From Thursday, May 16th, through Sunday, May 19th, Jessamine’s Folly can be yours for less than a buck. Go to this Universal Link to find your favorite bookstore and enjoy! ~ Suzanne
Lady Amelie was perched in a window seat across the room. When she caught sight of Jessamine, her eyes widened and she shook her head. Confused, Jessamine took a few steps in Amelie’s direction, but she was quickly intercepted by her brother. In his black tail coat and white bow tie, Kirkendale was easily the most handsome man in the room.
“Good evening, Miss Foster. May I help you with something?”
The question seemed an odd one, and she wasn’t quite sure how to respond.
“I-I’m sorry, but I thought dinner was at seven.”
“And so it is. Why don’t you wait in the entry hall? I’ll ring for someone to show you to the schoolroom, where your meals will be served.”
Jessamine’s stomach dropped, and her face and neck flamed hot with embarrassment. She managed a curtsy and a murmured “Forgive the intrusion, sir,” before her retreat. Titters accompanied her exit, and as she paced outside the drawing room, she could overhear the aftermath of her inappropriate appearance.
“That was my sister’s new governess,” Kirkendale said. “She was lost.”
A lady’s voice reflected amusement. “For a moment, I thought she meant to dine with us! A governess may be a necessary evil, but she can’t be trusted to stay in her place. You’d best beware, Dallas.”
Jessamine gasped. Is that what they all think of me?
“You’re quite right, Miss Hightower,” said a man’s voice. “Every governess I ever knew tried to worm her way into marriage to the man of the house or to his son or brother.”
“You’d think the poor creatures would know better,” Miss Hightower replied.
Horrified, Jessamine backed away from the door. If Lord Kirkendale believes I will try to worm my way into his affections, he’ll be very sadly mistaken!
“She’s a companion, not a governess.” Lady Amelie sounded annoyed. “And since Miss Foster has only been at Knight’s Keep a few hours, I doubt she’s formed a design on Dallas.”
“Let’s not quarrel, dear,” Miss Hightower said. “It’s your birthday after all.”
Nobody mentioned it was Lady Amelie’s birthday! When Carter emerged from the room a few moments later with his empty tray at his side, Jessamine bristled at him.
“That was a nasty thing for you to do,” she whispered. “You could have warned me.”
“Well aren’t we all high and mighty? You asked for the drawing room and I showed you the drawing room. It’s not my fault you made a fool of yourself.” Chuckling, the footman ambled off.
“Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.”
– Samuel Johnson
After her estate is entailed away, Jessamine Foster has no choice but to live with relatives who detest her. When her aunt gives her an ultimatum, Jessamine accepts a position as companion to Lord Kirkendale’s sister—even though she’s been warned her predecessors can’t seem to resist the earl’s exceptional good looks. Can Jessamine manage to hold onto her job without losing her heart?