This is a fun m/m field trip to regency times. The story is about a closeted lord who assists a young man who is fleeing an abusive (male) lover and is with few means after his family had exiled him. Although Lord James knows that it’s totally not a good idea to invite young and handsome Kyle to stay at his estate, he just can’t help himself from offering to help, and is fully planning on acting honorable (and being unhappily blue-balled) until Kyle secures a station with some estranged family. Meanwhile young Kyle, still reeling from the crappy relationship with the abusive jerkwad, is stressing out now that the super kind and attractive lord keeps running away from him, and it must be because he is so displeasing to be around. Oh, the bundled-up regency feels! (Thank goodness they eventually get drunk enough to stumble past their propriety.)
I like historicals, especially in the genre section, since you usually get all the fun romance and adventure and lovey stuff without all the sad realistic things, like syphilis, starvation, lynchings, or having all your loved ones drown while fording the river, ala Oregon Trail. A Promise of Tomorrow has some of heaviness of keeping same-sex relations secret, but overall, it’s a fun romantic read with two sympathetic leads.
As a heads-up, there is some non-con, but it’s treated like a past event and is not explicit.
That actually leads to one thing that I liked. Lord James knows that Kyle was assaulted, and thus acts even more honorable to him. Even though he’s fiercely attracted to him, he doesn’t wish Kyle to feel like he’s being taken advantage of during a time of vulnerability, and to know that he wasn’t moving “from one scoundrel to another.” How refreshing!! And even when they shift their relationship to a more intimate level, James keeps that point in mind, and his solution to create a safe scene for Kyle was both sweet and sexy.
Kyle is very much a cinderfella in distress, and he struggles with shifting out of his previous pattern of abuse, where he was regularly torn down by his former lover, as well as figuring out how to move forward without the support of his family. Although Kyle somewhat has the Perils of Pauline syndrome, I did appreciate how he struggled to regain his life back. (I also dug his bedroom dynamic with James and its mix of sweet submission and very handsy and enthusiastic consent.)
My main downsides were that I’m never a fan of forced emo separation time, which happens in the third quarter, and there’s some heavy use of “lover” once the sexy times get rolling, but overall, it’s a good historical read, and McAllister’s writing is pleasant and smooth.
I haven’t read a ton of regency historicals, so I find them still pretty novel. If you like historical romances, especially in the m/m variety, this may be a nice read for you. Nothing too different, but fun all the same.