Two weeks later, Dinah and her large portmanteau, a bandbox, and a crate of books, arrived and were installed in the spacious, sunny bedroom opposite Caroline's.
Over a dish of tea and a plate of coconut macaroons, Caroline explained the circumstances of the household.
"Do you want me to frighten away these swains of yours, or would you prefer me to simply guard you so you can see if any of them is worthwhile husband material?"
"I fail to see how any man who chases after an unknown woman to propose to her could be a good husband. And d'you know, of all the men I've met not one has ever made my heart beat faster."
"Perhaps if you had a season..."
"Ah, but that is not going to happen. My father is definitely failing, but there is no reason to think he will die for another year or more yet, then I will be in
mourning for a year after that. By then, I will be so far back on the shelf that the only men who would look at me would be either desperate for my money or desperate for a wife to rear his motherless children. Neither of those two futures inspires me at all. I like managing my own life."
"Very well, then," replied Dinah, "I will assist you in that desire."
"Lady Caroline’s Reward" blurb
Lady Caroline Eversley is the only child of the Earl of Blackshire. He is growing forgetful and she needs a chaperone so hires Miss Dinah Watkin, a distant relative whom she met once at a family gathering and enjoyed good friendship with.
While dealing with unwanted suitors, Dinah and Caroline fall in love, and Dinah teaches Caroline all about sex. But the problem of Caroline’s suitable chaperonage refuses to go away. And in Regency England unmarried women had almost no rights. Whatever will happen to them as the Earl’s health fails?