Someone to Care

Family Tree

Book 4 of the Westcott series is Viola's Kingsley's story.

The forty-two-year-old Viola was Viola Westcott, Countess of Riverdale, for twenty-three years until the death of her husband brought with it the discovery that he had still been married to someone else when he wed her. Thus her marriage was bigamous and her three children were illegitimate. Her son, who had inherited the earldom and the fortune on his father's death, was disinherited. Viola struggled for two years to adjust to the new realities of her life, but rather than deal with her anger and bewilderment she pushed it all deep while assuming an outward manner of calm dignity.

Now, at the start of her own story, at the least opportune moment—the Westcott family has gathered in Bath to celebrate the christening of her new grandson—she snaps for no apparent reason and bewilders everyone by leaving for home alone. But on the way there is carriage trouble, and she is forced to spend half a day and a night at a small country inn in an obscure village. There she meets again the man, a notorious libertine, who fifteen years earlier had flirted with her and tempted her although at the time she was a married young mother. She had sent him away though she had fallen in love with him.

Marcel Lamarr, Marquess of Dorchester, has made a temporary stop at the inn, but when he sees Viola, for whom he had fallen hard fifteen years earlier, he decides to stay longer to see if she will attend the village fair with him and perhaps even the dance that is planned for the evening.

The two end up running away together, just temporarily, Viola to escape from the life that has become unbearable to her, Marcel to enjoy an affair that promises to be entertaining. But both families grow concerned by their absence. Viola's relatives soon miss her and four of their number set out to find her. Marcel's twin son and daughter, expecting him home for his fortieth birthday, for which they have planned a surprise party, also decide to go in pursuit of him.

Soon a temporary affair that was meant to harm no one, least of all themselves, becomes nothing but a headache for Viola and Marcel just as they are preparing to say goodbye and go their separate ways.