A Lady's Secret
A Willowbrook Manor Romance Book 3
Aghast that she fell into the arms of a scurrilous rake, Lady Amy Spencer tries to find a solution that will save not only her pride but her reputation as well.
Lord Oliver Gregory realizes as he watches from afar that his childhood friend is no longer a child and his affections have changed.
Can love bloom among the roses, or will the past ruin any chance for a happy future?
Amy cringed. Even the knock on the door sounded angry. “That will be Oliver.” Will looked from wife to friend, then shrugged. “If I do not open the door, I suspect he will knock it in.”
“Let him in, dear.” Vivian sat beside her on the small settee and now patted her hand. “We shall talk some more, but I think now we are ready to face the rest of this lovely day, aren’t we?”
They had been that way for hours, holding hands and sharing confidences. Well, Amy had shared mostly, both confessions and a multitude of tears. She had not gotten any harsh judgment from Vivian, only soothing words of encouragement and many back rubs. It had been just what she needed most, a caring ear to listen and other shoulders to help carry the burden of her secret.
She scrubbed her palms over her cheeks, praying the evidence of her tears had not turned her ugly. A Friday-faced female never garnered a man’s good attentions, and she did not wish to be seen in such an unflattering light.
“Yes, I do believe we are.” When Will turned and went to the door, she reached out and pulled Vivian into a quick embrace. Whispering into the other woman’s ear, she said, “Thank you. I feel ever so much better now.”
They separated, and arranged their skirts in identical pools of favorable cascades. They put their hands upon their laps, brought smiles to their faces and attempted to appear as carefree as two larks on the sweetest branch of an apple-blossom laden tree.
“I am glad. It is what we are here for, to hold each other up when necessary.” She lowered her voice, so only Amy could hear. “Or, as we are about to see, to dress each other down. If that banging on the door and the loud voices at the threshold mean anything, my cousin will not be as easily pacified as my husband was.”
She could not have been more correct.
Oliver strode into the room looking every inch the put-upon duke. He looked from Amy to Vivian, then back to Amy again. His eyes flashed, and he made no effort to conceal his annoyance.
Ever the good hostess, Vivian smiled at the second intrusion to her day.
“What a charming surprise—so nice of you to visit us. Finally—you know good and well I have asked you to come by and chat on more than one occasion. I do wish you had let me know you were coming, though. I would have baked you something special.”
He could not treat her badly, it was not something he had been born to do, so he bowed, first to Vivian, then to Amy. They inclined their heads, kept their seats and smiled.
When he spoke, he was somewhat out of breath.
“I did not plan to arrive unannounced.” He paused, inhaled deeply, scowling a bit. Even winded and agitated, he cut a handsome form. “I have been searching for you two ladies. It was, ah, disconcerting when neither of you appeared this afternoon with the others.”