The woman Colin thus rescued is Gillian Davies, who had run to Scotland to elope with the dashing Colin Fox. Of course, she is ruined but her family is trying to keep a lid on the scandal by claiming that she was visiting relatives in the country even while her father has engaged a Bow Street runner to investigate and find Colin Fox. The problem is that there is no such person, the name being a nom de guerre that Colin McElreath sometimes uses on his missions. And so the Bow Street runner's investigations are dangerously close to exposing important War Office work. Colin meets with Baron Davies and the runner to explain the problem and in the end, agrees to marry the ruined Gillian in order to call off the investigation despite not being the one to have ruined her. Colin needs to continue to search for the person using his alias, knowing that the man is more than just a despoiler of young women and is more than likely in league with Napoleon but he is also rather in need of the obscene amount of money that Baron Davies offers as Gillian's dowry. And while these circumstances seem as if they should make for a hostile bride and groom, they don't, with each of the characters accepting fate with equanimity.
Once this arranged marriage happens, rather than allowing a love to grow over time, our characters fall in love with unconvincing haste. Colin offers not to consummate their marriage until they know each other better, Gillian accepts with relief, and yet less than two pages later, they are all in. Apparently both of them were open books so the getting introduced phase didn't have to last even a day. In addition to this annoying trend in romances (deep abiding love based on nothing more substantial than air), Lee also has some niggling historical inaccuracies in here which will stick in the craw of sticklers. The narrative also suffers from unevenness, plodding in the beginning and warp speed in the end with no appreciable build to link the two. All in all, it's an awkward book. Since I have the third, I will be reading it to round out the series, but I'm hoping for more than I found in this one.