A #free short story… I’ll be telling it here, and it can also now be downloaded from Amazon.
@Copyright Jane Lark; Publishing rights owned by Harper Impulse; Harper Collins UK
Capturing the Earl’s Love
A Historical Romance story
When Rupert had come downstairs this morning, he’d discovered armfuls of roses in the hall. He had not been in the temper for such things. He was in an even worse temper once he’d discovered they were from Kendrick.
Why would the man not leave Rowena alone? She had quite clearly told Kendrick no, even if she had been too polite to use the word. Just as Rupert would have done, had he been given a choice in his own engagement.
He could not quite believe what had occurred last night, even as Divine’s butler showed Rupert into the not-so-grand drawing room of Divine’s townhouse.
They lived comfortably, in a decent area, but it was not Mayfair, and Rupert was not impressed in the least. The drawing room stank of tobacco, and the furniture was tired and dated. It was all a little shabby, as was Miss Divine. But like it or not, the woman was now to be his wife.
He’d been snared; caught in the noose; trapped in the parson’s mousetrap; shackled… He could think of a hundred clichés men used to jest about their fate once a marriage agreement had been made, but he did not think many men were actually, literally, captured as he had been – fool that he was.
What had made him follow her into the garden, and, God forbid, stand alone with her outside the summerhouse? He deserved this fate for being such a rash idiot.
He’d stupidly sought some good in her, only to face the bitter, ugly truth; that he had been right all along. There was no damned grey in her. There was black and white; she was as obvious as he had thought, an open book, a scheming, conniving, little mischief maker.
Well, Meredith Divine was going to rue the day she had compromised him.
Yet it had done one good thing. It had broken his sister’s adoration of the girl. Rowena had been outraged last night, and quiet this morning. Meredith may gain a wealthy husband, and a title, but she had lost any hope of friendship or kindness in his house.
As for Rupert’s mother, she was appalled. So Miss Divine could not expect a welcome there either. The girl would be ostracized in his home. She had made a fatal error when she’d chosen him to play her games with. She would learn that soon too. It was the one thing which was keeping him sane, imagining all his sources of revenge.
She was going to have a lot to endure as his wife. He was going to make damn sure she did. He intended making her life hell in return for this. She would gain his title, and the comfort of his money, but she would have no peace.
Rupert had spent half the night drinking with Edward, as they had done in the weeks before his cousin had met Ellen. Only then, it had been Rupert consoling Edward as Edward had tried to drink away the anger eating at him when Robert had come back from the continent. This time, it had been Rupert drowning his sorrows in wine, while Edward reassured. Edward had again claimed Meredith had a fancy for Rupert and excused her action with that statement. He’d said all might be well… Rupert did not give a damn if the girl liked him. He did not like her.
“I‘ve had the contract drawn up. You need only sign it.”
“I shall read it first.” Rupert walked forward and picked up the document Divine had indicated. It had lain discarded on a desk in one corner of the room.
Rupert scanned every line as Divine stood in silence. It was not a dream; this was really happening, it was set in ink on the page.
When Rupert put the paper down, he looked at Divine. “I have acquired a licence. I shall arrange a church for tomorrow and let you know where to bring her.”
“Do you not wish to see my daughter, Lord Morton?”
“No.” He had nothing to say to Miss Divine. In fact, he did not yet trust himself not to wring her neck. He was willing to make the rest of her life hell, but he did not think he could get away with killing her.
The Lost Love of Soldier
The prequel to The Illicit Love of a Courtesan
Out 10th July
Cover Reveal 22nd June
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’
- 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
Jane’s books can be ordered from most booksellers in paperback