Berkley, Aug 2003, 5.99, 336 pp.
In 1793, single aristocratic men behave badly by forming the Free Fellows League based on two principles of natural order that males should not have to wed until necessary to sire an heir and to never fall in love with your wife. By 1810 Viscount Griffin is a card-carrying member over the ire of his father who demands marriage or else. Griffin needs a spouse quickly while Lady Alyssa Carollton shares his sentiment on marriage, but needs a husband to keep her mother off his back. Griffin and Alyssa wed with each vowing to not love though the honeymoon is bliss.
Griffin goes off to war, but upon his return feels the guilt of a survivor when so many died. He wants to continue his vow to the shattered by the war Free Fellows League, but also needs Alyssa to help him cope with his problems. Soon he realizes the foolishness of his pledge as he falls in love with his wife, but she refuses to believe him and hides her own deep feelings.
Though Griffins' obstinacy becomes irritating, readers will appreciate this deep regency romance due to a strong cast (including the lead male). The story line combines sexual tension with deep angst especially with Griffin suffering from post battle syndrome. Alyssa is a delightful courageous person who as the tale's anchor ensures fans receive a superb novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner