DNF: The Lie and the Lady by Kate NobleThe Lie and the Lady by Kate Noble
Series: Winner Takes All #2
Published by Pocket Star on December 29, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
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John Turner was thinking only of winning a bet when he swapped identities with his friend, the Earl of Ashby. He didn’t wager on winning the fiery Countess of Churzy’s heart with his lies, or on falling for her in return.

Leticia, impoverished Countess of Churzy, was publicly humiliated when it came out that she had fallen for the man, not the master. She fled when she learned of his betrayal. But fate throws them together again, and some things are too intoxicating to be denied.

John is determined to regain her trust—and her love—this time as himself. Letty knows what choice she must make to survive, but if she turns her back on her dashing rogue – again – will she loose her chance at love forever?

This book has what I thought would be a fantastic premise. Letty needs to marry. Her late husband left her impoverished and when she meets the Earl of Ashby, it’s love at first sight. But he’s not really the earl. He’s traded places with his buddy for a bet and has to pretend to be the earl. But when he and Letty fall in love, he realizes he has to tell her, even if it means losing the bet. The book opens with him telling her. She thinks he’s proposing, and he’s telling her he’s a secretary, not an earl.

Betrayal plots are my catnip. I love them so much! But this is not a story about that first paragraph. We literally only see the part where she’s expecting marriage, and he tells her he’s not who he says he is. I thought this would be a book about their meeting, their falling for each other, his telling her he’s lying. She’d be mad, he’d go after her, they’d live happily ever after. But…that’s not what this is.

Letty can no longer show her face amongst civilized company, because they all have given her the cut direct for being taken in by a mere secretary. The countess who was tricked and left hanging. Her own sister won’t allow her back in until it all blows over.

She’s in Paris as a last ditch effort to secure a husband to allow her to go back to being respectable. And she meets an older gentleman who she likes. More importantly he likes her. He proposes. She accepts. She goes to his estate to meet everyone, and he surprises her with a nineteen year old daughter Margaret, who is still mourning her mother. And who happens to have a crush on the local owner of the grain factory…

John Turner never thought Letty would leave him. He thought she’d understand that he had to fool her for the bet’s sake. But when she actually left, his heart broke. And to have her show up at church in his town, why he thought she’d come back to him! Until he heard the banns read.

Meanwhile, Letty realizes that Margaret is in love with John. How on earth can she deal with the fact that her step-daughter-to-be is crushing on her ex-lover?

This is where I stopped. about page 100, and I just don’t want this. I didn’t get to see John and Letty fall in love, so I don’t care about them. I find Letty to be obnoxious. I don’t mind that she’s only marrying Sir Barty to secure her life, I get that, he knew it wasn’t a love match. I feel like she’s not necessarily a gold-digger since she’s not trying to fool Sir Barty, and she seems to genuinely want to make it work between them. Plus, she’s a countess, so it’s what she’s raised to do.

But I just didn’t like the plot, not once I realized how different it was. I didn’t like how the author skipped around quite a bit. It was hard to follow sometimes, and awkward. For example, We’re told dinner doesn’t go well. But the next sentence goes backwards and picks up before dinner. Then back to dinner, then back to earlier. It was unnecessary. It wasn’t flashbacks. Although I’d love some flashbacks to where she and John were falling in love.

By 100 pages in we don’t know John well enough to care about his side of the story, and I definitely didn’t like Letty at all. By this point, I actually wanted her to end up with Sir Barty, win over the village, win over Margaret, and see Margaret get a debut in London.

Looking at the description of The Game and the Governess, book 1 in this series, it looks like the bet begins there. I really hate to think I need to read a different hero and heroine’s book in order to see this hero and heroine fall in love.

So, with confusing writing, unlikeable characters,and a tangled plot, I think I’m done at page 100.

Sorry about the DNF, guys, but I just don’t want to read it anymore.

***ARC courtesy of Pocket Star