This is a book I've been waiting for Grant to write, and the best part is that she still managed to surprise me with the way she completed it. The best series do not only follow the lives of the main characters, but through glimpses a little more widely spaced, we also see the growth of secondary characters that hold our hearts just as tightly. Such is the case with David Mallinson and Simon Tanner. David and Simon, in the eyes of the world, merely share rooms as they have since their Oxford days, but in reality they are lovers. Being secondary characters, we don't often see them come up against the prejudices of the period in which they live. As most people would, David and Simon surround themselves with people who are progressive enough to accept them for who they are, which is a natural reaction to the world seeing them differently. I've been waiting for a book in this series that might bring David and Simon a more central part in the drama, and though Grant is still leaving me waiting, she has found a way to further develop their characters thought extrapolation. In a plotline dancing with the various characters' obsessions of legacies and reputations, David's future responsibility to produce an heir stand out with little overt help from Grant. The theme of biological vs. societal parentage is prevalent in many of Grant's novels, but in this one, it becomes the centre of the plot. Malcolm Rannoch finds that his half-sister (who passed away in a previous volume) may have born a child. Naturally, he wishes to find out if this is true, and if so, determine the child's fate and intervene if necessary. As always, readers of Grant's previous novels will find much subtext to intrigue and delight them. A thoroughly enjoyable addition to the Fraser/Rannoch saga.