Annabelle Enchants the Rejected Earl Extended Epilogue

A Historical Regency Romance Novel

Extended Epilogue

Even now, a year after their wedding day, people remembered it well. Actually, the person that they remembered well from that day was Annabelle, because she had ridden in towards the ceremony on a beautiful horse, the same shade of white as her dress. Her long flowing dress that trailed right past her feet.

It was not a normal thing to do at a wedding, and it certainly was not traditional, but Annabelle did not mind that. Her entire love story had not been normal, so why should their wedding? Even Floyd had been shocked, but that was why she did it. She wanted to show that she supported his business and was proud of it. She also wanted him to know that she had learned to ride properly because of him... it was a little nod to how they met when her excuse for needing riding lessons was simply because she wanted to speak to him.

The couple also wrote their own vows to one another, which they spoke among the traditional ones. The vicar was not too keen when they first suggested the idea, but when he spent some time with Annabelle and Floyd and he learned just how sweet and unique they were, he agreed to it.

That was wonderful, Annabelle loved telling the world just how she felt about Floyd. She loved her family listening in and realising that she knew what was best for her, and she enjoyed her friends learning more about her crazy love story too. Of course, she adored listening to what Floyd had to say to her too. His words of love had stayed with her forever more.

“I love you, Lady Annabelle Hathaway. You and your fiery red hair and your unique perspective on life... you make me laugh, you make the good days better, you are a beautiful woman too... I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life making you the happiest woman alive...” 

“You must be due any day now,” Catherine commented with a smile on her face as she nodded towards Annabelle’s swelling bump. “You shall be joining the club.”

“I know.” Annabelle rubbed her belly with a blissful expression. “I cannot wait to meet my baby boy or girl.”

She glanced around her and Floyd’s home, glad to have so much space these days. They had plenty of room for this baby and maybe some others, should they make that decision. Of course, Annabelle missed the home that she had just for herself, but what Floyd had been able to offer her in Ashbridge overshadowed that by a lot. The house, the wonderful lifestyle, her best friend...

Seeing Catherine again was incredible, it made Annabelle realise just how much she needed someone around her who knew her inside and out. As well as Floyd, of course. He knew everything about her and he continued to learn more every single day.

The money that she had made from the sale of her house had gone towards getting some wonderful supplies for the baby at any rate. She was glad that she had saved it all until the point that she really needed it.

“You say this now, but it is a different story when they come!” Catherine replied knowingly. She did not really know herself since her very wealthy husband hired her a team of nannies to take care of her brood, but Annabelle did not see the point in mentioning that. “Then you will be wondering what you were thinking.”

“Beatrice loves being a mother. I know we are not the same in many ways, but maybe that is the one way we will be similar.”

Now, Beatrice had four children and she relished the role. She had found her place in life and she had blossomed because of that. It seemed that she had even found love for Abraham as the father of her children, which was wonderful. All Annabelle wanted was for her to be happy.

“You might be right with that one. You might well be a natural.” Catherine examined her friend closely. The time apart had been hard on both girls, they had both been through changes in their lives in which they needed one another, but now they were just glad that fate had brought them back together.

The day that Catherine walked into that riding school, she had no idea what she was about to unravel. She did not know that she would run into Floyd Brewer, the stable boy – who was actually an Earl, not that any of them knew that at the time – who stole her best friend’s heart. She also did not know that she would give Floyd Annabelle’s address and that he would come back with her.

She was so glad that she did, she truly needed her best friend in her life. Someone who knew her before she was married and a mother, someone she knew that she could trust with anything.

“Harriett and Edith are happy being mothers too, not that we ever see them anymore.”

Annabelle did miss her old friends, but her life had taught her that not everyone could stay around forever. She had met many people along the way, people who had affected her, and she knew that she would never see them again. She simply held them in her heart and occasionally sent letters to them. Violet, Mark, James... plus the people from before.

“They are happy. That is the main thing,” Annabelle replied with a smile. “They have found what they are looking for in life.”

“We all have... surprisingly.” Catherine laughed and Annabelle joined in. It hurt her stomach to giggle, the baby filled up so much of her belly, but she could not help herself. Whenever she was with Catherine she could not help reminiscing about how it once was. She was happy with how things were, but it was nice to look back, to remember how far they had all come.

“It is a shock to me more than anyone else,” she declared. “I never thought it would happen. By rights, I should have been Lord Ashdown’s wife for a very long time and I would have been very miserable.”

“You would have killed him,” Catherine replied while taking a sip of her tea. “I just do not think that you could have done it, and you are very fiery.”

"Well, then it is a good job my father finally saw sense. For Watson's sake!" Annabelle furrowed her eyebrows in confusion as she realised that she did not know what had happened to him at all. “Did anyone ever hear from him again?”

“Not even through rumours,” Catherine confirmed. “I guess he simply vanished. He was unable to come back from the ruined reputation, I suppose. He knew that he had done wrong and your father unveiled him because of that. He got only what he deserved, but yes he simply vanished.”

“Hmmm.” Annabelle dug around inside herself, trying to make herself feel bad for the person. But whenever she thought about him all she could remember was the nasty comments and the way that he put his hands on her body without being invited to do so. “Maybe you are right.”

She parted her lips to say something else, but before she got the words out, she leaned forward and clutched onto her stomach as a wave of agony rolled over her. It started at her chest and moved all the way down, stripping her lungs of all the breath she had.

“Oh my goodness,” she panted desperately. “Catherine, what is happening?”

Her friend leapt to her feet and reached forward to wrap her arm around her friend. “Is it pain? Are you in agony?” Annabelle panted rapidly, her face contorting as she did. She had never felt anything like it, it shattered every single inch of her. She could hardly cope with it. Catherine wished that there was more she could do to help Annabelle through her first time. “Oh my, I do think your baby is coming.”

“Now?” Annabelle reached up to wipe the perspiration from her forehead that had appeared as if from nowhere. “But I am not ready yet.”

Catherine laughed, but deep down she felt sorry for her friend. She could remember that intense panic well. She experienced it herself first hand with all her children. “You just said that you could not wait to meet your baby boy or girl. I think you are more than ready.”

“I do not know.” Annabelle grabbed onto Catherine’s hand and she squeezed hard. “I did not realise that it would hurt this much.”

“You will be alright,” Catherine returned to comforting mode. “I know it does not seem that way right now but I promise you that it will. I shall alert Floyd and the doctor, this will all be over soon enough.”

Annabelle hated Catherine in that moment, but only because she was being very calm and collected whereas she felt like a total mess. Still, she needed that. They could not both struggle through this. Someone needed to take control.

***

Every single inch of Annabelle’s body hurt as she lay down on her bed way into the evening. Pain radiated over every inch of her body, but she was the happiest that she had ever been in her life. As she glanced down at the young baby in her arms, the helpless little girl that needed absolutely everything from her, she felt a true, boundless love that she had never experienced before.

Even her love for Floyd did not compete with this, which was surprising to her. She did not think there was anyone she could love more.

“Can I hold her?” Floyd whispered to Annabelle, with pure unbridled love in his eyes. “She is truly beautiful; I love her so much.”

Annabelle allowed Floyd to take their child and she propped herself up on her elbows to look at them both together. A blissful, peaceful smile spread across her mouth as she realised that everything had finally fallen into place, just as she wanted it to be. Sure, it had been agony to get there, childbirth was like something else... she was not sure that she ever wanted to experience it again, but it was worth it.

“You look tired,” Floyd commented, only taking his eyes off his baby for a moment. “You may get some rest if you like. I can take care of our baby.”

Annabelle was tired but also wired. She was not sure that she could ever sleep again. It was a very kind offer from Floyd though, Annabelle could already tell that he was going to be different from the other men she knew, none of them helped out with their children at all... but that was exactly why she liked him. They both did not quite fit into the mould that society expected them to be. They were both very unique in their own special ways.

“What are we going to call her?” she asked, changing the subject completely. “We need to think of a name for our little baby girl.”

“Can we not just call her baby girl?” Floyd teased. “I think it suits her.”

“No, we cannot,” Annabelle laughed. “We must call her something.”

“I know we said that we would not think of names before she was born to see what she – or he, as we did not know then –  looked like first but I could not help myself.” Floyd’s cheeks heated up as he finally admitted that he was a lot more obsessed with the idea of being a father than he ever let on. “I have an idea and I think it will suit her.”

“You do?” Annabelle grinned to herself, loving the way that Floyd always insisted on surprising her. “And what is that?”

“Chloe,” he admitted. “Chloe Brewer, what do you think?”

“I love it,” Annabelle gasped honestly. “I think that is the perfect name for our baby girl.”

Annabelle leaned her head against Floyd’s leg feeling content and happy. This was perfect, she did not think that anything could get in the way of her joy now.

Everything was perfect.

***

The first month of raising baby Chloe was extremely tiring, but also very rewarding. Maybe they could have afforded childcare but they quickly realised that they wanted to do it all themselves. It was hard on Floyd, considering he had his business to run too, but he would not have changed it for the world.

There was only one thing that he wanted to change, and that had come about since he had become a father. He hoped today that would come to fruition.

Knock, knock.

Almost as if he had summoned him up through wish only, the knock on the door alerted him to the fact that his visitor had finally arrived.

“Who is that?” Annabelle asked, sounding a little stressed. “Is it company that I need to dress nicely for?”

“No, do not worry,” Floyd replied smilingly. “I am sure that it is fine.”

His heart thundered in his chest as he walked towards the door, but he tried to keep his face stoic and serious. This was a man that he really needed to respect him. He had seen him twice since he had married Annabelle, but this was the most important time of all. This was the time that he needed him more than ever before.

Almost automatically, Floyd bowed his head as he swung the door open. Otto Hathaway’s looming presence almost towered above him, reminding him of the stable boy that he used to be all those years ago. Around his former employer, it was hard to recall that he had actually done something with his life.

“Good morning, Lord Hathaway,” he said quietly. “It is wonderful to have you here.”

Otto handed him a piece of paper and gave Floyd a reassuring smile. “It is done.” They shared a sharp nod before Otto spoke out again. “Now can I please see my granddaughter? I am desperate to meet her.”

As he stepped inside, Josephine followed him behind quietly. She did not want to get involved with the business talk at all, all she cared about was seeing her daughter and meeting her granddaughter. She saw Beatrice’s children a lot, now she wanted to meet Annabelle’s too.

“Mother?” Annabelle gasped in shock as her parents came into the room. “Father? What are you doing here?”

“We have come to see you,” Otto replied happily. “And to see baby Chloe. How are you getting on with her?”

“We are really well actually.” Annabelle pushed herself into a standing position, feeling glad that her body was finally starting to recover. “This is such a nice surprise; I am so glad that you are here.”

Annabelle handed her baby over to her mother, making Josephine slide into doting grandmother all over again. There was something so special about her grandchildren, she simply adored them all. After the complicated life that she had given herself over the last few years, almost risking her own marriage to help her daughter, she felt like she deserved this happiness.

Her and Otto were in a much better place these days, but it had taken them some serious time and effort to get there.

“Actually, this is not a surprise to me,” Floyd admitted stepping forward. “I invited your parents here because I have some news.”

“You do?” Annabelle’s heart stopped in her chest. She had a horrible feeling that this was something she would not like. It was certainly something very serious at any rate for her father to be in the picture.

“Yes.” Floyd nodded and smiled. “Ever since I found out that you were having Chloe, there has been something that I have wanted to do. I should have sorted it out years ago, I even had the opportunity to do so and I did not." He shook his head, again cursing himself for being so short-sighted at the time. "But now, with the help of your father, who I could not have done it without, I have done it.”

Annabelle darted her eyes from side to side, looking at everyone in turn. Anxiety gripped her heart as she tried to work out exactly what was going on. “Floyd, what is going on here? Will you please tell me?”

As far as she knew, Floyd had only ever kept one secret from her. It was not a big deal, but that was in the early days before they got to know one another too well. Now, it felt like it might be something that would hurt her more.

“I know I said that I would never do it, but for Chloe I have.” He pulled out the piece of paper and he handed it to Annabelle. “Maybe it does not matter too much now, and it certainly will not affect our lifestyle, but I have reclaimed my title.”

Annabelle clapped her hand against her mouth and giggled in shock. Floyd was right, it would not affect them really, but it was an amazing gesture all the same. It was nice that he had done that for their daughter.

“That is so wonderful,” she exclaimed while throwing her arms around him. “Oh, Floyd, I love you so much.”

Otto and Josephine shared a knowing look as the couple embraced, glad that everything had finally worked out. There was a long time when it seemed that it wasn’t going to, but somehow, despite everything, everyone had managed to find their happy ever after.

The End

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  • I enjoyed reading this book. It seemed to have more twists than most stories. I especially enjoyed the involvement of Annabelle’s parents, in particular her mother.
    I always like the follow up in the extended epilogue and this one had some unique surprises.

  • This is a lovely story. Although I struggle through the first few chapters, it eventually became understandable. It was lovely that the family came to an understanding in the end

  • I really enjoyed this book, a page turner for me. I did not see all the twists and turns that Annabelle took to her happily after. I did find some trouble connecting with at first but after a couple chapters I was wrapped in the web. I felt satisfied with the resolution of the book. I did not have any questions or unresolved angst.

  • Oh my, what a wonderful story! I could hardly put the book down for wanting to see what happened next. There were situations I wondered whether they would be resolved. It was a wonderful book and, as always, love the HEA! Am thrilled with Hannah’s books and certainly look forward to her next one!! Hope it is not too far off Hannah!!💟

  • It took until the very end for Floyd to do what I felt he should have all along, reclaim his title. But had he set to right earlier, the story could not have been what it is… Another remarkable love story!

  • A wonderful story. This couple were way before their time. Enjoyed their relationship that went against the grain.

  • I enjoyed the story very. I liked that it was not just boy meets girl and live happily but there were struggles to get through.

  • I love this book with all twits and turns that they went threw life. Then the end just made it perfect love story and happy ever after. That I couldn’t put down. Thankyou.

  • I enjoyed reading this book, I knew I was not going to be disappointed having read the prior books. I enjoyed reading that with love comes struggles and it took time for them to come together at the right time. Loved it can’t wait for your next book to come out.

  • I loved this beautiful love story so much, you are such a creative writer, I’m so glad you left us the extended epilogue, I’m so glad they finally found each other again and are very happy, these are the kind of love stories I like to read, thank You so much for your great talent, you are awesome!!

  • I really enjoyed the end & the extended Epilogue, very heart warming. I struggled getting through the first few chapters – it just seemed to go on too long but then it became real page turner & of course, a happily ever after! Great read!

  • A wonderful and exciting love story. With a very stern and controlling father, Annabelle really had to fight to get the life and love she desired. A gripping story with a happy ending

  • I really enjoyed reading this book. The book was an exciting love story and I could not put it down, the need to find out what was happening next was a must. I’m glad Annabelle and Floyd found their happy ending

  • Otto was a terror as far as women,s rights were concerned. That would seem to be normal for the time period but, wouldn,t that be awful? I was much relieved when he came to realize the error of his ways. I was surprised that Annabelle was able to buy a house without a male family member to sign for her. This book is a great read but, some of it was painful to imagine how Annabelle was feeling. I was glad you made her a success on her own but exhausted by the time our star crossed lovers finally got together ..Thank you for writing Recency romances, I seem to be stuck on them.

  • This is a beautiful, exciting love story. I have enjoyed all of your books that I have read. Please keep up the great work, I think we all are anxiously awaiting the next one!

  • I have read it straight through. It was great. It held my attention. It was such a sweet love story. Thank you. Linda Linda

  • I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way the characters interacted. I loved the ending too. I would love to know what happened to James.

  • I happen to love all your books and the added extended epilogue for each of them always seem to the up the loose ends and questions left when the book is done. Thank you.

  • Your book was page turner from the start. All the twist and turns kept the characters entertaining and us educated to their growth. This was a most enjoyable story line. Keep up the good writing.

  • Hanna you had me yelling at Otto, yelling at Flloyd, yelling at Annabelle at one point. The long seperation, even had Me yelling at you. This was a real pageturner start to finish and finally the happy ending I was looking for. Thanks Hanna!

    • hehe, I was wondering where are you going with all the yelling :p Thanks for your kind comment my dear, appreciate it 🙂

  • I was glued from start to finish! It was a truly wonderful escape reading this book. I also really enjoyed seeing the characters grow and change.

  • Loved this story with all the twists and turns and the extended piece.
    Arranged marriages, you would think some of the Fathers would finally get the hint! The love story finally got told.
    I have read alot of your stories and they captivate me. Thenks!

  • This is the first book of yours I have read and truly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more

  • I enjoyed this book, I have enjoyed all the books so far. I will Continue reading . Your books are love stories and are not trashy, I cannot get enough.

  • Wonderful love story that kept me on the edge of my seat ! True Love always wins in the end of you wait for it. Thank You for Writing This Inspirational Story. Absolutley Loved It !!!!!

  • Could not put this book down the twist and turns oh my this story gives you a good idea of how things were and in some places still are. Wonderful story.

  • It was awesome how do you come up with such an amazing plot that thickens it always draws me it and I can’t put you books down.

  • A lovely enchanting story. The story of lasting love during times of great trials for a lovely couple. From a truly nasty bounded ,who doesn’t get his just desserts,in my opinion. To a lovely happy ending. Well worth the read and don’t miss the extended epilogue.

  • You have created a wonderful story by showing the power of love. An HEA requires time and much effort, but it is so worth it. I love your books.

  • A very lovely story with many ups and downs throughout. A controlling father who tried to force a marriage on his daughter to an awful brute of a man. Then the daughter ran away with the love of her life but was dragged back by her father. When her father saw for himself the type of man that the groom was he allowed his daughter to leave. A happy ending for all.

  • Our HEA in life can be very much like this story. Many obstacles that seem so unnecessary & hurtful in the journey can be overcome if we stay true to ourselves. Always remembering the age old “to thine ownself be true”…never settle.

  • Enjoy this book very much. Just looking for something different and this was. I hope you enjoyed as much as I did.

  • I really enjoyed this book very much. I especially like the twist and turns that it took our hero and heroine to really fined each other. Life is so full of ups and downs, and this book really captures that.

  • What a story. So many twists and turns. I love all your books, they keep my interest and I have to keep reading them. I love your characters too. Their happiness is even better because they grew up and knew what they wanted and needed. So glad her father came to appreciate his daughter and son in law. Thank you.

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