Jilted and faced with returning to the battlefields of Spain, Captain Alistair Beaumaris is quite sure his life can’t get any worse. Then he mistakes a perfectly respectable widow for a female of a much more interesting variety, and discovers he was wrong—on both counts.
Incognita is the second book in the Fairchild series, which chronicles an aristocratic family in Regency England. The first book, Fairchild, tells the story of Sophy, Lord Fairchild’s illegitimate daughter, who must carve her way through a world that has no place for her. Incognita, the second book, follows Sophy’s rejected suitor, a Captain in the British army during the peninsular war: his unconventional love story and the complex web of relationships in the Fairchild family.
Here’s letter from the conflicted and lonely Lady Fairchild, not included in the novel, that she writes (but is too proud to send!) to Sophy, her estranged step-daughter, in the midst of Alistair’s troubles.
From the correspondence of Lady Fairchild
I’ve written you so many letters I can hardly close my desk—they slide over each other, ramming against the top of the drawer—but I never send them so they sit here, getting battered about the corners. I’ve started even more that I can’t finish, and they end up in the fire.
It shouldn’t be this hard. What I want to say is, I’m sorry. For not loving you from the first, when you lost your mother and came to my home, and then, when you became like a daughter to me, for not loving you well. I should have listened, when you told me you loved Tom and couldn’t marry Alistair. I just wanted to keep you close and see you settled happily. Alistair seemed the best chance for both.
Now I’m less certain. He was broken hearted for a week or two, but now he’s tangled up with a Widow with Problems. I don’t see it ending well at all. He feels though, more than you think. It’s a sad tangle.
Are you happy with Tom? Is he good to you? It’s hard, imagining you married to a stranger. I wish I knew how you are faring, that I’d listened, and held your hand as you drove to church for your wedding. The chance for that is gone, but if I could convince you that I only ever had your best interests at heart…I’d like to see you, in your home, with your new husband. I’d like to be your friend, if you will let me. I’m not good at apologies, or at starting over, but I want to try.
Is Tom kind? Does he smile at you and tell you to stay off high-tempered horses? I hope you listen. You’ve had enough scrapes of that kind.
London is empty with you gone. I miss you.
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