Reforming a Rake

Reforming a Rake by Suzanne Enoch

Book: Reforming a Rake by Suzanne Enoch Read Free Book Online
Authors: Suzanne Enoch
decent wardrobe in. And Shakespeare wouldn’t have liked it at all, either.” She petted the terrier napping on Alexandra’s pillow.
    “No, I imagine not.”
    At the Welkins’ estate she’d had servants’ quarters, though at other country manors she’d been given larger or smaller accommodations, depending on the houses’ size. For some reason it hadn’t occurred to her that herquarters here were unusual, though now she couldn’t believe she’d been so naive. She wondered what Lord Kilcairn’s other employees must think of her, and what they said to their fellows at other houses.
    “Are you feeling well?” Rose asked into the silence.
    She started. “Yes, quite.”
    “Good. Because I think I should faint dead away if I had to go to the Howards’ without you to help me.”
    Alexandra went over to sit beside the girl. “Don’t worry, Rose. It’s going to be a small party, as Lord Kilcairn said. And everyone will expect you to be a little nervous. If you get confused about something, just look at me. I’ll be close by, and we’ll manage splendidly.”
    She didn’t voice her concern over one very significant item: Mrs. Fiona Delacroix. The earl had promised to see to her, but his comments tended to aggravate rather than quiet his aunt. Rose didn’t need an additional cause to fret, though, so Alexandra kept her silence and hoped that Lord Kilcairn would keep his word.
    He was down in the foyer when she and Rose descended the stairs, and abruptly she realized how nervous she was at spending any length of time in his company. She still had no idea what to say to him about their kiss, and he was sure to bring it up at the first opportunity.
    She sent up a quick prayer that he wouldn’t mention her folly in front of his relations—or in front of anyone else. She couldn’t bear it if the rumors were to start again. She hadn’t precisely encouraged Lord Kilcairn, though she hadn’t resisted him as strenuously as she had Lord Welkins, either. She hadn’t resisted Lucien at all, really.
    The earl watched her approach, his eyes hooded inthe half darkness of the foyer. “Good evening ladies,” he said in his low drawl, coming forward.
    “My lord.”
    “Mama will be down any moment now,” Rose said, curtsying and still looking extremely nervous. “I’m afraid she…wasn’t very happy with Madame Charbonne’s gown.”
    Alexandra didn’t blame the girl’s hesitation in speaking, given her cousin’s typical reaction to her. She readied a soothing comment in case he answered in his usual caustic fashion.
    “The more fashionably late we are, the better,” was all he said, though, and Alexandra relaxed a little. Perhaps the devil meant to behave himself this evening, after all. If that was the case, it would be the first time he’d done so, but after that kiss she was certainly willing to give him the benefit of her wavering doubt.

Chapter 6
    L ucien considered riding his horse to the Howard soiree and leaving the females to follow in the coach: Not having to listen to the Delacroix ladies prattle for half an hour was tempting. Even more appealing, though, was the notion of Miss Gallant cooped in the small passengers’ compartment with him—two additional relations present or not.
    And so he sat beside Aunt Fiona as the coach rumbled toward Clifford Street and Howard House. With Mrs. Delacroix’s orange hair hidden beneath a beige hat and her rotund figure disguised inside a stylish rust and beige evening gown, she could almost pass for an aristocratic matriarch—as long as she didn’t open her mouth.
    Once he’d dumped Rose and Fiona into the care of Miss Gallant and their hosts, Lucien intended to busy himself elsewhere. Not gaming, drinking, or slipping away for a smoke, though—he’d save those pleasures for later in the Season, after he’d secured a bride.
    At an event this deathly boring, several respectable females were likely to be present, and Lady Howard hadinvited at least two of

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