*** If you have not read the series – Spoiler Alert ***
The new story in the Marlow Intrigues series, The Dangerous Love of a Rogue, is Mary’s story, so before the book is released on January 29th I thought I would do a little reflection on the scenes Mary has been in.
She first appeared in the epilogue in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, and you tell already from this scene how treasured Mary is, and not only by her parents’ Edward and Ellen, but by her wider family too…
Ellen caught up Robert’s hand and pulled him towards Edward who stood to one side holding Mary Rose. The infant was gurgling with glee against the lapel of Edward’s coat, gripping his cravat. He smiled and gave her their daughter. Ellen passed the baby on to Robert.
“Here, your niece and now your Godchild. She is longing for a cuddle from her favourite uncle.”
Robert took her but sneered. He was such a cad. Ellen knew he loved Mary Rose. Whenever he visited he hardly left the nursery. He was either petting Mary or setting John into a riot with a noisy game of war. Proving it, he immediately moved away to show off the child to her aunts. They were gathered in a cluster across the room.
“We are so lucky,” Ellen whispered looking up at her husband. He bent and kissed her mouth, as uncaring as ever of what anyone thought.
Ellen swallowed, she had yet to tell him she was pregnant again. Mary was only four months old. Ellen had been waiting until now. She had wanted Mary baptised before their thoughts turned to the next child.
She spoke against his lips. “I have news for you.”
“What?” His lips curved into a smile.
“You should expect another christening in a year or so’s time.”
Edward held her back, grinning now. “You are expecting? I had an inkling but I didn’t like to say.”
“Yes,” Ellen smiled. “You could have told me you knew.”
“And steal your thunder,” he laughed. “I think not, such news is a woman’s prerogative.”
One hand slid the length of her arm and captured her fingers, then he turned to the room, picking up a drink from a tray balanced on the hand of a passing footman. “Charge your drinks my friends! We have a double celebration!” There was an instantaneous move to collect glasses, and then they were lifted high. “You are about to again,” he turned to face her mother and father, “become grandparents,” then he looked about the hall, “and uncles, aunts and cousins” He smiled at the children, and then particularly at John, “and brother. In a few months’ time. My beautiful wife is expecting another happy arrival! A toast to our children!” It was echoed about the room and then their families moved as one to give their congratulations.
I am truly the luckiest woman, Ellen thought again as John gave her a hug.
“Mama, I would like a brother.” She smiled, holding him tight. He now reached above her shoulder and was less like a boy every day and more like a young man.
“I do not think I can control it, John, but we shall see.” She kissed his forehead and let him go. He moved to speak to Edward.
Now her sisters, one by one, stepped forward to hug her…
…Sylvia stepped forward.
She was heavy with child and she gave Ellen a superficial cuddle. “Mary Rose is so pretty. I hope my own child is as perfect, But I admit I am nervous of the birth.”
Ellen held Sylvia’s shoulders. The child was her first. “It is not so bad. As soon as he, or she, is born you will forget the ordeal of birth. But would you like me with you? I will stay when you are due if it will help?”
“I should like that very much, James fusses over me and it makes me more afraid.”
“Very well, it is agreed. We shall come and stay. Edward will distract James too.” Sylvia nodded and kissed Ellen’s cheek before turning to congratulate Edward.
Next Penny stepped forward, her own son of just over a month old cradled in her arms. Ellen’s fingers brushed the child’s cheek and the infant turned his gaze to her. He was more like Richard than his mother. “He is beautiful,” Ellen whispered.
“Richard loves his daughters, but he is thrilled to have a son at last.” Penny glanced across her shoulder at Richard. He was standing across the room, and their eldest daughter was tugging his hand, urging him to look at Mary Rose, while he was trying to have a conversation with James.
“He’s lovely, I am sure he will grow to be a credit to his father…”
…Ellen looked at her son. He’d taken Mary Rose from Robert and was standing by the hearth talking to him. Ellen’s heart filled with pride. One day he would be a Duke.
“Ellen, my dear child.” Ellen’s thoughts came back to the moment as her mother, with tears in her eyes, drew Ellen into an embrace.’
And of course Mary was Edward’s first child so you can perhaps imagine the bond that she has with her father, but this does come out in excerpts in some of the other books which I’ll share in the time between now and the release date, to whet your appetite. 😉
If you haven’t ordered it yet and you’d like to, just click on the cover in the side bar which will take you into Amazon.
The Dangerous Love of a Rogue
“Pure, unadulterated romance.” Best Chick Lit.com
The next book in Jane Lark’s Kindle best-selling Regency romance series!
“The game is on with Pembroke’s little sister…” Lord Andrew Framlington watched Miss Mary Marlow. The woman had been warned to keep away from him, but she had a little contrary in her soul. She had not been deterred. Perhaps she had a taste for bad hidden beneath her cold denials, or a liking for naughtiness in her soul – either of which appealed.
“Stop pretending you do not like me…” Drew had urged Mary, “Stop running…” Her body urged her to as much as he did. Something pulled her towards him. Something unknown and all consuming… and yet how could she disobey her father and her brother…