HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE – Katharine Ashe
A Falcon Club Novel , Book 3
The English Countryside and London, ca 1820
Miss Diantha Lucas, nineteen year-old stepdaughter of Baron Carlyle, recently learned the whereabouts of her mother who left years ago. She's in Calais, France and in trouble. Diantha very much wants to find her but is sure her family—her sister, her brother, and her stepfather and stepsisters, one of whom is married to the Earl of Savege—would be totally against such an adventure. So Diantha pays a visit to her best friend's house and sets out from there. The maid she borrows from Teresa deserts her for a well muscled farm boy, leaving the undaunted Diantha to travel by public coach completely unchaperoned. Diantha is both a romantic and an optimist, and her wishes are fulfilled when her coach is joined by a man she met a few years ago at a wedding and has never forgotten. He saved her from some unpleasantness then, and he's been her ideal of a hero ever since.
Mister Wyn Yale, as a member of the clandestine organization run within the Falcon Club in London, is on a mission to retrieve a valuable horse for the Duke of Yarmouth. His usual missions involve saving young ladies and returning them to their families. He's glad enough of this mission, however, as he has a massive grievance against the reclusive duke. So grievous is the matter that he plans to kill the duke knowing he will probably hang for the act.
HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE is an emotional, complex novel with a delightful if impulsive heroine who never met a stranger, or who would never see anyone left unaided if she could be of help. Somehow she inveigles Wyn into being her escort, engages a companion who seems to suffer from narcolepsy, and picks up a three-legged dog…all in the matter of a day or two.
Wyn cannot let this innocent travel alone. What follows is a road trip filled with disputes and eventually trickery done for Diantha's own good…not to mention troubles our intrepid innocent gets into and dangers from Wyn's past. Wyn carries a heavy load of guilt for an act done in his early days as an agent. Alcohol marginally succeeds in deadening his mental pain, but is not at all good for his physical health. In fact, his situation is a harrowing one that will move any reader to fear for him. Naturally, Diantha concerns herself in his business.
While a gripping story, HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE is not a fast read or an especially easy one. So much happens with many references to the past that only gradually become clear. Also, many characters are holdovers from previous books. While I recommend HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE as rich in plot and character building, I also recommend starting the series from the beginning. Number one is WHEN A SCOT LOVES A LADY, and next comes HOW TO BE A PROPER LADY.
This series connects to Ms. Ashe's Rogues of the Sea series. If you haven't read that series, you might want to find its second episode, CAPTURED BY A ROGUE LORD. It tells the story of Diantha's brother-in-law, the Earl of Savege, and one of Diantha's stepsisters. There is a helpful page in the front of the book showing how the families interconnect.