Crime: Perpetuating rapist enabling mentality
How It Goes Down: (SPOILERS AHEAD)
Lady Averill (the heroine) has already had a run-in with with her husband's brother -- a well established serial rapist. An unpleasant groping that was stopped. By the main almost rape, Sands has written Averill to have overcome her timidity and a strong female ready to take most situations in hand. However after the brother beats her and it between her legs lifting up his clothing and a maid stops him by hitting him over the head... Averill begins making excuses to protect her husband.
Oh yes, as the horrified maid (and readers) listen on, Averill explains her husband will surely have to carry the guilt of killing his own brother for the crime he has committed, and Averill wishes to spare him that decision. Thankfully the maid threatens to tell the Laird what has happened if she does not. Incidentally, she tells her husband half-truths and that's only because of the nasty state of her face.
To compound this giant ball of "what the fuuuuu?" the Laird goes in to speak with his brother, figures out that he didn't just beat up his wife, but because he found his brother unconscious on the bed (and knowing his brothers previous indiscretions) comes to the conclusion of a rape attempt. Twists of all twists, the brother is not unconscious but dead. And the kicker? The kicker that seals the fury I have for this particular portion of the book? When Lady Averill is told her attacker is dead she still lies for the bastard. I'm sorry, but that's not exactly the type of heroine I want to be reading in a book. Moreover, it makes no sense! Averill has no background of being an enabler, so why would she suddenly start now when she spilled the beans the first time she was groped?