The Art of Loving a Viscount – Extended Epilogue


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The sun beamed down upon the flowers that swayed in the flower beds surrounding the edges of the lawn, almost appearing as though they were dancing in the soft breeze. Grouped in beautiful colours, Mr Bloomsdale did an excellent job of taking care of their garden. Maintaining a fine balance between displaying a look of the wild countryside and tending to it in a way that was pleasant to the eye.

West Sussex had been the perfect place for them to finally settle, for nestled deep in the roving countryside and being away from the larger towns, it reminded Catriona of her beautiful homeland of Scotland, whilst still being able to remain close enough to both her and James’s families. They were still some distance away, but it would only take days of travel to visit upon each other rather than weeks.

A soft, warm wind tugged at Catriona’s hair, as with paintbrush in hand, she delighted at the giggles further down their large and beautiful garden. Yet, instead of the landscapes, she now had much more interesting subjects to paint. Forba ran about, the laughter spilling from the children as she allowed her two younger brothers to chase her, though they were likely never to catch her unless she let them.

After welcoming their beautiful daughter into the world, James and Catriona had been in awe at the wonderful creation they had produced. Yet, even before her birth, they had both discussed not only having more than one child, for James was an only child, and he had quite hated having no one to play with as he had grown up, but also the fact that they would want a boy. A boy to carry on their father’s name and become heir to the earldom. Catriona had been delighted when she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy not long before Forba’s second birthday. The birth of Darius had proven much easier than Forba, for Catriona at least. Mary had told her of James’s constant pacing and worry once more as she had suffered the pangs of childbirth.

Happy and content, James and Catriona had been thrilled at their new life and their family. They had two adorable children to keep each other company and perfectly balance out their family with a boy and a girl and a settled life in a beautiful home in the country. Neither could have been more surprised than when Catriona fell pregnant again, and yet, it was with delight that they accepted that Catriona was with child for the third time.

Kerr was born a year after Darius’s first birthday, and whilst Darius was not quite thrilled at having such competition in a younger brother, Forba could hardly keep away from the new addition to the family, smothering him with love and playing with him to distract him when he cried. Whilst Darius, as the next in line as heir to the earldom, had been given a traditional English name, meaning ‘possessing goodness’, Catriona had yearned to bless her youngest child with a strong Scottish name.

Kerr carried with it, the meaning, ‘man of strength’, which Catriona had explained, seemed fitting, given he would not inherit his father’s title, for he would need to show his strength in both his humility and respect for his older brother when the time came. Of course, as a child, none of that quite mattered and would not until her children were older. Forba would grow to be a strong and independent woman, for her mother would inculcate in her the ways of using her own mind and keeping integrity in her own decisions.

Of course, her father had visited often, for he was determined to ensure that the children remained aware of their Scottish roots. To her father, that included the Scottish accent. He had visited them some months back, and much to the amusement of Catriona and the eye-rolling of James, had attempted in vain to get the children to master his ways of speech.

‘Grandad,’ her father had said to Darius as they sat on a blanket in the garden one sunny afternoon.

Forba had found much more interest in playing with her dolls, and Kerr had wandered off across the garden, distracted by some flying insect. James and Catriona watched on, and whilst her father had remained on the blanket, she and James had moved to sit on their garden chairs after the picnic had ended.

‘Grandad,’ Darius had replied.

‘Good, good, but you have to try and roll your r’s,’ her father had pressed.

‘Grrrandad,’ Mr Stewart had said once more.

‘Grandad.’ Darius repeated, not rolling his r’s at all.

‘Let’s pretend we are lions. Give me your best roar, like this. Grrr.’

‘Ger.’ Darius had smiled.

‘Grrr,’ her father had repeated

‘Ger,’ Darius had growled once more.

In the end, Catriona had fallen into a fit of giggles at her father’s efforts and the fact that Darius was simply not getting it. Even James joined her in her laughter, for he simply could not help himself. Her father, tired from the exertion, had simply sighed and shrugged but smiled widely at his grandchild and had gently rubbed his hair.

James and her father had built a strong bond over the years, and after James’s courageous, if not foolish in Catriona’s eyes, antics in the boxing ring all those years ago, her father had never seen him in the same light since. Apart from lightly mocking each other, Mr Stewart had not once called him a soft Englishman again, for he had stated clearly that anyone willing to step into a ring with absolutely no experience, just to prove his worth, had more courage than he could comprehend.

Having appreciated James’s efforts, he had gladly agreed to give him Catriona’s hand in marriage, and with a newly formed respect for each other, her father had treated James like his own son. James had even taken her father hunting, something her father had not realised he would enjoy until he went out with James. It had since been something he had taken up as a pastime and whenever he came to visit them. The men always made time to take a day out in the country together.

James’s parents had also visited, but not anywhere near as often as her own family. Their visits were usually far shorter too, something that Catriona was secretly grateful for, as Lady Midhurst had not ever really taken to her. In the beginning, Catriona could understand it, at least a little. James’s mother had had other plans for her son, and his choice in Catriona had clearly irked the woman. Yet, as time had passed, Catriona had thought that her attitude may mellow towards her and particularly towards the children. Whilst she was not entirely cold, her aloofness toward Catriona had not changed very much. She treated the children a little better, yet it was still evident that not being of full noble blood, they were simply not to her approval.

The Earl of Midhurst, on the other hand, could not be more different. From the very beginning, he had welcomed Catriona into the family warmly, treating her as though she were his own daughter and showing no signs at all that he had any reservations. Perhaps, and now more obviously to Catriona, because he had not. She came to a better understanding of his acceptance once James told her of his own mother and father’s early beginnings. How his father had fallen in love with a woman who had been of a much lower class than he, but how his love for her had been so strong that he had married her against all other’s opinions and opposition.

Whilst James’s story helped Catriona understand his father on a much deeper level, she simply could not comprehend the behaviour of his mother. Surely, a woman who had had such an opportunity given to her would be more understanding of her son’s decision and perhaps, maybe more accepting of Catriona herself. Yet, apparently, it had not been the case. Both Catriona and James had decided long ago not to try and understand the ways of his mother. Whilst Catriona would never stop her coming to visit them, to see her son and enjoy her grandchildren, she could not ever say she was sorry to see her leave.

Catriona now struck the brush across the canvas, capturing the red of Forba’s dress against the green of the grass in the background. She had been so lost in her reminiscing that she had not been aware of James’s approach behind her until she felt his soft lips kiss her neck tenderly.

‘Hello, my darling,’ Catriona whispered but did not turn to look at him.

Remaining behind her, he gently placed his hands upon her shoulders and gazed at her painting with admiration, as he always had.

‘My wonderful, talented wife, you have produced yet another rather striking creation. You truly have captured the children, for I can even see Kerr’s smiling face as he leaps after the others.’

‘Well, I think I remember someone once telling me that one day I may find someone to give my landscapes colour, and that perhaps that someone may bring colour not only to my paintings but to my life also. I can say, with my hand on my heart, that I now have four such people in my life.’

‘Really?’ her husband asked, yet she heard the smile in his voice. ‘And apart from the children, who is the other?’

‘Oh well, that is a secret, for I meet him in the strangest of places.’ Catriona grinned.

‘I see.’ James’s pretended to sound offended. ‘I think I must discover who this mystery man is, for I would like to have a serious word with him.’

‘Then you must go inside and find a mirror, my darling.’

James chuckled as he moved around the front of her and stopped beside her easel. ‘I think I prefer the view out here,’ he said with a grin.

Catriona suddenly noted a letter in his hand. It had already been opened and no doubt read, but with her curiosity now piqued, she could not help but ask him about it.

‘Who has written to you, my darling? Is it news from Douglass?’

‘Now, how on earth could you possibly know that this letter was from Douglass?’ James raised his eyebrows in wonder.

‘Oh, it is just because I am a woman, for you ought to know by now that we are all-knowing and all-seeing creatures.’

‘That, and the fact that we were expecting news from Douglass.’ James said with a grin.

‘Well, yes, that as well.’ She smiled at him.

Douglass and Lady Mary Follett had announced their engagement not long after James’s and Catriona’s own wedding. It was only six months after that they had consummated their vows. The day had been quite wonderful with most of London’s society present. Looking glorious in the most exquisite gown, Mary had delighted Douglass when she walked into the church. In fact, Catriona was certain she saw Douglass’s eyes looking a little more watery than usual, but she had not said anything to him, for even through all their banter, she would never want to embarrass him.

The Duke and Duchess of Hamilton had looked extremely proud of their daughter, and when it was all over, had welcomed Douglass into their family with enthusiasm. In fact, the only person who had not looked delighted at their union had been Lady Midhurst. It had hardly surprised Catriona, for the woman, being such a society climber, perhaps had been upset that her best friend’s daughter was marrying beneath her.

After some thought, Catriona deemed that it may well have been more than that. Standing proudly beside Mary, Douglass had looked so delightfully happy. Perhaps it was the sight of Mary and Douglass side by side that had upset Lady Midhurst the most, for if the woman had gotten her own way, it would have been James Knight, the Viscount of Montagu, who would have been in Douglass’s place. Catriona could only be grateful that James had been strong enough to stand up to his mother when he did, for as it happened, both she and her brother’s lives would have been adversely affected if he had not.

Since then, Catriona and Mary had become firm friends, and both she and Douglass had been to visit them often at their country home. It was, in fact, on one of these visits, though now, more than a year ago, that Mary had lamented her lot to Catriona when they had had a little time to themselves.

James and Douglass had gone out hunting, leaving the women to enjoy the delights of the children as they had played before them in the parlour. The conversation had, at first, been around all the goings-on in London, for that is where Douglass and Mary had decided to settle. Being of high society herself, Mary had spent many years building up relationships and of course, they also enjoyed the balls and galas they were often invited to. Douglass, from the moment he had arrived in London, had fallen in love with it, and unlike Catriona, enjoyed the fast and energetic atmosphere in the town. To remain close to their friends and because they both enjoyed London life, it had not been a difficult decision to make their home there.

Mary usually filled Catriona in with the latest fashions and trends, and whilst Catriona enjoyed their conversations, was hardly worried if she discovered what was going on in London or not. Yet, as Mary talked on that particular day, a sadness appeared to envelop her, and Catriona could not help but become suddenly worried at the change in her disposition.

‘Mary, whatever is the matter?’

‘Oh, Catriona, I do feel as though I am such a failure. Here I am sitting with you whilst your darling children dance about our feet, and yet, I cannot conceive even once. I have failed Douglass, for I wish so badly to provide him with a child.’

‘Mary, do not talk of such things. You are neither a failure nor have you failed my brother. Douglass adores you, for it is clearly obvious at every moment he looks upon you.’

‘Perhaps you are right, Catriona, and yet, I still cannot give him what I know he truly wants. He would not tell me, of course, that he is upset by it, but I do know he would love a child of his own.’

‘Perhaps he is not upset at it at all. Perhaps, Mary, it is your own mind that is telling you such things because of how you feel about it yourself.’

‘I just do not understand why it has not happened for us yet. We have been married for over a year and I am worried, for I am hardly getting any younger.’

‘Oh, Mary, you are not even twenty-seven. You must not give up hope. Please believe me, it will happen for you. And, even if it does not, Douglass will not love you any less. Believe me, I know my brother, and he would move heaven and earth for you, whether you produce him a child or you do not.’

It had happened only four months after that. Catriona could not know if it had been Mary’s hoping for a child or not, for, in the end, it had not really mattered. She was with child, and the poor woman could not have been more delighted. As the time grew closer for her pregnancy to come to an end, James and Catriona had been waiting in expectation for any news. It would appear, it had finally arrived.

‘Douglass has written that they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world. He says that the baby and Mary are doing very well and that we must travel to see them as soon as is convenient, for they would be delighted if we could celebrate their wonderful news with them,’ James read from the letter.

‘Oh, James. I could not be more happy for them, for Mary has waited for so long for this to occur.’

‘It is, indeed, wonderful news my darling for you are now an aunt and I, an uncle. The children will have a new cousin, and your father has another grandchild to torture.’ James smiled broadly.

‘I am certain Douglass with not be averse to that at all, for he would be quite in line with my father when it comes to his Scottish heritage.’

‘Your father will now be spoilt for choice, but do not worry, my darling, he will return to us again.’

‘Oh, I do know that. I am not worried at all.’

Suddenly the children, who had previously been playing further away in the garden, came running toward their parents all at once. Forba threw herself at her father, who caught her in his arms and lifted her to his hip. Kerr, looking up at his sister, clung to his father’s leg and tugged to try and receive the same attention. Darius, his mother’s little boy, ignored his father completely and ran straight towards her. On reaching her, he lay his head in her lap and looked up at her with wide eyes, a little breathless from all their exertion.

‘Papa, can we go for a ride in the barouche?’ Forba asked excitedly.

‘Yes, Papa, bouche, bouche!’ Kerr cried, attempting to copy his sister.

‘I do not see why not,’ James replied. It is rather a wonderful day for a ride, is it not, my dear?’

‘I think it is a fine idea.’ Catriona nodded and smiled in agreement.

Her smile was not just for the idea of taking a ride but for the sight before her. Blessed with three beautiful children and a wonderful husband, she had all she could ever want right there in front of her. Finally, content with all the blessings bestowed upon her and now settled into a life of love and happiness, she realised her journey from Scotland all those years ago had all been leading to this. It had been an adventure, to say the least, and yet, there was still so much more to come.


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30 thoughts on “The Art of Loving a Viscount – Extended Epilogue”

  1. Hello my dears! I really hope you loved the book and the Extended Epilogue. I can’t wait to read your wonderful comments. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 💕

    1. Hi Amanda I thoroughly enjoyed your book and extended epilogue very enjoyable and heartwarming lovely story can’t wait for more loved it. X

    2. I loved this story. You are a talented writer In this genre it truly stands out and is one to be read again and again

    3. A 2 Fer! Can you imagine my surprise when I realized that I was reading a second story in the same book? Both are marvelous stories and yet I wondered at times if they would ever work things out between themselves. Of course a very intriguing solution is found.

      Great work, Amanda! Looking forward to many more of your stories.

    4. The story line is very enjoyable. But there is way too much repeating and you should never use God’s name in vain. In both the Hebrew & Greek, it states that using God’s name in vain is when His name is used in a senseless way. – such as when excited, surprised, etc. Only use God’s name when in prayer.

  2. Amanda you have managed to bring us another really enjoyable read. All the characters are amazingly portrayed, and the tumultuous journey that James and Catriona took to achieve their happiness was very entertaining. The extended epilogue is a wonderful rounding up of their story.

  3. Very enjoyable story that brought a smile to me with every chapter. Wonderful characters that brought you into their lives.

  4. Your story held my attention from beginning to end. The characters were so life like. You wrote so well that I could feel their pain and joy. I can’t wait for your next book:)

  5. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, dear Marilyn. I truly appreciate it!

      So glad you enjoyed the story! Make sure to stay tuned because I have more coming!

      Thank you again and have a lovely day!

  6. Thank you so much for the lovely story that I could not put down. Story was really lovely and so glad that they got together in the end and that they could enjoy the day of their wedding. So glad that her brother also found happiness and that they could both be blessed with a lovely family. Keep up the good work and look forward to the next book.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, dear Lynda. I truly appreciate it!

      So glad you enjoyed the story! Make sure to stay tuned because I have more coming!

      Thank you again and have a lovely day!

  7. I enjoyed your story line so much but I was so distracted by your over use of the word “yet”. It totally brought my out of your story. L

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