today the spotlight is on Lydiauchess Lydya, the second book of Lydia Bennet’s Story.
Thanks to the Duke of Rochester’s generosity and the death of Wickham, Lydia Bennet is now a wealthy, independent woman. When Lydia takes residence in the finest house in the West End, her brother-in-law, Darcy, is concerned that she is ‘over her head’.
Despite his concerns, Darcy retrieves his sister, Georgiana, from Pemberley and places her in Lydia’s home. The two young ladies, both recently widowed, form a strong sisterly bond and soon set out to find love again.
Unfortunately, the man Lydia wishes to marry, David, the Duke of Rochester, is already contracted to marry another woman. When Lydia discovers the fiancée plans to murder David and his sons, she rallies her servants and friends, determined to stop the murderess at all costs. Will Lydia’s love of David and his boys triumph, or will the “Lady of Death” continue her path of destruction?
Liza tells us more about Gretna Green and how it worked out in her story.
Why going to Gretna Green turned out to be the best solution?
There is a serious problem with getting married by special license in London in 1817. Problem 1: David is already contracted to marry Coleen—the demented woman who ordered her servants to kill his three sons by drowning them in a pond.
To his shock, the attempt on his children’s lives does not negate his obligations to marry her. Thus, his request to purchase a special license to marry Lydia in London was denied.
Fortunately, Scotland is far easier to deal with. All that the minister requires to marry them is that David and his bride are not currently married to anyone else and evidence that the contract to this other woman has been nullified, which David brings with him. Thus, the minister happily marries David and Lydia.
Even better, if Lydia is pregnant from her one night with David, per the English laws (which are a mess) the unborn child would be labeled illegitimate, something the proud Duke would not want. However, since they went to Gretna Green to marry, any child in the womb will be considered legitimate according to the laws of Scotland.
And the Scotland law holds firm even when they return to London.
“I’m Daniel Stone, and this is the Head of the Bow Street runners, John Stafford.”
Lydia and David shook the stern man’s hand.
“I understand you’ve been out of town,” Stanford said.
David nodded. “We went to Gretna Green to marry.”
“And why would you go there?” Stanford challenged.
“Well, I attempted to buy a special license, but that didn’t work out, so we went to Gretna Green.”
“Why exactly didn’t it work out?” Stanford persisted.
With a heavy sigh, David explained, “I had entered into a contract to marry a woman last summer after I lost my wife. But I broke the engagement when she attempted to have her servants murder my boys.”
“Do you have proof she did so?” Stanford asked.
“No. She had insisted I go shopping with her at the same time her two loyal servants attempted to murder my sons.” David smiled at Lydia. “Only Lydia proved far cleverer than Coleen.”
John Stafford focused on Lydia. “I understand you personally saved the boys?”
“I had help. While I did jump in the water and locate Benjamin, a very fine doctor got him breathing again. And Davy, the eldest boy threw rocks at the footman who was attempting to stop me from finding Benjamin in the murky water. When the footman failed at that, he went after Ethan, the four-year-old. Ethen is very fast, so he managed to stay away from the footman for nearly a half-hour. I begged people to help, but they would do nothing but gawk at me. When Thomas finished saving Benjamin, he located a downed branch and knocked the footman out. Then Thomas and his driver helped Davy and me to climb out of the pond.”
David spoke, “I would like to know who is responsible for that park, because the pond is most dangerous. Not even an adult could climb out of the pond, nonetheless children and any under four feet are absolutely certain to drown in short order.”
“I will let Public Works know of the danger,” Stafford promised and wrote a note in his pad. He then focused on Lydia. “I understand you sent a great many people to parks all over the West End.”
“I needed to reduce the parks she might use to those close to David’s house. I had Thomas tell the butler there was a cholera outbreak near Thames and Upper West End.”
Stafford smiled at her reply. “That was clever. And why did you choose the fountain pond to watch over?”
“Because it was near Georgiana’s home. I thought she might stop by and keep me company. She turned out far more useful than I ever imagined. She retrieved her husband, Thomas, who is a doctor and their driver. Otherwise, we would have been in serious trouble. We were running out of rocks to throw at the footman, Ethan would have soon gotten caught, and Benjamin wouldn’t be breathing.”
Stafford sighed heavily, then frowned at her. “I understand you do not wish to reveal who warned you of this attempted murder.”
“That is correct,” Lydia assured him.
Stafford’s face turned grim and angry. “The choice isn’t yours. We need the name.”
Lydia refused to be bullied and held her ground. “I cannot give you the name.”
“I have thirty-two complaints about a naked woman trouncing about the pond,” Stafford declared as he eyed her in triumph.
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Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ four book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…
Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations. Again…go figure.
She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ sports. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.
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