Someone to Trust

Book 5 of the Westcott series is Elizabeth, Lady Overfield’s story.

Elizabeth has been a widow for several years and is finally ready to marry again—if she can find a man of steady character whom she can trust always to treat her with affection and respect. She believes she had found such a man in Sir Geoffrey Codaire, who proposed to her several months ago when she was not yet ready to accept and promised to ask again when she was ready. She looks forward to seeing him again during the upcoming Season in London. Meanwhile she is spending Christmas in the country with her brother and his wife, the Earl and Countess of Riverdale, and the whole Westcott family. Also there is Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, the countess's brother. Elizabeth and Colin strike up a warm friendship, which culminates in an unexpected kiss when they are upended in the snow during a sled run. They are both horribly embarrassed afterward, for Elizabeth is nine years older than he.

Colin is twenty-six years old and only just making up his mind to take on the responsibilities of the title and estates he inherited at the age of eighteen. His decision is complicated by the fact that he is estranged from his mother who lives at his home and wields considerable influence over certain elements of society. He can best assert his position, he believes, by marrying and moving home with his wife. He looks forward to spending the Season in London, choosing a bride from among the young ladies who will be there making their come-out. He is powerfully drawn to Elizabeth, whom he sees as the perfect woman—perfectly poised and beautiful, perfectly mature and at peace with herself. He cultivates her friendship by arranging to waltz with her at every ball they both attend during the Season, but he denies to himself that he is attracted to her. How can he be? He is so much younger than she.

But those waltzes eventually lead them to a catastrophe that will upset both their plans—as well as their preconceived ideas about their relationship.