The Tutor (The Ballinger Bastards #2) Read Online Sahara Kelly

Categories Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Tags Authors: Series: The Ballinger Bastards Series by Sahara Kelly
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Total pages in book: 84
Estimated words: 78533 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 393(@200wpm)___ 314(@250wpm)___ 262(@300wpm)
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Those who teach still have much to learn…

Mr John Ashgate, Ballinger Bastard, is an educator, through and through. He loves watching his students learn, as much as he enjoys watching them grow into intelligent young men. Being settled in remote Wayhill Castle gives him the added privacy of the countryside and a welcome respite from the judgement of Society on his birth.
Mrs Caroline Wellsmere, the lovely new Wayhill governess, has a few secrets of her own. A widow for several years, she’s also found solace at the castle, along with young ladies who are both challenging and delightful. The latter description could also be applied to her counterpart, the attractive tutor, who sparks an immediate response in places she’d thought long dead.
Their relationship grows apace, but when an unexpected incident disrupts the tranquillity of the countryside, the two of them have no choice but to seek help, lest young lives meet the worst of fates. Joining old friends in London is a good start, but there are tricky paths to walk before all are safe.
It’s a dangerous undertaking for Caro and John, even though together they’re a force to be reckoned with. But no matter the outcome, one thing is clear. When you truly love someone, no obstacle is insurmountable…

Full Book:

Prologue

The sun had set not long ago, but the soft crimson rays were still strong enough to illuminate the facade of the stately mansion, nestled into the countryside like a hidden bloom in a thicket of leaves.

It valued its privacy, guarded its occupants, and protected them from danger, whether from natural or human sources. It had done so for several decades now and showed no signs of abandoning its mission.

On this particular evening, the carriage approaching in the dusk bore something other than a threat. Instead, a gentleman sat within, staring at the rosy bricks, lights beginning to appear and twinkle behind windows of glass warped by centuries.

Since he’d had no notion of what to expect, the sight reassured him. It was, in its own way, welcoming, an observation he’d not anticipated.

They drew up beside the massive doors, halting in a spot where he could alight and climb one of the matching stone staircases, which he did, silently and without assistance. Even though he held a bundle in his arms and moved carefully, as if unwilling to jostle it.

A huge door swung wide, spilling golden light into the growing dusk.

“Welcome, sir. We’ve been expecting you.” A tall woman curtseyed respectfully and smiled. “You had a good journey, I trust?”

He nodded. “I did.” The words were brusque, but his face reflected more of his emotions than he would have wished. “I suppose I should give you…” He held out his bundle.

The woman nodded. “Indeed, sir. We’re ready for him.” She accepted the offer, taking the blanketed package and peeling back several layers of wool. “There’s a lad, then,” she cooed, gently stroking the soft cheek thus revealed.

Eyes opened, blue, dark though, as if touched by grey. The baby stared at her, then gurgled, blinking and moving, stretching in his cocoon.

“Well then,” the gentleman cleared his throat. “I should go.” Silence fell, and he swallowed harshly before saying anything else. “Take good care of him, won’t you?”

“Of course, sir.” Her words were reassuring. “You know we will, otherwise we’d not be standing here right now.” She cuddled the little one. “He’ll have everything we can give him. A home, a family of sorts, an education…he’ll grow up to be a fine lad and an even finer man, never you fear.”

“His mama,” he choked, “his mama was a governess. A poet too.”

“And you think he’ll have a head for knowledge, do you?”

“She was quite brilliant, and I have an extensive library. It has always been my joy.”

“Then we’ll have to see if this little fellow has a liking for such things, won’t we?”

A nod was all he could manage. Recalling himself, he reached inside his pocket and pulled out a small, well-worn book. “This was my father’s, then mine. I’d like him to have it when he’s old enough…”

“In that case, we shall see that he gets it, sir.” She nodded back. “We feel ’tis important for our children to know that they are here because they were loved, not because they were abandoned.”

His throat closed for a moment before he could respond. “Yes. That’s why…” he waved his hand vaguely at the building, “Ballinger Priory was the only option for me…”

“I understand, sir,” the woman’s voice was soft and gentle, as she easily slid into a comforting sway in time with her little armful’s babbles.

“I must away.” He took one last look at the baby. “But I’m leaving you with a large piece of my heart.”

“All our children know that, sir. They are taught that love sometimes requires sacrifice, but that it is still love, all the same, and very valuable. All of us here, although we are not parents, try to fill whatever gaps we can. We love our extended family as if it was our own.”


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