The Lady and the Duke Extended Epilogue

A Historical Regency Romance Novel

Extended Epilogue

Three-year-old Abigale took a tumble running through the Honeyfield entry hall, but she was immediately picked up by her five-year-old brother, Matthew, who was following behind her.

“There, there,” he comforted—brushing down the young girl who was more startled than hurt. She was on the verge of tears but thought better of it because what she really wanted was to see the new puppy her father and mother just brought home.

It was already an exciting day because it was her birthday and the puppy was the present from her parents. She had decided to name it Puff—a name suitable for either a boy or a girl.

Mrs. Samuels suddenly appeared. “Did I hear running?” she asked, commanding an answer.

Abigale and Matthew stopped dead in their tracks.

“No, ma’am, it was just a slip and a fall. These stones can be slippery, you know.”

Mrs. Samuels glared at them. “Hum. Hum. Maybe. But I better not hear anything that even resembles running. You understand?” She asked fiercely, but with just the faintest of smiles.

“Oh, yes, ma’am. No running.”

And the two took off walking as fast as they could through the kitchen, out into the yard, and toward the stable where the pup was being kept in an enclosure.

Edwin and Lydia were crouched down before the terrier puppy. Abigale, seeing the puppy, ran forward, shouting, “Puff. Puff.”

“Happy birthday, honey,” Lydia said, taking hold of her daughter and squeezing her tightly.

“Mamma, stop. I want to hold Puff,” she complained.

Lydia released her and Abigale picked up the dog and cuddled it.

Lydia and Edwin stood up.

“Be careful not to hurt him. He is still a little baby.”

“I will.”

Edwin turned to his son, “Matthew, you watch your sister. Do not let her harm the puppy or herself.”

“I always do.”

Edwin nodded. “You are a good brother.”

Matthew looked up and smiled.

The nanny, Miss Stevens, came out of the kitchen door and headed toward the stable. Edwin saw her and waved.

“Good morning,” he said as she approached.

“Good day, sir. And this is where they have got to, is it? I was looking everywhere.”

“Birthday present. Give them a few minutes then you can take them back inside.”

She nodded. “I will.” She turned to the children. “Now, do not get too comfortable. We still have lessons this morning.”

Abigale piped up, “Ah, but it is my birthday. No lessons today for me,” she insisted.

“This morning, yes. But you are excused for the afternoon.”

“Me too?” Matthew asked.

“Yes, you too.”

“Hooray,” the two youngsters shouted.

“What time are the guests arriving?” Edwin asked Lydia.

“The party starts at three o’clock. But we should be all ready by two-thirty.”

“I was so happy to see Ellen and Ethan,” Edwin said, as he put his arm around Lydia’s waist. “I was just sorry Bartley could not make it down from London.”

They left the stable and headed toward the orchard. Lydia went over and inspected several of the new fruit trees.

“We are going to have a grand harvest this year. This is the second harvest for most of the new trees. Do you think we will need to bring in any additional pickers for the harvest?” Lydia asked.

“I can bring some of the lads up from the warehouse. It would be for only a couple of days—yes? Three… four?”

“That should be about right.” She took Edwin’s hand. “You will stop work in time for the party?”

He smiled. “Of course. I am not going to miss my baby girl’s birthday party. And what are your plans for the day?”

Lydia gazed out over the vastly expanded vegetable fields. “I found caterpillars on the tomato plants. I was thinking to assign a couple of the ladies to see if we can get rid of those. And Jenny and the children are coming before the party. We haven’t visited for several weeks and we need a good old natter.”

Edwin laughed. “I love seeing the two of you together. You have such fun, and she is so delightfully irreverent.”

“I know. And it seems she gets more outrageous over time.”

“Do you think you would have any time this morning to visit me at the greenhouse? I want you to look at the citrus trees. It looks like we might be getting some kind of blight.”

“Oh… then I best come now. We do not want that to get out of hand if that is what it is.”

As they walked to the greenhouse, they passed workers in the vegetable field picking a number of different vegetables and placing them in boxes to be carted to their distribution warehouse later that afternoon.

Edwin and Lydia entered the greenhouse. It was warm and humid inside. The glazing shut out most of the outside noise and it was quiet, except for the sound of a worker watering.

“Over here,” Edwin said, leading Lydia to the citrus grove. “Here.” He pulled down a branch for Lydia to examine.

She turned over a leaf. “Hum. Let me take this as a sample and I will look in my book on citrus infections.” She turned to leave. “I best go. I want to get the women started on the tomatoes and then I want to visit with Ellen and Ethan.”

“I will not be up for dinner at noon. I want to work through until the party,” Edwin said.

Lydia turned back and gave Edwin a kiss on the cheek. “Until later, then.”

***

Lydia knocked on the door of Ellen’s old room.

“Come,” Ellen called out.

Entering, Lydia found Ellen at her desk. “Are you nostalgic for your life at Honeyfield?

Ellen looked up. “A little. But I am so happy with my current life—it is only a passing fancy.”

“Do you think Ethan would want to join Matthew and Abigale for morning lessons? Or is he too young?”

“He’s about Abigale’s age. I think he would enjoy being with them—if Miss Stevens would not mind taking him on. He can be a bit ornery with strangers.”

“I think she can manage. Both of my young’uns can be ornery as well.”

“Then maybe tomorrow morning. It is a bit late now.”

“Mommy, Mommy,” Ethan called out as he came over to Ellen. “I got a bugger.” He held out his finger to his mother and she took out a handkerchief to manage the discovery.

“There, now go finish the drawing you started.”

“Yes, Mommy.” And he retreated.

“Oh, I have something for you,” Ellen said. “I found it when I was unpacking.” She got up from the desk and went over by the bed and picked up a book. “It’s my second one—The Idle Temptress. And look, it is dedicated to you.” Ellen handed Lydia the book.

“Oh, Ellen this is delightful. I cannot wait to read it. And is there to be a third?”

“Why ever not?” Ellen asked.

“Well, you are a mother now. I just wondered…”

“Nothing keeps me from my writing. It is too much fun, and I must say, it is rather flattering to be a London sensation.”

“Is it to be another of your saucy romances?” Lydia asked.

“Oh, yes. My publisher insists it be as naughty as possible.”

“And what does Bartley think about that?” Lydia asked chuckling.

“He does sometimes wonder where I get my ideas. He says there are things in the book that he has never even heard of, let alone done. And he asks, with some suspicion, I might add, where I get my ideas. And I, of course, reply— ‘with my writer’s imagination.’ However, I am not sure he quite believes me.”

They both laughed.

***

Edwin was behind the house organizing the rides and games for the children. Mother’s pony had been requisitioned as one of the rides. And a very patient older sheep had been bridled as a second ride.

The party was being held in a parlor, mostly emptied of furniture and anything breakable, and Lydia was setting up parlor games like pin the tail on the donkey with her mother’s help.

“What have you done about a cake?” Mother asked.

“Cook has done a marvel—pink and Yellow frosting. She even managed to write Abigale’s name on it.”

“I would love to see my other grandchildren soon. I have not even seen Margaret’s latest,” Mother said, already exhausted and collapsing onto a window seat.

“Then you should go. Take a trip. Stay for a month and visit both your daughters. It would be fun.”

“Would you go with me?”

“Mother, you know I cannot.”

“But I do not think I could manage alone. Public transportation is just too awful.”

“I can talk to Edwin to see if he could spare a carriage and driver for a month. Would you go then?”

Mother took out her handkerchief and dabbed at her forehead.

“Perhaps. I do not know.” She sighed. Maybe the Duchess would like to go with me. What do you think?”

“Ask her, Mother. How would I know?”

Lydia had made some streamers out of colored paper rings and was trying to pin them to the curtains.

“Could you help me, please,” she asked.

Mother reluctantly stood and went over to help.

Then a cry came from the entryway.

“Lydia? Lydia? When in heaven’s name are you?” It had to be Jenny.

“In here,” Lydia called.

Jenny burst through the door with two little girls. “Oh, there you are. I was frantic thinking I would be late. I so wanted to chat before the party as I know you will be wildly busy when the other guests arrive.” Jenny then noticed Mother. “Oh, hello, Mrs. Fernside. I hope you are well.”

Mother waved her hand in the air. “It is the heat. My little cottage gets no air, and I toss and turn at night, like one of those horses you see on the roadside rolling in the dust.”

No one knew how to respond to that.

One of Jenny’s girls spoke up. “Where is Abigale? We want to play.”

“Just a moment. Mommy’s talking,” Jenny insisted.

“You are not. That other lady is.”

“Let me,” Lydia said, taking charge.

She turned to her Mother. “Will you please take these two young ladies to the nursery? Miss Stevens is in charge of the children until the party starts.”

“Oh, very well. Come along, my darlings.” Mother took the children by the hand and led them away.

Jenny let out a sigh and went over and threw her arms around Lydia.

“Reginald wants to have yet another one, and I said no, absolutely not. But he wants a son, so what am I to do?”

Jenny pulled away and wiped at her eyes and then examined the room. “This is looking nice. Do you need any more help?”

“The rest of the streamers need to be hung. Could you?”

“Absolutely.”

They continued getting ready for the party.

Then Jenny asked, “How is Graham working out?”

Lydia answered, “Edwin says he is doing a great job as a manager.”

“He never liked the bank you know. And when Edwin offered him the job at the new warehouse, he was just so happy. I am so pleased he is doing well.”

“Is Reginald coming to the party?”

“He wanted to, but he is so busy at the office. He is thinking of even taking on a third doctor. We just keep getting more and more patients.”

“Well, that is good, is it not?”

“Yes, but I worry about him. He works such long hours and comes home exhausted.” Jenny giggled. “And the way things are going now we are never going to have a son or another daughter.”

“Make him take a vacation. Take another trip to Italy. You so enjoyed that.”

“Maybe.”

Edwin looked into the room. “The guests are starting to arrive. Oh, hello, Jenny. Miss Stevens is bringing the children down now. Where do you want everyone to gather?”

“In here. And the Duchess? Is she on the way?”

“I have no idea.”

“Could you have someone check on her?” Lydia suggested.

“I will.” He turned back to the entryway. “In here everyone. The party is in here.”

And the room began to fill with guests—children screaming and running in circles.

***

The party had been a grand success. All the guests were gone. Abigale was asleep in Lydia’s lap and Matthew sat, slumped over, on the floor against the wall—also asleep.

Edwin and Lydia were on a sofa pushed up against the wall. They were holding hands. And they were almost asleep as well.

Only the Duchess was still alert. She was standing at the gift table examining Abigale’s presents.

“The presents are rather skimpy for the scion of a Duke. Still… I guess it is not too disastrous.”

“Mother, the children need to go to bed. And perhaps you would like to take your tea now,” Edwin suggested.

The Duchess turned to her companion—a mousy, slight woman with watery eyes and flaccid skin. “Miss Dwight, I think we are being asked to retire.”

“Yes, Your Grace.”

“Come.”

The Duchess took Miss Dwight’s arm and they left.

Miss Stevens came in right after.  “I’ll take them up,” she offered.

She took Abigale from Lydia’s lap and helped Matthew up by the hand.

“Where is Puff?” Abigale asked, as she surfaced momentarily from her sleep.”

“He’s asleep,” Miss Stevens said.

“Ah…” Abigale said and fell back into slumber.

Then Edwin and Lydia were alone. Both were exhausted but could not summon the will to move.

Edwin turned his head and looked at his wife. “How are you doing, my darling Lydia?”

She managed to turn toward him and stared with sleepy eyes. “Is it over?”

“I believe so. At least until Matthew’s birthday.”

“Remind me. When is that?” she struggled to remember.

“Not until November.”

“Oh, good. It is not tomorrow then.”

“No, not tomorrow.”

Lydia smiled and said. “Good. Now could you call someone to carry me up to bed?”

“There is no need. That is my job.”

The End

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  • Thank you for showing me a peek into the future for them. Your book is quite good. I really enjoyed it.

    • Thanks a lot Gail, really glad you liked it. If I don’t ask for too much, please share the knowledge so other readers can learn about it <3

  • I loved it. This might make a good freebie, as a way to introduce other readers to you and your series.

    • Thank you Deborah, Love you comments. Could you please share the book with a few friends of yours?? <3

  • I loved this book very much, I couldn’t tell how it was going to end and that was good! All the characters were wonderful and so portrayed. I especially liked the epilogue, I’ve often thought it would be so good to find out what happens in the future of couples that find their happily ever after, so it was brilliant to find an author that gave me that extra finish. I found it made the book so much more satisfying.

    • Hello sweetie. I’m so glad you liked the epilogue and story in general. I hope I have made a new friend with my book 🙂

  • I have really enjoyed reading your book, was on tenterhooks about Lydia’s future right up until Edwin’s surprising appearance. Then the finale was so very satisfying. Thanks for this peek into their future…the ending of any story full of great characters and suspense leaves one satisfied…but not quite. Having hints of ‘what happened next’ is a delight….thanks.

  • I enjoy reading this book very much.I enjoy the Epilogue. I think every book should have one.I love the friendship that bonded the young women. The unselfishness and care that they showed among themselves.The unusual plot…..the ending that was not “and they live happily ever after”.They developed their dream by working hard with the hired help; and of course they found happiness, love and trust. Well written!

    • Yey, I’m so glad you liked it!!! Well, let’s keep it up then, and please share the book with your friends if you think they’ll like it as well 😀

  • The book was so good. I found some of the characters very endea ring. Such a interesting story. Thanks for a lovely read.

  • I am new to your writing. I really enjoyed the book and epilogue. Looking forward to reading other books in your series

    • Hi Maria, I really like that you enjoyed the story and the epilogue. I hope you’ll be glad from the next books as well 🙂

  • Enjoyed the book. I have been reading regencies since Barbara Cartland. Have recently discovered the sweet ones and they are refreshing. Good work, Ms. Hamilton. Loved the epilogue.

  • So enjoyed The Lady and the Duke. I loved the extended Epilogue. Thank you so much for that. The little twists and turns you put in kept the story line evolving and interesting. I had trouble putting it down.

  • I also enjoyed this book and was so pleased with the free additional “epilogue” that showed the complete evolution of these characters and their lives. You certainly have great talent in fully developing each person as it was easy to visualize this “family” of sorts. Will look forward to more stories, but maybe a bit more “steam?” for those of us who love a bit of the passion in their reading. Thank you for a pleasant journey!

    • Hi Melody, thanks for your kind words, I’ll take your comments very seriously. Maybe we could turn it up a notch, but always with caution 🙂

  • Was a sweet and bittersweet tale than extra sweet! The two main characters were a bit frustrating!
    Edwin needed a kick in the rush!
    Was that a hard decision to decide,what to bring into play ,for the money needed! The city by Daniel was clue,for me I thought Edwin had to fight Daniel for Lydia,but your ending was great!

  • Loved this book. I left a message about it on Facebook (one of the Regency book sites). I think others need to know about this author and her wonderful, clean stories. Thank you for all your are work.

  • I so enjoyed your book, I have friends that have a deep fondness for historical culture, romance and so fourth. I can’t wait to read your next book. If only we had a time capsule, to take us to a time and place, where we felt life was seemed more charming, gallant men, manorism of pure lovely Women. To be courted and my favorite of all family. I am tired and not at all a writer. I was so happy with the ending and epilogue. Thank you for a wonderful read.

    • Exactly the way I think, especially about the men part :p

      Next book will be out in a few days. Thanks a lot for stopping by Danielle <3

  • This was a wonderfully written book. The characters were so detailed and interesting. Lydia was such a lovely lady with great qualities. I am so glad you made her dreams come true in the end. Thank you for the epilogue as well ~

  • I’m glad you wrote the extended epilogue all books should do this.Lovely read and great escape thank you.

  • Lovely book. Thank you for the epilogue. Was happy to read what happened after the wedding day. Looking forward to the next adventure.

    • Hi Diana, thanks for stopping by and your kind words. A short Amazon review would also be most welcomed if it’s not too much trouble <3

  • I really enjoyed this book, equally as much if not more than your first. I love that you bother to do epilogues so that we readers know how things progress in the following years. A charming idea. Now going to do my Amazon review – Another 5 stars for this one!!
    Yet to read my freebie ‘ A True Lady ‘, – teasing myself. Thank you. You are a talented lady and cant wait for your next book.

    • Hey Linda, as always I really appreciate your comments. my next release is going to be even better.

      Thanks for stopping by <3

  • Love reading your books. Aunt Lavania reminded me of one of my aunts. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  • I loved reading the book it is one I could put down until finish the whole book. David It made look like his sister wanted him to keep Lydia away from Edwin. It would have nice if he would have show more concern for Lydia because he did not like his sister any better than every one else. Great story

  • What a great read! Being the page turner it is, I got to the end too quickly! Lots of detail, but never boring; always leading to a satisfying climax. My first of your reads, but I’m about to venture on to the next. THANK YOU!

  • Another WINNER! I don’t think you could write a “bad book” if you tried. Guess that is why I already have them all. Great job, Hanna. Keep’em coming, girl!

  • I thoroughly enjoyed your book and loved the epilogue. The build up in the story and the entertaining characters, especially Jenny -would love her in my life- make this book a really good read. I have already bought 2 more of your novels and will continue to read what you write. Congratulations. 4 stars.

    • Thanks a lot my dear. That’s one of my favorite stories as well. Appreciate your feedback ♥

  • Well done Hanna. I was entranced, from the feisty Ellen to the irreverent Jenny, to Edwin and Lydia you created a book filled with characters you would like to have as friends and some you wouldn’t. Thanks so much. Five stars

  • I loved all of your books! The heroines in your books are always the kind of women you would want to know.

  • I really enjoyed the book. It was impossible to put down until completed. A endearing and positive story. Wonderful characters it was great to see their future. My first of your books but certainly not my last.

  • The Lady and the Duke title gives one the impression that the lady is from society. Nothing could be more than the truth. A real down to earth female who loves to get her hands dirty in the garden. The turns in this story kept you guessing the whole time. I loved the surprise ending and the extended reading especially.
    Five Stars.

  • I love your extended epilogues……..the extra years give the stories more depth and the characters gain maturity and become settled in their lives yet the romance lives on…….well done and thank you, Hannah

  • Loved the story of The lady and the Duke. All of your books in the Regency Romances are a great escape to read and get lost in.

    • So happy you’re enjoying my books sweet Virginia ♥ Having readers like you is a dream come true!

  • The story is fabulous. The sad and then the joy, the happy and then the sad. You never knew what was coming next.

  • I enjoyed this book and loved the extended epilogue, it’s often frustrating when you finish a book not to know what happens next.

  • Really enjoyed your book. Great writing ….. interesting and fun…… clean with sweet romance. Awesome book!

  • Such a fun book! I enjoyed the characters and situations. I like to garden. That was fun to read about in this time period.

  • I loved this book and I love that you did this short little follow up! When I find a good novel I always get so committed to the characters and I hate when I don’t know anything about their future! This was definitely one of my favorite books I have read. Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

  • Another very entertaining read! Loved the characters and their interaction with each other! Thank you, Ms Hamilton for this great story!

  • I had just about given up that this beauty would get her duke when Edwin raced into London. That was a great resolution but what did happen to Daniel and Caroline, the wicked?
    I would say that this book was so worth the read!

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