I don't want to get into how long it took me to read this long-ass tome, but...
3?! Yes; 3. Why? Because this turkey could have been halved by the application of a few brain cells.
Our h - outcast youngest daughter of a king - sees the good in everyone, including the older brother who is more like dear old dad than she realizes; he just puts on a more charming face. This translates also to not suspecting in the least that her maid might be giving her something suspicious. Because, you know, nobody would ever do that.
Our H sees everything in black and white - prior to her brother's move against him, mostly white apparently, as in "oh, everything is just perfect!" After it, you're either one of my people, or an enemy. And yet, while he's v. suspicious of the *h*, he too never suspects the maid. Huh.
Of course, she's suspicious of the sister of his former betrothed (the one who ran off with her brother). He dismisses it as inconsequential.
So... if either of these two fools had thought to be suspicious of the maid, a spy would have been eliminated a lot sooner. And if he'd listened to her about the almost- sister-in-law, that trouble would have been eliminated.
And of course, we won't get into the whole "she's the only one who can wield the sword and save the world" bit (*another* Sue?).
Aggravating really, because the romance itself was good. I just really have a hard time ignoring contrivances of stupidity.