Wareeze will be awarding one eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and one $50 GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.
Dearest Lady Bromsworth,
Because of my deepest concern for the Laningham family, I write to ask you for the truth of the dreadful incident involving Lady Laurel Laningham. The late Lord Laningham served in the Peninsula you understand. How sad he succumbed to his wounds leaving a young wife and son behind. His grieving twin sister nearly went into a decline, or so I heard. All due to that little Corsican upstart, Bonaparte, thinking to fight all of England and our brave soldiers dying by his order.
I don’t hold with gossip as you know, but I seek the truth to still the old tabbies’ tongues about the matter. Listening to rumors is a vulgar habit, and I try to always gather the facts of a situation instead. The facts, as I understand them, are incredible, scarcely believable, thus my inquiry.
My butler informed me that dear Lady Laurel Laningham survived when a carriage over turned with her and her little son inside. She was on her way to Sussex to visit her aunt, or so it was supposed. Tis a great shame what with her being so recently bereaved and so lovely. She is not your average silly, pea-goose, either to undertake such a trip without cause. I asked myself if such could be true, and what with the condition of the roads along with the less than trust-worthy coachmen handling the ribbons, I concluded the account could be accurate.
Alarmed, I sat down at once with pen and paper to hand. He told a tale of a stranger riding off with the young Lord Laningham leaving the widow stranded in an over-turned coach. The tale becomes even more incredible at that point. You can imagine my horror and concern.
The abductor is rumored to be Lord Gladrey himself, the boy’s own guardian. That cannot be possible. I know Lord Gladrey. He is such a fine gentleman, gracious and always mindful of his family, such a dear, kind gentleman. If he did take charge of his ward, I’m certain he had a perfectly sound reason for serving Lady Laningham such a turn. It is quite natural for his cousin to appoint Lord Gladrey as guardian to his son. He and the twins are rumored to have been very close.
Please enlighten me of the facts of the situation so I’ll be able to ward off any unwelcome comments from the Ton. I dare say, you are aware of how vicious some of their tongues can become. I am more than willing to promote the proper happenings for dear Lady Laningham’s sake. I anxiously await word from you, a dear friend and neighbor of the family.
Reporter: Lord Adron Gladrey, I work for the Tribute. My editor is interested in the happenings involving an overturned coach. We understand you rode by and took charge of your ward, Lord Laningham. Why at such at time did you ride away with him before you?
Lord Adron Gladrey: I felt it necessary to protect my ward. Due to a misunderstanding, I thought he was being taken to France. The war- torn country is hardly a safe environment for my ward. I understood, his mother was careless and she wouldn’t understand the danger to my ward.
Reporter: Why didn’t you talk to her?
Lord Adron Gladrey: She left Landings as I arrived back in England. There was no time. I felt the need to rescue my ward before something dreadful happened to him. The entire incident was merely a misunderstanding. I would appreciate it if you people would let the subject alone.
About Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman
Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?
His voice floated down to her. “Are you or the child injured?”
“You’re positive? You must have taken quite a tumble when the coach overturned. Possibly you’re more injured than you know.”
“Only a little shaken.” She took a deep, calming breath then continued with more force. “I’m certain we’re both fine.”
He hesitated and exhaled deeply. “A damsel in distress then. Do you perhaps have a name?”
Authority rang in his voice. She clutched Jamie a little tighter and offered him a tremulous smile. “Laurel Jane Laningham. Thank you for coming to our rescue.” She shaded her eyes with one hand, waiting for him to return the introduction.
“Let’s get you out of there. Hand me the boy first.”
He reached down into the overturned coach and Laurel lifted Jamie above her head into the waiting arms of the stranger. Her rescuer leapt to the ground with her son. A chill of foreboding curled around her. He’d said the boy. An unknown man shouldn’t know the child was a male. With every one of her senses alert, she listened intently for the stranger to return. Saddle leather squeaked and the thunder of hooves struck the ground in retreat.
Laurel screamed, “Bring my son back. I’ll see you hanged for this, you blackguard. Come back here. Help. Driver, help me.”
About the Author
I am a native Texan and still live in the Houston area. I married by high school sweetheart, and after raising 4 children, they blessed up with 8 grandchildren. AND after all these years, we still love each other. True romance is happy ever after.