Romance series generally follow a pattern: each book follows a sibling or friend of the previous book, and marries them off in turn. Couples from earlier novels generally have walk-on parts, spending just long enough on-page to let the reader know that they are deliriously happy and have plenty of babies.
This is not that kind of series.
The Clanrosses from [b:Lady Elizabeth's Comet|2908100|Lady Elizabeth's Comet (Clanross, #1)|Sheila Simonson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1257779204s/2908100.jpg|2935256] and the Falks from [b:The Bar Sinister|2616896|The Bar Sinister (Clanross, Prequel)|Sheila Simonson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1261150964s/2616896.jpg|2641551] are back, and they make up the majority of the novel. Elizabeth's younger half-sisters' romances and intrigues provide the driving force of the plot, but the older, already married characters are the ones I (and I think the author) was most interested in. They have so much left to negotiate and figure out, for themselves and as a couple, and watching them work through it was really fascinating. And I really enjoyed the way history is portrayed in these books--there is real danger from the poor people, who have real grievances, and the censorship of the written word actually seems very threatening here. That said, there isn't really a narrative arc in this book--no build up and then a climax, I mean--and so although my affection for the characters kept me interested, the events themselves are rapidly fading from my memory.