Author: Jane Lark
Genre: Historical Romance 18+ Regency Period
Publication Date: July 17, 2014
Publisher: HarperImpulse an imprint of HarperCollins
Event Organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Young, naïve and innocent, Lady Ellen Pembroke falls for a young army officer. Paul has such an easy enchanting smile and his blue eyes glow, vibrancy and warmth emanating from him. She is in love. Captain Paul Harding, finds his attention captured by the beautiful young daughter of the Duke of Pembroke at a house party in the summer. Finding Ellen is like finding treasure on a battle torn field. His sanity clings to her; something beautiful to remind him that all in the world is not ugly. She’s someone to fight for and someone to survive for when he is called to arms in the battle of Waterloo…
Before reading this book you should have either read the first book of the Marlow Intrigues or all three. You will need to prepare yourself as by the end of this book, your heart will hurt. Jane Lark’s writing is THAT GOOD. She drew me in and made me feel like I personally knew her characters. This a five star review so know that this book was good, and especially because I cried like a baby while reading it.
Lady Ellen Pembroke and Captain Paul Harding fell in love. Yes, they eloped and she had to endure the life of a soldier’s wife, but for me, this book wasn’t about that. The love Ellen and Paul felt for each other was what drew me in and kept me. She gave up her family and priveliged lifestyle to be with him and Paul risked their new love (or so he kept thinking) by taking her with him.
He wanted solace, someone to take to bed and escape war with—someone who would help him shut out the visions of death he’d left behind.
Compared to her father, Paul was water to stone, something moving and living. Becoming Paul’s wife out-weighed the scales. She loved him. She did not regret it.
There is no way to measure the love they felt for each other. Paul would do anything to protect Ellen and she would make sure he knew nothing of her discomforts and fears. She was a Duke’s daughter and wasn’t used to having to travel on top of carriages or stay in small rooms or share a big one with strangers. No worries though, as long as she had Paul, she felt she could endure anything. Paul was feeling a fear he didn’t know how to get rid of. He felt like he couldn’t keep her safe and would die if something happened to her. He knew she was strong and tried to get past his fear of losing her.
His fingers tucked a lock of hair, which kept catching the breeze and blowing across her face, behind her ear. “This must be difficult for you.”
Ellen held his blue gaze. “I’m not afraid.”
“I think you are, if you take the trouble to say you are not.”
“I know at times it will not be easy but I shall do my best to make you happy.” ~Paul
“I know, I will be happy, I have you. I am not afraid of that.” ~ Ellen
I smiled and sighed and cried while reading this book. This is a great series and after reading The Scandalous Love of a Duke, I was curious about John’s parents. Be sure to read all of the Marlow Intrigue books so you can be sucked into their world.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book directly from the author. I was not paid to read or review this book. All opinions are my own, and I was never influenced by anything or anyone.
The Lost Love of a Soldier Excerpt
Paul whispered her name into the night as he heard the rustle of frost bound leaves on the ground. His breath rose in a mist into the cold winter air. He was on the Duke of Pembroke’s land. He’d not dared encourage her to take a horse, so he’d come close enough that she might walk from the house and find him.
He waited at the end of an avenue of yews, out of sight of the house, in a place she could easily see him. His horse whickered, sensing something, or someone. “Ellen?” he whispered again.
Still no answer.
He stayed quiet. Listening. Wondering if she’d been caught as she left the house. He hoped not. If she’d been caught her father would give her no freedom. Short of leading a military assault on Pembroke’s home, he would not be able to get her out then.
The horse shook its head, rattling its bit, and snorted steamy breath into the cold air. The chill of the winter night seeped through his clothes. There would be a hard frost. He hoped she’d dressed in something warm.
He’d have to buy more clothes for her before they sailed. She would need garments to keep her warm in the sea breezes she’d face on their journey to America.
There was another sound.
How did this woman manage to make his heart beat so erratically whenever he saw her? He could run into battle and not be so affected.
She looked even more beautiful in the dark. Ethereal.
A band of silver light reached through the scudding clouds and caught her face.
He let go of the horse’s bridle and instinctively moved forward. He’d never held her. In the summer there had been no moments alone, she’d been strictly chaperoned and even when she’d come to meet him she’d brought the groom and her sister. When they’d met a fortnight ago, she’d still brought a groom. For the first time they were alone. “Ellen.” He stepped forward and embraced her. In answer her arm came about his waist. It was the most precious feeling of his life. He would always remember this day. She was slender and delicate in his arms.
She slipped free, but he caught her nape and pulled her mouth to his, gently pressing his lips against hers. It was her first kiss, he knew; he could tell by the way her body stiffened when he‘d pulled her close. He let her go, a tenderness he’d never known before catching in his chest.
“Come.” He took the leather bag she carried. “Will you ride before me, or would you rather sit behind my saddle and grip my waist?”
“Would it be easier if I ride behind you?” Her voice ran with uncertainty. She was giving up everything to come with him.
“Do what feels comfortable for you, Ellen.”
She nodded, not looking into his eyes. “I would prefer to ride pillion.”
“Then you shall.” He warmed his voice, hoping to ease her discomfort.
Turning to the horse he slipped one foot in the stirrup, then pulled himself up. “Did you have any difficulty leaving the house?”
“No, the servants’ hall was quiet, and the grooms had all retired.”
He rested her bag across his thighs, then held a hand out to her. “Set your foot on mine and take my hand. I’ll pull you up.” He watched her lift the skirt of her dark habit and then the weight of her small foot pressed on his, as her gloved fingers gripped his. She was light, but the grip of her hand and the pressure of her foot made that something clasp tight in his chest, and the emotion stayed clenched as her fingers embraced his waist over his greatcoat.
He shifted in the saddle, his groin tightening too. A few more days. Just days. He had been waiting months. As he turned the horse, Ellen’s cheek pressed against his shoulder.
“Did you tell anyone you were leaving? Your sister? Or your maid?”
“No, I did not want them to have to face Papa knowing the truth. He would be able to see they’d lied, and then who knows what he might do.” Paul urged the mare into a trot as Ellen continued. “He made me spend the day on my knees reading the Commandments because I refused to marry the Duke of Argyle.”
“Today?” He wished to look back at her but he could not.
Her father had been diabolical to Paul, sneering as though he was nothing when he’d done the decent thing and offered for her. He could not imagine the way Pembroke treated the girls.
He had to get Ellen to Gretna before her father caught them, so she never had to come back and face his retribution.
For the last post in my tour for The Lost Love of a Soldier, which fans of the series will know is the prequel to the Marlow Intrigues series, I thought I would share where the Marlow Intrigues will go next and what new inspirations I’ve discovered.
And most importantly, will there be more?
You will be pleased to know, there’s no doubt there will be more, the next two stories are already written, and there will be two more after that… So you have another four to go.
The next story is Mary’s, Edward and Ellen’s first child. Her story actually began in The Scandalous Love of a Duke, but I will leave you to keep guessing why 😉
Inspirations from the absolute treasure chest of Harriette Wilson’s memoirs and the insight she gave us into real Regency life will continue throughout the series, but while I was writing John’s story a few years ago, I began reading the letters of Lady Caroline Lamb, and then went on to read her life story, and Glenarvon the novel she wrote which is said to contain perfect true descriptions of her real way of life in the Regency period. So you have probably already guessed, my books from this point forward pull inspirations both from Harriette, and from Lady Caronline Lamb, who oddly happened to be the sister of the man Harriette fell completely and utterly in love with, John Ponsonby.
I keep discovering so many odd connections in my research.
The oddest though…
Discovering Harriette’s memoirs, I believe, was responsible for my writing break, her inspirations lifted my work out of slush piles and brought the Marlows into print––at the age of eight I was told I would write a novel––at the time I lived in a house with a view of the Uffington White Horse Hill (the oldest white chalk drawn horse in England) ––the teacher who told me I would write a book lived just across the street––a couple of miles beyond the hill I stared up at while sitting on my bedroom windowsill daydreaming––is the house where Harriette began her career as a courtesan, as recorded by none less than Jane Austen. TRUE. So many strange coincidences. To me there is some sort of fate unravelling in this.
Jane’s letter was dated, Thursday, January, 8th, 1801, “Eliza has seen Lord Craven at Barton, & probably by this time at Kintbury, where he was expected for one day this week. – She found his manners very pleasing indeed – The little flaw of having a Mistress now living with him at Ashdown Park, seems to be the only unpleasing circumstances about him.”
I hope you enjoy reading this series as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
See the inspirations for all Jane’s books on Jane’s Pinterest Page
Oh, go on then, as you are itching to know why Mary’ story began in The Scandalous Love of a Duke, here’s the excerpt where I hid the clue…
John did not stop but carried on until they reached his mother and father who stood at the edge of the room in the far corner.
“Mary, is already dancing,” his father stated.
John’s gaze spun to the dancers. “With Framlington, he’s an out-and-out rake and a fortune hunter. He’s made no secret of it in the clubs. I’d warn her off.”
His father’s gaze swung to John. “You’re certain.”
John just lifted his eyebrows.
“You are going to have to write that list you promised me, of everyone I need to keep her from.”
Mary’s story will be out later this year.
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About the Author
Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance, and a Kindle top 25 bestselling author. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. Now Jane is writing a Regency series and contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last. You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality. Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots. ‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’ Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.
This giveaway, includes an antique English necklace worth £150, plus signed copies of The Illicit Love of a Courtesan The Passionate Love of a Rake And The Scandalous Love of a Duke
Click on this picture to enter the giveaway.