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A Fallen Lady

(Ladies of Scandal #1)

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  781 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Six years ago, to the outrage of her family and the delight of London gossips, Lady Helen Dehaven refused to marry the man to whom she was betrothed. Even more shockingly, her refusal came on the heels of her scandalous behavior: she and her betrothed were caught in a most compromising position. Leaving her reputation in tatters and her motivations a mystery, Helen withdre ...more
Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 364 pages
Published December 30th 2015
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Elena C.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read for the URR New Year 2018 Reading Challenge: Enemies to Lovers.

They only held hands as the cart pulled away, letting the distance pull their arms straight before the grasp was broken. Helen kept her arms outstretched, the emptiness of her hands saying all the things that she could not voice.

Too soppy, you say? But what if I tell you that this scene doesn't take place between the heartbroken heroine and the hero, but in the moment of the separation between the heroine and her closest fem
...more
Skye Kilaen
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 0-genre-romance
Content warning: sexual assault -- One of the most feminist romance novels I've yet read. Lady Helen Dehaven is Completely Fed Up With Patriarchy. Specifically, men who refuse to believe that she made the right decision to break an engagement after a horrific trauma. Stephen Hampton, Lord Summerdale, is tasked by Helen's brother to find out what happened, which to Helen is yet another insult (and she's not wrong.) She's built a life with her friends and found a goal worth living for, and she doe ...more
Caz
I've given this a B+ at AAR, so 4.5 stars.

This second book from new author Elizabeth Kingston is miles away – both chronologically and geographically – from her first one -The King's Man - which was set in medieval Wales. A Fallen Lady is a Regency set in a quiet English village, and I am pleased to say that Ms Kingston is as much at home with the social conventions of the early nineteenth century as she was with the brutal, turbulent times of the thirteenth century.

Six years earlier, Lady Helen
...more
Ingie
Review written July 4, 2017

3.8 Stars - A good one ... but not as great as Kingston's newer medieval

A Fallen Lady is a earlier written HR from Elizabeth Kingston. A author who already impressed me when with her great two medieval (year 12xx) Welsh Blades historicals*). An author who gives you characters with strong feelings and a pretty cool temperate mood. We are not dealing with just normal.

Once again a very well narrated audiobook by the great and formidable Nicholas Boulton. Summary: 10 h
...more
Caz
I've given this an A+ for narration (duh!) and an A- for content at AudioGals.

In A Fallen Lady, Elizabeth Kingston and Nicholas Boulton leave the political intrigue and the rolling hills and valleys of medieval Wales behind them and head East (and a few centuries into the future) to end up in Regency era Herefordshire for this story of a young woman who refused to endure the censure of society and her family and left both of them behind her in order to carve out a new life for herself.

Six years
...more
Lyuda
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Helen, named for the face that launched a thousand ships, only to be left shipwrecked…

The story starts slow, very-very slow, but picks up steam half-way through with escalated tension and unveiling of secrets upon secrets.

Six years ago 17-year-old Lady Helen Dehaven became a fallen woman. It would have been a trifling thing, that she had given her virtue to her betrothed before they were wed, but her true sin was that she had then refused to marry Henley (her fiancé).With her reputa
...more
Blackjack
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I had such high hopes for this book given my enjoyment of Kingston's previous books, especially the amazing The King's Man. In two of Kingston's books, she truly excelled at emotional stories that grabbed me from start to finish. What happened here?

A Fallen Lady is an angsty and at times dark read with some heavy themes of sexual violence and the old-fashioned theme of shunning a ruined woman. For the first quarter of the book, I was convinced I was reading another stellar effort from Kingston,
...more
boogenhagen
Slow burn romance with two people who really deserved an HEA. Helen is fabulous and I adored her strengths. Her BFF Marie-Anne is equally great and this was one of the best, non-wallpaper historicals I have read in AGES.
Wollstonecrafthomegirl
Feb 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I returned to this book so many times in 2018. It has much promise. A lot of good writing. But by God, I was bored. Something indefinable was missing for me. I simply ceased to care about any of the characters and thus the romance. Reached about 60% and decided life is too short and gave up for good.

Thought Kingston’s medieval effort was excellent though. Not sure why this fell so flat for me.
Melissa
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I just read on Elizabeth Kingston's website that this was actually her first book, written in 2002 and put away for years before she brought it back out for polishing and publication. All I can say, in that case, is that she's been an excellent writer for a long time, even if we readers are only just discovering her with this book and the first one she published, The King's Man.

The heroine of A Fallen Lady, Lady Helen Dehaven, broke off her engagement six years before the story begins, under cir
...more
Becca
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I was absolutely loving this dark, tortured, beautifully told story up until the very last argument. After so much angst for some reason the last time just made me doubt the HEA even though I know the author did it to make sure all the poison from the past was out in the open.

Regardless this story was well written and gripping. The writing style was different but I was into it. The best part is how the author herself described the book on had website. If you haven't checked her out, she is FUNNY
...more
OLT
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
(3.5 stars) This was a difficult HR for me to rate. It has much-better-than-average writing (except for the "lie/lay" difference which nobody seems to get anymore) and the characters were complex and well developed. I can see a good argument for giving this 4-5 stars but I also see the point of view of those who rated it a 3.

The heroine, Lady Helen Dehaven, sister to the Earl of Whitemarsh, 6 years ago was a young 17-year-old betrothed to a Lord Henley. Scandal has it she and he anticipated thei
...more
Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*
This was such a beautifully written and deeply emotional love story and it has definitely made me want to read more of Elizabeth Kingston’s books.

The traumatic events of six years ago left Lady Helen Dehaven ruined in the eyes of society. It also led to an estrangement between herself and her brother, Alex, Earl of Whitemarsh, when he rejected her explanation of what happened as ‘wild, incomprehensible tales.’

Forced to flee her brother’s home, she has built a new life for herself in the rural He
...more
Jennifer
This book's a hard one to rate. I have to go with my gut feeling and say that I didn't really enjoy it all that much. It was well written, to be sure, and there were definitely moments that felt like a glimpse at the author's above average writing skill, but the MCs and plot were overwhelmingly sad. Honestly, it was depressing. And while I'm not a chick lit fan by any means, I don't need to be reminded by how awful and unfair real life can be.

I found it hard to connect to the MCs at the beginni
...more
Sara Reads (mostly) LOTS of Romance
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Angsty, emotional, sad, trauma heroine romance lovers
3 stars for the good writing, pacing, and emotional drama
2 stars knocked down for my own negative opinions of angsty romances

After reading this, knowing this novel would be angsty before reading it, and during reading it, I somehow convinced myself I really enjoyed it.

Instead I have come on a journey of self reflection and discovery

Alas. I detest angst.

There is nothing worse than constant drama and miscommunication and no laughter in a book. That's not entertaining for me. I like laughter and h
...more
Bree Wolf
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Six years ago, Lady Helen’s life ended. Ruined in the eyes of society, she retreats to a small village, hoping to start over…as much as that is possible for a ruined woman in regency England. However, then her past reappears in the form of Stephen Hampton, Lord Summerdale.
This story is simply beautiful. Both main characters almost jump off the page. They feel so real, so life-like that you cannot help but shed tears with them as they fight the demons of their past and risk everything to reclaim
...more
Janine Ballard
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases
4 stars

A Fallen Lady is set in 1820 and begins with a prologue that tells us that the yet unnamed heroine suffered something that led to her “ruin,” something she was unable to recount with full coherence afterward.

In the following chapter, we see a letter from Stephen Hampton, Lord Summerdale, who has come to the village of Bartle-on-the-Glen on behalf of Lord Whitemarsh to investigate Whitemarsh’s sister, Helen Dehaven.

Six years earlier, Helen, then seventeen, was seen leaving the woods with h
...more
Melanie
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve only recently discovered this author and the two medieval books she wrote, I just loved. This one is set in Regency period and while the plot was slow moving, I thought the story revolved mostly around the developing characters and their growing relationship. I believe the complexity of the characters (and trust me, both characters had a lot of issues that only with time would be resolved) and their growing romance are as much of a plot as the real reason behind their meeting and the heroi ...more
Corduroy
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Pressing pause.

I don't like this as much as everyone else (the story of my romance-reading life!) - to me, this is the juvenalia of a very good writer. The book is sometimes pretty good, frequently okay, and there are occasional hints of something much better than okay. But it's a somewhat frustrating read for me, because much of it doesn't live up to its own promise. It has ambitions and doesn't fulfill them. I'll probably try again at some point.

(Because of THE WAY I AM, I can't handle the t
...more
kathie
3.5 Not bad...not great either. Just slightly above average read for me. Enjoyed author's other book The King's Man much more. I liked the hero Stephen but I thought the premise of him being some kind of confidence man that everyone told their secrets to was somewhat odd. Of course, the story was built around that premise with him trying to unlock Helen's secrets and falling for her while doing so. Helen was harder for me to like because she was so prickly at times. Still, I do like this author' ...more
BJ
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
Fantastic book. The h has been betrayed in the worst way, especially hurtful was being judged by her family, instead she lost all that was dear. The H is a good man, moral, intelligent and he arrogantly believes her to be a fallen woman. He is also shocked at how attracted he is to her. They marry but she doesn't trust him, nor does he trust her. They must let go of their fear to find their way. A wonderful story, beautifully written.
Dot Salvagin
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After having read several very positive reviews of this book I just had to see what all the superlatives were about. I was not disappointed! This is the type of book that makes a reader cringe at any interruption. I wanted nothing more than to just continue reading and I was so sorry when it ended.

Helen had a trauma so devastating to her that she can hardly get words out to describe the horror. So she keeps her secrets deep inside; only sharing them with her best friend, Marie-Anne.
Stephen’s est
...more
Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass
Audio Edition: For the most part, this was a great story. The heroine and hero were both really likable with amazing secondary characters, Marie-Anne and Maggie were my favs. I thought that the plot was really interesting, what brought these two together was one I've not read before. There were also a few curve balls I didn't expect. This is a new author, highly recommended by Laura Kinsale. I do have two gripes:

1) While the plot was great, the buildup to understanding the heroine's fall from g
...more
Kathy Cohen
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is so satisfying to discover a new author who writes well and tells an interesting story. Set in the late Regency period (1820), Helen has been living as a recluse in a remote village because she refused to marry her fiance and she has been ruined. Her brother's business partner visits her, ostensibly to discover the reasons for her actions, but in reality to ascertain the trustworthiness of the former fiance for a business deal. The underlying theme explores the long term trauma caused by ra ...more
Heidi
I still have a love affair brewing with Elizabeth Kingston. Her writing style is unique, astute and sharp-witted. However, this book was definitely a let down after reading the Welsh Blades, books #1 & #2. The character development of the heroine Helen was just painful. It made me feel like I barely escaped a runaway emotional freight train by the end of the book. I do take into account the pain/trauma of her back story but I was left feeling nothing but pity for Stephen being stuck with this pr ...more
kate
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The hero had a reputation as a man who knew everyone's secrets. This to me does not a hero make. He's nice enough but being a super gossip doesn't ring my hero bell. The heroine has gone through enough melodrama to fill three books. This has made her a little weepy whiny. Understandable.

No excuses for the h's brother who should have tracked her down after an obviously traumatic event and made sure she was all right. Instead he bought into rumor and gossip. Then waited six years to check out her
...more
Rosanna Leo
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew I enjoyed Elizabeth Kingston's writing, but A Fallen Lady has made me a total fangirl. This book had me ensnared. I couldn't put it down. The author not only delivers a wonderful romance, she ties up every loose end in the loveliest of ways. This is such a satisfying story, and I cannot wait until I read the next installment in the series.
Late To Romance
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I’ve loved each of the books I’ve read by this author. This one had me sobbing into my kindle at about 2am- it was an emotional read for me. I like the way she takes her time with her stories-gradually unfolding. The heroine has been excluded from her family and society because of a scandal six years earlier. This isn’t a light hearted, slightly inconvenient exclusion- this really is a life ruined, the heroine scrapes out an existence, with very few friends who will make contact her. – the heroi ...more
Maria Rose
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking at times, yet the characters have the resilience to see things through. Both characters have their faults, and there are reasons behind their behaviours that make them all too human. And yet still a sweet love story with a happy ending. Full review to come.
Michelle
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. This was really different from most historical romances I’ve read, and I really enjoyed a lot about it. The romance was the kind of slow burn that I really enjoy. In addition to the romance, I loved the friendship between Helen and Marie-Anne.

The one major thing I did find frustrating about this was (view spoiler)
...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 2 7 May 25, 2016 06:07PM  

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Elizabeth Kingston lives in Chicago, where she can be found gleefully subverting tropes and inventing new ways to make fictional people kiss. When there's time for it (hint: there's always time for it) she shouts loudly about the intersection of historical romance and white supremacist narratives. Lipstick, ski
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