Kittie Montague steadied herself after stumbling forward. She wished her mother would let her wear better shoes for walking, but her mother claimed that a lady of her station was required to look fashionable at all times.
“Are you all right, Kittie?” Jane asked, placing a hand on her shoulder to ensure that she was upright.
“Fine, fine,” she grumbled, thankful that they were on the grounds of her estate and not in public when she had tripped.
“Anyway, I was saying about Lord Glenn. I think he will ask me for a dance at Lady Selwyn’s ball tomorrow evening. I am sure of it,” Jane said with excitement.
“I do hope so. I know how much it would mean to you if he asked you for a dance. Tell me again, does he really own four properties?” Kittie asked, although she cared very little about gossip like that. However, it mattered to Jane and that was important.
As Jane went on about each piece of land, Kittie tucked a stray curl of her nearly black hair from her face. They were nearing a small patch of trees and she was happy to get away from prying eyes. It was nice not having a chaperone when she was with her cousin, but Kittie was still eager to be away from the prying eyes of the estate.
“So, I think we would make an ideal match,” Jane concluded, having told all the reasons why she ought to marry Lord Glenn.
Kittie turned to her, knowing she had no choice but to share the thoughts Jane wouldn’t want to hear.
“I understand there would be a great many benefits to marrying Lord Glenn, but haven’t you heard that he is also rather…well, he has a reputation for flirtation. Is that truly the sort of man you wish to spend your life with? I can’t imagine that you would really want to be with someone who might not be as serious about you as you are about him in return,” Kittie said.
“All men flirt now and then, Kittie. They are simply trying to discover which young ladies are suited for them and which are not. I do believe that Lord Glenn and I are an absolute match and I trust that, in time, you will see it as well. Did you know that he and his family also intend to build a small orphanage for some of the street children? So, you see, he is a good man,” Jane declared.
Kittie was not convinced. She had heard that his family enjoyed social endeavours, but that did not mean he would make for a good husband. Kittie was far more concerned about Jane being happy in her future marriage than simply enjoying the comforts of life as her husband offered.
“Honestly, you should listen to me. Lord Glenn is exactly the sort of man I ought to be marrying. If you could see how wonderful he truly is, you would know that I would be an extremely fortunate woman if I were to marry him,” Jane continued.
Kittie sighed and let Jane have this hope. She was quite sure that this would not end well, but Jane wouldn’t hear her out and there was no reason to argue the matter if it was going to simply end in debate as opposed to reasonable conversation.
As they walked from one end of the row of perfectly matched trees and came off the path along the road, they saw a coach drawing near to the estate.
“Who is that? Have you other guests coming by today?” Jane asked.
“It is Henry’s new tutor,” she replied.
“New tutor? I was unaware he needed someone for that,” Jane said.
“Richard insisted upon it. He said that Mother and Father would have wanted it and that if he is to raise us, he wants to raise us well,” Kittie said.
“He has done a very nice job thus far. Surely he doesn’t think he is failing you,” Jane reasoned.
“Honestly, I think he’s unhappy with how he has looked after us. Henry is not as motivated as Richard believes he ought to be, and I know he wishes that I had been married off already. He is always going on about how you are actually motivated to find a husband and he wishes that I would be the same,” Kittie said.
“Oh? You mean he wishes that you would learn from me? I daresay that I agree. You ought to try and find a husband so that we may both enjoy marriage,” Jane said.
Kittie laughed. It wasn’t so much that she didn’t want to find a husband, but she had a great many other things in life she wanted to do. She wished that Jane and Richard would be more understanding of that. Of course, people frequently confused her with Jane since they looked so much alike, but whenever a man learned that he was speaking with Kittie instead of Jane, he would usually end the conversation rather promptly.
It seemed as though her reputation had gotten out for being less than determined to find a husband.
“Anyway, this man is supposed to be an excellent tutor. Richard said that he has a reputation for being extremely intelligent despite his young age,” she said.
“How young is he?” Jane asked with curiosity.
“I am not sure, exactly, but I imagine he is scarcely older than we are,” she said.
They walked back towards the house and continued talking about Lord Glenn and the upcoming dances. By the time they reached the door, Kittie had grown weary of listening to Jane’s eagerness regarding gentlemen and was hoping that she would, instead, be willing to discuss other matters such as the book Kittie was reading.
Then again, Jane was rarely interested in things like reading, so it was highly unlikely and there was no reason to even have hope for that.
Once they went inside, they walked down the hall towards the stairs. When they passed by the parlour, Kittie looked inside and remembered they needed to gather their embroidery. Henry was supposed to be meeting his tutor in there and she knew she would need to be quick.
“The stitching is in here,” she said.
“Shall I come or go up?” Jane asked.
“Go on ahead. Karina will bring the tea in a moment and I shall be right up,” she said.
Jane went and Kittie stepped inside the parlour to see the back of a man’s head seated across from Richard and Henry. She sensed that Jane had come back and thought her cousin might come in with her, but when she glanced back, she saw that Jane was simply looking inside with curiosity at the man seated in there.
“Oh, forgive me,” Kittie said, apologising for having intruded. She hadn’t realised they were already there. It was embarrassing, walking in while they were busy, but they had been quiet in that moment.
“Ah, Katherine, there you are,” Richard said. “Get your things and be quick about it. Henry needs the room for his studies. Perhaps the study would actually be a better spot for it in general, but I must gather some of my own things from there today. Anyway, be quick about it.”
“Yes, of course. I am sorry for interrupting,” she said, keeping her head down and entering the room further to get what she needed.
But before Kittie could gather the items, the tutor stood and turned to bow to her. When Kittie saw his face, her breath caught for a moment.
Clean shaven, youthful, and with a thick mop of dark brown hair, he really was as young as everyone had said. But it was the blue eyes rimmed with thick lashes and the bright, lovely smile that caught her attention most. His nose was straight and masculine, his expression one of joy and contentment.
When he stood straight, their eyes met for a moment and Kittie was certain she had never seen a man so handsome in all her life. She knew that he was there for Henry, but she had never expected that she would meet a man so shockingly striking and it took every ounce of willpower to tear her eyes away from him and curtsey.
Kittie was certain that everything in her life was about to change.
Gabriel froze. The last thing he’d expected when agreeing to tutor a boy in a new home was to discover that his sister was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes upon.
Her hair was nearly black and her eyes a hazel green. She had the sweetest, heart-shaped face and an elegant neck that she held with exquisite poise. Although she had a resemblance to her two brothers, Gabriel sensed her delicate femininity and also the way she seemed both independent and bashful, a lovely blend of the two.
He caught himself before her brother could notice his pause and the fact that he was staring at her with interest. The worst thing he could possibly do now was lose his new position because he was too obvious about his interest concerning the sister of his new employer. As far as he was aware, she was the only female in the family. Everything he had learned had prepared him for two brothers and one sister, but no one had told him that she was undeniably lovely.
“Katherine, this is Mr Whitman. Mr Whitman, this is my sister, Lady Katherine Montague,” said Lord Richard Montague, the Earl of Courtshire.
Gabriel smiled at Lord Courtshire and then turned back to Lady Montague and gave another small bow of his head.
“It is very nice to meet you, Lady Montague,” he said, adding another bow simply because he forgot that he had already done so. When he remembered, his cheeks burned with embarrassment, but Lady Montague smiled at him and did not laugh or say anything to embarrass him.
“And you, Mr Whitman,” she replied. “I have heard great things about you, and I am certain that you will be very good for my brother.”
“Very well. Katherine, please leave us so that we may discuss Henry’s education,” Lord Courtshire said, ushering her out the door with a look and an impatient tone that would have told anyone they must leave before they were in trouble. She seemed to understand, and she made her way out the door quietly.
Gabriel saw that there was another young woman trying to sneak a glance in the room and the moment Lady Montague was out the door, the other whispered something and giggled. But Gabriel could not give them his attention for long. Although he had never anticipated that he might work in the home of such a beautiful young woman, he also realised it was pointless to notice her. He had too many other things to concentrate on now that he had been given this duty.
He returned his attention to Lord Courtshire, sitting across from him once more. Next to him, the younger Lord Montague, a boy of fourteen, shifted in his seat. He didn’t appear to be particularly pleased about this new situation and Gabriel couldn’t blame him. It was obvious that he didn’t enjoy schooling very much and Gabriel felt sorry for him that his older brother had such obviously high standards.
“Now, Mr Whitman, I am aware that you have a rather extensive reputation and I have heard that you are highly impressive for a man of your age, but I find that I am still surprised by your youth. Do you truly believe that you are equipped for handling my brother? He is fourteen years of age and you scarcely appear much older,” Lord Courtshire said, adding a laugh at the end.
Gabriel smiled, used to this question.
“Indeed, my lord, I am well equipped. I can also assure you that I am older than your brother by nearly a decade. Although many consider that young for teaching someone of your brother’s station. I am well-read and well-studied. I know a great deal about all of the important subjects, and I have been tutoring nobility for the past four years,” he said.
“That is very shocking, I must admit. Tell me, what do you enjoy teaching the most?” Lord Courtshire asked. It seemed to Gabriel that he had a long list of questions that he had memorised in order to try and trick Gabriel or otherwise get him to make a mistake. This was a clever means of weeding out any potentially diabolical tutors who would not do well for his brother or for the family as a whole.
“Latin is one of my favourite subjects. I also enjoy mathematics and history,” he said.
“Excellent. Henry is not overly fond of his studies. How do you handle children who may be somewhat resistant to learning?” Lord Courtshire asked.
Gabriel looked at Lord Montague for a moment and saw that he appeared rather embarrassed by this assessment from his brother. It was clear that he didn’t appreciate being considered lazy, which was the undertone of what Lord Courtshire had said. Nevertheless, Gabriel was determined to do his best and give the young Lord Montague more understanding than that.
“I believe that when a young man—for I would not necessarily consider him a child—is uninterested in a topic, there are ways of helping him to learn it regardless. Indeed, I understand that it is difficult to put forth the effort to engage in a subject which one finds tedious, but oftentimes what we must do is look away from the books and engage in a more practical application,” he said.
“How so?” Lord Courtshire asked, looking unconvinced.
Gabriel wanted this position. He needed it. He couldn’t risk coming across as unimpressive or wanting in any way. Whatever he said, it had to ensure that he could gain Lord Courtshire’s trust and be given the opportunity to work for the substantial fee he would be able to collect in order to provide for his family.
With that in mind, he straightened his back once more and continued.
“It is rather simple,” he said. “Instead of sitting him with paper and quill to figure out equations of spacing, we go into the garden take our paces so that he may visualize it. Likewise, rather than merely reading in Latin, we will first have a conversation and then read a section, then continue to discuss the passage once more in Latin. I find that when a student is able to articulate their own thoughts and opinions in another language, they are far more interested than when they are simply repeating the words of another.”
For a long moment, Lord Courtshire stared at him with a blank expression. Then, at last, he cracked a smile and gave his approval.
“Well, I suppose that is quite a strategy. I think even Henry might be willing to try that. And you do come with great recommendations from gentlemen I respect, so you have that in your favour. Tell me, are you willing to come five days each week? I was under the impression that you have just seen Lord Sellers’ son off to university and you are now completely available,” Lord Courtshire said.
“Indeed, my lord. I am available at the moment,” he replied.
“Excellent. In that case, I would like for you to begin right away,” he said.
“As you wish. And if there is anything you need aside from the references I have provided, I would be more than happy to procure them for you,” Gabriel said.
“The only other question I have is regarding your own education. How did you come by such vast knowledge at such a young age?” Lord Courtshire asked.
“My father was a professor at Oxford before he passed away. He began to instruct me when I was very young and I always enjoyed learning,” he explained.
“I see. So, you had an Oxford education without attending the university?” he asked.
“Precisely. Many of the professors are still mentors of mine. Through them, I learned every subject one might come across, from trade business to Greek,” he said.
“That is fascinating. It would seem that you know your craft well and I am encouraged by that. I would like to see you teaching my brother all of these things and I trust that, in due time, he shall be as clever as you are,” Lord Courtshire said.
“That is my goal with all the young men that I tutor,” Gabriel said.
“And that is all I needed to hear. Now, if you please, I believe that you and my brother ought to spend some time together,” he said.
Gabriel was relieved to finally do so, feeling eager to actually sit down and learn not what Lord Courtshire expected from him, but what Henry was hoping for. It was clear that the boy needed more than just the demands of his elder brother, but that he needed someone who might be willing to listen to him and learn what he actually enjoyed.
Regardless of what was expected of Gabriel, he was simply relieved to have this opportunity for work. He needed to be able to provide for his mother and sister and this was an ideal opportunity for that. Although he was concerned that he might not be able to keep a man such as Lord Courtshire satisfied with his work, Gabriel knew he had to try.
“Very well, Lord Montague. Now it is time for us to discuss what you wish to learn most and how we might be able to cover all the subjects in a way that you enjoy,” he said.
“You may call me Henry. And you say it as though I have a choice in the matter. Surely you could see that my brother is the one insistent upon my learning,” he said.
Gabriel smiled in understanding. It was clear that Henry really didn’t have much interest in any of this, but Gabriel knew his duties.
“Regardless of how you feel in the matter, I am going to teach you and I am going to do so in a way that you enjoy. It is not impossible to learn, Henry. You only need to take your time to understand,” he said.
“You should teach Kittie,” Henry muttered.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Kittie. My sister. She is the intelligent one. I promise I shall do my best to learn from you, but I am not the clever one. She is,” Henry said.
Gabriel tried not to show how intrigued he was by the idea. He didn’t wish to get into any trouble, but there was a part of him that could not help but wonder about Lady Katherine Montague.
Was she really as clever as Henry said? Would Gabriel have a chance to meet her again?
Kittie had just said her farewell to Jane when she turned to go back towards the house. As she walked along the path, she was startled to come upon none other than Mr Whitman, making his departure from the house.
“Mr Whitman,” she greeted him again, curtseying quickly and trying to stop herself from doing anything truly embarrassing.
“Lady Montague,” he said with a bow. It was charming how he kept bowing before her and Kittie knew he was probably just trying to ensure he did everything properly and didn’t offend anyone at the home of his new employer. If he was going to be working there, he would have to be diligent. But since she had curtseyed to him again, Kittie realised that, perhaps, she was the one causing the confusion.
Maybe she had been the one to get lost in her attraction to this man and she was just embarrassing herself. And, if not, maybe she could learn more about him before she did anything else that might.
When they were both standing properly once more, Kittie realised he appeared equally anxious, and she hoped that he wasn’t worried about being seen with her. After all, they were simply greeting one another, and no one would consider it improper for them to be polite.
“I hope my brother was not too demanding of you,” she said, sweetly.
Mr Whitman laughed and shook his head.
“No, not at all. Indeed, he was very polite and simply had reasonable questions. I understand that many are confused by my youth and it does not bother me that someone might question my capabilities as such,” he said.
“Oh, dear. Did he question you?” she asked.
“Only inasmuch as he wanted to be sure I could teach your brother well,” he said.
“I expect you must have very high qualifications if you are so well spoken of among the nobility,” she said.
“As it happens, my qualifications are not on paper, but I was given an opportunity years ago to prove myself. Since then, I have worked for many families such as yours in order to bring a studious environment to the young men who will one day lead our country,” he said.
Kittie was impressed. This was a man who showed reverence to the upper class, although it was truly he who had a mind for leadership. Kittie was intrigued by him but tried not to show it. She wondered if he was really as clever as everyone thought or if he was just very good at convincing people that he was intelligent. It certainly seemed that he was being honest, but how could a man without a formal education, as he was saying he had none, be hired by so many noblemen?
“You must be a genius if you are able to get these positions without a degree from a formal institution,” she said. It really was impressive, and she was sure there was a story behind it all, some way he had managed to do this. It was too impressive to have happened by chance and she wanted to know more. If, indeed, he had managed to learn all of this without attending university, was it possible that she could as well?
“My father taught at Oxford,” he explained.
Kittie was taken aback by this and suddenly grew impressed after all. This made a good deal more sense as to how he could obtain his work and gain the respect of men like Richard, who were very difficult to impress.
“That is very interesting. I’m sure you know quite a lot in that case,” she said.
“I enjoy my studies, even if they are not required of me. I still learn from many of his friends,” he said.
“And what will my brother be learning?”
“A great many things,” he said. “Mathematics, of course. Greek and Latin—the latter is my preferred language, but your brother may feel otherwise. Also, history, geography, science, and a good idea of literature in English as well as other languages. I believe it is also important to cover topics such as business, particularly for those who enjoy geography. Trade is such a pivotal aspect of the English economy.”
Kittie’s eyes widened in surprise and envy. She wished that she could have this sort of education and knew that Henry would not fully appreciate the advantages of his opportunities. Wishing that she could learn like he was, Kittie was hopeful that she might at least get her hands on some of the books and reading material that Henry would enjoy.
“Forgive me,” Mr Whitman said. “I have gone on too much about it all. I am quite certain I have bored you.”
“Not in the least. I am amazed, actually. I wish that I could learn like this, but Richard says that type of education is for young men only. Females may learn the things we are taught by a governess, such as comportment, reading, drawing, and piano. Certainly, we have a few other opportunities, but nothing so exciting as what men learn,” she said.
Mr Whitman looked at her curiously for a moment, a rueful smile on his face.
“Interesting. I have not had the chance to speak with many young ladies, but I have never met one who had such an interest in the subjects which are most often attributed to gentlemen,” he said.
“Indeed, I have always longed for a proper education. As it is, stitching and piano are rather useless when it comes to the making of a society. Even with the importance of music and art, a woman will never be famous in that area unless she is scandalous. I must learn the work of the masters, but never be recognized as one,” she said.
It was certainly a point of bitterness for her, and she couldn’t deny it in that moment, wishing she could at least sit in on Henry’s lessons.
“There is great value in the work of the masters,” came a voice to their left. Kittie turned and saw Richard approaching. “And stitching and piano are only useless to those women who are unable to find a husband.”
Kittie froze and looked down in embarrassment. It was obvious that Richard was displeased with her assessment of the subjects she in which was supposed to indulge, but she had long since known that he did not approve of her view of the world. It was difficult to accept his dislike of women who enjoyed intellectual pursuits, but she understood that he merely wanted her to be presentable to society. She had to be the portrait of a wife, not a scholar.
“Yes, of course,” she said, trying to appease him. The last thing she wanted was to have another of Richard’s lectures. He was always going on and on about her inability to do the sort of things that most women valued. It was terrible, always feeling as though she would never be enough when, in truth, she had done everything she possibly could to try and prove herself to her brother.
“As such, you ought to learn from our dear cousin and go to your room to practice these things. You know Jane is working very hard to find a husband and I fear that she is going to do so before you have such an opportunity,” he warned.
It was humiliating, having him say these things in front of Mr Whitman. Richard clearly—and thankfully—didn’t realise that Kittie was interested in Mr Whitman, but it was still embarrassing to be scolded like this with him standing there.
“It was nice meeting you, Mr Whitman,” she said, curtseying to him and then to Richard before she left them and went back inside and up the stairs to her room. Although she didn’t have any real interest in stitching, she knew there was something else she could do with her time.
Once she entered the grand space, with high, white walls and a burgundy, Persian rug under the elaborately carved bed, Kittie looked around, wishing others could have the same luxuries she did and that her family did not ignore the value of it all. She wished people like Mr Whitman were not simply hired and ignored because of their station.
Pushing it all aside, she took her mother’s old journal from the drawer in her vanity and decided to rest on her bed and read for a while. It always put her in a good mood to see those words on the page, to see the youthful, girlish nature of her mother. She wished that Richard could understand, but that seemed impossible.
Perhaps, one day, he would understand that Kittie was more than a tool to be used for a suitable marriage.
Gabriel made it home just in time to see his sister arrive as well. She appeared rather exhausted after selling flowers as she volunteered to do once a week. Gabriel and his mother wouldn’t allow her to do it more often than that. She was too young to be working all the time. It was simply unfair.
“Lydia, you should not be out this late,” he scolded. “You are too young for that. It is unsafe.”
“I am fine, Gabriel. I wanted to sell to the men coming home from work who may wish to give something to their wives. It worked. I sold every last flower,” she said.
Gabriel slowly exhaled, letting her see that he didn’t approve. Although they had a nice enough home with a little flower garden in the front, he would rather it all go to waste than risk something happening to Lydia.
“Regardless, I want you to be home earlier than this whenever you are able, Lydia. You shouldn’t be outside,” he said, opening the gate to their home and ushering her inside.
As they entered, Gabriel’s mother rushed from the kitchen to meet them.
“Lydia! I was getting worried about you. And Gabriel? How was your first day working at the home of that grand family?” his mother asked, excitement spread across her face.
Lydia sulked off into the corner and found a book to read while Gabriel dove in, telling his mother all about the day.
“Lord Courtshire is a very fine, respectable man. I have heard many things about his late father and how important he was in society, but their home is remarkable and there were even awards in his father’s name decorating one wall. The family portraits show a family that has always been fashionable. Father would have enjoyed looking at the art throughout the estate as it is truly quite impressive. I think it is likely that they hired some of the grandest masters,” he said.
“How exciting!” his mother exclaimed. “And is the boy decent? Do you think he will be willing to learn and listen?”
“I think so,” he said, still uncertain. “It is clear that he has no great interest in his studies, but I do believe that he will work hard to appease his brother. I don’t believe he is the sort of young man who would disregard learning entirely and that is a relief.”
“I see. Well, a willingness to learn is better than nothing. It is a shame he is not more eager, but I have confidence that you will be able to convince him to give it his best effort,” his mother said encouragingly.
“Thank you, Mother. I hope so,” he said, although his thoughts drifted once more to Lady Montague.
Gabriel didn’t want to say anything about her, worrying that he might not be able to hide his foolish interest in a woman far outside his class. It would be unwise for him to confess that he noticed her. His mother knew him well enough that she would absolutely read through his feelings.
“I forgot to mention that we received a card this afternoon. It would seem that Adam is planning to stop by,” his mother said.
Thrilled, Gabriel sat upright. He always enjoyed visits from his father’s dearest friend. Adam had become a close friend of Gabriel’s as well since his father’s passing. Now, Gabriel worked very hard to look after the family and ensure that they were all very well taken care of.
A small part of Gabriel had hoped his mother and Adam might find comfort in one another, but they did not seem to be interested in marrying, much to his dismay. He would have loved to see them both happy and knew how well they got along.
Still, when Adam arrived and the family enjoyed a nice dinner together, Gabriel was confident that he would always be close to them, even if he never did step into the role of father and husband as Gabriel had hoped.
But Adam had acted in the role anyway. Even if he was not married to Gabriel’s mother, he had been a friend and mentor, as well as a figure similar to a father. He was always there when Gabriel needed him, and he had been the one to insist that Gabriel look for positions where he might be able to tutor young gentlemen.
Thus far, it had been a clever idea and Gabriel was thankful for it. He wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and to make Adam proud by making the most of it. So long as he did not get too distracted by Lady Montague and he followed all of the rules laid out for him by Lord Courtshire, he was confident that he would manage his new position well. He would make Adam proud. He would provide for his mother and sister. And he would be the man he had always wanted to be.
“Gabriel, how wonderful to see you. I have been eager to hear about your first day working for the Earl of Courtshire. You must tell me all about it,” Adam said.
“Yes, of course. It went very well,” he said.
Adam led Gabriel away from his mother and sister so they could share their confidences in private. They sat in the small parlour together and Adam waited for him to share more of what had taken place.
“It was very good, I must say. I admit that the young man I’m meant to be tutoring, Henry, has very little interest in learning, but I do believe that he will come to enjoy it in time. I need to figure out what are the best methods to use when teaching him, but we did have some basic conversation in what little Latin he knows,” he explained.
“That is good at least. It is far more difficult with a student who cares nothing at all, a student who does not wish to learn,” Adam said.
“Precisely. This was a far better option and I do trust that, in time, Henry will enjoy the things I teach him,” he said.
“And the elder brother? Lord Courtshire? How was he? I have heard that he is very strict and that was my only concern. While I know that you are not one to disobey rules, I worried that he might be a bit overbearing,” Adam said, worry tinting his voice.
“Thus far, we have had no such issues. He has been an absolute gentleman. Indeed, I was concerned that he may be disappointed by my lack of university training, but he was very understanding. I think he is willing to give me this chance because of my reputation and that is enough for me to be satisfied,” he said.
“Yes, of course. I am sure that he will come to understand that you are more than equipped. It will simply take time and I am sure he will need to learn to trust you,” Adam said.
“I imagine so. Anyway, it was very interesting to meet the family. Lord Courtshire is very stern, as you said. Lady Montague is…well, she appears to be a great deal more interested in learning than her younger brother,” Gabriel said with a laugh. He was unable to stop himself. Although he knew that it was a mistake, he simply had to mention her. There was something about her that just stuck in his mind since he had departed their estate earlier.
How could he forget about her when she was so striking?
But when Gabriel looked back at Adam, he could see the sudden hardness in Adam’s eye. Gabriel knew that he had made a mistake in mentioning her and he immediately wished he could take it back.
“You understand that you have been hired only to teach the boy, correct?” Adam asked.
“Of course, of course,” Gabriel said, nonchalantly waving the idea away.
“You must take that very seriously, Gabriel. Men like Lord Courtshire are not to be tested and if he has not come out and asked you—or paid you—to teach his sister, you must be very careful not to do it. If you take a step like that, you will find yourself in a great deal of trouble,” Adam warned.
“I never claimed that I was going to teach her anything. I only mentioned that she is more interested than Henry Montague is. But I know my duties and I shall be very careful not to stray from them,” he promised.
“Very well. I am glad to hear that. Now, if you will be very cautious, I should like to think that you and your mother and sister will be able to take good care of yourselves. This is important work you are doing, and you will be paid very handsomely for it—but only if you are diligent to do it well. If Lord Courtshire is displeased with your work, the circumstances would be very dire. Not only for you, but also for men such as myself who recommended you,” Adam said.
Gabriel nodded, his expression suddenly grim. He didn’t want to do anything that might jeopardise Adam’s reputation or any of the men he had worked for in the past, or those who had spoken well of him for his initial positions. There were far too many risks involved in making a mistake.
Moreover, he didn’t wish to do anything that might make it more difficult to provide for his mother and sister. He needed this work. He needed a position with a decent income so that he could ensure they were not left destitute. If anything should happen to them and he discovered that they were without means because of his mistakes, Gabriel would never forgive himself.
No matter what, he knew that he had to do his best to be the man his father had raised. Whatever else came in the future, he was ready for it.
“Tutoring a Lady’s Heart” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
Kittie Montague, the younger sister of Earl of Courtshire, wants nothing more in life than a chance to learn and get lost in the endless world of knowledge. Much to her brother’s dismay, she knows that she is different from other ladies and is therefore utterly bored of high society and her duties. When a new tutor comes to teach her little brother. Kittie will grab this opportunity to learn all the subjects she has always craved in secret. What she didn’t expect though, is that among others, she would also learn what true love is. In a whirlwind of intellect, excitement, and even romance, will Kittie choose the path of her own life? Could the charming tutor be her ultimate destiny, even though they come from entirely different social standings?
Gabriel Whitman is an intelligent tutor, who has devoted his life to providing for his mother and sister, following his father’s irreparable loss. After finding employment as a tutor for a well-to-do family, he feels grateful for the opportunity and decides to not let anything stand in his way. However, he soon realises that his heart is playing strange games, as he finds his entire existence entrapped by his student’s sister and her divine presence. Even though the risks are great for his reputation, his career, and even his family, he cannot stop daydreaming about the fascinating young woman and her hauntingly beautiful hazel eyes. Will Gabriel find the courage to claim Kittie’s heart? Or will he bow down to the Earl’s disapprovement, too afraid to jeopardize his achievements for the sake of true love?
The more time Gabriel and Kittie are spending together, the more their unexpected love will confuse them and turn their lives upside down. To make matters worse, when the Earl finds out that his sister is not only learning things she shouldn’t, but has also fallen in love with the tutor, he decides to marry her off at the earliest opportunity. Could a miracle change the Earl’s unfair decision and soothe his cold heart? In the end, will Gabriel and Kittie manage to survive the storm and overrule their doomed fates?
“Tutoring a Lady’s Heart” is a historical romance novel of approximately 50,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.