"'Tis sorry I am to be the bearer of ill tidings, Miss Gabby."
More than sorry, Jem Downes sounded positively miserable over the news that he had crossed an ocean and parts of two land masses to bring her, Lady Gabriella Banning thought. His rheumy brown eyes met her widening gray ones sadly. Behind him, the aged butler, Stivers, bowed himself out, closing the door with a muffled click. The smell of damp from Jem's clothes overrode the faint scent of sulfur from the coal fire and tallow from the candle sputtering at her elbow. Jem's hat was in his hands; his travel-stained clothes were splotched with moisture and dotted...