Berkley, Apr 2004
In 1793 the three preadolescent aristocratic heirs sign in blood the charter of the Free Fellow League, which includes amongst its rules not to marry unless there is no choice until they reach thirty. Instead Griffin Abernathy, Colin McElreath, and Jarrod Sheperdston plan to become England's greatest heroes.
In 1812 London Baron Carter Davies, a merchant just recently raised to peerage, is angry and upset because his daughter Gillian vanished without a trace one week ago while attending a musicale chaperoned by her mother. Bow St informs him that Gillian apparently eloped with a Mr. Colin Fox. Eloping with a mister is worse than kidnapping to Gillian's father, who expected his daughter to wed an aristocrat.
At the Blue Bottle Inn by the Edinburgh docks, Gillian waits for her Colin who seemingly deserted her. Instead her father accuses Colin McElreath of compromising Gillian. To avoid a scandal Colin marries Gillian, but also hopes she can be the bait to capture the rogue impersonating him. Neither of the newlyweds expected love to freely flow between them as it has, but Colin has a mission that is pulling his heart apart as he must place his beloved in jeopardy to succeed.
The second Free Fellow League book, MERELY THE GROOM, is an exciting Regency romantic suspense that contains a wonderful love subplot inside a powerful tale of intrigue. The fine story line contains characters from the first tale (see BARELY THE BRIDE) playing significant parts in this novel, but that also tends to take away from the romantic interludes of the lead couple. Still Rebecca Hagan Lee furbishes a delightful charmer that will have readers awaiting Jarrod's avoidance of marriage story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner