell the goods on offer as sailors came ashore.

Beatrice didn’t judge the women. If Lord Coldhurst didn’t help her, she might well end up in their position, albeit, she hoped, with a more refined level of clientele.

Her shudder wasn’t entirely due to the early morning chill. Squaring her shoulders, she acknowledged the idiocy of her approaching Coldhurst alone. His last correspondence, however, had left her no option. It was time to take the bull by the horns—or some similar body part. She did not doubt Lord Coldhurst possessed horns. After all, he was the wicked devil who had fled England in disgrace several months ago.

Coldhurst owed her; owed her family—especially her ten-year-old brother, the new Baron Larkwell—a debt he could never repay. Yet Coldhurst wouldn’t be the only one to pay. If her two younger sisters and two infant brothers were to survive and maintain their place in society, Beatrice had little choice but to sell herself to the devil.

Had Doogie lived, he would have married an American heiress whose father wanted a title for his daughter. A title from a distinguished yet impoverished family. A title in exchange for more money than any of them could imagine. Lord Coldhurst had stolen their financial security from them. It seemed only right and just that he should restore the coffers he had brutally destroyed when he’d shot Doogie.

Pain filled Beatrice’s chest as it always did when she thought about her foolish younger brother. She bit back the tears and channeled her grief into her rising temper. Two hours she had waited alone and unprotected on this smelly, dangerous dock, because she could ill afford to keep a hack and driver waiting.

Chin high, Beatrice marched toward the gangplank, politely weaving through the other “ladies.” But as she stepped onto the gangway a rough hand grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back.

“Just where the hell do you think you’re going?” The underdressed, and therefore probably appropriately dressed, prostitute looked her up and down. “No female is ’llowed on board unless invited by the captain.”

Beatrice removed the woman’s grimy hand from her now dirt-smeared shoulder and said, “Unlike you—” Beatrice hesitated, deciding to be both honest and polite, “ladies, I have important business with one of the passengers.”

The prostitute laughed out loud, nodding to the women behind her. “I’ve seen you waiting. You’re not expected. We’ve all got important business with them on board. You don’t get no special treatment. Get back in line.” And she pushed Beatrice backward into the now angry flock of screeching women.

The other women were far from gentle as they continued to push her away from the gangplank. The last woman in the group gave her an almighty shove and Beatrice ended up on her backside on the filthy dock, still tightly clutching her reticule.

She sat stunned for half a breath. Then anger surged through her as she clambered to her feet and, with jaw set, began pushing her way back through the melee of chattering and cursing women.

Finally, once more at the foot of the gangplank, she tapped her original assailant on the shoulder. The woman turned round. “My business,” Beatrice said before the prostitute could more than open her mouth, “is not your type of business. We are not in competition.”

The woman gave an ugly laugh. “Pah. I know who came in on that ship—his lordship. And when a man’s been at sea for a few weeks, he ain’t fussy about the quality of the goods. So piss off, and wait your turn.”

This time the violent shove wasn’t backward. It sent Beatrice sideways. She tried to steady herself, clawing the air, but it was too late. She tripped over a loose plank and pitched forward, arms flailing, over the side of the dock and into the water. Her scream ended as water filled her mouth.

She sank like a cannonball, the freezing water soaking into the many layers of her clothing, the weight pulling her under. She tried to kick her legs, stretching toward the murky sunlight above. Her lungs tightened to bursting point and soon black spots swarmed in front of her eyes. She was going to drown. How could she die? She was all the hope her family had left. She inwardly railed at her fate. Now look what she’d done. What would become of them all without her?

A double curse on Lord Coldhurst.

The last thing she remembered was a strong, muscular arm encircling her waist, and then she was being drawn up, up, up.
 

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A Promise of More: A Disgraced Lords Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
A PROMISE OF MORE by Bronwen Evans is another exciting Historical Romance set in 1815-1816 London, England. #2 in the "Disgraced Lords" series, but can be read as a stand alone. See, "A Kiss of Lies". Meet, Beatrice Hennessey, whose brother, Lord Coldhurst is accused of killing in a duel and Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst, the man who dueled with her brother earlier and one of the famous Disgraced Lords. Fast paced with passion, secrets, and finding love. I adore this series and this author. A PROMISE OF MORE was more romantic than intrigue to me. It was more about the love and romance, than the danger the Disgraced Lords are facing. But with this said....there is much to enjoy about A PROMISE OF MORE, such as the passion, secrets and the romance. Toward the end, we learn more of the person out to destroy the Disgraced Lords, but not their reason for doing so. The sins of the father is to be re-visited upon the sons. For this is what, this person is intent on doing....destroying the sons of the fathers who abused or whatever this person years earlier. If you enjoy mystery, suspense, a bit of intrigue, and lots of romance and passion, than do pick up A PROMISE OF MORE, you will not regret your choice of reading material. Ms. Evans, pulls the reader into the story and holds them there long after the last page. I can hardly wait to see what's next in this fast paced drama filled, with a tale of intrigue and passion. A must read!! Well done! Received for an honest review. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: HOT REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
I really love the Disgraced Lords series. I enjoyed Beatrice's strong character. Sebastian was a jerk at times but falls in the line of bad boys reformed. Very erotic.
Doodlebug4444 More than 1 year ago
Written as a combined review with the first book of this series 5 out of 5 for this reader folks! OH ME OH MY!  I never thought I'd find a series that could be similar and/or match the Lonely Lords series I love so much ... well I have to say I have found another series that so far is just as good and satisfying! *HAPPY DANCE* The Disgraced Lords by Bronwen Evans is a new historical romance series that centres around a group of Lords called "The Libertine Scholars".  These Lords all met and formed this group when they attended school.  They are known rakes, handsome, rich, smart and extremely loyal to each other.  When they realize that someone from their past is beginning to set each of them up for ruin and then attempting to take their lives, they band together like no other time and try to put their heads together to solve this mystery.  It just so happens that in the midst of all of this, they are meeting their perfect lady and struggling with a change of lifestyle that is going to claim them no matter how hard they fight it! Let's meet the first two shall we? BOOK 1 - A Kiss of Lies DESCRIPTION In Bronwen Evans’s Loveswept debut, a pair of damaged souls ignite each other’s deepest passions—even as they tempt fate by deceiving the world. Desperate to escape her abusive past, Sarah Cooper disguises herself as a governess in the employ of Christian Trent, Earl of Markham, the man who, long ago, she fantasized about marrying. Despite the battle scars that mar his face, Sarah finds being near Christian rekindles her infatuation. A governess, however, has no business in the arms of an earl, and as she accompanies Christian on his voyage home, Sarah must resist her intense desires—or risk revealing her dangerous secrets. One of the renowned Libertine Scholars, Christian Trent once enjoyed the company of any woman he chose. But that was before the horrors of Waterloo, his wrongful conviction of a hideous crime, and his forcible removal from England. Far from home and the resources he once had, Christian believes the life he knew—and any chance of happiness—is over . . . until his ward’s governess sparks his heart back to life, and makes him remember the man he used to be. Now Christian is determined to return to England, regain his honor, and win the heart of the woman he has come to love. REVIEW You have to love a series that starts off with the tortured soul character.  LOL Christian Trent is the Earl of Markham and suffers from a horrific event in his past.  Left badly scarred physically and mentally, he lives his life attached to the alcohol bottle and paying for woman's services.  He craves a gentle touch, a kind word that is genuine and comes from the heart.   When Christian is forced to flee England after being accused of a crime he ends up in Canada.  Suddenly finding himself the ward of a young girl, Christian decides to hire Sarah Cooper as a governess. Sarah Cooper is also on the run and is hiding her real identity.  When she becomes the governess of Christian's ward, she also becomes the one woman that sees beyond his scars.  Christian will have her .... as his wife despite her status.  Truths are bound to surface though, leaving these two with many questions for the other.  In the midst of their own personal drama, both have a dangerous past that returns and threatens to tear them apart forever. BOOK 2 - A Promise of More DESCRIPTION When Beatrice Hennessey sets out to confront Lord Coldhurst, the notorious rogue who killed her brother in a duel, her intent is to save her family from destitution. She’s determined to blackmail the man into a loveless marriage. She’ll make the wealthy Lord Coldhurst pay for the rest of his life. But while greeting his ship, Beatrice takes a tumble into the Thames—only to be fished out by a pair of strong masculine arms that tempt her to stay locked in their heated embrace forever. That is, until she realizes those arms belong to Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst himself. The little drowned mermaid has an interesting proposition indeed; one that Sebastian is surprised to find quite agreeable. Although he’s had women more beautiful, she is pleasing to the eye, and besides, it’s time he fathered an heir. Beatrice promises to be the ideal wife; a woman who hates him with an all-consuming passion is far too sensible to expect romance. However, it isn’t long before Sebastian’s plan for a marriage of convenience unravels, and he’s caught up in the exhilarating undertow of seduction. REVIEW Oh I want a Sebastian wrapped up and placed under my tree this Christmas .. he is YUMMY! :) Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst is a hardcore womaniser, hottest man of this group and HE KNOWS IT!  Love will never capture him, marriage is a far away chore that he will one day have to do so he can have an heir.  He loves the ladies and the ladies love him.  When he is challenged to a duel something goes terribly wrong.  Another disgraced Lord forced to flee, he returns to England only to find himself saving the life of a woman that he would never believe to be waiting at the dock for his arrival.   Beatrice Hennessey is the sister of the man that Sebastian killed.  Her family is in dire straits and knowing that if anything, Sebastian has a strong sense of family, she guilts him into marrying her.  Sebastian thinks he has to provide an heir anyway and at least he will never fear falling in love with her.   Problem solved .. well not quite!  Sebastian is captivated by his innocent bride who responds so wickedly to his touch and before he knows it, they are falling in love.  When dangers knocks on the door however, suddenly Sebastian realizes he not only has much to gain, but much to LOSE! I really enjoy Bronwen Evans writing style.  There is an engaging natural flow and we are teased with the promise of more mystery and storyline.  She writes delectable love scenes that make me melt and sigh.  Her characters are strong, damaged in their own way and perfectly imperfect.  If you love the historical romance genre, then do yourself a favour and check out this series.  I can't wait for the next book! :) HAPPY READING! :)
stanhope3234 More than 1 year ago
I love this series. The first book "A Kiss of Lies" which was my first book by Bronwen Evans was so good that I could not wait for the next book and it did not disappoint. Sedation played a big roll in the first book and he was all charm and charisma. He first meets Beatrice when he saves her from drowning and she propositions him to marry her. I did not like him because he was very cold and aloof and seemed a bit heartless but we soon find that its a wall he has built to protect his life from becoming his parents volatile life. Beatrice soon wears him down and what fun it is to see him fall. There is great passion and suspense in the book and I highly recommend this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sebastion is a total jerk. No woman could forgive what he did. I did not like this book as well as the first one. He treats her like trash and then all is forgiven, even after he went to another woman; really. I just could not make myself like him. Beatrice is a saint. The other reviews must be from people who were paid. Hopefullly the next one will be better.
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, A Kiss of Lies, so I had high hopes for this book. And, it definitely met them! A Promise of More was a romantic, thrilling, absolutely fantastic read. I loved this book. It was wonderful. Beatrice was a strong heroine. She refused to be backed into a corner or forced to do someone else's bidding. And, she was clever enough to always find a way out. I really liked her. She was tough, loyal to her loved ones, and very likable. Sebastian was also great. He was very sweet and loyal to those he cared about (though he didn't like to admit to any love). I loved how protective he was with his sisters and Beatrice. My one problem with him was that he could really be an ass sometimes. I understood why he was so unnerved by the thought of falling in love, after what he saw from his parents. But, he could be rather mean about it. However, he did realize his mistakes and made sure to correct them and, overall, I really liked him. Other than that, he was just adorable. The romance was sweet and steamy. Despite Sebastian's reluctance to go anywhere near love, their feelings were still obvious on both sides. And, the chemistry between them was hot and led to some serious steaminess. I thought they were perfect together. The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. There were tons of twists along the way, a few secrets, and enough thrills to keep me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the story and the ending tied up the romance, while leaving the mystery open for the next books. I can't wait to see what happens next! A Promise of More was a fantastic historical romance. I really liked this book. It kept me hooked and left me anxious for more. Romance lovers, this book (and this series) is one you definitely need to read. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
KimP65 More than 1 year ago
Wow, where to begin! I loved this and I love The Disgraced Lords Series. This book offers everything, from love, romance, heat, mystery, it just simply has it all. The detail of the historical facts that the author provides is amazing. You can tell through reading that Bronwen Evans really takes the time to get not only the romance portion of the story correct but also the historical portion. I think I actually like this  installment better, the characters were even more unlikely than in the first installment, although I loved that one as well. "Henpeck Hennesy" is one of the strongest female characters that I've read in a long time. I love the vulnerability that is underlying with Sebastian and that with her love he is able to deal with and move past it. And the intrigue...it's like icing on the cake!
McM0mmy-PW More than 1 year ago
Apparently I started at the end and am reading them backwards! I loved the story of Sebastian and Beatrice! At several points I was on the cups of "If he dares do it, I'm tossing the book!" but the way this was written I kept on reading! The whole way this played out was extremely well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one was terrific from start to finish. Regency romance at its best.
DebDiem More than 1 year ago
A Promise of More by Bronwen Evans is the fantastic voyage of Sebastian and Beatrice as they negotiate their way through London's elite. I love this book! Ms Evans has given us amazing well developed characters that are perfect for this story. A Promise of More is loaded with suspense, humor, spice and wrapped up into a smooth, well written book. I enjoyed A Promise of More and look forward to my next book by Bronwen Evans. A Promise of More is book 2 of the Disgraced Lords Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
We get to briefly see Beatrice and Sebastian at the end of A Kiss of Lies, book one in The Disgraced Lords series. A Promise of More takes us back a few days to when they first meet, and that meeting is one to remember. When Sebastian fishes Beatrice out of the Thames, he never expects what comes out of her mouth - a proposal. With the death of her brother, their family is about to go to the poor house, and Beatrice thinks Sebastian owes it to them to save the day - by marrying her. This isn't the set up for a happy marriage. Sebastian killed Beatrice's brother in a duel and I really enjoyed the way Beatrice was portrayed as dealing with the fact that she was about to marry his killer. Resolved and accepting of her situation, she is determined to try and make the best of it all. But of course, things are never as they seem at first. And when they both begin to feel the inevitable attraction to each other, well, it gets very interesting. Our villian from the first book is still in play and causing all sorts of problems, but the Libertine Scholars may be one step closer to finding out who she is. I enjoyed the back and forth between Sebastian and Beatrice, but there was just a little spark of something that seemed to be missing. I had a hard time imagining Beatrice finding pleasure in the arms of the man that killed her brother as well, although this ends up being a little different than what they both thought. They still thought he had killed her brother, and then have great sex still. I had a hard time believing it.
baerro More than 1 year ago
I would give this two stars if I hadn't found myself constantly wanting to know what happened next, which is a testament to Bronwen Evans' ability to craft a compelling story. The heaviest weight that drags this book down, however, is a "hero" who, for roughly 75% of the story, behaves like an enormous jerk! I understand that Sebastian would never have felt compelled to marry Beatrice if it weren't for the fact that he might have killed her brother in a duel. I understand that he senses Beatrice is hiding something important from him (she is). I understand that his parents' marriage was such an awful mix of petty jealousy and raging arguments that he has a warped view of "love" and doesn't want any of it in his marriage. But he still does things to Beatrice that are so terrible that some of it actually qualifies as spousal abuse. I've read and enjoyed historical romances with heroes who initially had a lot of "unlikable" traits to them. But while they might behave quite badly in their marriages (at least initially), none of them CHEAT as a way of "getting back" at their wives! Sebastian attempts to do that TWICE! In the second occurrence (visiting his old flame Christina, who happens to be possessive and crazy) he stops what's going on and never kisses her back or anything... but the first time - when Beatrice didn't even DO anything! - he goes to a brothel with fellow Libertine Scholar Hadley and does a little bit more than just "watch" (and Hadley is justifiably disgusted with him the whole time). At one point, he pretty much treats Beatrice like a prostitute and humiliates her - and though he realizes his behavior is vile, he NEVER APOLOGIZES for this incident. In fact, he hopes the next time he sees her that they can just pretend it never happened! When Sebastian was introduced in the first book, "A Kiss of Lies," the way he reflected on his parent's debacle of a marriage, with how he described his relationship with his mother and initially seemed to put *all* of the blame on her for the marriage going poorly, raised my "misogynist" red flags. Despite being nice to Serena - perhaps mainly because she was "Christian's girl" - he seemed to have a very low opinion of women in general. Even the ones he slept with (which were a lot). Beatrice should have told Sebastian about her secret ward much sooner, yes - but I understand her hesitation, considering how dangerous a villain Dunmire is. Yet there is a huge difference between Serena's reveal in the first book, and Beatrice's reveal in this one. In Serena's case, while Christian had justifiably felt betrayed and been enormously upset that she had concealed her real identity... he still let Serena defend herself! He still heard her out (after which he understood exactly why she had gone into hiding)! But while Beatrice is frantically trying to explain to Sebastian what the boy's real parentage is, and why she kept him a secret, he won't even listen to her. And when she is about to present the proof of the boy's parentage, Sebastian accuses her of something so incredibly heinous (and untrue)... I swear, Beatrice was a *saint* for forgiving him! So... pros? The story provides a lot of information regarding the series' main plot, and it *is* sexy. If you don't mind having your heart ripped out after every other romantic encounter, then by all means, read this book.
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*Highly recommend... what a wonderfully creative author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great, sexy, regency romance. Loved the flawed characters...now just have to wait for #3 to come out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable series but stay away from the wicked wagers series not the same caliber of writing at all
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