Amelia Fitzailwyn is a precocious and incorrigible imp. We meet Amelia when she's 7 years old in Promises of the Heart by Scarlett Rains. This 18th century tale meanders through time and stories at the usual pace of these stories -- slowly, artfully and colorfully! Amelia loves nature's creatures and enjoys bringing them inside to the complete annoyance of most of the females surrounding her. (Yet, it makes for such funny moments when her little 'friends' are found...)
The tale unfolds bit by bit introducing rich characters that are vivid and noble. But in true form, Rains' characters are also completely over the top! They feel life's little slights so keenly that it makes them richly flamboyant. We first see this in Amelia's parents who after years of marriage love each other desperately. Tragedy strikes and Amelia is left bereft of them and the story begins in earnest.
Shortly before the tragedy, Amelia's parents acquire a governess, Rachel; a Baroness in her own right. We then begin our journey of finding out Rachel's story and how it intertwines with Amelia's. You see, everything revolves around Amelia! Amelia's appointed ward has required that Amelia leave her home and travel across the country to his estate to live henceforth. With abandonment and trust issues now firmly in place, Amelia is terrified and Rachel is barely able to comfort her.
However, the long trip ends successfully and Amelia learns she is to live with a trusted friend of the family along with his young sons who become Amelia's best friends.
There is so much more mystery and intrigue that happens in between these large events pointed out here but to tell them would ruin the surprise and enjoyment of this story. Promises of the Heart is the perfect story if you want to read about love, the elite and their machinations to enjoy life and get ahead in this much less technological time period.
Promises of the Heart is a lovely first book in the Heart series. Fans of historical fiction &/or historical romance would do well to read it.