The Duke of My Heart Extended Epilogue

A Historical Regency Romance Novel

One Year Later

...and they both lived happily ever after.

It was Iris’s favourite ending to write, she absolutely loved it. It filled readers with hope, it gave people happiness, it reminded her of her very own happy ending. She got Ewan, she got the lovely home in the quaint American town, she got it all. She got the prince charming, and the castle, even if it did not look exactly as she envisioned.

Mostly she got to take her stories to the hospital to read them to the patients in there. Seeing them with a blissful happy expression on their faces for just a few moments made everything worth it. She loved cheering people up, it made her feel special and worthwhile.

In a way, it also helped Iris to come to terms with losing her mother. She still hated that she was gone, but at least she was no longer suffering. Iris had been too young to see how much pain her mother was in at the time, but now she got it. It was awful, but she would not have wished agony on anyone. Least of all her wonderful mother.

If you can see me, Mother, I hope that you are happy for me. Iris assumed that she would be, she hoped that she had not disappointed her by defying her father’s wishes. But surely it was obvious now that she had made the right choice. After all, she was happy every single day with Ewan. He meant everything to her.

“How are you feeling this morning, sweetie?” Ewan looked unusually concerned as he stared at his wife. “You are not sick today, are you?”

Her face was a little pale, and she had a redness to her eyes. Ewan could not help himself, he needed to make sure that she was alright.

“No, I am not.” Iris forced herself up off the seat to join her husband. The rounder her belly got, the harder it was to do everything. Luckily, it would not be long until the baby would be born and life would go back to normal. She hoped. “I am feeling fine. I hope you have not forgotten what today is?”

She circled her arms around her husband’s waist and pressed her lips gently against his neck. She loved the sweet taste of his skin, some days she felt like she would never stop kissing him. The year together as husband and wife had done nothing to dull that feeling. If anything she fell deeper in love with him every single day. 

“You are not about to give birth, are you?” Ewan sounded panicked as if he could barely breathe anymore, He had been planning for this moment for as long as he could remember, but now that he was here he felt very unprepared.

“Maybe,” Iris chuckled. She did not share his worries; she could not wait to meet their child.

Ewan had become a mad person ever since he discovered that she was carrying his child. He worried about her all the time and made every effort to take great care of her. He was much more involved than any man Iris had ever known before, which indicated that he was going to be a very good father... if not a huge worrier. Iris could not wait to show him that everything would be fine.

“Oh my goodness, are you serious?”

“I do not know,” Iris rolled her eyes. “But that is not what I was referring to. I am talking about the date. It is our wedding anniversary. One year ago today we were reciting our vows and declaring our love to the world.”

Ewan clapping his hand noisily against his forehead. "I cannot believe it," he announced sadly. "I have gotten so wrapped up in getting the business in order, I have been so busy worrying about our child that I forgot.”

He turned and rubbed her belly, which caused the baby to kick violently against his hand. Ewan had the theory that they had to be having a boy because he spent so much time thrashing about inside of Iris, but she thought differently. Iris felt certain that they were having a very feisty little girl. All the Warwick girls, but Amy had that streak. Some of them needed to have it dragged out of them, but it was there all the same.

“I cannot believe that I forgot about that wonderful day, it was also the day we met Mr. And Mrs. Rushmore.” The elderly couple had gone on to become very good friends of theirs. Their first American friends. "I cannot believe I did not check the calendar every single day."

“It does not matter,” Iris insisted. “If I wanted to make a big deal of the day I would have mentioned it sooner. I know how busy you have been; you have a lot of journeys to coordinate which is challenging. I understand. I just want you to remember how far we have come over the last twelve months. We have achieved more than most people ever do in their entire lives.”

She could not get over it. Every now and again it would hit her, she had come all the way from her bedroom to America, and once there she had gone on to carve out a genuine, happy existence for herself. She had many friends, she attended many things, she even had attention on her every now and again and she did not mind. She was a brand new Iris.

Iris Oakley was her favourite person of all time to be. 

“It is just lucky that I have this for you.” Ewan pulled a small box out of his pocket and he presented it to Iris. “I have been saving it for a special day, such as this one.”

Iris narrowed her eyes at Ewan, she knew him too well to fall for his lies. “You did not forget at all, did you?” she accused. “You were fooling me all along.”

She snatched the box from him and she tore it open quickly, just to see the most beautiful ring staring back at her. She gasped and trembled, almost dropping the box in her shock.

“I did not get you a ring for our wedding day, which was very wrong of me.”

“But everything happened in such a hurry...” Iris jumped in to justify his actions. She understood exactly why things had gone in that way, and she did not mind at all. She had Ewan, who cared about the ring? Their love was never about anything material.

“I know, but I have always wanted to get you one,” Ewan continued with a loving smile. “Because it came so late, it had to be the right ring, and because we have put a lot of money into getting ourselves started, I wanted to be smart. But now I have this for you, and I hope that you like it.”

Iris slipped it onto her finger with tears shining brightly in her eyes. It fit her perfectly and it made her hand shine brightly. She had not minded not having a ring, but now that she had one, it made her feel even more anchored to Ewan. That was the only way she did not mind sacrificing her freedom, but that was because she had used her freedom to get to Ewan. She had chosen him using her own mind. 

“Oh my goodness, it is wonderful.” She held her hand towards the window to examine it in the sunlight. “It looks so lovely; you did not have to do this. Now I feel very silly about the monogrammed stationary that I have brought for you.... oh!”

All of a sudden she clutched onto herself. Ewan stepped back, at first assuming that she was joking. He had gotten her the ring, so she was giving him their child.

“Oh right, it is alright,” he joked. “The stationary is enough.”

“No,” Iris gasped, seemingly clinging onto the rouse. “You do not understand.”

“I think I understand just fine...”

But then he spotted the puddle forming at her feet, and he realised that this was really happening. His heart stopped dead in his chest, a large ball of fear curled up in his throat, Ewan realised that he needed to snap into action now. Even if they were not expecting the baby to come today, it was. Now he needed to prove his worth to Iris. To his unborn child.

But first, he needed to steady himself on his feet.

“Oh my goodness. Our baby is coming.”

“The baby is coming?” Ewan knew it, but he needed it confirmed. “Are you sure?”

“I’m definitely sure.” Iris was in agony as the contraction rolled through her. “I mean, my stomach has been twinging on and off all morning, but it has not felt like this yeah.” She paused for a second to scream out in agony. “Yes, the baby is coming.”

“What do I do?” Rationally Ewan knew, but his mind had gotten all scrambled up in the heat of the moment. Thoughts kept floating through his mind but they did not stay for long enough for him to focus on any of them. He needed to calm down, he tried breathing deeply, but nothing seemed to work. He was a terrified mess.

“Call a doctor. Get me some hot towels.” Iris was not sure herself, but she felt certain that a medical professional and some warmth would help her right now.

 Ewan took Iris’s hand and he led her over to sit her down. She needed to relax, to focus on what was happening within her body. He had to take care of the rest, that was his job.

“I will take care of everything, you stop worrying.”

Stop worrying, Iris almost sneered. Yes, sure, that shall be easy enough.  All of a sudden her brain was filled with all the horror stories that everyone had ‘helpfully’ told her and she felt scared that she might not be able to do it. She loved the being within her, she had done ever since she realised that she was pregnant, but now she felt afraid. Find that inner strength, she commanded herself. If you can move to the other side of the world, you can do this.

***

Iris clutched the small, pink bundle of joy in her arms feeling overwhelmed with love. It was boundless, deep, endless. She had never known a love like it, it consumed her even more than Ewan did. Iris did not think it was possible, but it had happened. This little girl was her everything, and she would be forever more.

Birth had been a bloody, painful, terrifying experience, just as she feared it would be, but now that she had her little baby Iris knew that she’d do it all again in a heartbeat. This love made everything worth it.

“She is so beautiful,” Ewan half sobbed next to her. He was an emotional mess, also very much in love with the little girl before him. He thought he wanted a boy, he assumed life would be easier with a boy, but he hadn’t accounted for how much he would love a little girl. “She looks just like you. Same hair, same shape face, she is just as beautiful as you.”

“Oh, I do not know about that. I think that she looks like you.”

Iris could see a green colour to her daughter’s eyes, and she could tell that the blonde hair would eventually turn raven like her father’s. Soon she would look exactly like him, and Iris loved that. She was going to be the most beautiful girl ever.

“What are we going to call her?”

Iris had been thinking of names for weeks. Months, even, but she had not managed to settle on one. Now though, as she looked at her daughter, she knew exactly what she wanted to call her.

“Can we name her Ava Daisy?” She loved the name Ava, and looking at her baby’s face she could see that the name really suited her. “I want her to have a bit of Daisy within her. It’ll remind us of how everything between us started.”

Every now and again, Iris would forget about everything that had happened in England, and she did not want that to happen permanently. She wanted to honour her friend, and since Daisy was a big part of what brought them together it seemed only right.

"Ava Daisy Oakley sounds perfect to me." Ewan stared at Iris, trying to work out what she needed now. Usually, he was very good at detecting her needs before she even had to vocalise them, but this was a strange situation for all of them. They had never been here before. “Would you like to get some fresh air? Maybe show our little girl the outside world?”

“But it is too sunny for Ava Daisy,” all of a sudden, Iris turned into the worrier which was a surprising turn of events. “What if her skin gets burned?”

“She will be alright for a few moments,” Ewan smiled reassuringly. “You cannot keep her indoors forever more.”

Iris nodded and allowed Ewan to take Ava off her while she stood up. It had been a week or so since Ava had been born, but still, she felt a little shaky on her legs as she stood. It was as if a lot had been stripped from her when she gave birth to Ava. Not that she minded, of course.

As they stood outside their small, white house and they stared out across the wonderful American town that they now called home, both Iris and Ewan stared happily out into their home.

“We are a family now,” Ewan practically whispered gleefully. “It is no longer just me and you. We have a whole other life depending on us.”

Iris smiled down at her daughter and she stroked her cheek lightly. “At least we will not make the same mistakes that our parents made, at least we know how to do a much better job.”

Iris did not say it aloud, but she also felt utterly convinced that their love would help their child grow up in a much more stable environment too. They did not have the mansions, but they also did not have the coldness between them. Having not been forced into a marriage, they shared something deeper than either of their parents ever had.

“We can make our family much bigger too,” Ewan continued. “Any time you like, we can have more. Up until this point, I have been very worried, but now I know that we can do it. We should have lots of children.”

“Not right now!” Iris laughed. “Let me recover from this one first, but yes. I would like to have more children.” After all, being a mother was a useful life. The most useful of all, if done right. “I love Ava Daisy, and I love you too.”

“I love you too,” Ewan replied as his eyes misted up with emotion. “I love you very much, Iris.”

With that they shared a look, communicating all their deepest inner thoughts. They had everything now, even more than they dared hoped wish for. It had all started with the switch, but everything that had come after was them. They had earned this happiness, and they’d embraced it well too.

Iris and Ewan truly deserved their happy ever after.

The End

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  • The story was really good, but I have mixed feelings about them having to give up their families in England. It just doesn’t feel right.

        • I’m so happy that you enjoyed the book my dear ♥️ Thanks a million for your support!!! ♥️♥️♥️

  • I had trouble putting the book down. I loved that Iris got the love of her life but was confused about the Duke of her heart.

  • Loved the story-line. Loved the plot. New and refreshing yet a wildly must- finsh-reading adventure.

    Thank you.

    • Thanks a lot Annette. I really appreciate it. I hope you could share the story with your reading buddies <3

  • I also enjoyed this book very much, especially with the extended epilogue as it finished the book off beautifully. The plot was complex and well done, the characters well developed, it was refreshing to see women be strong and take a chance at being different. Well done.

    • Fantastic, thanks a lot for your comment, really appreciate it <3 Would it be too much to ask for a short Amazon review please?

  • Was very disappointed in this book after reading so many of your others.

    I guess it was a story you needed to tell.

    • Hi Glenda, I’m sorry you didn’t like the story. What didn’t you like about it please? I may be able to improve things on my next releases 🙂

      Thanks

  • Loved the story and liked the descriptions of what some of the life was like “downstairs”. A pity they had to go to America, would have liked to have read a different solution.

  • I enjoyed the book so much. Although I must admit I came up with the solution long before them. Must be we think alike. Lovely written.

  • I really enjoyed the story. I would be immersed in it until “wow, or yeah” came up. Edit out the modern vernacular and some of the unusual forward thinking and it would be a perfect period romance. It was quite spectacular.

  • Loved the book. I would really like to know about daisy and her duke? Will he ever find out he is not married to “a !ady”

  • I loved the book; don’t see how it could end differently. But I too wonder whether Daisy’s Duke will ever know the truth.

  • Story was good but I had to skip over
    a lot I didn’t like the switch to be final
    I agree it took to long for the truth and really did not like they had to leave their home, country and family

    • I get your point. Well, I’m the type of lady I listen to my readers and I improve based on their comments. Thanks for stopping by ♥

  • Hello Hanna
    I enjoyed the book very much and was glad that Daisy herself was able to visit and let us know she truly was happy I kept wondering about her and the duke. I just finish this book so I am not sure if you already wrote one on the Duke and Daisy if not then I know it’s coming. Glad you gave it a happy ending hope they get to see their family again. Look forward to ready more wonderful stories from you.

    • hehe many readers have asked about it. So who knows, I might write the story of Daisy at some point 😉

  • I loved that the two women could have a chance of living out their fantasies! Some dreams do come true😍

  • I really enjoyed reading about Iris and Daisy…beautiful story of courage and love. It had a twist of adventure, secrecy, the many types of love that exists. The love of friendship, romance, and family are found to be very profound in the story line…I loved it. Would love to know how the Duke and Daisy faired… Did she secretly tell him the truth as Iris did for Ewan? Inquiring minds want to know…lol. Do so want to read about them……

    • hehe I know Deborah, I get the same comments from other readers as well. Maybe in the future, we’ll all find out ♥

  • I really loved this beautiful love story, you are a great writer and am glad you let us read the end of it completely, I have read some of your other books and can truly say that as far as I’m concerned you have never written a bad story, I really enjoy your stories. Thank you.

    • Hi Maria, you make me blush with your kind comments. I do my best to write top quality stories for you and such comments give me strength to try even harder ♥

  • I really enjoyed this book. Finally found the type of books that I like to read that are clean without all the sex. Look forward to reading more.

  • Well Hanna,

    This was a book I finished in 3 days including the expanded epilogue. I kept trying to figure out when you were going to switch them back but when you didn’t I thought, “now what?” Your solution was one I didn’t see coming? Very Nice!

  • Well written, engaging story. Love the characters. Would have liked to know a bit more about each of the peripheral characters. Hope to see them again in your future writings. Thanks for an enjoyable read.

    • Hello Mary, this is something asked from many readers. I’ll consider such an approach in the future. Thanks for commenting ♥

  • The story lines you give us are enjoying and different. So glad to read something that is not the same old thing so many writers give us. Refreshing ! Refreshing !

    • Thank you my darling. I do my best to provide interesting storylines. So glad you liked The Duke of My Heart ♥

  • Enjoyed this love story and extended story. Had an interesting twist!
    Hanna you really deliver an interesting story without too much sex. I like your style.

  • A different but truly wonderful story of the trials and tribulations a young couple endured to find each other and love.

  • I have loved every one of Hanna Hamilton’s books! Interest is captured immediately as you begin reading and stays that way throughout the whole book. I awoke around 3:00 am and thought I would read myself back to sleep…no way! I couldn’t stop reading. It is now 6:36 am and I just finished the book. Now, back to sleep…

    • Oh Gosh, this is so amazing! Thank you my dear Faith, so very happy you enjoyed my book…I’m so humbled ♥

    • Just like you Faith, I woke UP at 3am and BAD to finished the book unti the extended epilogue. Dearest I look forward to read all your books.

  • This is yet another of Hanna’s captivating story. The Duke of my heart has held my interest from just reading the synopsis. It is believed that a writer, like wine, can only get better with age, but, I’ll love to see after you’ve reached perfection what direction is left to go. Well Hanna, the only thing left for you to do is to get more people introduced to your books. Grab a copy folks you wouldn’t regret it.

    • Feedback like this is what makes me push my writing even further my sweet Linda. Thank you for your beautiful words dear. I feel humbled ♥

  • A wonderful and exciting love story with some twists and turns you can’t expect, A very touching story.

  • Wonderful story although would have liked her to have her identity back.Still enjoyed it very much couldn’t put the book down.

  • Thank you for a good story, could not put it down, this happens with most of your books . It would be nice to hear how Daisy and her Duke got on thank you.

  • This was truly a wonderful story! I loved that Iris was able to achieve true happiness with Ewan. Having their daughter completed the union between this couple. I would also like to read what happens in the life of Daisy and the Duke. It would be interesting to read how her life started after she married him. Good book!

  • I loved this story. I can’t imagine having to live in those restrictive times. I too would love to know how Daisy’s life turned out.

  • The story was good except for the modern expressions scattered through out. I do think you need a proofreader though, statements ended with a question mark were way too frequent. There seemed to be a lot of sentences that were not clear or formed properly as well. The story line was good, the truth came out finally; I believe if it were told earlier on things would have gone a lot smoother for all involved. I will continue to read your books as they are very entertaining.

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