Dariana refuses to be forced into marriage, even if it has been ordered by the king, so she fakes her own death only to be discovered and tricked into marriage with William, a man she may not be able to forgive.
Furious at being used as a political pawn, the Lady Dariana defies King Henry VII by faking her own death to avoid marrying a man she has never met. Praying the king will not retaliate against her father, she seeks refuge in the forest and learns to fend for herself. When William, a warrior knight, is felled by an arrow, she saves his life and arranges his rescue before fleeing to avoid discovery.
William awakes from his injury to be told he imagined the beautiful woman in the forest. Besotted and determined to make her his own, he hunts her down and tricks her into marrying him, intent on turning her defiance into love. But even as he begins to succeed, their enemies join forces to end the marriage—even if it means that Dariana must die.
When Dariana is abducted, William must track her down to fight for her life and their happiness. And, Dariana, once the most defiant of brides, must channel her own strength of will into survival, both for herself—and for the child she now carries.
Review: Lady Dariana will do anything to escape an arranged marriage, even if it means she has to fake her death. She never counted on her own tender heart to betray her. Leslie Hatchel takes readers to 16th century England in The Defiant Bride. This is a rich historical novel, complete with an appearance by King Henry VIII.
When Williams, Earl of Dansworth sets eyes on Dariana, he would not be denied. There is a point early in the story where he tells Dariana, “I cannot live another day, another moment, without you.” While having a handsome man direct such a comment at me would definitely be flattering, I can’t vouch for the believability of such a conversation.
What ensues is a story of treachery as Dariana and William face a future shrouded in doubt. Will Dariana be punished for not following the king’s decree or will William be able to intervene?
I found the story easy to read because it didn’t include the stilted language that I associate with that time period. There’s a bit of heat incorporated, but it complements the storyline. I found this to be a quick and easy read.