Here's a description of the book from Revell:
"Can a marriage of convenience ever become one of true love?
Ingrid Larsen arrives in Michigan in 1871 with little more than the
clothes on her back and a determination to find her brother, who has
disappeared into the dangerous lumber camps. Destitute and barely
hanging on to hope, the young Swedish immigrant crosses paths with
Joshua Hunter, a newly widowed farmer with eyes the color of the ocean
she had crossed and five rambunctious children to raise on his own.
Marriage would solve both of their problems, and Ingrid finds herself
proposing in broken English to a man she barely knows. Many
difficulties lie ahead--but the hardest battle of all will be winning
the heart of her new husband."
A Promise to Love drives home the point that Miller's books are not only unique compared to other novels in their genres, but also quite different from one another. There are several appearances of characters from The Measure of Katie Calloway in this story - which is a neat treat for fans - along with a "similar" climax in both plots, but the general feel of this story and the characters' issues make the reading experience quite different, indeed.
Ingrid is a woman who may seem easy to cast aside or underestimate with her broken English and her uncertainty regarding "American" ways. But boy, does she quickly throw out any false notions of that kind! She's a strong character who works hard, stands strong against injustice, exercises flexibility in her thinking and actions, and loves fiercely. Pair her with a gentle man who is falsely accused, still in love with the ideal he perceived in his first wife, and desperate for someone who can set his house to order and feed his family - and you've got a situation full of possibilities for misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and...maybe...eventually...growth in character and in heart.
The flow of the story goes along the lines of Love Comes Softly, with a lot of emotional obstacles for all people involved (including the couple, the children, and the former in-laws) to deal with and plenty of farm-life difficulties to challenge the characters. However, the unique characters - especially the heroine - and the added suspense regarding the death of Joshua's first wife (and the powerful climax) help Miller's story stand on its own.
My personal preference as far as setting and plot goes is The Measure of Katie Calloway - I loved the central focus on the logging industry. But A Promise to Love also proved to be a great read, showing that Miller's books continue to shine with wonderful writing and creative characters.
*With thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
“Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
You can also read my reviews of Miller's previous releases: Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio, The Measure of Katie Calloway, and An Uncommon Grace.