As a member of the Falcon Club, Wyn Yale’s specialty is retrieving lost girls, his easy manners and charm working wonders to return them to their families. But Wyn is haunted by the one girl he was unable to save and hell-bound to exact his revenge. When he sets off on this suicide mission, he crosses paths with Diantha Lucas, the younger sister to his good friends Serena Savege and Viola Seton. Diantha is on a mission of her own and sees Wyn as her very own hero, come to help her. Wyn knows he’s no hero, but still feels honor-bound to return Diantha to her family. As he tries to thwart Diantha’s plans without her knowing, he slowly falls under her relentlessly cheerful and determined spell. Wyn knows he is no good for Diantha, but the longer he stays in her presence, the harder he finds it to walk away.
How a Lady Weds a Rogue is the third book in Katharine Ashe’s Falcon Club series and finally provides us with the mysterious Mr. Yale’s background. Prior to reading this novel, I had thought myself very clever and was convinced I knew who Wyn’s heroine was going to be when the time came for his story. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. So I was hesitant when I started reading. I was afraid that I was going to be disappointed because my theory hadn’t panned out, and worried that I wouldn’t love Wyn’s heroine as much as I liked the woman I thought it was going to be. Again, I was wrong. And very silly not to trust Katharine Ashe. She won me over completely and by the end of the novel, I forgot I had ever imagined Wyn with someone else.
Diantha charmed me right away. I loved her habit of rambling on and often offering too much information. At first glance, it would be easy to dismiss her as flighty and spoiled. Instead, she has endless determination, resourcefulness and strength. I loved how she puts her whole self into everything she does, whether it is adopting lost souls, learning to milk a cow or loving Wyn. I also felt for her and ached for her when she doubts herself and her ability to hold Wyn’s attention. Having been quite awkward as a teenager (and if I’m being honest, being still quite awkward from time to time as an adult), I understood all too well how changes to physical appearance don’t automatically mean a change to our behavior, our emotions or how we think of ourselves. That only comes with time – and sometimes, a few hard lessons. I related so well to Diantha’s feelings of self-doubt and therefore, I wanted her to have her happy ending.
Wyn is an intriguing character. He has all the outward charm and comfort in society that Diantha feels she lacks, but his true self is one very few people ever see, even among the other members of the Falcon Club. Despite his success with the club and his good works, he’s haunted – by the ghosts of his past and by the one mistake he made. I loved how honorable he tries to be throughout the novel and how he truly believes he must be a gentleman in order to be worthy of Diantha. I thought Ashe’s handling of his alcoholism and subsequent detox was careful and appropriate; there wasn’t any moralizing about drink or any attempts to blame Wyn for being too weak to resist. She simply shows how much he has come to rely on the alcohol to cope and how much he wants to stop for Diantha’s sake.
Some of my favorite historical romances happen when the main characters are forced out of London and forced to survive outside of the constraints of propriety and rules. Part of what makes How a Lady Weds a Rogue so much fun is watching Wyn struggle with himself. He truly believes he’s no good for her and he tries so desperately to abide by his great-aunt’s rules, and yet he can’t help but by enchanted by Diantha and her stubborn determination to do things her way. How a Lady Weds a Rogue is part road trip story, part mystery, part redemption tale and above all, a wonderful, hopeful novel of two people coming to recognize and accept their own worth because of their love for each other.
Diantha and Wyn both put each other before themselves. Wyn gives up drinking and tries to keep his distance because he believes it’s best for Diantha, believes that she deserves better than him; at the same time, Diantha tries to shield Wyn from Eads, tries to help him overcome his demons because she wants to help him, even as she worries that she’s not lady enough for him. My heart broke for both of them because they so clearly deserve each other and need each other and yet they are both determined to sacrifice their own happiness for the others – when really, their own happiness is the other. Naturally, this made the ending of How a Lady Weds a Rogue immensely satisfying.
With each new Falcon Club novel, more details about the mysterious club are revealed. This time, we even get a glimpse inside the club itself. Slowly but surely, as tenaciously as Lady Justice herself, we are discovering its secrets. And speaking of Lady Justice, the letters between her and Peregrine are delightful interludes that steal the show. I can’t wait to read their story (because I would be horribly disappointed in Ashe if she did not write it.) And while my theories about Wyn’s heroine may have been wrong, I now have a new theory about the lady I had in mind and this time, I truly do hope I’m right.
Katharine Ashe’s How a Lady Weds a Rogue will take you on a wild journey with Wyn and Diantha as they trek across England and Wales, skirt the law and the boundaries of property and fall in love with each other. It’s a wonderful addition to the Flacon Club series and provides a satisfying happy ending for this unlikely pair.
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