The Enigmatic Governess of Buford Manor

By: Emma Linfield

A Historical Regency Romance Novel

Thanks a lot for purchasing my book. It really means a lot to me, because this is the best way to show me your love.

As a Thank You gift I have written a full length novel for you called The Betrayed Lady Winters. It’s only available to people who have downloaded one of my books and you can get your free copy by tapping this link here.

Once more, thanks a lot for your love and support.

With love and appreciation,

Emma Linfield

About the Book

After the news about her husband’s death in the Atlantic during his service as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Rose Parsons is devastated. Life seems unbearable and she can’t think of loving another man in her life, ever again - let alone carry on with the huge amount of debt her husband left her with.

When she finds herself in the grand mansion of the Duke of Buford teaching his orphaned nephew, her life seems to finally come round: she not only becomes close friends with the Duke’s handsome son, Nicholas, but also discovers a new purpose in life.

Fate though has other plans…

As a terrible accident disturbs the peace of the household, things start to fall apart, one by one…

And all this along with the sudden appearance of an old acquaintance that threatens to destroy all good there is, bringing nothing but chaos and…loss.

Chapter 1

God Himself kissed the Earth, but Rose Parsons didn’t notice. She didn’t hear the tittering of goldfinches that bantered across the marsh outside her sewing room. She didn’t smell the sweet summer air through her open windows. No, Rose Parsons didn’t notice because she was too busy fixating her cobalt eyes over the spindle. She was determined not to lose the precision of her stitching. And it didn’t help when she kept pushing away flaxen strands of hair that escaped her woven braid and furrowed over her forehead. No, Rose Parsons didn’t notice because she had other things on her mind.

Shame on me, she thought. Philip will be home from the wars any day and I have yet to finish this suit. I have cast it aside for far too long.

Not that Rose did not have a perfectly plausible excuse for why the garments were not sewn. She had been left alone to tend their tired land, and while the livestock was scarce, and their home, small, there was much to be done in Philip’s absence.

“I will return to you before you can yearn for me,” her husband had promised.

“That is not possible,” she exclaimed, willing herself not to melt into a puddle of histrionics. “You have yet to leave and my heart is already heavy with grief!”

“No, my love,” Philip insisted, grabbing her hands to press to his breastbone. “You must always look to the gate for my arrival, with a smile on your face and the same love in your heart as you have now. That is how I wish to return to you.”

“Allow me to join you,” Rose begged. “I have heard that wives come and tend to the sailors, tending to them as – “

“Who is filling your comely head with such tales?” Philip interrupted, a slight frown overcoming his even features. “And even if such a thing was feasible, who will care for our home? We cannot put such a burden on the Boyles. No, my dove, your place is here, minding the homestead.”

Miserably, Rose had agreed. What else could she do? Her husband had spoken but that did not mean she happily accepted her fate.

Each day that passed brought along with it an unbearable loneliness, one which sometimes brought her to tears as she waited hopelessly at the window, waiting for word—any word that her love was safe. Or that he had finally returned to her.

The mails were slow and Philip’s letters oft damaged if they made it to her. From the high seas of the Atlantic to a tiny land off the beaten path near Dartford was a world away.

In the interim, Rose did her best to occupy the seemingly endless days.

Good news is on the horizon, she thought, her nimble fingers working along the spools of thread. I feel him returning soon and when he does, I will have a fresh suit waiting.

Not that her beloved husband was expecting any such welcoming. Rose was certain the only gift Philip desired was to hold her in his arms again.

Still, she wanted to bequeath him something, even if it was a small gesture of how terribly much she had pined for him in his absence.

Has it only been two years? It seems much longer.

She stifled the threat of melancholy and thought of the future. John Boyle had visited her only the previous afternoon, one of Bridget’s delicious elderberry pies in hand. The mere sight of it reminded Rose she had not eaten in a day and her stomach growled in protest.

“I have news that the fighting is going well in Spain,” her kindly neighbor offered, and Rose smiled. It was a conversation they had exhausted in the past months.

In the beginning, John’s visits had inspired hope with his optimistic reports of the allies disarming the French. Rose had been certain that her Philip would return in due time, just as he had promised.

Yet as the weeks slipped by, she came to understand that John Boyle’s words were merely a placebo, intended to still her overwrought nerves. She could not fault the man for trying to ease her loneliness but some days she much preferred the company of his wife, Bridget, who had a quieter way about her.