The Enigma of a Widow
The Widows of Aristocracy Book 2
by Linda Rae Sande
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
At precisely one minute to three o’clock in the afternoon, Lydia Barrymore entered the open area outside the office of Lord Chamberlain, reported to his secretary, and took a seat in a rather uncomfortable chair meant for visitors to the viscount’s office.
It was nearly four o’clock before she was called into Chamberlain’s office. She was being punished, she knew, and decided not to complain.
“Lady Barrymore,” Chamberlain said. He didn’t get up from his chair, nor did Lydia expect him to.
“Lord Chamberlain. So good of you to summon me,” Lydia replied in the most pleasant tone she could manage. She reached into her reticule and pulled out the parchment she had filled out whilst in the study earlier that day.
The viscount frowned when he realized she held more than one sheet. “And what’s this?” he asked as he nodded toward the papers she held.
“Oh, this?” Lydia asked as she lifted the papers in a silk gloved hand. “It’s what I’ve discovered about Sir Donald during our recent encounters. So far, at least. I expect I’ll learn even more later tonight.”
Matthew Fitzsimmons, Viscount Chamberlain, leaned back in his chair and regarded the viscountess with an arched, bushy eyebrow. Although he tried hard, he couldn’t hide the surprise he felt at hearing her words. “Let’s have it then.”
Lydia allowed a nod and began reciting everything she knew about Sir Donald. She never once looked at the papers she held, but she did put the front one behind the second page as she spoke, as if she had memorized every word and knew exactly where the notes continued onto the next page. “Have you any reports from doctors? Physicians?” she wondered when she had completed her report. “That might assist me in this project?”
Lord Chamberlain sighed and pulled open a desk drawer. A thick stack of papers slammed onto his desk, the force of which had the other papers on his desk lifting up and moving slightly away from the offending pile.
Not bothering to hide her disappointment, Lydia allowed a sigh. “He is not insane,” she murmured with a shake of her head. “Preoccupied, perhaps. Troubled, certainly. But he is not insane,” she repeated.
The viscount nodded as he laced his fingers together. “These mostly have to do with his leg,” he finally admitted. “Compound fracture, dressed in the field but not reset until he was in hospital in Brussels.”
Lydia fought down the urge to wince. The man had to have been in severe pain for hours. Even more so when the bone was forced back into place. “He walks with a cane and usually limps a bit, but when he’s doing something he enjoys...” She stopped suddenly, remembering how Sir Donald had been at the Serpentine, as if he had completely forgotten how to limp. “He walks quite normally,” she finished after a moment. “Imagine that.”
Lord Chamberlain frowned. “What was he enjoying?”
Despite her attempt to hide the embarrassment she felt just then, Lydia could feel a blush coloring her face. “Me, I suppose,” she whispered.
A self-described nerd and lover of science, Linda Rae spent many years as a published technical writer specializing in 3D graphics workstations, software and 3D animation (her movie credits include SHREK and SHREK 2). An interest in genealogy led to years of research on the Regency era and a desire to write fiction based in that time.
A fan of action-adventure movies, she can frequently be found at the local cinema. Although she no longer has any fish, she follows the San Jose Sharks. She makes her home in Cody, Wyoming. See her upcoming books on her website: www.lindaraesande.com.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!