This is a lively tale that starts out in Helford Green, England; the year is 1813. Sarah Eckersley and her aunt are coming to terms with the death of Sarah's father (and last parent). His vicar living has passed on to a loathsome new rector and his odious family.
Because of the machinations of Sarah's "fiancée" (they are engaged only in Lord Dunbridge's mind), Sarah and her aunt have been thrown out of the vicarage early with no place else to turn except to marry Lord Dunbridge or become a governess to the new vicar's awful brats. Appalled by these choices, Sarah goes to the home of a childhood friend, Jarrod, fifth Marquess of Shepherdston. Sarah has been in love with him since she was five years of age.
Arriving at 3 in the morning, Sarah asks Jarrod to train her to become a mistress so she can keep herself and her aunt together. Jarrod is horrified by the idea (after all, Sarah is the virtuous daughter of an admired vicar). Then she explains her situation and says that she only has three weeks to find a husband or one will be found for her.
Sarah has asked Jarrod because she wants to control her own destiny something that was not common practice in that day and time. But Jarrod is a founding member of the Free Fellows League; they are dedicated to the idea of avoiding marriage at all costs. Knowing Jarrod's views on marriage, Sarah agrees with him; Jarrod is hardly marriage material.' However, he is a bit miffed that Sarah would think that of him! Instead, Jarrod promises to help her find a suitable husband. Before she leaves, Jarrod gives Sarah her first kissing lesson and both are shocked by the experience. Jarrod worries that he may not be able to tolerate Sarah marrying another, although he isn't interesting in the marriage state for himself.
The fifth Marquess and Sarah were very appealing; the dialog was lively and fun. The story was slowed down a bit by the side story of Sarah's aunt meeting a long-lost love. This story can stand alone, although it is third in a five-part series.
Free Fellows League
1. Barely a Bride (2003)
2. Merely the Groom (2004)
3. Hardly a Husband (2004)
4. Truly a Wife (2005)
5. A Bachelor Still (2015)
Really enjoyed her series!
The stubbornly single men of the Free Fellows League are slowly succumbing to the wiles od the fairer sex. And just as in Barely a Bride and Merely the Groom, one more defiant bachelor is about to fall...
Love this series. Hate to see it end soon. Only have one more to go but wish there was more.
Great story 3rd in series.Read other 2 and looking to reading the 4th.