St. Martin's, Nov 2001, 6.50, 304 pp.
In 1827 London Sarah Palmer knows she went too far this time with her aborted elopement with Lord Penley. When her irate brother caught up to them, he challenged the usurper to a dual to the death and only the intercession of her stepfather kept the scandal from turning ugly. Sarah has two options: marrying that fortune hunting Penley who dissolved into rancid pudding at the first sign of danger or visit her half-sister Olivia in Scotland. After having watched the spineless Penley perform, Sarah chooses Scotland.
Bostonian Marshal MacDougal learns that his father Cameron Byrde in 1798 abandoned the infant Marshal and his mother and married someone else. All these years he thought his father had died before he was born, but now Marshal vows to destroy the man if he still lives or his descendants if he does not. When he arrives in Scotland, he learns that his prime target is his half-sister Olivio. However, Marshal and Sarah meet and fall in love, but he cannot allow her to interfere with his plan.
The sequel to THE MATCHMAKER, THE TROUBLEMAKER is an enchanting historical romance starring a born troublemaker even in the first tale and an American seeking trouble. The story line is invigorating due to the “troubling” relationship between the strong lead charcaters. Though Marshal's behavior can become a bit irritating with his paramecium-like thirst for vengeance, readers will appreciate this Regency romance due to the deep emotions that the key players display (a two edged sword in the case of the male protagonist). Rexanne Becnel has written another jewel that will beguile sub-genre fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner