Cover Image: A Noble Betrayal

A Noble Betrayal

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A fun story back in the time of William Wallace - A marriage is made with the purpose of spying on a clan who may be getting too powerful & who may be associated with William Wallace.  Neither the bride nor groom are happy about the marriage but they are forced into wedlock by their king. When a marriage starts out blanketed in deceit is there ever a chance at happiness?
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High three stars, mostly due to a book too short to feel complete.

A Noble Betrayal is the first in a new series by this author, but it is the first novel of the author's that I've read. It is apparently a spin-off series from a previous one that follows the hero's parents' generation. That hero, Haydn Waryn, has been commanded to wed Lady Philippa, daughter of one of King Edward's most loyal earls. Haydn knows the earl has likely told his daughter to spy for the king; the Waryns are suspected to be on the side of the Scots. Therefore, he enters the marriage fully intending to leave her at one of his remote estates.

Lady Philippa has no particular love for her father, who has mistreated her sister and her their whole lives. She was raised to be obedient, however, and her father holds her sister's safety over Philippa's head as a guarantee that Philippa will do his bidding. She's also been raised to have low expectations of marriage, so though she's wary of her groom, she's game.

As they travel north after the wedding, Haydn's resolve weakens as he realizes he is attracted is to his wife, who is clearly more guileless than he believed. He sees that there's more to Philippa than meets the eye, but he still can't bring himself to trust her fully. Meanwhile, Philippa is entranced by her husband and hopes he can help her keep her sister safe.

As they draw closer to the literal and figurative fork in the road, Haydn can't seem to make up his mind: Will he decide she's in cahoots with her father and thus abandon her, or will he let himself love and trust her?

Not much happens in this fairly short novel. A few times, a chapter ends with a mini cliffhanger, but the next chapter begins with a fizzle; a tough question goes unanswered or a bit of drama is described as a memory rather than as live action. And Haydn and Philippa fall in love much too quickly and easily. I needed to see more connection or interaction to buy it, especially given the way the two came together.

That said, I liked both Haydn and Philippa very much, and Haydn's brother Holt was a fun secondary character likely to get his own--probably too short--novel in the near future. And yeah, I'd read it!

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!
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When Silence Threatens Love

"Just when she'd found her voice, Philippa didn't want to use it."

This was a very enjoyable read, with just the right amount of heat balanced with a carefully constructed, authentic depiction of a new relationship between a man and a woman who have promised "to have and to hold" but have very good reasons not to do so and must learn to love and to trust. Mecca breathed fresh life into the always-familiar wedding night, overall crafting love-scenes that were steamy, tender, and at times sweetly comical.

Despite never reading any of the previous series or anything by Mecca before, after the first two chapters, I was fully absorbed. Philippa is such a sympathetic character and I really enjoyed how Mecca did not modernize her but rather depicted her as most medieval women would have been taught to be--silent, chaste, obedient, even to a fault and at times to her own detriment. But thank heavens Haydn is not your typical medieval man and believes a woman should have the freedom to speak his mind. The way he encouraged his new wife to speak, even though he did not wish to marry her in the first place and believes her to be a spy in his midst, is extremely endearing. I enjoyed the way Mecca emphasized the way the Waryn men believed in treating all women with respect and kindness, from lowborn to high. The interplay between Haydn and his younger brother, Holt, was entertaining and I found myself wishing he played more of a part. Looking forward to his future book!

My only complaint might be that the book is too short. But it serves its purpose--giving an intense and heart-wrenching glimpse into the lives of this pair of newlyweds who are caught in the crosshairs of a suspicious king and an abusive father, between the borders of England and Scotland.
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Haydn, Lord Waryn is forced to marry Lady Phillipa, the daughter of King Edward’s closest advisor. He believes that Phillipa is a spy, forced upon him due to the King’s distrust of his family’s sympathies towards William Wallace. Phillipa is given the task of reporting back any questionable activity by her new husband’s family to the King. Yet Phillipa complicates matters by falling in love with Haydn, making her choose between her newfound loyalty to her husband, or defying the King.
Having not read the previous series, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I found myself thoroughly immersed in this series with great dialogue between the main characters. These were two great characters who struggle with their situation but their relationship whilst tense to start with, developed into one that was passionate and believable. I am now hooked and look forward to reading more about the different characters of previous books.
I received an advanced review copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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A Noble Betrayal by Cecelia Mecca is the first book in the Brotherhood of the Border, Brotherhood of the Border. This series is a spinoff of another series by the author and will continue telling the stories of the Kerr and Waryn families who live on the border of England and Scotland. 

This story focuses on Haydn, son of Sara and Geoffrey from The Thief’s Countess. Haydn is forced to marry Lady Phillipa, who is the daughter of one of King Edward’s closest advisors. Neither trust the other. Haydn is worried that Phillipa was planted as a spy. Haydn struggles with being loyal to his family and trying to find love and build a life with his new spouse. Lady Phillipa always knew that she would marry for political gain and not love. Her father did want her to spy on her new husband’s family. However, Phillipa was abused and mistreated by her father. Her mother passed away when her younger sister was born. With Haydn, Phillipa really blossoms and actually finds happiness. She also is struggling with the same thing as Haydn. She is surprised by how much she likes her new husband, but knows what she was always supposed to do. 

I really enjoyed this story. Haydn and Phillipa have great chemistry. It was a quick and entertaining read. The plot moves quickly and a lot happens during the course of the book. While the couple do get a HEA, the book does end on a cliffhanger. 

I think the author did a nice job setting up the series. I already can’t wait to read about what happens in future books. I really liked Haydn’s brothers and their family dynamic. I can’t wait to read about them in future books.  

I was invited to read an ARC of A Noble Betrayal. #ANobleBetrayal #NetGalley
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