Trouble is brewing in London. Women are marching in the streets, clamoring for the right to vote. The political climate between Russia, Turkey and Austria is on the verge of war, which is a grave concern of Queen Victoria and her administration. If this were not enough, there is a kidnapper on the loose, one who preys on the tonís wives. Three women, taken right off the street, in the last four months. No ransom notes, no further trace of the society wives have been found.
As expected, Ross Carrington, Earl of Blakestone, is up to his ears in diplomats. As the Queenís unofficial representative, this former soldier is working overtime to keep the Russian situation under control. His concentration on the task is broken only by his interest in the suffragettes marching under his office window. He is captivated by their leader, a beautiful young woman whose independent spirit and confident nature give her an added allure. He really doesnít have time for a distraction, the nation is depending on him.
Elizabeth Dunaway is a noblemanís worst nightmare - a young woman of independent means. Having inherited a tidy sum from her elderly aunts, Elizabeth has moved to London and started to set society on itís ear. Trained from birth to be self-sufficient and confident in her intelligence, she has opened the Abigail Adams, a club for women. Modeled after the popular menís clubs, it gives the impression of leisurely luncheons, high teas with friends and lectures on the latest fashions. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Linda Needhamís conclusion to her Gentleman Rogues series has certainly ended on a high note. Two strong-willed and opinionated people like Ross and Elizabeth are meant for each other. Their encounters are filled with razor-sharp wit and humor. The underlying themes are sobering. The plight of women in society has been tackled before, but Ms. Needhamís approach is fresh. The fact that Ross and his friends had unconventional childhoods lends credence to their willingness to embrace new ideas. Readers who have been eager for this final installment will not be disappointed. Marry the Man Today is worth the wait.