Alonsa Garcia de Aranjuez is a wealthy Spanish artisan’s daughter who has found herself in love with a Gitano, a gypsy. Perhaps she is more in love with the idea of a secret love because when the gypsy presses his attentions, Alonsa knows a union between them is impossible. As a result, the gypsy curses Alonsa - any man who falls in love with her will die.
Ten years pass and the curse has proven true. As Alonsa’s latest betrothed lies dying in battle he extracts a promise from his loyal friend, Günter Behaim. A promise to marry Alonsa and take care of her. Although Günter wants to stay as far away from marriage as possible, he honors his fellow soldier by agreeing to the request. Nevertheless, Alonsa is convinced she will kill Günter or any man who dares to love her. Her solution is to enter a convent. When Günter insists on escorting her Alonsa reluctantly agrees. It will not be easy keeping her head straight and denying her heart while in such close proximity to the man. Contrary to the violence of being a soldier Günter is kind, noble, and sexy. Which is more dangerous? The rugged terrain hiding bandits, the Emperor’s war with France, or the persuasive Günter?
The Promise by author T.J. Bennett is a follow-up to her novel The Legacy though it is written as a stand alone story. The historical detail is both interesting and complementary to plot advancement. A secondary romance is worked into The Promise and in my opinion shows the talent of the author. Adding a subplot can be tricky. But in The Promise neither detail nor subplot takes away from Alonsa and Günter. Their journey is the main focus of the book. Everything blends together into one satisfying read.