A Noble Betrayal by Cecelia Mecca

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

Thank you to NetGalley for the early review copy!

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