Bronwyn is now Gabrielís second wife and Mary Roseís sister wife. She is trying hard to keep a promise to Mary Rose that she will refuse Gabriel his marital rights. It is a difficult promise to keep when her heart loves Gabriel more with each passing day. It is inevitable, Bronwyn succumbs to Gabriel and a son is the result. Torn between guilt and love, Bronwyn also struggles with the Saintsí beliefs. The practice of polygamy is seeming to grow at an alarming rate with the grooms getting older and the brides getting younger. When Bronwyn tries to intervene she only causes trouble for her family. A family that now includes a third wife: Enid.
Enid and Gabriel knew each other when they were younger. Enidís husband drowned at sea so she decided to join Gabriel. Mary Rose gave permission for Gabe to marry Enid. A decision Mary Rose made so her dear friend Bronwyn would not fall in love with their husband, thereby resulting in heartbreak. But it is too late for Bronwyn to escape loving Gabe and too late for Mary Rose to forgive her husband. Enid has plans of her own, plans to be the first and only in Gabeís heart. It is not a happy marriage for anyone.
The Saints are moving to the Salt Lake area in Utah under the leadership of Brigham Young and his army. Gabrielís role in Brighamís circle is changing. He is fast becoming a trusted, adopted son of the prophet. This is not necessarily a good thing. It means his responsibilities are more involved in the violent army that is practicing blood atonement. Mary Rose and Bronwyn know all this means is that if someone disagrees with the prophetís orders then they will be killed. They donít want this future for their children. The only recourse is to leave. How can they escape alive when their names are on the very list of people to watch?
The Betrayal is book two in The Brides of Gabriel series by Diane Noble. This book engages the reader from the beginning. It is fast-paced, well-written, and heart-wrenching all at once. I know a book is a keeper when I become involved in the emotion of a character driven story. At times I felt angered at Gabe for putting his family through so much, then I wanted to weep with Mary Rose during her struggles. I, too, wanted to shield Bronwynís innocence when it came to loving Gabriel.
The history of the evolution of this religion is researched well and portrayed flawlessly. My curiosity about the hearts and minds of the women in this religion brought me to The Brides of Gabriel series but it was the authorís artistic representation of their endurance and faith that captivated me. I believe one doesnít need to read the first book in order to enjoy The Betrayal, but knowing Mary Roseís journey will help one understand Mary Roseís decisions in this book.