The Lie and the Lady
By Kate Noble
Release Date: December 29, 2015
The Turner Grain Mill is almost ready to begin operating again, the goal for which John has long worked and the reason he spent three years as secretary to his friend the Earl of Ashby. John has no wish to be distracted by Letty. The last time he saw her, on a Dover dock, she insisted that she never wanted to see him again. Since then, he has thrown himself into getting the mill rebuilt, working so hard that he has had no time to think of Letty. But she is more difficult to ignore when he sees her in the churchyard, across the sitting room in Sir Barty’s home, and in her room where he tracks her down for a much needed talk. Letty fears John will tell Sir Barty about her past. John fears Letty will turn Sir Barty against him. Between their suspicions of one another and their feelings that refuse to fade, life is interesting, made more interesting by a lively cast of secondary characters.
Noble does an amazing job of turning a heroine who at first seems quite shallow into a pragmatic character with a broad streak of kindness and her own sense of honor. The taciturn Turner from the first book is an interesting and unusual hero, a miller in a subgenre rife with assorted aristocrats in that role. I thought it delightful that Letty, the miller’s daughter, finds happiness as Mrs. Turner, the miller’s wife, her title becoming merely a memory. The villain of the piece might comfortably fit into a classic melodrama, but the appealing humor and intelligence that characterize Noble’s voice makes him work in this story. I also found Rhys Gray an immensely engaging character. I hope Noble writes his story next.
The Lie and the Lady lacks the rave-worthiness that made The Game and the Governess (read Janga's review) one of my top ten romance novels of 2014, but on its own merits, it is an entertaining book with some surprises and characters I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a must-read for anyone who liked the earlier book, but Noble provides sufficient detail about “the lie” and Letty and John’s relationship in the first book to read this one as a standalone. I recommend historical romance readers give it a try.
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Kate Noble is the national bestselling author of The Game and the Governess and the critically acclaimed, RITA Award-nominated Blue Raven series. Under the name Kate Rorick, she writes for television, as well as novels based on the Emmy Award-winning web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, for which she is also a writer and producer. She lives in Los Angeles.