In the Marlow Intrigues series The Lost Love of a Soldier is the story that leans most towards historical fiction as historical romance, and yet it is still very much a love story…
I hadn’t thought about how much of a challenge writing the prequel would be until I began it, and then I realized that I did not want Paul and Ellen’s relationship to take anything away from the love Edward and Ellen share in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan. I already knew Paul’s personality in my mind, that had been generated when Ellen thought back in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan. He has the personality of a soldier, who had to learn to be able to put aside emotions, and yet he is in love with her, and he adores her, but he does not have the same style of easy expression of that love as Edward does.
So yet again in my books you will step into a different Regency story. I try really hard, even though these books are written in third person, to only write the stories from the point of view of the mind of the characters, that is why they are all so different, because when I write each point of view I hope I am opening your mind to the way each character thinks. So Robert, my rake, was rash and made light of things, and teased and pushed. My scandalous Duke, John, was arrogant, domineering and tough, but soft beneath it all. His father, Paul, is regimental, disciplined and protective, and deeply in love…
But he is not a rake or seducer, meeting Edward who could enchant her physically in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan was a shock to Ellen, and then she compared him to Paul…
She’d thought herself incapable of embarrassment after a lifetime of humiliation, yet this intimate caress made her blush. No one else, not even Paul, had kissed her there.
She clung to him, hanging on as he urged her back into the pool of sensual delight. He knew more than Paul had done, Paul had made her happy, but never like this.
This situation was dream like. She did not feel like herself at all. Laying her folded pelisse over the back of the single chair, Ellen watched the flames catch the wood in the hearth. She was reminded for a moment of nights beneath the stars with Paul, about an open campfire. Life had seemed so simple then, despite their poverty and the hardship they’d endured daily. She had felt like a queen because Paul loved her, all else, all other worries, had paled into insignificance. And now?
Edward approached her again and his arms slipped forward about her waist, holding her close as he kissed her neck. “So am I, Ellen, so am I, and I shall try to make sure you can be for as long as I live, if you will give me the chance.”
For a moment she heard a deep sincerity in his voice, but dismissed the thought as foolish and his words as banter. She wanted nothing to mar the pleasure she’d found with him, not even childish imaginings, their connection had out stripped that. She wanted it now for what it was—an island sanctuary—a private world existing just for them. When she was with him there was nothing else, even her memories of Paul were fading, and her fears for both the present and the future receded. With Edward there was only ever love and security, she felt cherished.
Her arms rested over his at her waist as she leaned her head back to enjoy his embrace for a moment. Then he squeezed her tightly and let go…
Edward was beautiful when he smiled. Her heart swelled. He’d let her argue and listened. He had let her lose her temper with him and apologised to her. Even Paul had not liked it when she was angry, and sorry had never been a word he knew. “You are a wonderful man. Thank you. I’m sorry I offended your friends.”
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Go to the index
- 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
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