(Review) A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter

Publication Date: April 14, 2015.
Publisher: Gallica Press.
Genre: Historical fiction, British history, British monarchy, 17th century, Charles II, James II, William and Mary, Anne, House of Stuart.
Pages: 414.
Source: Advanced Reader Copy provided for free from Gallica Press in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

ISBN: 978-0-9907420-4-3

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Diana de Vere 
A sweeping tale of ambition, treachery, and passion…
For generations Lady Diana de Vere’s family loyally served England’s crown. But after King Charles II’s untimely death, her father firmly opposes James II’s tyranny. Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans—the late king’s bastard son by actress Nell Gwyn—also rebels against his newly crowned uncle’s manipulation. Secretly pledging to wed Diana, he departs for the Continent to become a soldier.
Political and religious turmoil bring about revolution and yet another coronation before Charles returns to claim his promised bride. As companion to Queen Mary II, Diana has followed her de Vere forbears into royal service. She expects Charles to abandon his military career after marriage, but he proves unwilling to join the ranks of the courtiers he despises and mistrusts.
In palace corridors and within their own household the young duke and duchess confront betrayals, scandals, and tragedies that threaten to divide them. And neither the privileges of birth nor proximity to the throne can ensure their security, their advancement—or their happiness. (Summary provided by the publisher.)
Charles de Beauclerk, 1st Duke of Albans
My Thoughts:
A Pledge of Better Times swept me away, I loved it!
Diana is a character who I consider a heroine. Despite the tumultuous lifestyle her parents chose, Diana was a person of character. She was a person of wisdom, patience, self-control, kindness, gentleness, judicious, moral, consistent, observant, tactful, restrained, and loyal. She was a beautiful person both inwardly and outwardly. When she made a decision is was not made with emotion alone, but with forethought. She is a person who was a great friend, daughter, subject to the king and queen, wife, and lover. Because of Diana I felt drawn-in to her magnificent story. An investment in reading about her life came natural. 
I enjoyed reading about a time period that is not well-known to me: 1700s England and the Stuart reign. Charles II is king when the story begins, followed by James II, William and Mary, and Anne. I felt more drawn to Mary. The relationship between Diana and Mary were closer and this is examined in the story. 
The love story is superb. I cannot begin to tell you how many love stories I've read that are boring and read more like a scientific experiment (place A in B and C will happen.) A Pledge of Better Times is smooth as sensual silk. 
The dynamics of mistresses and the children born out of wedlock to kings are depicted realistically. These children were given material gifts and even titles, but were talked about behind their back as well as to their face. The humiliation they lived through made me very sad.  

About the Author
Margaret Porter is an award-winning, bestselling novelist whose lifelong study of British history inspires her fiction and her travels. A former stage actress, she has also worked in film, television, and radio.
For more information please visit Margaret Porter’s website. You can also find her on Facebook here and here, and on Twitter.

A Pledge of Better Times Blog Tour Schedule

Tour information can be found @ Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.
Monday, May 4
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review and Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Spotlight and Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, May 6
Guest Post and Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, May 7
Review at Book Drunkard
Friday, May 8
Review at Books and Benches
Sunday, May 10
Review and Guest Post at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Monday, May 11
Review at Reading the Past
Tuesday, May 12
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, May 13
Guest Post at Book Babe
Thursday, May 14
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Friday, May 15
Review and Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Review and Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Praise for A Pledge of Better Times

“Meticulously researched and offering an impressive cast of real life characters brought to vibrant life, A Pledge of Better Times expertly captures the drama, passions, politics and religious turmoil of England at the turn of the 18th century. Margaret Porter crafts her story with exquisite detail, transporting the reader into a world full of intrigue, scandal, and breathtaking danger . . . a masterful writer.” – Award-winning author M. Reed McCall
“With elegant prose and vivid detail, A Pledge of Better Times sweeps you into late Stuart England, transforming the lesser known adversities and triumphs of Lady Diana de Vere and Charles Beauclerk into a beautiful love story you won’t forget.” – Marci Jefferson, author of Enchantress of Paris and Girl on the Golden Coin
“A portrait of Diana de Vere as rich as the portraits that grace British museums and palaces.” – Christy K Robinson, author of Mary Dyer Illuminated
“The sparkling, dangerous, enticing post-Restoration period comes to vivid life! Porter gives us a wonderful, complicated heroine in Diana, drawing us deep into her world . . . . I couldn’t stop reading!” – Amanda Carmack, author of Murder in the Queen’s Garden: An Elizabethan Mystery