Betrayed by Love is a combination of two stories, one written in 1987 by Diana Palmer and the other more recently by Kathie DeNosky written in 2011 and entitled, The Rough and Ready Rancher.
Betrayed by Love is the story of a young girl, Kate Walker, who has grown up with a serious crush on her best friend's uncle. Now 24 and living on her own in Chicago, Kate returns for her friend's wedding and sees Jacob again for the first time in 6 years. One look confirms that she still isn't over him but what she doesn't realize is that Jacob is taking a second look himself and realizes that his niece's best friend is all grown up. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding when she was 16, Jacob thinks Kate is more worldly and more experienced than she really is, when in fact the opposite is true. So when Jacob shows up in Chicago to take her to dinner, he mistakes the genuine love she feels for him as an invitation to bed her and the results are devastating for Kate. When Jacob returns to Chicago and talks with Kate's brother, he realizes his terrible mistake and before he can make things right with her, she is seriously injured in her job and suddenly he understands that he has had feelings for her all along. But Kate doesn't want anything to do with him, so Jacob has a long road ahead of him to convince her that he is worthy of the feelings she used to have for him.
This is a typical love story about innocence betrayed and a love finally found only to realize it might be too late. I gave this one 3 stars because it is a little dated and because Jacob is so cruel in the beginning, it's hard to feel anything but disgust for him, even if he makes up for it in the end. And Kate's love for Jacob seemed a little obsessive to me (pictures all around her apartment and on her desk at work) even though she hadn't seen or spoken to him for 6 years. It's not bad, just nothing special and a little irritating in spots.
Actually, I enjoyed the Rough and Ready Rancher better. This story involves a gifted horse trainer by the name of JJ Adams and when tough guy Flint McCray hires her, he has no idea that J stands for Jenna. He isn't happy about it, but is bound by the contract to let her stay. Plus, he is caught up with the problems on his ranch and is concerned for the safety of his men and his 4 year old son. As someone continues to cause incidents on the ranch, Flint realizes that Jenna is indeed gifted, not only in training horses, but in dealing with his son and he soon begins to have feelings for her that go way beyond what he expected. Although Jenna cares for Flint and his son and has always dreamed of a place to belong, she is still scarred by the memories of the deaths of her father and fiance in the horse arena. Can Flint find out who is sabotaging things on his ranch and convince Jenna to give him a chance? Western romance, puppies, a cute little boy and a kind hearted horse trainer makes for a great love story.