Lord of Mistrust (Trysts and Treachery #4)


Chloe Emerson has no intention of quietly submitting to the disagreeable marriage her guardians have arranged for her. Instead, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out to meet and seek help from her birth mother, only to find that the woman owns a house of ill repute and cannot aid her. Without assistance and still not knowing who her father is, Chloe is uncertain of her next move. Sir Robert Mallory has a problematically quick temper, especially now that he’s been thrust into the role of spy in order to repay a debt. When Chloe’s path crosses his, he immediately distrusts her, ultimately endangering them both and giving Chloe more adventure than she wanted. Robert wants to marry Chloe and save her reputation from damage he caused, but her father holds his debts and intends to use her to draw out those who plot against the queen, dashing Robert’s hopes.

The premise of this story is a rather unique one with promise and room for relationship building and character development. Unfortunately, the breakdown in this development arises rapidly. Characters are let down by the use of a vast array of plot devices, many of which are never developed and left off abruptly. In several scenes the naïve heroine is taken advantage of by the hero, which may be off-putting for some as well. The timeline is jumpy, and this combined with the use of archaic, though likely accurate, language is disorienting and makes it difficult to become immersed in the story. This was clearly a well-researched story, but it would’ve been better served with more character development and a tighter plot.

Niki Price