A Lady Betrayed
A Lady Betrayed was certainly a unique read for me, but not in a good way. I can’t decide if some of the plot elements are truly ludicrous or simply improbable.
While walking home from the village, Madeline Applegate is struck by a debilitating headache brought on by a sudden change in the weather. Despite the rain and intense pain, she makes it to a dilapidated gazebo before collapsing. As she lays there wet and unconscious, she is discovered by Adrian Carter, Viscount Weller, a man running from his own demons. Concerned only for her welfare, Adrian removes her clothes in order to warm her. However, the next morning they are discovered by villagers searching for Madeline. Struck by the desire to save Madeline’s reputation, Adrian introduces himself as her betrothed, despite the fact that she is still unconscious and he doesn’t know anything about her.
Adrian, who is in hiding, is being pursued by a cousin who wants him to kill him in order to claim his title and inheritance and he knows that he is practically a dead man since his cousin is too clever to be caught. Since his future is obviously so short (if his cousin doesn’t get him, he certainly has another secret that will), he can do some good by marrying Madeline and saving her from a life of disgrace since he won’t be around long enough for the marriage to go bad. After convincing Madeline and her father that it is not a bad idea, he sets out to get to know her in the four weeks it takes for the banns to be properly announced before the wedding.
Madeline, the last of Mr. Applegate’s five daughters remaining home, refuses to leave her disabled father. She also realizes the Viscount’s plan is sound and more than she could ever hope for otherwise. Problems arise, however, when she begins to fall in love with Adrian and the two can’t keep their hands to themselves. Yet, it soon becomes clear that his assassin has discovered his whereabouts and he must flee again as soon as the wedding takes place in order to protect Madeline.
Now, I can almost deal with the melodramatic doom that permeates the relationship not to mention the stilted dialogue, but I can’t get over the fact that Madeline can brew tea and eat as a madman is taking pot shots at the house, all while her betrothed is outside hunting the assassin down. And to make matters worse, I haven’t quite yet figured out how the lady was betrayed.
I can’t give A Lady Betrayed an F because there were a few parts I found somewhat redeemable. However, I can tell you that I won’t be reading anymore of the books from this series.