“She could be a great deal worse,” said Lady Addew calmly as she sipped her tea.
“She is very pretty,” agreed Lord Addew, her husband.
“That’s not what I meant.” She smiled at him in that way he recognised as meaning he’d completely missed the point. “She knows a great deal of herb lore and she understands the basics of household management, though of course she’s no experience with this scale of household. She can measure and make a good shirt and I’ve no qualms about handing responsibility for Prince Rupert’s shirts over to her immediately. She’s economical with her fabric but she still gives a generous fit. She can’t embroider at all but that’s understandable if her family can’t afford the materials and Jonna is willing to learn. That’s helping a great deal.” Her ladyship sipped her tea.
Lord Addew asked, “Did she ask you for advice? Wedding night advice, I mean.” He flushed a little.
“No,” Lady Addew replied calmly. “From what she’s said, her mother is a sensible woman who made sure she knew everything she needed to know some time ago.”
“Oh, well I thought Prince Rupert might have asked me for advice,” Lord Addew seemed disappointed. “I suppose he might have asked Sir Norwell or Master Samsell instead.”
“Quite possibly he did, dear,” then Lady Addew added, “at the relevant time.”
“But their wedding day was the relevant time.” The look on his wife’s face made him add, “Wasn’t it?”
“Prince Rupert is an attractive young man,” Lady Addew smiled, “and sometimes, dear, older ladies are merely girls who’ve had a lot more experience.”
“What? Who?” Lord Addew was flabbergasted and a little worried.
“Lady Ysun, the Dowager Countess of Highford and Lady Reine, that I know of,” his wife told him calmly. “It’s probably a very good thing he’s gotten married, otherwise he might have developed a reputation.”
“But they’re all…,” Lord Addew floundered for the right phrase.
“In the prime of their lives as you are, dear.” The fondness in her smile took any possible sting out of her words.