Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep Series #1)

Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep Series #1)

by Shayne Parkinson

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


“I won’t have her forced,” Jack said. “Let her decide for herself.”

Amy knew her father meant it. She could say no if she wanted. But this marriage would make everything all right. They could put all the trouble she had caused behind them. Everyone would be happy again.

Everyone except her.

“Sentence of Marriage” is the first book in the three-volume “Promises to Keep”.

In nineteenth century New Zealand, there are few choices for a farm girl like Amy. Her life seems mapped out for her by the time she is twelve. Amy dreams of an exciting life in the world beyond her narrow boundaries. But it is the two people who come to the farm from outside the valley who change her life forever, and Amy learns the high cost of making the wrong choice.

"One of the best historical novels I’ve had the pleasure to read in years." - WorkingGirl Reviews.

"The story was captivating, the characters real, the dialogue crisp. I admit to having cried and laughed and even having wanted to murder a character and beat another one within an inch of his life — which is simply a testament to how well written these books are." - AmericanEditor.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940000690864
Publisher: Shayne Parkinson
Publication date: 03/08/2009
Series: Promises to Keep Series , #1
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 3,317
File size: 537 KB

About the Author

I write historical fiction set in New Zealand, starting in the 1880s. My fifth novel takes the series to 1918. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly that of my own country. I live in a state of barely-controlled chaos; fortunately I share my life with an invariably calm and endlessly optimistic husband. I divide my time between an apartment in the city, in reach of good espresso, and a few acres in the country, where the rank grass in the orchard is kept under control by a small mob of sheep (and where we have our own espresso machine). When I'm not writing, reading, or engaged in mundane activities, I play the piano rather badly.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Sentence of Marriage 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1224 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main character is stupid, for lack of a better word, and her innocence and lack of instinct when it comes to "Jimmy" is unrealistic, she's 15, not 8, just clearing that up. This is one of the most disturbing, sad books I've ever had the misfortune of reading. I only got about 600 pages in before I skipped to the ending to confirm my suspicions; It doesn't get any better, in fact, it gets worse. I'm not referring to the writing, that was good enough, but the story in general is just depressing and it serves no real purpose that I could find. This is a Warning, this book was just sad, it helps you fall in love with the characters and then it screws them over in the worst possible way, it's doesn't even have the benefit of being a horror story. There's no suspense, no action, just plan and clear depression, it kind of made me want to kill myself....and the characters....
Sara Dingel More than 1 year ago
After investing over a thousand pages of time and emotion in this book and character, and the second in the series I can sadly say it's a waste of time. After pulling you in emotionally to the main character she experiences nothing but unjust treatment. It is decently written, but shamelessly dismal, and frusrating. I even bought the second book thinking the main character Amy would be redeamed for her saint like behavoir. Unfortunately her problems multiply and not one is resolved in a positive light. I invested far too much time in this and encourage you to save yourself from this depressing crap. The second one is even worse because she thinks she deserves it. I honestly thought it would resolve nicely at the end, and that is when I figured out the author is a sadist. I dont know if just family and friends gave nice reviews but it doesn't deserve five stars, or even two.
MarcoMom More than 1 year ago
Downloaded this for my Nook after finishing my much LOVED Outlander Series. This book is a series of 4 and they are all fantastic! If you love historical fiction you will love this and fall in love with Amy. AND, how can you go wrong the first book is free for Nook and the remaining for are no more than $3. A great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I kinda agree with all the reviewers who thought this book was depressing..and that the author must be a sadist!! I don't know how anyone can write such horrible stuff and not be!! It almost felt like she enjoyed all the torment she was putting the character was just one thing after another...I realize that women didn't have the greatest life back then but this was just over the top made me feel like there was something wrong with me for continuing to read about a young girl being continually tortured and abused both physically and mentally...anyway, I can see why it is self-published!!
DianeDueck More than 1 year ago
I have never cried reading a book until this one. I found myself so worried for Amy, and so mad at her step-mother. I wanted to shake her dad for not seeing whats in front of him and for not teaching her better. I cried for a good ten minutes thinking about poor Amy at the end of this book. I don't think I have ever gotten so attached to characters in a book before. Can't wait to get into the next book in the series. I loved this style of writing, and will make a point to read all the books in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. The main criticism of the writing style is that the author does not consistently provide visual brakes (e.g. stars) between scenes within a chapter. I found myself totally involved with the characters to the point where I was thinking of them when I was not reading the book. The author makes a point of explaining the characters so that even if they are not likable, we understand why they are the way they are. This especially pertains to Charlie (we don't see his full character until the third book). The author can also be especially poignant. One death scene is very moving. When Jack dies, we know that he's going to die, but his reminiscing about his life will bring tears to all but the most hard hearted. Another point I like about the author's writing style is that she doesn't telegraph what's going to happen. Her story-line and plot are not transparent. What keeps the book from being five stars is that sometimes the scenes become too long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this series of books by Shayne Parkinson is one of the brightest gems of self-publishing I've ever come across. Authentic to its time period and place setting, with well-drawn characters and story line. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and am already well into the second one. At times I've found that when I'm not reading I'm fretting about the characters and wondering whether things will end well for them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read The Shack and was able to push thru. Even enjoyed it thoroughly. But when Amy wanted to do the right thing and ended up manipulated, I couldn't choose to enjoy the story for what value would come from the pain. I loved the characters but refuse to let my mind focus (for pleasure pastimes) on the trauma that this story explores. I got mad! Not my preference for a good read. I should have been more selective about what story I chose. I am glad I stopped reading it when I did, just wish I hadn't gotten so far into it without seeing what was ahead. This story is a fun light read until halfway through. Be sure you are up for the harsh realities and the kind of struggles Amy will have before chosing this as your next read. Wonderful writing style... I was totally whisked away until my blood boiled and I couldnt keep reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There's no girl as sweetly innocent, no father as blindly dumb, no stepmother as despicably insecure as those portrayed in this book. A depressing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read this book, you have to keep in mind the time period. Over 100 years ago society's standards and morals where way different than today's. Also, not all novels are writen to be "happy" novels. This is not a funny, happy, scary, or action packed book. It is a very long read. It takes place over 100 years ago. This book tells the story of a young teenage girl, but the next three books tell of her growing up to well in her 30s. If this sounds like a story for you, you wont be disapointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author must of had a sick seance of humor when they wrote this. I started reading it thinking it might, just might get better but NOPE!! This book only got worse as I kept reading. The sweet young main female character got royally screwed in every way possible and I honestly started crying for her because there is no reason someone (even fictional) should have to go through all that. I am giving it 1 star but I wish it could be -10.
Sharron Prokschl More than 1 year ago
Rambling narrative. Showcasing verbal and physical abuse of a young girl by a stepmother.
alice0309 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much I immediately purchased the next three in the series. I'm on the third one now and couldn't wait to finish each one. This was refreshingly written and different from books set in the old west as it occured in New Zealand. The trials of this young woman and her family that thought they were helping her can be visualized as this was the 19th century, values of the people then were so strict. I would recommend this whole series for anyone that enjoys a peek in the past of loves and loves lost.
Frank Strott More than 1 year ago
A long and sad story
lizzie-reads-a-lot More than 1 year ago
Yeah, awful ending. No happily ever after here people! The "bad guys" win, or at least are pacified, where as the main girl goes through this horrible ordeal just to end on a promise of more suffering. I guess those who like dramatics, comings-of-age, and those morbid-type endings will love this. The writer has talent and can make you read...I just kept hoping things would get better...they didn't!
itisme55 More than 1 year ago
Shayne Parkinson is a new author for me... I downloaded Sentence of Marriage as it was free on my Nook... after reading this book I then proceeded to download every book I could find of hers.... And plan to own this series in print as well.... I find that she is able to describe this world beautifully and eloquently without being wordy... or short... I have not enjoyed a series like this in a very long time... there is one thing I did not enjoy about this series... When I got to the end of book 4 there was not a 5th book to download and enjoy. haa I appreciate the honesty in which she wrote the book and the factual aspects of even the darkest parts of the series.. Thank you for taking into that world..a world of real people with issues not of fariy tales that are all roses and sunshine... When we as readers are drawn into loving each character as though they were an extension of our families.. it is hard to say goodbye to them... Mrs. Parkinson I will be watching and waiting for your next book.
Brydee More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to read. At times I couldn't put it down. I love the unique setting back in the 1800's and how the story told is about the simple life. I adore the character Amy. At times I felt so sorry for her and other times admired her for her courage. This is the first of three books and I cannot wait to read the next one.
sandy32 More than 1 year ago
The book is well written, but it is the most depressing book I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Horrible book. I tend to be wary of most reviews simply because some do not appear to be legitimate. After 194 pages, I quit reading. After her step-mother arrives, Amy is physically and emotionally abused. I do not see how her father could turn such a blind eye to what was happening. I understand that norms and morals were different 100+ years ago, but I believe this goes beyond what would have been acceptable. If she was treated so horribly before her father's death, I have no desire to discover what happened after his death. I think the author was looking to write a Cinderella-type story (think the movie Ever After), only without the happy ending. In that, she succeeded. If one really feels the need to write a story about someone being treated sadistically, at least let the character be redeemed in the end. It seems rather heartless to do otherwise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has to be the worst book I have ever wasted my time on. I kept reading with hope that it would turn around. I did something that I never do.....I went to the last chapter with hope that it would change.....IT DID NOT CHANGE!!! Are you kidding me why in the world would you write something so horrible about a 15 year old child!!!! Are you sick? I will never read another book by Shayne Parinson. And the only reason I gave it one star is becuase I had to rate it in order to write a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Horrible book. Extremly depressing. Not for true romance reader. Very Sadistic. And those of u who wrote this as being a good book. Please realize that other reader sometimes depend on a truthful review. The main character was abused as a young girl then was beaten and rape by her husband.. not what i want to read on my spare time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not read this book! It is very sexual and unclean!!!!Stopped reading a third through because I was disgusted with it. DO NOT READ!!!!!!!
-Heddie- More than 1 year ago
This series is way too depressing. Sentence of Marriage made me love Amy's family and the setting and how they lived. The overall writing isn't bad, although the books are way too long. She repeats a lot of things. The author made me like these characters just to destroy them pretty much. I read the second book because I just knew Amy's life was going to get better, not perfect, but better. She's a 15 year old girl who made a mistake after she was manipulated by her stepmother's brother. She was then manipulated by the stepmother into marrying a 40 year old man she has been terrified of since she was a little girl. She is constantly being abused, mentally and physically (her children also). I will not read the last two books because the first two completely depressed me. I could only read a little bit, then I would have to put it down for a day or two. If anyone who has read these books can give me some hope about Amy's future then I may read them. Based on this series I do not plan to read anything else by this author.
Dierdra More than 1 year ago
You will HAVE to get ALL the series. You will have to know what happens as the heroine makes her way thru her life. WHY has no one picked up this author and gotten her some recognition? And Advertisement? I'm a voracious reader, and picky, but these are unsung masterpieces that need the word spread about them. Obviously there is a larger market for soft-core vampire ick than a lovely, stirring SAGA. That makes me sad, but I am so very happy I found this author, and will keep her name in mind every time I have spare money for books! Ms. Parkinson, you made me CRY...real tears. Nothing makes me cry, but your books did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Over 1000 pages of my time and life wasted. Thought the story started out interesting and I did like the characters but it was the most horrible series of unfortunate events. Such a disappointing ending and really made the main character become an unlikeable character because of her constant victimization. If you are a sadist and like reading about a child constantly being abused then it's for you. I thought about getting the next book but will not thanks to a reader who wrote a review that said it didn't get any better in the series. Read something else.