“Must I wear this petticoat?” Scarlett complained, shifting around as her maid, Jenny, attempted to dress her for the debutante ball.
“You need to keep still, Lady Scarlett. That is, if I am to make you look at all presentable and have a chance of being chosen as the belle of the ball,” Jenny mumbled. Though she attempted a stern voice to try and stop Lady Scarlett from her agitated jostling, it did not work.
“But it is far too hot to be wearing a satin petticoat, do you not agree?” Scarlett continued to shuffle and complain. She was thankful, though, that at least the latest fashions allowed her to wear a simple gown. Although it was a ball gown, it was a simple cut and flowed freely with the latest empire style. All the young ladies would be wearing a similar gown.
“It is a very pretty accompaniment to your attire, my lady, and it would be a scandal if you did not wear it,” Jenny retorted. “Besides, some of the top lace is meant to be seen and will add to your attractiveness with the gentlemen.”
“Oh, bother that, who would notice if it were not there?” Scarlett said, not giving in to her opinions. “Plus, I have no intention of competing for the belle of the ball.”
“Your mother would notice, for one,” Jenny reminded her, as she went to roll up the knee-high white stocking on Lady Scarlett’s legs. “Lady Baleshire will be most perturbed if you do not look exactly as she has instructed me for your outfit. Let us not forget how special this ball is.”
“I wish Mother had chosen pink instead of white,” Scarlett complained again. “Everything is white. All that does is make me look even paler.”
“Hush now, my lady, it is not like you to be complainin’ so much,” Jenny tutted.
“I know, Jenny, and I do apologise, but I am so very nervous,” Scarlett admitted, “and excited too. And …well, at least tonight’s gown is not as hideous as the hoops I had to endure when I came out in court this morning for Queen Charlotte. It was a ghastly formal ceremony. The Prince Regent did not even attend.”
“They do say he loves nothing better than to see all the pretty eligible ladies at the debutante balls. I would be careful if I were you, he has quite the reputation, my lady,” Jenny said as she giggled.
“I do not know, I hardly think I am his type,” Scarlett recalled. “Besides, he is far too old, and from what I have seen of him, he is rather large around the waistline too.”
“Hush, my lady, we must not be heard to be insulting royalty,” Jenny said. “Now, lift your arms high in the air, so I can slip your gown over your petticoat.”
Jenny preened at the tiny, puffed sleeves that fell on the very edges of her shoulders.
“Oh my lady, you do look beautiful!” her maid declared as she stood back to view her mistress. “Every detail is perfection.”
“Yes, I agree, the appliqué lace hemline is very feminine, but do you not think that my neckline is showing too much?” Scarlett worried, though she had to admit she did feel wonderful.
“Not at all. It is all the rage now that you have come out. You look stunning. I am thinking that you will have those suitors lining up in no time,” Jenny said. Then she started to place the tall ostrich feather headdress upon her mistress’ head.
“Oh, no, surely not!” Scarlett called out. “Not that thing!”
“You know that it is expected of you in your coming out. Now come, my lady, let me pin it on your head so that you will hardly even notice it in there,” Jenny suggested.
* * *
By the time Scarlett was ready to attend the ball being held at Carlton Park, it was already in full swing. For her part, Scarlett did not care much for grand entries. Her parents would have been announced by the Master of Ceremonies already, so she snuck in through the garden terrace entrance. But she was not hidden for long, when she heard a voice call her name.
“Scarlett, why are you so late?” her mother called over to her, and Scarlett knew there would be no escape. “This is your debut, and you were meant to arrive with us so that you could be announced. How could you let me down?”
“I am sorry, Mother. I am so busy navigating my way around all the rules and expectations that I forgot I was meant to be involved in the announcement. I am not usually so forgetful,” Scarlett explained, trying to make her mother understand her side of events, but she knew she could not fool her.
“Nonsense, I specifically sat you down and explained where you were to be and at what time,” her mother went on. “You must put this immature shyness behind you now that you are a woman, or we will never find you a suitor.”
Scarlett did not reply, there was no point because her mother would always have the last word. At the age of nineteen, she had put off her coming out into society for as long as she could, for many others preferred to debut as early as sixteen years of age. With her being an only child, she had managed to avoid the procedure thus far, but her father had insisted that it was time.
“At least Jenny has done a good job on making you look respectable,” her mother said with a firm voice. “Your father has gone out of his way so that you could debut well in court. Not every young lady has such a privilege, so you had better be on your best behaviour.”
Scarlett looked back at her mother and noted her pale blue eyes were sharp with anger. She had inherited her mother’s eyes, though she been told that somehow her eyes change color in the dark, when they shimmered with more of a green glow. But the room was well lit with oil lamps and elaborate candle chandeliers, so she knew she would reflect her mother’s blue right now. Her long, blonde ringlets were adorned with the expected ostrich feather headdress, and she hoped it would not catch fire if she stood too close to a candle lamp.
“I only wish you would have allowed me an ostrich fan instead of this headpiece,” Scarlett managed to mumble, scratching at her silky hair.
“Oh, do stop your fidgeting and go mingle,” her mother reproved. “I must admit, you do look quite attractive, Scarlett. Now please, add a smile to your visage. Remember, you are here to impress, not sulk.”
Scarlett was not sulking; in fact, she was actually excited at all the expected dances to come. It was more that she felt uncomfortable being the centre of attention, and the feathers on her head made her stand so much. Her mother whisked her around the crowds, proudly introducing her daughter to all and sundry. At least Scarlett soon found her dance card full and was ready to dance the night away.
By her sixth dance, her energy was beginning to wane. As she left the dancefloor with Lord Hall, the Baron of Craster, she was glad that she had left one dance free for a break. Lord Hall spoke with an accent as he was from the far North, but he had a good sense of humor. He had made Scarlett laugh out loud on more than one occasion. But now, she was in need of a rest and a drink, for her throat was parched.
She headed towards Jenny, who had agreed to linger around the top of the servant’s stairway to give her nervous mistress much needed support.
“I am so proud of you, Lady Scarlett,” Jenny announced as her mistress joined her. “You have not missed one dance since we arrived. And your last partner was so very handsome.”
“He was funny too,” Scarlett said with a sigh of relief as she sat down on a chaise lounge placed conveniently nearby. “But I must stop for a respite. I planned ahead and left the next dance free so I could rest.”
“I will go and get you a jug of lemonade,” Jenny said as she stood up to leave.
“Bring two glasses, Jenny, I do not wish to drink alone.”
“I cannot do that, Lady Scarlett, it would not be right to be seen drinking with your maid. But I will not be long.”
Scarlett watched her maid disappear down the servant’s stairway to get her some refreshments. It annoyed her that Jenny could not be seen by her side, for she was a good friend too. But she would push such feelings aside, as she was feeling practically giddy with all the wonderful compliments she had received from her dance partners. She was also pleased with herself that she had only agreed to dance with men who had a kindly glimmer in their eyes. Each one had proved to be delightful company thus far.
The music of the orchestra had been very agreeable. The atmosphere of the ballroom was buzzing, and the night had gone way beyond her expectations. Of course, she had never before attended a ball, though she had danced at many a soiree. The debut that she had dreaded, and delayed for so many years, had turned out to be quite demanding, but also most exciting.
Jenny returned with a glass of lemonade as promised. As she handed over the glass, Scarlett’s father approached his daughter. Scarlett stood up at once as she noticed he was accompanied by a tall gentleman. At least she had managed to get a single sip from her lemonade, but she had quickly passed the glass back to Jenny, who once again disappeared down the servant’s entrance.
“My dear daughter, I would like to introduce you to the Duke of Wilenwood,” her father said with a smile on his face.
“It is a pleasure, Your Grace,” Scarlett said, following protocol and dipping into a slight curtsy.
“I would have the next dance with you,” the Duke announced with a slight bow of his head in return.
Her father looked at her encouragingly and so Scarlett felt that she could not refuse, even though she had wanted to sit this dance out.
They made their way to the dancefloor and took their places in line with the other participants. The music began, and although Scarlett’s feet ached, she did enjoy this particular set of dance moves. She was soon twirling around the floor with her dance partner.
Whenever they came together in the dance set, the Duke discussed nothing but himself. It did not take Scarlett long to discover that her dance partner was a bit of an arrogant bore. Occasionally, she had been forced to put her gloved hand across her mouth as if stifling a yawn. Though it was not from boredom, it was because of the foul smell emanating from his mouth. It was clear to her that he enjoyed his liquor.
After the music ended, she gave him a small curtsy and thanked him politely.
“I may seek you out again. We will see,” he told her before turning to walk away, leaving Scarlett standing alone.
It had been a relief when the dance had come to an end, and she made her way back to Jenny who had returned but kept out of sight.
“He seemed a fine gentleman…?” Jenny questioned, glancing at her mistress for an answer.
Scarlett said nothing whilst she finished off her glass of lemonade, at last. She then turned to Jenny, who she always shared her confidences with, and whispered her thoughts to her, “I vow that we must avoid the Duke of Wilenwood for the rest of the Season, and at any cost. He is a ghastly, arrogant man, and his breath stinks.”
Jenny’s eyes went wide, and her mouth formed a small ‘O’ in shock. She could see that Scarlett was quite serious, she had not been impressed with the man, even if he was a duke.
At the front of Carlton House, which stood near St James’s Park in London, was an array of carriages and curricles. All the drivers and horses awaited the return of their lords and ladies. It was going to be a long evening as such balls notoriously started late and went on until the early hours of the morning. The drivers had parked their horse-drawn vehicles in a tidy line under the trees of a long driveway.
It was a warm, balmy evening and Andrew tended to his pair of horses. They had settled well thanks to the pleasant breeze cooling their steaming bodies. As he tended to his beasts, he smiled inwardly, trying to fathom why he had convinced himself that becoming a driver would improve his lot in life. As he did so, Charlie, another coach driver that he knew well, approached him.
“Treating them there horses like they were beautiful ladies, I see.” Charlie always poked fun at him on how much he adored his animals.
There was very little Andrew did not know about horses and their various carriages. For that reason, he had made his way through all the different roles within the stables.
“I have loved them since I started as a stable hand at ten years old,” Andrew said, smiling fondly at his friend.
“Aye, I remember. Did you not go from being a groom to getting the head position within a year?” Charlie asked, recalling how ambitious the young man had been back then.
“I did, at the age of seventeen. Then at twenty, I took over from the old coach driver, and proud of it too. Yet, on long nights like this, I wondered on the benefits of waiting around all hours for the drunken duke to show himself for his ride home.”
“I do not envy you working for him,” Charlie said as he spit out some tobacco onto the floor. “It is well known that the Duke of Wilenwood is not an easy man to work for.”
“No, his reputation is true then. But the team of stable hands I work with were all good friends, so it makes up for his failings. What with my love for the horses, I still enjoy my work,” Andrew said, enjoying the banter to pass away but a few moments of boredom.
Looking at you, lad, working alongside horses every day has kept you well-toned. You need to be strong to handle those beasts,” Charlie said, for he knew it all too well himself.
“Hah! What I need most on nights like this is plenty of energy to keep me awake whilst my employer drinks the night away,” Andrew retorted, not one to hide the truth from those who already knew about the Duke’s drunken behaviour.
“I will be seeing you later then, Andrew,” Charlie said as he went on his way to talk with yet another driver. Some of the waiting drivers liked to pass the night in that way, chatting with one another, but Andrew was happy with his own company.
He went to sit on the seat of the curricle that he had brought along that evening. There, he had access to an oil lamp that he had provided himself with, for such occasions when he was expected to hang around in the darkness of the night. Lighting the wick, he took out his pocket watch to see how much longer this ball was to go on for.
Lately, it seemed that he only drove the Duke around on an evening, to his various clubs and mistresses. It was well known among the servants of Wilenwood Manor, that the Duke slept the day away in his bed. With a frustrating sigh, he realized that it was not yet midnight. Andrew closed the lid to his watch, holding the precious piece in the palm of his hand.
This was the only thing he had left of his father, the late Duke of Wilenwood who had passed away nearly two years ago. How time had flown by since that tragic day. A day when his father had called for him and told him of all his regrets whilst he lay on his deathbed.
The memory flooded Andrew’s mind, for it always stirred his emotions when he looked at the pocket watch. But he had kept the Duke’s secret even to this day, that he was his illegitimate son. Andrew felt a lump in his throat as he recalled how the Duke had placed the pocket watch in his hand only moments before he had passed away. His dying words before that final moment often echoed in his mind:
“I give you this, Andrew, for all the time I have wasted, my boy. I wish I had been brave enough to stand up to my father and marry your mother. Instead, I allowed my family to force me into a loveless marriage. In truth, your mother was the love of my life and I have watched you grow with immense pride. I ask you now to watch over your half-brother, for I fear he is not half the man that you are.”
The words had been voiced with much pain from his father. Not only the physical pain of his impending death but the pain in his father’s heart too. He knew that his father had regretted not acknowledging him as his son, but perhaps it had been for the best, for his mother had only been a servant girl.
A heavy pressure, like a vice-grip, formed in his chest when he thought of his father. He had been a kindly man, nothing like the present Duke of Wilenwood; Owen Wiley was more like his own foolish mother than their shared father. Of his own mother, he knew very little, other than the small amount that his father had shared with him on the few occasions he visited him. Those had been stolen moments, but precious.
Andrew had been given his mother’s last name of Lockhart. Her family lived locally and indeed he had a cousin, Jacob, who also worked at Wilenwood Manor. They were a content family and had taken him in as a small child when his mother had passed away. He believed that the Duke had loved her with every beat of his heart, but the Duke’s father had forced her out of the manor house.
Later, Andrew learned that the old duke had threatened to disown his father if he did not get rid of the servant girl that he had impregnated. Without employment and with a child on the way, it had been her own family who had helped her through. She died a young woman, and his aunt had always believed that she died of a broken heart.
They might have lived in poverty, but the family that had surrounded him after his mother’s passing had wrapped him with love. For that, he would be forever grateful, and they meant the world to him. Unlike his half-brother, Owen Wiley, who was a lazy, idle aristocrat, and cared about no one but himself.
Even though he believed the Duke was not aware that he was his half-brother, Andrew had sworn to his father that he would watch out for him. That was the only reason that he stayed in the duke’s employ.
And now he waited outside the London clubs with a carriage every night, whilst the Duke gambled away his fortune. Then he’d go on to wait outside of the seedy brothels whilst the Duke enjoyed the women of the night. And most nights he would return the duke to his manor in a drunken, unconscious state. There, the servants would put him to bed, only to be reprimanded the next day with threats from the man, should they dare to spread gossip about him.
Wilenwood Manor was no longer the happy place it had been when his father had ruled over the estate—a father who had ensured he had gained good employment, by bringing him into his fold when he was of working age. He was a father who had told him the truth of many things, such as how disappointed he was in Owen, but he had also made him swear to secrecy.
Nor had he ever remarried, for he could have done so quite easily. Instead, he had secretly visited Andrew, plus he had worked hard in parliament, fighting his corner for the poor.
“I am told the Duke is the worse for wear in there,” a voice came at him from below the curricle.
Andrew blew out the oil lamp and jumped down to speak with Peter, another passing driver. “Why am I not surprised?” he replied. “He is making quite the reputation for himself, but what can we do?”
“Bah, most of them are the same,” Peter replied. “Although I am one of the lucky few, working for Lord Baleshire. He might not be as wealthy as some, but the Lord is fair. Oh …and he has a very pretty daughter too.”
“Ha! I am sure that Katy, your wife might I add, would be pleased to hear that you have eyes for young debutants,” Andrew said, laughing. “Lord Baleshire’s daughter has only come out this year, from what I have heard.”
“My Katy knows my eyes wander from time to time, but she always has my heart,” Peter said, also laughing.
“I hope that one day I find a catch as good as your Katy,” Andrew said.
“From what I hear, you always manage to woo the ladies with your blonde-haired good looks. I happen to know that you have broken many a girl’s heart,” Peter joked. “In fact, some say that you look like the Duke and his father, I suppose it is the blonde hair.”
“You cannot go making assumptions on the colour of a man’s hair,” Andrew snapped. He did not mean to sound harsh, but he hated it when anyone shared that remark with him, for many had mentioned it in the past. “Besides, I am much better looking than that drunken lout.”
“I will give you that one,” Peter agreed. “If he did not get drunk all the time, he might be more capable of charming the women better. I hear he prefers to visit the brothels.”
“I would not believe everything you hear. And what’s more, I do not make it a habit of charming women, I am far too busy with my horses,” Andrew said in his defense.
“The right one will come along one day, mark my words,” Peter teased. “And when she does, you will be as smitten as I was with my Katy. True love possesses the heart, and you will never want for affection ever again. A good wife will care for you in such a way that you are like two people living in one heart.”
“Seeing as there’s no woman around here that does that to me, I am most likely to staying single, my friend.”
“We will see,” Peter said as he started to walk away. “It will happen to you, I promise,” his voice echoed as Andrew could no longer see him in the darkness.
“Bah!” Andrew said to himself, confident that no woman could ever possess him in such a way.
“It has only been a week since your debut ball, and here you are, getting ready for another,” Jenny remarked. She was busy sticking pins into a gown that Scarlett was wearing as she stood on a chair.
“I know. Had I realised that I would be invited to more balls once I had come out, I might have done it years ago,” Scarlett said full of joy. She had so enjoyed the merriment of her last ball.
“Well, you cannot possibly wear a different gown for every ball. At this rate, you will need to visit a modiste shop,” Jenny suggested, standing back to look at the alterations she had made to the gown.
“If we can add various new ribbons and laces to a gown to make it appear different, that should work, do not you agree? Ouch, be careful where you stab those pins!” Scarlett called out as she felt a sting from a pinhead.
“Sorry, my lady. I needed to adjust it a little bit more but I am thinking the fitting is done for now,” Jenny apologised as she helped her mistress get down from the chair.
“I would like to add some colour to my debutante gown. I do not want to dress in all white again, it makes me look too pale,” Scarlett said, as she pondered on how she was going to keep up with so many ballgowns.
Not that anyone would notice whether she wore a gown more than once. She was not anyone of great importance, whereas those from the most elite families, the daughters of dukes, would wear lots of gowns. Nonetheless, with Jenny’s help, she would make alterations to gowns every time she wore one, so they would look a little different.
“Have any of the gentlemen caught your fancy yet?” Jenny asked as she helped to undress her mistress, careful not to stick any of the loose pins in her skin again.
“Hmm …I enjoyed dancing with most. But when it comes to a suitor, I would prefer my marriage to be the perfect love match,” Scarlett said as she wriggled out of the dress. “I have been successful with one thing though—”
“What be that, my lady?” Jenny asked as her mistress went into a daze, not quite finishing off what she was saying.
“I have been avoiding that ghastly duke. I dislike his arrogant ways,” Scarlett finished off. “I hope he is not at the Countess of Masington’s ball this evening, though I suppose he will be.”
“He was quite handsome, or so I thought. But it sounds like he has no manners,” Jenny said as she sat in a chair to sew a lace applique onto the gown that her mistress was to wear at the evening ball.
“Father accompanied me to the club at Almack House a few nights ago. It was there that I learned some juicy gossip about the boorish Duke of Wilenwood,” Scarlett said with glee. She was not normally one to gossip, but this was a man that she’d taken a dislike to. “I met the countess’s daughter, Madeline, and she had a tale to tell. It seems that many of the servants at Wilenwood Manor have been dismissed. And the rumours are that it is because he gambles all his money away,” Scarlett shared. Though she lowered her voice so that any passing servant would not overhear.
“Yes, I have heard of the servants who no longer have positions there. It is all the gossip in the servant’s quarters, although none have said it was because of gambling,” Jenny said, also speaking in a hushed tone.
“I daresay there could be other reasons for laying off so many servants. But that is what the gossiping ladies concluded,” Scarlett added. Though she was starting to regret that she was playing a part in the spreading of such dreadful rumours.
“Well, my lady, for all he be a duke, it does not sound to me that he be much of gentleman,” Jenny said, wanting to get her opinion out.
“I agree with that, Jenny. In truth, I have no idea why Wilenwood Manor has sent servants packing. Most especially during the Season at any London home. It is a huge place and very lavish inside, so I hear. But there is also talk that the Duke is seeking a wife.”
“Now that you are eligible, my lady—”
“Jenny!” Scarlett called out in surprise. “Do not even think it. I will not be marrying anyone unless I love them. My husband will not be a gambler, nor a drinker; of that, I am sure.”
“Sorry, my lady, but marrying a duke is like marrying royalty, is it not?”
“I suppose it is. I am sure His Grace will have an entourage of ladies that he can charm, but not this one,” Scarlett emphasised her last few words. “How is my gown looking with the new lace?” Scarlett quickly changed the subject.
“You will look like a princess, my lady, once I am finished,” Jenny said, snipping off a piece of cotton and standing up to put the gown back on her mistress. “It is ready for you to put on again, and then, I shall do your hair.”
“At least, I do not have to wear that ostrich feather thing ever again,” Scarlett said, laughing as she dressed. “Oh, Jenny it looks beautiful, thank you so much for bringing an old dress back to life again. You are so clever; you should have been a seamstress. But then I would not have you by my side, so I take it back.”
Jenny laughed and Scarlett hoped that she was happy with her lot. She had been Scarlett’s maid for the last five years, and she would not change a thing about her maid. If anything, she hoped that Jenny would stay at Baleshire Manor forever.
* * *
“He’s been to a ball every night for the past two weeks,” Jacob complained as he helped his cousin ready the curricle for Owen’s arrival. Andrew was to drive the Duke to another night of frivolous debauchery no doubt.
“He never seems to tire of late nights, does he?” Andrew remarked as he hooked up the pair of horses to the curricle that the Duke had ordered for the evening.
“That is only because he sleeps all day. What a life, eh?” Jacob said, rolling his eyes at the idle rich. “Talking of having a better life, I have a good tip for an upcoming horse at Epsom Downs. You will want to put a wager on it, ‘cos I am confident it will be a winner.”
Andrew said nothing as he dealt with various buckles on the leather reins. He was not one to throw away his hard-earned money. After all, his hands were covered in callouses from the hard labours of caring for the horses and fixing of the carriages.
“Come on, my good man, you must want in,” his cousin tried again. “The more we can get together, the bigger our winnings will be. What do you say?”
Andrew frowned as he tugged hard on a knot, squeezing his eyes shut at the sheer effort, “I say, no thank you,” he replied. “I have little enough coin as it is without wasting it on a wager. And the same goes for you too if you ask me.”
Jacob laughed. “I only gambles on what I believes to be a good ‘un,” he argued, his eyes glimmering with his sense of humour. “But I knows you to be a good man, Andrew,” Jacob added, patting his cousin on the back in a friendly gesture. “It be your loss, cousin.”
Before Andrew had the opportunity to answer him, a loud voice echoed through the stables. “Am I to wait forever for my ride?” the Duke of Wilenwood barked.
Andrew turned to see the Duke standing there in all his finery. “Everything is ready, Your Grace. I was just going to send word to you,” he answered as he went to hold the curricle door open for the Duke to climb in.
“I can see you dallying with that good for nothing steward of mine,” the Duke accused, glaring at Jacob. “If you do not have enough work to do in the house, then I can soon send you packing, young man,” he threatened.
“I sent for the steward, Your Grace,” Andrew explained as he took his riding position next to the Duke. “Jacob here was just on his way to get you.”
“Well …I am here now, am I not? So be on your way, boy!” he spat at Jacob. “Come, we must be off. I do not wish to be the last one to arrive because of your idleness.”
Andrew set the horses into a trot and they left the estate. He said nothing to the Duke as they sat side by side in the curricle. He knew that the Duke favoured this smaller carriage because it was more open. It would allow him much-needed fresh air for his drunken return journey.
“I expect you to wait around, do you hear me?” the Duke ordered.
“Of course, Your Grace. I would not leave unless you instructed me to,” Andrew replied, wondering why the Duke was in such a foul mood.
“Hmmm …I do not know what half my servants get up to, that is why I have sent them all packing. Beggars, the lot of them. Good for nothing but taking my coin. Well, no more, I tell you.”
That was the last word spoken on the ride to the ball hosted by the Countess of Masington. Andrew gathered that His Grace would be too busy thinking about all the pretty unsuspecting girls he was going to fawn over throughout the evening. Although Owen did have good looks, he did not have good manners. As a duke, he thought of himself above everyone else.
Hah! If only you knew the truth that I am your half-brother, Andrew thought to himself. That would shock you, being related to a servant. What a party we could have in celebration!
Andrew pressed the horses into a steady canter as such thoughts whirled around in his head. How his gentle father had sired such a selfish creature as Owen Wiley, he could not comprehend. Although he was well aware that Owen’s mother had been much like her son—an arrogant, uncaring soul.
“Lady Scarlett’s Mysterious Driver” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
Lady Scarlett Brookfield is a romantic heart of boundless intelligence, with a big love for poetry. When the day of her debut into London’s High Society finally arrives, the unthinkable happens; her parents introduce her to Owen Wiley, a disrespectful and arrogant Duke, whom her parents expect her to marry. Fate smiles on her when she unexpectedly meets an intriguing coach driver on that same night and embarks upon a journey of true love with him.
Will Scarlett manage to escape a loveless marriage with someone she despises? Could the handsome driver be the man who will take her on a ride of eternal happiness?
Andrew Lockhart, a nobleman’s illegitimate son, feels that nothing exciting will ever happen in his life. That is until he meets Lady Scarlett, who will brighten up his dull life and make him believe in miracles. Little did he know that the woman he is besotted with, is his half-brother’s wife to be. Will Andrew dare to confront his rogue half-brother and claim a woman beyond his station?
He is her charming saviour and she is an angel fallen from the sky…
It did not take long for Andrew and Scarlett to understand that they are meant to be together. However, a promise Andrew had made to his late father along with Owen’s arrogance and spite, will make their union feel like an elusive dream. Will Scarlett and Andrew find love’s light before the darkness tears them apart? Or will their love be shattered by secrets and hidden obstacles before it can even start?
“Lady Scarlett’s Mysterious Driver” is a historical romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.