The Lost Love of a Soldier
The prequel to The Marlow Intrigues series
I am going to share some excerpts from The Lost Love of a Soldier, leading up to the release date July 17th
Dressing Ellen’s first husband in his Scarlet Military coat (The Illicit Love of a Courtesan)
and adding flesh, blood and bones to John’s father (The Scandalous Love of a Duke)
The Lost Love of a Soldier
‘His heart clenched at the sight of the familiar flow of letters forming his name.
Ellen had written them. Lady Eleanor Pembroke.
He’d fallen hard for this girl in the summer when he’d never fallen for a woman before. But Ellen was uncommonly beautiful. Her hair was raven black, and her skin like porcelain, while her eyes, which shone bright as she spoke, were the palest most striking blue he’d ever seen in a woman. She’d captured his attention in the summer, like a siren.
Perhaps he’d been at war too long and now he just wished for peace and beauty to surround him, to shut out the bitter memories and images of blood and corpses strewn across fields. Who knew? But he’d not wanted to leave this girl behind in August, and now he had to go back to war he did not wish to leave her in England. He craved this girl, as he’d craved water after hours of fighting, dry mouthed, thirsty and heart-sore.
She was young. But if he waited someone else would snap her up by the time he returned. To keep such a beauty, he had to take her with him. The girl could keep him sane, when all about him was brutality and madness.
He’d spent the last three years watching the few men who had their wives travelling with them, following the drum. It was not a pleasure filled life, but at night they’d had each other, before and after a battle.
His choice had been the comfort of a camp whore or the camaraderie of jaded war beleaguered men.
Not that he did not like his men; they’d survived too much together. But there were times a man wanted a woman, and there were times only one woman would do.
He wanted solace, someone to take to bed and escape war with – someone who would help him shut out the visions of the death he’d left behind.
Of course more fool his heart – picking the daughter of a duke.
He’d held little expectation Pembroke would welcome his proposal, but Paul had known he had to try to do things properly.
His father would go mad when he heard of this. It would set Pembroke against him for years, when his father sought a political alliance. But self-sacrifice be damned. He’d given his life to society. Now he’d discovered something he wanted more than others’ good opinion. Ellen.
He’d had little to do with his father though anyway, since he’d gone to war. His father had paid for his commission, and then his duty had been done. He’d ensured his sixth son had an independent living.
At first Paul had kept in contact with them, but war was not a thing to write of, he’d grown distant from his family now. In the summer when he’d been with them at Pembroke’s, he’d had little conversation to share with them. He was not interested in politics, and they would not have been interested in his tales of survival and death.
He cracked open the seal on her letter and read it quickly, drinking his ale as he did. She’d said, yes. Not that he’d doubted she would, he’d known since the summer the girl was attached to him. But before he’d felt guilty. Now he did not. Argyle? God, her father was a bastard. Paul would be rescuing her from a life of hell.
Her father, and his, could go hang. This girl was meant for him, and he was right for her. He needed her too much.
He couldn’t remember the point attraction had become love. At some point between catching her staring at him across the room the first day he’d arrived at Pembroke Place and hearing her sing as he sat beside her turning the pages of her music, while her thigh brushed against his through a thin layer of muslin, her cotton petticoats and his pantaloons.
Any day soon this girl would be his, and she may have to learn how to endure the hardship of an army camp, but regardless he would make sure she never regretted eloping. Determination to make her happy gripped in his gut, and determination to love the girl so she’d never feel she lacked a thing.
Setting his empty tankard sharply back on the beer stained table, he rose and returned to the clerk’s desk. “When may I hire a yellow bounder? I need a fast carriage.”
You can buy The Lost Love of a Soldier by clicking on the cover in the sidebar on the right hand side.
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
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