A Rose for the Charming Lady – Extended Epilogue


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As time passes and we grow older, things change. The way we think, the way we feel, and even sometimes who we love. But not for Will and me. As the days passed, our love grew stronger and stronger. Even greater than we could have imagined it.

Eight years had come and gone so quickly … in the blink of an eye, in fact. So many things had happened since the day that Wilfried Trenchard and I were married. We grew in the love for one another each day that we were together, and we hoped that would never end.

Every day that the sun rose and set on the Stirling Manor, our home, things became more comfortable for us. I had never felt like I belonged there any more than I do now. Sure, I was still a tomboy, and I still did experiments, but this time I didn’t have to ask permission or hide it from my mother.

Even though she still lived there, I was the lady of the house now, and I could burn holes in my rug if I wanted to. Not that I did, not often anyway.

Will had become quite the husband, taking on so many roles that he still surprised me every day. And now, with our children, our life was nearly complete.

Sure, eight years back, I didn’t want to become the mother of five boys. A ready-made family was not something I wanted at all at the time. Not that I knew whether I wanted to be a mother at all then, but I certainly didn’t want to be theirs. I was happy to know that the laird had married, and the boys had gained a wonderful mother.

A widow who could not have children of her own.

Will and I were the parents of two beautiful children. A six-year-old daughter that we happily named Lady Tilly Marie Trenchard after my good friend, and a five-year-old son by the name of Theo Wilfried Trenchard after his grandfather.

Will often told stories about his father, though he left out the parts about him not being their biological son. He knew that one day he would tell them the tragic story, but the story wasn’t so tragic in the end. He just didn’t want them to grow up thinking that Theo wasn’t their grandfather.

Mariah eventually moved in with us, getting along with my mother even better than I was. They took tea together, took up sewing, and were nearly inseparable. It was a nice sight and a good break for my father. He had been going to hunt a lot recently, and he and my brother had been working some business propositions side by side. That allowed him to spend more time doing what he loved rather than doing what he thought my mother would want him to do.

Tilly, on the other hand, had found her daughter and mother. They had only moved a town over; it was an easy find for my father. He seemed to be able to do anything. Finding people seemed to be his specialty. We had moved the trio into a cottage behind the manor, something Tilley insisted we do rather than moving her into the manor itself. I couldn’t see why she wouldn’t want to live here, but deep down perhaps I could.

The manor had brought some heartaches for me, and I could only imagine what it had done for her and her family. Matter of fact, Will and I had let many of the indentures go and had only taken on paid servants that were treated handsomely. Many of them were given their own homes on the property and were allowed to keep their families with them.

It was the only way I felt right about it … Will, too. Plus, we didn’t want our children growing up thinking they needed folks waiting on them hand and foot like my mother attempted to raise me.

I found it fascinating that now I could have tea with Tilly, and it did not feel like a servant and master situation. I also liked the fact that Will never treated Mariah like she was any less than his mother. Perhaps the conditions by which our love had grown, caused our hearts to be soft and warm towards people of all statures of life.

Even Anabel had found a happiness of her own, but that was a story better left for another time.

Eventually, one afternoon, nearly nine years after sending a letter to enquire about his mother, Will had received a letter in answer to his from a distant relative.

The missive he had sent to Germany was to enquire about his mother’s family. If he wasn’t going to go and claim the title, he at least wanted to know if they knew about him. He hoped they had.

We had sent the letter to his grandmother nine years before. It had been sent just shortly after we had arranged to get married. In all those years, Will had begun giving up hope to ever know his mother’s family. I had told him many times that perhaps something had happened that caused the missive not to arrive but Will continued to tell me that he would leave it in fate’s hand, and God would grant it should it be meant to happen.

I had thought about writing another letter myself many times, but I wouldn’t go behind his back like that. So, I supported him in every way I knew how. Even through the sadness of thinking his mother’s family didn’t want anything to do with him, we stayed strong together.

Seeing that we had got a response, I didn’t know how to feel, and Will looked conflicted. Together, we privately went into his study to open the missive.

He read the letter to me with great hesitation, though I knew he was eager to see what it said.

Dear Wilfried Trenchard, Gentry of Stirling Manor.

I regret to inform you that Isadora of Brandenburg, Duchess of Trenchard Manor passed nigh on nine years back. She was your grandmother my boy. I was informed of your existence, but only of late. Your letter arrived but must have been lost to me for quite some time as I have just found it amid your grandmother’s things.

The reasons behind why she had chosen not to open the missive is beyond me, though if my mathematics are clear, she must have received it around the time of her passing.

I would like you to visit soon, if not to claim your title only, or I could make preparations for a visit of my own. Please let me know if either of these things are an option as Germany is quite a way away from your current location.

I promise to do my best to reply to any missives promptly.

Barbara of Brandenburg, Duchess of Delamare your aunt, sister to your grandmother.

Will was astonished. His heart hurt thinking that he had just missed his grandmother’s passing at the time that he found out that he was born into their family. I didn’t know in what way I could help him with his grief other than just to be there for him.

“You should have gone then to claim your title, perhaps then you wouldn’t have missed her,” I said to him, feeling like I had been the one to stop him from meeting her.

“No, I would not have changed this for the world,” Will told me, and I knew that he meant it, but it didn’t make me feel any better.

“I know, but it isn’t fair,” I said as I took his hand in mine. “I know that you have wished to meet your mother’s family dearly.”

“Do you wish I go now? You and the children need me here, though. I’m not sure what I should do,” he said sweetly.

I was happy that he was always thinking of me and the children, but I thought at some point that he should think about himself. It was time we talk about his options.

“I do have great hesitations about you going to Prussia or Germany,” I said. “Perhaps what Barbara of Brandenburg, Duchess of Delamare meant by planning a trip of her own meant that she is willing to come here to England.”

“Perhaps I can request it.” He smiled as we watched our children play on the sitting room carpet. “But will you promise me this one thing?”

“Anything,” I said, but I was rather nervous.

“If she doesn’t wish to come, will you and the children consider making the journey with me?” he asked me. “I know it is a long one, and we would be away from the manor for quite some time, but that would be the only way I would leave this place.”

“I will consider it,” I said. “Though I do hope she accepts.”

I watched as Will penned his response.

I Wilfried Trenchard, Gentry of Stirling Manor, do hereby invite Barbara of Brandenburg, Duchess of Delamare, my aunt to take holiday here in England for an extended stay. If you wish to accept our extended invitation given by my wife, children, and myself, please send your response and I will forward directions.

Your nephew Will.

“It looks perfect,” I said with love.

“I just hope it gets to her in time,” he said. “It sounds like she may be my last living relative on my mother’s side.”

I took his hand.

“Here’s to hoping she accepts.” I smiled at him.


Two weeks passed, and I could have sworn that my husband could have paced a hole in the floor by now. Then, there was a knock on the door as the messenger stood there with a missive from Germany.

It was from his aunt.


I would love to except your extended holiday to England. Please forward me the details for finding the manor. I will be arriving the third Tuesday of the month. I am more than willing to stay an extended amount of time as I am an old woman with not very much to do. However, I don’t plan on overstaying my welcome, so be blunt and honest about when you feel it is time for me to go.

I can’t wait to meet you and your lovely family.

Aunt Barbara.

I was astonished at how casual she had addressed him and herself. It made the whole situation feel a lot less formal. If I had learned anything growing up with my mother, it was that I preferred things not to be formal.

Will was excited for her coming, but if I were being honest, I was nervous to meet my new family member.

Anabel, on the other hand, was delighted. She couldn’t wait to begin planning events with my mother. I would leave the event planning and organization to them. I didn’t mind putting my hand in every now and again making it look like I knew what I was doing, but they knew more about these sorts of things than I did.

Even after eight years of marriage, I still wasn’t as proper as my mother. And I knew I would never be. That didn’t bother me, though, my sister was proper enough for both of us, but I loved her, and I wouldn’t change her for anything.

“Let’s have high tea out on the lawn on her first day here,” my sister said to my mother.

“Anything, but I will not be having a hunt,” my mother said as she glanced back at me.

Will began to snicker, knowing that I would prefer to have a hunt than take tea. At least then I would feel like I was in my own element, though I doubted that as an older woman, Lady Barbara would feel up to a hunt.

My mother, Lady Stirling, and Mariah planned each meal down to what we would have for a palate cleanser. I found it hilarious that they were more than willing to do anything but the messy fox hunt.

“I wish that you felt more at ease about this visit,” Will said to me as he and I walked the lawn a few days before his aunt’s arrival.

“I’m so sorry. I apologize for being selfish. I didn’t realize I was giving off the impression of being so nervous,” I said. “You are about to meet your only family member and here I am worried about how I feel about the whole thing.”

“You could never be selfish ever,” he said as he walked closer to me.

“I know, but I feel that way right now. I am happy that you are going to get to meet her, but I hope that you aren’t disappointed,” I said.

“I hope I’m not disappointed either,” he added.

“Did you know that Sir Andrew was due for a visit?” I asked, looking up and seeing Will’s father coming our way.

“I asked him over to see if he has interest in meeting my aunt,” he said, and I suddenly grew worried.

I didn’t want him to be disappointed either way. I knew that he wanted Sir Andrew to be involved in his life in some capacity, I just didn’t want him to be let down if he didn’t want to be.

“Will,” Sir Andrew said as he came closer. “Lady Laura.” He tipped his hat towards both of us. “Good afternoon,” he said with a smile.

Sir Andrew had been around now and again over the past eight years; he was a good man, noble for the most part. Things were strange between he and Will, though.

They had tried to get along, though they didn’t always see eye to eye. I had to laugh every once in a while, as they reminded me quite a bit of my mother and me. In this situation, Mariah was more like my father and Sir Andrew was more like my mother. My father had always supported me and tried to defend me against my mother as did Mariah towards Sir Andrew. It was quite comical.

“Hello Sir Andrew,” I said with a smile as I allowed him to kiss the top of my hand.

“Hello,” Will said.

Will had not brought himself to call him father yet, nor did he often address him by name. I knew it had to feel weird talking to him in any capacity.

“Do you wish I joined the ladies for tea, while you two have a discussion?” I asked.

“No, please stay,” Will said.

“I shall stay then,” I said as I looked between the two men.

“I asked you over to ask you a question,” Will faintly said. “Would you like to have tea in the gardens while we talk?”

“Sure.” Sir Andrew smiled as we all walked together towards the table in the gardens.

We were served as we sat there and enjoyed the day for a while. I was sure that my husband was having a trial inside him as to how to bring up the topic.

I smiled as I watched our children run across the yard playing with one another. They ended up running to the old treehouse where my sister was showing them how to climb the ladder. I was happy that she could be their aunt and show them how to have fun.

“So, it would seem you have something to ask me,” Sir Andrew finally said.

“Yes, I have got in touch with my aunt in Prussia,” Will said. “She is coming to holiday here starting in a few days.”

“Barbara of Brandenburg, Duchess of Delamare?” he asked.

“Yes, you are correct,” Will said as I just listened to the conversation.

“I only met the duchess once, and while she seemed to be the kindest of the family, I still have reservations about her joining you here,” Sir Andrew said.

“What would be the difference of her joining us here versus us going there?” I asked.

I couldn’t stay silent in my husband’s name. I had to stand up for him when I felt like he was being belittled in some way. Although I couldn’t put my finger on it, I didn’t know why I felt I needed to defend him.

“Nothing, other than the nobility will be better stated should he go there.” Sir Andrew looked at me.

“At this point, it isn’t about the nobility,” Will said. “I would just like to get to know my family, and she is my last living relative on my mother’s side. I have been given the chance to meet your brother and get to know you, so I feel it is only fair that I get to show the other half who I am.”

“Very well,” he said. “Then perhaps you should get on with your question.”

I couldn’t tell if Sir Andrew was being hateful. I didn’t like that I was a woman that couldn’t hold her tongue. At that moment that part of me bothered me. I was sure by now that he knew that I was like that, though I had chosen to stay quiet on multiple occasions for my husband’s sake.

I simply looked at my husband to see what he might say next.

“I just thought that you might like to join us as well,” Will said. “If not the entire duration, perhaps the weekend?”

“It might not be wise for me to stay while she is here,” he said.

“I would like to question you, but I will honour your decision. Though I don’t know what the difference between taking me there or being here while she is on holiday is,” Will said.

“I would’ve likely stayed away there as well. I would have only accompanied you for the title exchange,” he said in return.

Will looked at his father puzzled. I thought that perhaps we had thought wrong about him all this time. I still felt like Sir Andrew could be a good man, but I just didn’t think he knew how to be a father.

My opinion in the matter didn’t count. I could tell my husband how I felt, but I already knew he knew. He felt the same way; I was sure of it. That was why on multiple occasions we had gone to Mariah opposed to speaking with Sir Andrew.

“Very well,” Will said as he sipped his tea.

“Well, if you will excuse me, I have things that I need to attend to,” Sir Andrew said standing from the table.

Will and I both stood as well as we watched his father storm off. We didn’t know if he was angry, but he likely was since Will had chosen not to take his advice. I hoped that the only reason Sir Andrew wanted Will to meet his family wasn’t for the title alone, but as time went on, I began to doubt that.

“I’m sorry about that,” I said to my husband as I took his hands.

“It’s quite alright,” he said with a small smile. “I don’t know that I expected anything less.”

Over the course of the next few days, we made preparations for his aunt’s coming. Our mothers worked seamlessly around the clock to make sure that things were perfect for her arrival. It was more than either he or I could ask for.

On the day of her coming, we all stood out front of the manor. We lined up across the front of the courtyard awaiting her arrival. We had no clue what to expect when she got there.

Eventually, in the distance, we could see a carriage approaching. It was difficult to see the occupants for the longest time until it got closer. While the woman was older, she was clearly beautiful. She was put together and dressed nicely in a bonnet, day dress, and white gloves.

The resemblance between nephew and aunt was stronger than I could have imagined. The duchess never married or had children and was delighted to meet her new family.

“I’ll be,” she said as she was let down from the carriage. “You are the spitting image of your mother,” she said.

“Aunt, if I may call you that,” Will said as he offered his arm. “I am so happy you have arrived. “The ladies have planned for us to take tea together, but first might I introduce you to my family?”

“Of course.” She beamed. “They would be my family as well, correct?”

“I suppose they would.” He smiled at her.

“It’s been quite some time since this old woman had someone to call family,” she said with a smile.

She began walking towards me with an even broader smile on her face. I couldn’t help noting how put together she was, but in a regal way. I could tell that she wasn’t trying hard to stand out but wanted to look nice at the same time.

“Aunt, this is my wife, Lady Laura,” Will said with a smile.

“You may call me Laura,” I said in return.

“And you may call me aunt.” She smiled at me as she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. “And who are these lovely children?”

“This is our son and daughter, Tilly Marie and Theo Wilfried.” Will stood proud as he introduced his children.

“Hello Tilly, little Will, I am your Aunt Barb, or auntie, which ever you prefer.” She smiled. “I brought you something,” she said to the kids. “But you will have to wait until after evening meal to get it … if your mother and father approve.” She looked up to Will and I.

Will introduced his mother, my parents, and my sister to his aunt. We all made our way to take tea together in the gardens. It was beautiful, and my heart was full knowing that my husband finally found his family.

“Aunt, what would you like to do in England during your stay?” I asked her.

“Well, I’m not entirely sure what to call it, but I’ve done quite a bit of reading on your fair England.” She smiled as she sipped her tea. “I believe I would like to participate in one of the things where you chase a fox on horseback.”

“You would like to go to hunt?” I asked.

“Precisely, it sounds fascinating,” she said with a broad smile.

I turned and looked at my mother with a smirk. I couldn’t believe his aunt had requested a hunt. My mind was put to ease, and I liked this woman. She was a fine lady, but she was quite a lot like myself.

Later that evening, Will and I chose to take a walk through the gardens with the children. We decided to visit the greenhouse, one of their favourite spots to sit and listen to our stories. Some of them were about us, others were about a noble woman, but they loved them regardless of which we told.

As we opened the doors to the greenhouse, the smell of roses filled my nose as I inhaled and exhaled the sweet aroma. My mind instantly went back to the day that I was led there by a handsome butler and his secret roses.

“I’m thankful for everything that has happened, though the past was fearful,” I said. “I couldn’t imagine going through it with anyone other than you.”

“And I you,” Will said as he stood close.

“I want to thank you Will for your love and your devotion towards me,” I spoke softly so the children couldn’t hear.

It didn’t matter. They were happily running through rows and rows of roses.

“No matter what we have been through, or what may happen next, Laura, you have always been, and will always be … my first choice,” Will spoke the truth, filling me with the greatest love that I have ever known.


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17 thoughts on “A Rose for the Charming Lady – Extended Epilogue”

    1. I was surprised that this book was voiced in the first person. It was a little rattling at first, but as the characters were developed, I got used to it. Nice story. However, quite a few grammatical errors (e.g. I for me, they’re for their). Also, difficult to place in what era the story takes place. Too much of the language is in the contemporary vernacular. The end rattles on a bit, going over old ground again when this reader just wanted to get on with things. I hope this review is in some way helpful.

    2. Oh how I wish this book was the first in a series, I felt there were many unanswered threads. I want to know more about Aunt Barb, I also want to know why Anabel isn’t married yet 9 years later, I can’t imagine her as a spinster, you hinted there is another story there. What about Will, he is recognised as gentry but where does his income stem from that they were able to afford to release indentured slaves & pay & house new staff. What about Sir Andrew, why is he reluctant to meet his former wife’s family, even after the passage of time. The story has left me up in the air with so many questions.

    3. Interesting story. A feew places which confused me but all was ok. And too much remembering her time growing up with Will – A sentence or two would have been ok – but paragraphs on 1 occasion – I skipped over. Plus the jumping from one paragraph where her father gave permission for them to court & the next paragraph they are getting married.
      In the extended epilogue, it would have been nice to find out why Will’s biological father did not want to meet with Will’s aunt who came to visit.

  1. This is a very good heartwarming story and extended epilogue The characters are strong and emotional and forgiving

  2. I felt that the 20 year old female behaved like a 13 year old. She should have done her experiments elsewhere, not in living quarters. If her Mother had been more understanding, she could have helped her find a place she could have used.
    Maybe they should have sent Laura to boarding school when she was 13.You

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, dear Suzanne. 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!

  3. I must agree with Lynn, Clara and Leslie, the book did go over the same things repeatedly. I also would have thought boarding school was for 12-16 year olds.

  4. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the story, I must agree with Leslie and Lynn W. But I also expected more of a fight from Laura’s mother even if the father agreed to Laura and Will’s courtship and marriage. Also, the threat of boarding school seemed out of place for a 20 year old, and transitions were hard to follow. Maybe some clarity will follow if there is a sequel.

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