If you have not read The Illicit Love of a Courtesan and The Scandalous Love of a Duke you may NOT want to read this post! I am sharing some of the story of the prequel which was told in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, it will spoil the twists in the first book if you read this!
I know there was one review posted on amazon.com from someone who did not enjoy John’s soul searching in The Scandalous Love of a Duke, but if you read my books, you really need to expect to meet raw and realistic characters, in the same way no courtesan would have breezed through their life without bitter regrets and anger, as I shared in Harriette Wilson real life story on this blog. Harriette’s record of life in Regency times is one of the things I use as an inspiration for developing my authentic stories, so that may help you to guess what you will get. The inspiration for the Scandalous Love of a Duke came from the soul searching journeys of two princes Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (1707-1751) who was separated form his parents in his youth and grew up angry and hating his father, and the current Prince of Wales, William, who underwent his soul searching over his mother’s death much more quietly, and expressed it with a desire to avoid state life and live a normal life, which he has found with Katherine.
So in The Scandalous Love of a Duke, I think it is absolutely true to the character’s situation that John battles with an extreme desire to understand his past, his mother’s absence and discover the father he has never known…
The Scandalous Love of a Duke
John’s Katherine says to him…
“…I had no parents, as you had no father. There are things in your life I can understand more than anyone else, John.”
He sighed, and then suddenly there was that soul-deep window in his eyes again. “I had no mother either, Katherine, not until I was ten, and no one will tell me where she was.” But then, almost instantly, as though he regretted saying it, his gaze shuttered and his body stiffened, and he sucked on his cigar before rising and turning and throwing the thing out into the darkness.
“You can trust me, John,” she whispered. “I promise.”
Once the ladies had left the table, John decided to progress that aim and he leaned towards his uncle, Richard, “I was recently asked something about my past which I couldn’t answer. I know my mother is closer to Aunt Penny than anyone else. Do you know how I came to live with my grandfather? I cannot recall, I was obviously too young to remember.”
His voice had been as nonchalant as he could make it and yet he saw his hand shaking when he moved to lift the glass of port Finch had poured.
Richard’s eyes widened as he looked back at John and there was a hint of wariness in his expression.
How many of the family knew John’s mother’s secret? He would guess Richard did.
“You know your mother and father eloped?”
No, he had not even known that.
“You did not,” Richard clarified, looking harder at John as John felt his stomach fall like a heavy stone.
He had not locked his expression hard enough, Richard had seen the response. All John’s facial muscles stiffened.
“It is not my place to tell you,” Richard continued, sounding uncomfortable. “The story must come from your mother not me, John.”
But Richard knew it. Who else then?
John’s eyes scanned the men left in the room as Richard progressed. “But I will tell you that your grandfather disowned her when she ran away to marry your father. Of course, it was before I married your aunt, but I know the Duke went to fetch you after your birth. He wished to protect you, John.”
“I cannot say. This is your mother’s story. Ask her.”
John’s gaze fell to his glass of port. “I have done. She will not speak.”
“Well, that is her choice. But remind her you are not a child anymore.”
When John looked at his uncle, Richard continued, “It was not a good time, John. It will take courage for her to recall it. And you will have to show her some understanding if you expect her to talk to you about it, and that is a quality I do not think comes naturally to you now.”
With his glass of dessert wine half covering his lips so no one else could see his words, John asked, “Why did you not tell me that you and my father eloped?”
Her gaze flew up to his, and her skin paled, if that were possible, because it was already alabaster.
“Who told you that?”
“Richard. There is no harm in me knowing it, surely?”
“No, John, there is no harm, but it is also unimportant. What difference does it make?”
“Then why not tell me?”
“Richard also told me Grandfather took me from you after I was born. Why would he do that?”
Her gaze skimmed across John’s face. “John…” She took a breath.
“Why did you never tell me?”
“Because you knew it, you were with him and you knew I wanted you with me.”
Her forehead furrowed. “John? I loved you. Do you not remember me writing to you? I wanted you back but your grandfather would not let you go…”
Her expression fell.
“Let it be, John,” she whispered after a moment. “Please. It does not matter. It is in the past.”
“It matters to me…”
I am such a complete sad case, I want John to be able to read his father’s story… Yep, these characters really live in my mind, they are real there 😉 absolutely!
Click on the cover in the side bar to buy The Lost Love of a Soldier
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