Friday, February 24, 2012

Promise Me This



Annie Allen never imagined the day she watched her brother, Owen, sail on Titanic would be the last time she'd see him. Nor could she guess how the tragedy would forever knit her life to Michael Dunnagan, who survived through Owen's sacrifice.

As Annie struggles to navigate a challenging life in England, Michael labors in New Jersey to create the gardening business Owen once dreamed of and to heal Annie's grief through letters. In time, as Annie begins to lay aside her anger that Michael lived when her brother did not, a tentative friendship takes root and blossoms into something neither expected.

Bound by a promise yet battling circumstances beyond their control, Michael and Annie dream of the day she can join him in America. Just when Michael saves enough money for her passage, WWI erupts in Europe. Then Annie's letters mysteriously stop, forcing Michael to risk everything to find the woman he's grown to love before she's lost forever.

My Review:

Is gut-wrenching splendour an oxymoron? Because that's how I'd begin to describe Promise Me This. I wouldn't end there though. I might throw in descriptors like 'agonizingly wonderful' or 'despairingly stunning' or ... LOL - clearly this book has sent me into a tailspin but I'll try to regroup.

It is definitely worthy of the title 'epic saga' as the story takes place over several years, crosses continents and is fraught with angst. Michael and Annie are just teens when we meet them first but some cleverly crafted plotting takes us all on a journey we soon won't forget. Gohlke tackles an intriguing period of history that includes the sinking of the Titanic and World War I and has done such a good job of it that I'm still feeling emotionally bruised.

You will find characters to instantly bond with and a plot rife with harrowing and unpredictable twists and turns that will keep you on your toes to the very last sentence. Seriously, I despaired so deeply at one point that I had to take a peek at the last page and I hardly every do that!

And oh, Gohlke's characters -- from the hero and heroine right through to the secondary characters -- all so real, so vibrant and oh so compelling. Artfully crafted, each plays a pivotal role in the story and you'll meet one of the vilest villains in literary history! There's so much more I want to say but won't for fear of unintentionally leaking spoilers. This is definitely a novel worthy of a book club discussion -- one that would go on long into the night because there is so much substance to the story.

Promise Me This is the kind of book that will profoundly effect its readers. On a scale of one to 10, I'd rate it 100.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to have a chance at winning a copy of this book, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please remember to put the title in the subject line so it is easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 26 2012. Offer open internationally. Good luck!


  1. Oh, KAV, you are dead on!!! I absolutely LOVED Cathy's book, and in fact, unequivocally say so in her guest Seeker blog today as you will see, no doubt.



  2. Enjoyed your review. I'm sure I would really like this book too!

  3. I don't read many historicals, but I may have to try this one. I read Gohlke's Civil War Series and loved them, so this is getting added to my list.

    Awesome review as usual!

  4. Thanks for another great review. Please enter me in to win this historical. Thanks.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  5. I would love to have a copy of this book, it sounds like a great read.


  6. Sounds wonderful!! I would love to win this.

  7. Nevermind, I just checked my library and they have it! I will read it that way. Allow someone else to win this :o)

  8. Please enter me! rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

  9. I've read just one of Cathy's books and just LOVED it. I'm looking forward to the day I can read them all. Please enter me in this drawing. Thanks.
    purensimplenatural at gmail dot com

  10. Promise Me This is set in such an interesting time period and sounds like unforgettable kind of story. I'd love to be entered for it, thanks, Kav!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  11. My goodness! How can I not read it after that review?!! Promise Me This is my newest must read! :)

  12. Thank you for sharing your passionate review with us! I'm looking forward to digging into this one this week :) Please don't enter me. Thanks :)

  13. Please enter me in this giveaway! I've seen this book a lot recently and really want to read it! :)



  14. I've heard so much about this book lately! Please enter me....would love to read it.

  15. Great review Kav. Sounds like a very interesting read and yet another new author for me to check out.

    Can you please enter my name in the draw...

    zabook at tpg dot com dot au

    Many thanks.

  16. Cathy I love Historical Romance and Christian Fiction. You will be another author I will be adding to my list. You hit the nail on the head I am so glad to find you. Hope to win looks interesting from what I've read.

    Mary Duff

  17. Consider yourself entered everybody. Good luck!

  18. thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  19. Please enter me! Thanks for the chance to win this fabulous novel!

  20. Each of your review leaves me longing to read the novel, this instant! Enter me for this one too!

  21. I love the backdrop for this story and your interview cinches it. It's a story I'm going to happily keep an eye on.


  22. Please enter me! Sounds riveting.


    Oh, I received "When the Smoke Clears" on Friday. Have begun it...boy, is it hard to put down! Can't wait to continue! Thanks so much. :)

  23. Terrific review! I would love to read this book, though I am unfamiliar with Cathy Gohlke. Thanks for this opportunity!


  24. Kav--Thank you for this tremendous review! I am humbled and honored, and so glad the story and characters resonated with you. That is what makes great reading/writing relationships--when readers emotionally connect with the characters' journey. It's every bit a partnership! Many thanks, and God's blessings to you!