Lady Penelope Staines is the subject of Eloise’s research this time. Penelope and her husband Frederick, unwillingly married due to a compromising situation, head to India where the political situation is very unsteady. On their way to Frederick’s posting, the couple meet Captain Alex Reid, a British man born and raised in India, convinced that these inexperienced aristocrats are going to be ineffectual. In Penelope, however, Alex finds a courageous woman who has been damaged by years of criticism, far from his expectations.
I really enjoy this series and The Betrayal of the Blood Lily was no exception. The series’s change of location, even if temporary, is totally refreshing and brings in a new political atmosphere. I’ve read a few books set in India lately and this was a different time period, so I appreciated more history. I also felt like, even though this one restores the sex scene to the romance, this is more historical fiction than romance. The romance is certainly present, and very sweet, but there is also quite a bit of intrigue in the Indian court as well as Penelope’s painful relationship with her reluctant husband. It takes a little bit to get used to the different setting, but it’s worth it.
As usual, the modern day storyline with Eloise and Colin is somewhat less interesting. Not much happens, except that they’re still together. It’s hard not to feel for Eloise because she’s a charming character, and I too can imagine very little better than having the ability to delve through historical letters and documents for a day. She finds out some disturbing facts about Colin’s family but not much changes in her own personal or academic life.
I’m left wondering when this series is going to end, but as long as Willig keeps producing stories that are alternately fun and emotional, I’m going to keep reading them.
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