Their friendship is destined to stand the test of time.
Brothers at Arms – (Linmore – The Early Years) – a story in two parts that begins with an errand of mercy. Set in Pre-Regency Shropshire, (1794 -1802), at a time when the Napoleonic Wars rumble on in the background, and life, with its family feuds and intrigues, continues in a rural England of the Agricultural Revolution.
(Reissued as the Prelude to Held to Ransom)
Over a period of ten years Tom Norbery, a country landowner and Whig Politician, makes three pivotal decisions, which bring him joy aplenty, a degree of anxiety and deep regret, with each one unleashing a chain of events that leads to the next.
His act of kindness in adopting two orphaned children, gives his younger son Joshua, a special friend in Charlie Cobarne, who shares his ambition to join the army. It also brings Sophie, who makes Tom laugh when she challenges the boys to let her follow the drum and will not rest until they agree. This sets the pattern of life at Linmore.
In their adolescent years, Tom deliberates at length before sending the boys on a Grand Tour from which Sophie, for her safety, is debarred. Sent instead to an exclusive girls’ school, she cultivates the acquaintance of a wealthy pupil and weaves plans for the future. Single-minded in her determination, she little realises the consequences for Linmore if they fail to come to fruition.
Following a bereavement that ends Joshua’s plans to join the army, Tom is forced to make a critical decision to protect the family reputation. Precipitated by a situation no one has foreseen; a misunderstanding gets out of hand – then a crisis, which tests a friendship to the limit – and beyond.
Tom Norbery’s response is swift and incisive. Sacrifices have to be made and while Linmore is bereft, Tom knows that only time and distance will determine the eventual outcome…
First published as a standalone, Brothers at Arms now sets the scene for A Marriage of Convenience – Part 1. The story remains the same; only the edition and the cover have changed.
Joshua’s story continues in Held to Ransom – (A Marriage of Convenience – Part 1)