Connor is the son of a Duke but their relations were always strained. He fought in the war with France, and when he was wounded he was accidentally mistaken for a friend of his who had actually died. For the next few years he worked as a groom for the wealthy Tremaine family in Northern England.
There were two daughters, one of whom was Rebecca, who Connor became friends with. When Rebacca attempted to spy on her sister when she snuck out to meet a man, Rebecca was caught in a compromising situation instead. Her father was going to make her marry the man, who only wanted her for her money, but she realized she couldn't marry him, so Connor agreed to help her run away.
He was going to bring her to his aunt's home in Scotland but along the way he and Rebecca fell in love and he discovered that his younger brother, who became the Duke when their father died, had been murdered. He also discovered that his brother had been married to a woman who had been Connor's mistress before the war. He kept what was happening from Rebecca, and all she knew was that highway-men had tried to kill them for a locket, which showed the Duchess nude.
The duchess wanted them both killed when she realized Connor was the man with Rebecca, because he knew her secret. Connor and Rebecca joined a gypsy troop who's leader had been a friend of Connor's. He still kept the truth from Rebecca, and left her with the Gypsy's with the intention of returning by the next day, so he could sort out the trouble with the Duchess. However he got caught up in London, and Rebecca's fiancee found out where she was and told her that Connor was going to marry his brother's widow, and that he gave the two of them, Rebecca and her fiancee, his blessings. Connor caught up with them and told her it was all a lie, that he loved her, but she didn't want to hear it so eventually he left. Rebecca went after him eventually and they ended up happily ever after.
This report prepared by Amanda Cherniske
Warner, Aug 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1815 Waterloo, the chaos of death and destruction leads a wounded Englishman to mutter Roddy to the question who is he is. Everyone concludes he is Roddy Campbell while next to him is the dead future Duke Roarke Blackburn. Once he realized what happened, Roarke fails to correct anyone as he sees this as an avenue to escape from his abusive father. A year later, Roarke goes by the name of Connor Riordan, head groom for Sir Henry Tremaine.
In 1820, Lord Anthony Edelston arranges a tryst with Rebecca's sister Lorelei. Rebecca follows her sister outside, but Edelston accosts her with kisses just as Henry catches them together. Henry calmly tells Edelston that he now has a fiancée. Over the next week, Edelston visits and bores Rebecca with his trite poetry and conversation. Rebecca tells her confidant Connor that she cannot marry Edelston. He promises to help her escape though he knows that his peaceful five years of living ends with this pledge. As they flee to his aunt's home, Connor's past will make the trek dangerous for them, but love makes the trip also pleasant for the duo.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner