From the Inside Flap
"The best physicians in London can't find anything wrong with him physically, but his emotional state is extraordinarily precarious," the vicar said. "He recently lost his entire family in a ferryboat accident, and he's become dangerously withdrawn. He won't speak, barely eats, and takes no pleasure in anything. He's wasting away, and his grandmother is worried he'll die. I called on him myself and found him quite unresponsive. I'm not sure he can be reached, if truth be told."
"Why, of course I'll visit the lad, but I've no experience with this sort of thing."
"He's actually a young man of twenty-two, and here is the sticking point; if you accept this position, you can say nothing about his condition whatsoever, to anyone. Discretion is critical, and secrecy paramount. If anyone inquires, you may tell your family and friends only that you've accepted a position as companion to the grandmother. Do you think you can do that?"
She gulped. "Yes."
"Considering who you are, Miss Ashfield, I believe you're uniquely qualified to take on this challenge."
"I'll try my best to justify your faith in me, Mr. Preston."
The vicar gave her a piercing look. "I give you one piece of advice. Wounded animals are often injurious toward the people who try to rescue them."
Her eyes widened. "Should I be concerned for my safety?"
"Only here." He tapped the center of his chest, over his heart. "Stay true to yourself, and all will be well."
Although she didn't completely understand the vicar, her curiosity was aroused at the deepest level, and a fountainhead of compassion was unleashed.
"I'll attempt to help this poor man in any way I can." She gave Mr. Preston a crooked grin. "You knew I wouldn't be able to resist, didn't you?"
"I had an inkling you might be easily persuaded. At two o'clock tomorrow afternoon, report to Arbor Lodge. You'll keep the same schedule, six days a week, excepting Sundays, of course."
"Arbor Lodge?" Rosamund's eyebrows lifted. "Why, that's..." she trailed off.
"Yes, it is. Now you understand the need for secrecy. If anyone in society guesses that the Duke of Swanhaven has lost his mind, the family name will be forevermore ruined."