The Fire RoseBook - 1995
Heiress Rosalind Hawkins was a thoroughly modern medieval scholar, her road through life well planned and already embarked upon: by breaking new ground in the Groves of Academe she would show the world that brains and creativity trumped gender prejudice every time -- and make a name for herself in the process. But when her family fortune suddenly disappeared in a cloud of debt and recrimination Rosalind was forced to the traditional haven of a previously well-to-do woman fallen on hard times: she accepted employment as a governess. She wasn't quite sure how the job -- perhaps the only governess position ever on offer that required skill in medieval French -- had come her way, but she did know that it would pay her several times more than she had expected to be able to earn.
But when she arrives at her employer's mansion overlooking San Francisco Bay, Rosalind discovers that she is to be a governess in a house without children, or even a wife, and with only a single servant to keep the huge old house as immaculate as it was somehow kept. Furthermore, it seemed that she was never to meet her employer face-to-face, but merely to read to him through a speaking tube from ancient manuscripts in obscure and forgotten dialects. Still, if she persevered she might be able to resume her chosen life-path a decade earlier than would otherwise be the case ....
As time passes, "governess" and employer learn first respect and then affection for each other. At last they do meet face-to-face, and Rosalind learns Jason Cameron's terrible secret, and despite, or because of it, she comes to love him. And -- the earth moves....