A #free short story… I’ll be telling it here, and it can also now be preordered on Amazon.
@Copyright Jane Lark; Publishing rights owned by Harper Impulse; Harper Collins UK
Capturing the Earl’s Love
A Historical Romance story
A few moments later, he was back in the library, with Rowena standing beside him, looking as uncomfortable as she had done the night before. Her hands were clasped together, as though she feared to separate them in case Kendrick might simply take one, and when Kendrick lifted a hand, asking to do so, she did not offer hers but bobbed a stiff, yet deep curtsy, her hands still clasped at her waist. “My Lord.”
Kendrick bowed elegantly, in a style of thirty years ago, with a flourish of his hand, and when he rose he looked Rowena in the eyes. “Lady Rowena, I am sure your brother has told you why I have come. I hope you do not think it presumptuous of me to make an offer so soon. I cannot say I am offering you love; it is far too early for that. Yet I may say I was very impressed with you last night. You have a pleasant, happy nature, Lady Rowena. I think we shall suit.”
Suit? Rupert wished far more than a man who would suit for his sister. Kendrick would not suit her. Rupert bit his tongue. He would be more than happy with something so easy and fitting for himself, just as Kendrick would, but Rowena was young. She saw the world through untainted eyes. She should have a romantic relationship, one deserving of a happy ending in a fairytale.
“I have six children who are the offspring from my first marriage, and a large estate. We could live quite comfortably there…”
Comfortable? There was another dispassionate word Rupert used for the relationship he’d seek when the time was right, but it was not a word which expressed what he hoped for his sister.
“I will treat you well, Rowena, if you will have me.”
Rowena looked as though she felt sick, while Kendrick looked expectant and hopeful.
It was a forlorn hope.
“It is kind of you to make the offer, my Lord…” Rowena began.
But, no. Rupert heard her denial rip through his thoughts.
“However, I’m afraid I am not inclined to accept, sir. I hardly know you…”
Kendrick’s lips lifted slightly at her words. Why had Rowena not just said a direct no? Now the man still thought there was a chance.
“Did we not converse quite merrily last night—”
“For one dance,” Rupert interjected. “You are being presumptuous, Kendrick.”
Rowena gripped Rupert’s arm. It was a gentle warning for him to stay silent. “It is kind of you to have thought of me, Lord Kendrick, however, I cannot make such a commitment to you, sir. I’m sorry.”
Kendrick’s eyes seemed to gleam suddenly with the intensity of his thoughts. “You wish to be courted. Of course you do. How foolish of me not to remember what it is to be young. May I court you, Lady Rowena?”
“She has said no, Kendrick—”
Rowena’s grip firmed on Rupert’s arm, in another warning. “I’m sorry, my Lord.”
Rupert was not sorry at all.
The man bowed. “Then I shall say good morning.”
Rupert’s heart thumped. Kendrick did not look as though he was giving up. His posture had stiffened again, and there was that impression of intense thought in his eyes once more.
“Lady Rowena.” Kendrick caught up her hand before Rowena had chance to pull it back, and the fingers of her other hand slipped from Rupert’s arm.
Kendrick pressed a kiss on the back of Rowena’s hand, as he had done last night, but Rowena was not wearing gloves now, and to Rupert’s eyes, the kiss seemed to linger longer than it should. He wanted to thump Kendrick. It was a blessing Rupert was on his way to Jackson’s. The pugilist master’s sparring club would give him the freedom to vent his spleen.
A Lord’s Desperate Love is the story of two of the secondary characters from the 1st book in
the Marlow Intrigues Series
‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’
NOTE – THIS – AND ALL MY BOOKS – ARE CURRENTLY ON SALE IN THE UK!
- the story of the real courtesan who inspired The Illicit Love of a Courtesan,
- another free short story, about characters from book #2, A Lord’s Scandalous Love,
- the prequel excerpts for book #3 The Scandalous Love of a Duke
Go to the index
Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance stories, and the author of a No.1 bestselling Historical Romance novel in America, ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’.
Click here to find out more about Jane’s books, and see Jane’s website www.janelark.co.uk to learn more about Jane. Or click ‘like’ on Jane’s Facebook page to see photo’s and learn historical facts from the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras, which Jane publishes there. You can also follow Jane on twitter at @janelark