Malvina, Lady Heaton to society, was widowed and usually fairly content with her life. Her lover proved an ardent young man, but recently she felt a bit bored with his conversations. Then Mr. Matthew Bradshaw, a handsome tradesman and self-made man, pays her a visit to request a favour.
Their attraction proves instantaneous, but definitely unwise. Even after several meetings, Mr. Bradshaw seems unaware of how to proceed. Does Malvina dare to invite him into her boudoir?
The card party was going better than Malvina had expected... Her guests from York were playing high and the conversation was lively and full of "crim con" stories. Her lemon colored crinoline had been much admired as it was very elegant, with a scooped neckline not indecorously low, and edged with lace.
Her companion was abed with one of her sick headaches, which helped to make the evening more amusing. But as the evening progressed, she exchanged more significant glances with Stephen. She hoped the other guests would not tarry too late.
"Dearest Malvina, what delicious food you're giving us. How on earth do you find such things in Yorkshire at all times of the year? Ices, lemon sorbets!"
Malvina smiled quietly and looked at her cards. It wasn't all that difficult, when you had been trained as a hostess and had plenty of money…
At their arranged time, Stephen rose.
"I must be going, my dear Lady Heaton. A long ride home".
"Of course. Thank you so much for coming. It has been delightful to see you. I hope you haven't lost too much".
He smiled and bowed over her hand after she had rung for a servant to show him out.
During her girlhood, Stephen Jourdain had been a relative of the Vicar's and she had been friendly with the Vicar's daughter in those days. Flirting with him had helped her to relieve the boredom. Now she was a widow and their friendship had ripened. When the servants let him out, he would pretend to ride off. Instead, he would put his horse in an outbuilding near the gates and settle him for the night before slipping back into the house by a side door.
About Clova Leighton
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Published February 19, 2012
by Rebecca J. Vickery.
History, Romance, Literature & Fiction.