Spellbound by a Dazzling Beauty – Extended Epilogue


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At breakfast, Mary sat across the dining table from William, rubbing her swollen belly. He smiled across at her with a sense of pride and adoration, for pregnancy did indeed, suit her. William could never have imagined that she could look any more beautiful than the first moment they had met, or even that her beauty could have been surpassed when she had shone so brightly on their wedding day, and yet, at that moment, she glowed with the expectancy of motherhood.

Perhaps it had something to do with the eager expectation of meeting her first child, or maybe it was just that she looked beautiful in any circumstance. William could not know, nor did he care. Lady Mary Kerr was now his wife and soon to be the mother of his child, and his only regret was that his parents had never had the opportunity to meet the woman who brought him such happiness.

‘She is kicking, look.’ Mary pointed to her belly as a strange movement occurred beneath her oversized dress. She had pulled the material tight, so he could see the movement, though it was not the first time she had been completely fascinated by the activity of their unborn child. William had noted the movement many times before, and still, he could not quite get used to his wife’s belly making the most bizarre and strange formations.

‘She?’ William raised his eyebrows with a half-smile.

Mary was determined that their first child was a girl, and while neither of them could know for any certainty, she enjoyed teasing him on every occasion she saw fit. He had noticed that of late, it appeared to be more often than not.

‘Of course.’ Mary grinned widely. ‘There is definitely a need for more women in this household, my darling. There will always be a need for more women, for we must rise up against the oppression of men.’

This was her usual mocking narrative, and while William allowed her to continue, he refrained from stating an obvious fact. The suffering she had endured previous to their engagement had not been implemented by men but by her own stepmother and stepsister. Of course, her father had allowed such a circumstance to occur, and yet, the deceit and contrivance of lies had still been instigated by not one, but two other females. William, of course, did not ever mention this, for he knew she was only teasing. He would not want to cause her any harm by reminding her of her previous suffering.

‘Oh, I do not know,’ William replied with a knowing smile. ‘I do think I may worry if it is a girl. Both myself and your father might then be completely outnumbered. The house is already overrun by females, between you and Anne, and then, especially when Charlotte arrives for a visit.

‘Come here, William. You must feel her, for she is indeed doing a jig in there.’

William stood and rounded the table, eventually crouching down on his haunches beside her and placing his hand on her belly. It felt no less strange than it looked, and Mary was not wrong, for the baby was indeed enjoying its movement with some gusto. The first occasion that she had asked him to feel their unborn child’s movement had caused him to pull his hand away, so strange had the sensation been beneath it. He had now got well used to Mary’s fascination, and only for her desire for him to connect in some way to the baby, did he accommodate her requests.

Eventually, he stood, and looking down upon his wife with adoration, softly kissed Mary on the forehead before returning back around to his chair and sitting down.

‘I have good news to tell you. The house is now finished and all is ready for John and Charlotte. I received news this morning from Mr Harvey. The roof is finally completed, and the posts and fence in the garden were finished yesterday evening. There are stables and a barn for any horses or other animals, and I have also ensured another building for John to store his equipment. I had hoped it would be ready for the end of the week, but with the men working hard, they have managed to finish it early. I sent Mr Harvey to speak to your father as soon as he had relayed the news, and no doubt, your father will travel out to see John and Charlotte in the coming days to tell them.’

‘Oh, that is fabulous, William. I am so proud of you. Proud and grateful for all you have done to ensure they have a large and suitable home for the entire family. It has been two years since you and father began talking of your plans, and they need the room more than ever, given that Charlotte is pregnant again. Let us hope it is a boy this time. You talk about being outnumbered with one baby, yet I am sure John feels quite outnumbered with the two daughters they have already.’

‘I would not concern yourself, Mary. John can look after himself.’ William smiled.

‘Oh, I do not have to worry about John,’ Mary replied. ‘It is quite obvious he adores his girls. The twins are his pride and joy, and I do not imagine he cares much whether the next child will be a boy or a girl. Fatherhood suits him, for it is clear that he loves spending time with them, and besides Charlotte, I cannot imagine he loves anything more than his children. He does make me laugh when he lifts the two of them above his head at the same time, and they seem to love it too, by the sounds of their little squeals of delight. Just watching them together makes me so very happy.’

‘Well, since the business has been expanding, he will also be able to invest in more tools, and perhaps take on another apprentice. Maybe it will give him more time with his family.’

‘And also, now they will be nearer, I will be able to see Charlotte and my nieces more often.’ Mary smiled with contentment.


The two years since their wedding, had seemed to fly by, and William could hardly believe it had passed so quickly. Eventually, the rumour mill tired of talking about their union, and no doubt finding another subject to suffer under their gossip, left them alone. On the night they had attended the ball, Lady Bloomfield had been utterly delighted at their news. Mary had been overly worried, even though she had told him she was not, and yet, for the most part, the reception was positive. There were some whispers carried along that inferred Mary had married above her station and had only been after William’s vast fortune, but with the contacts he had in high places, William had put a swift end to those comments.

A year after their own wedding, he had been thrilled to stand witness at his cousin’s ceremony, for much to Mary’s delight, Harry asked for Sarah’s hand in marriage, and she had happily accepted. Once more, there were mutterings whispered in dark places, yet unlike William, Harry had shrugged them off.

On an afternoon in a gentlemen’s club in London, some months after Harry’s wedding the subject had been raised, and Harry had assured William of his feelings.

‘Do you really think I care what a bunch of gossipers say about me, William?’ Harry had shrugged, nonchalantly. ‘Sarah is a better person than most of them will ever be. I knew what I was doing when I asked for her hand in marriage. She may not have been a lady in title at the time, and yet, she would put many other so-called ladies I have met over the years to shame. She is kind and honest, and her heart is full of charity. Unlike the majority of the gentry, I have never once heard her gossip about another, and I can tell you, it is more than refreshing. It is her forthrightness that is one of her most endearing qualities. There are no grey areas with Sarah. I never have to guess what she means, for she tells me directly.’

‘It is nearly strange how well-suited the two of you are, Harry,’ William had said with a nod. ‘You are this laid back kind of fellow, who takes everything in his stride, and Sarah …’

‘Sarah keeps me in line?’ Harry had laughed. ‘Is that what you are trying to say, William?’

William had chuckled and nodded, for he was trying to find a more diplomatic way of putting it, and yet, Harry as usual, just said it as it was.

‘We do complement each other, for where Sarah can at times be a little rigid, I show her how to look at things with a softer perspective, and when I am seeing things with a little less clarity, Sarah is there to provide me with some structure.’

‘I am happy for you, Harry. Truly I am. I do hope the things said about Sarah do not upset her greatly.’

‘As I said, William. Sarah is a straight talking kind of person. She does not need to defend herself, for she knows well that the things people are saying are based on falsehood. Something happened between us, a connection was formed, and perhaps, because we had been friends for such a length of time, it was easier for us to see it. Yet, I know that Sarah could not care less about any wealth I may possess. In fact, my main problem is trying to stop her from being so thrifty and worrying about mending dresses when she can simply buy another.’

‘It is difficult to undo a lifetime of habits, my dear friend.’

‘Well, you would know, William.’ Harry had smiled. ‘Though I could not be more proud of you, for since your union with Mary, you have fully come out of yourself. Your confidence has grown, and you believe in your own abilities more.’

‘That is what the love of a good woman does to a man, Harry.’

Since that day, both couples had spent much time at many dinner parties in each other’s houses, and any rumours had, as Harry had insinuated many times, soon died down. Mary and Sarah’s relationship had only grown from strength to strength, and it had been with Mary’s help that Sarah had finally let go of the need to worry about money. Her thrifty ways were a thing of the past, much to the relief of Harry.

Phillip too, had been a regular visitor to the mansion, for he had stated that now everyone had left the family home, he found his days long and the loneliness difficult. On one such visit, Mary had made a suggestion that Phillip had seemed to consider.

‘Why do you not go and travel a little, Phillip? You are yet young and there is so much of the world to see. Even if you only travel around England, there is still much to discover.’

‘It is strange that you should mention that, Mary, as a friend of mine that used to live around these parts did exactly the same thing, and I received correspondence from him only a few weeks back. He has actually moved up to Scotland.After a year of travelling around England, he wanted to broaden his horizons. While he had only planned to explore the highlands of Scotland, he loved the place so much, he decided to stay. In his letter, he offered me to come and visit him, for he cannot seem to praise the place enough. He said the views are rather breathtaking, and the hunting is beyond anything I might be able to imagine.’

‘Well, I am certain their foxes are no different than ours, Phillip.’ William had smiled.

‘Not foxes, William.’ Phillip had shaken his head. ‘They hunt deer up there. Apparently some of them are great big beasts with antlers that would near span the length of a dining table.’

‘Deer.’ William had raised his eyebrows. ‘Well, that is an entirely different type of hunting.’

‘Indeed, it is. I do think I may take him up on his offer,’ Phillip had said.

‘Then, you can travel through England on your way,’ Mary had offered. ‘There are many places to see between here and Scotland, Phillip.’

‘I know. And I do think you are right.’

‘You are not planning on settling down anytime soon then?’ William had asked.

‘There is plenty of time for all that, William,’ Phillip had replied, sounding far older than his years. ‘I have an entire estate and fortune waiting for me when I return, and there is no rush, is there?’

‘Not at all, Phillip.’ William had shaken his head. ‘Not at all.’

‘Then, it is decided. That is what I will do.’

‘You will write to me when you are away, will you not?’ Mary had suddenly looked perturbed.

‘Mary, I am not leaving tomorrow.’ Phillip had chuckled. ‘There are preparations to be made. Besides,’ he had looked down at her ever-growing belly, ‘I do believe I would like to meet my niece or nephew before I leave.’

‘Well, you only have a few months to wait, then.’

‘Which is probably the amount of time it will take me to get organised.’ Phillip had grinned.

A week after William had discovered the cottage was ready, William travelled down to John and Charlotte’s small home with several carts to lend a hand with the move. He brought a group of his own stablehands with him, and they spent several days, going back and forth, taking all the furniture from one place to the next.

Charlotte, John, and the girls resided with William and Mary in the interim. Their daughters, Milly and Teresa, always loved coming to Mary and William’s home, for it was such a size that they used it as some form of playground. Being so small, they rarely ventured far, and yet Mary delighted at the awe on their tiny faces when they toddled from room to room.

While the girls played nearby, Charlotte and Mary sat in the newly refurbished playroom and watched as they chattered and giggled between themselves.

‘We really cannot thank you and William enough for all you have done for us, Mary,’ Charlotte said as she sipped her tea. ‘The cottage was getting rather cramped, and with this new one on the way,’ Charlotte absently rubbed at the small bump now beginning to show, ‘I do not know how we would have coped.’

Charlotte had long since adjusted to her new life, and yet, it had not been easy at the beginning. With her decision to marry a blacksmith, came great changes in both her lifestyle and residence. Of course, Mary’s father had helped out financially, but that did not compensate for moving from a huge house with servants to a small cottage with only four rooms, and suddenly having to learn to do things for herself.

Strangely enough, though the change was great, her new lifestyle seemed to suit Charlotte perfectly. Something Mary could never have imagined to be so. Love was indeed, a powerful factor, and perhaps it was because of the great love shared between herself and John, that Charlotte had adapted so well. Or maybe, it had more to do with the fact that Charlotte, in some way or another over the year they had secretly been meeting, had already mentally made the turn.

She had told Mary at one time, that whatever had happened when all the truth was revealed, that she would always have gone to John, even if she had to run away. Having money had always been a great comfort, and yet, once she had experienced the wealth of John’s love and affection, it had not seemed to matter anymore. Of course, she could not show that outwardly at the time, and so, for fear of being discovered, had acted as her mother had desired. Lady Goldfield had found security in wealth, Charlotte had discovered it in family and a loving husband.

‘How are you feeling, Mary? It will not be long now.’ Charlotte nodded towards Mary’s heavily swollen belly.

‘I must admit, I am excited and terrified at the same time.’ Mary smiled with slight trepidation.

‘Terrified of being a mother?’ Charlotte frowned.

‘Oh, no. I cannot wait for that part. I suppose it is just the giving birth that worries me.’

‘Oh, good. I would not worry about that so much.’ Charlotte waved a dismissive hand. ‘The pain is soon forgotten. I was more worried that you were concerned about becoming a mother. It would have surprised me, for you adore the girls so much, and are so good with them. You are going to be a fabulous mother, Mary. I truly believe that.’

‘Thank you, Charlotte. Then I will follow in your footsteps. Talking of mothers, have you heard anything from Lady Goldfield?’

Charlotte smiled and rolled her eyes. ‘Oh, yes. In fact, I received a letter from Mother only last month. You will probably not be surprised at its contents, for I certainly was not. She is living the high life in Italy and has decided to stay there permanently.’

Mary could not help nodding knowingly.

‘Apparently,’ Charlotte continued, ‘the spas in Italy are far more appealing than anything England has to offer her, and so, she has decided never to return here.’

‘What about her grandchildren?’ Mary frowned, eyeing the girls playing on the floor not far away.

‘Come now, Mary. When did my mother really and truly care about her own children, never mind her grandchildren?’ Charlotte gave her a knowing look. ‘For a long time, my mother only concerned herself with her own gain. Do you really think her wanting me to marry a rich lord had anything to do with my security? And do not get me started on poor Phillip, for the boy was neglected from the moment I was of age. I think you know well, the truth. My mother was never meant to have children, not in any mothering sense, anyway. I think I feel more sorry for your father, for I know he will not divorce her, and yet, now he is on his own.’

‘Do not worry about, Papa.’ Mary smiled with a slight sadness. ‘I think he is happy where he is now. After the death of my mother, and the pain caused by your mother, he has little desire to match himself to another. Besides, his two daughters, for he has never looked at you in any other light, have brought him great joy, and he is soon to be a grandfather again, twice.’ Mary laughed.

‘He does adore the girls.’

‘He does. We have all grown with our own families, and yet, we will always be his family. This year, we can come together at Christmas and celebrate all the love that we have, knowing that through trials and tribulations, we are all exactly where we are supposed to be.’


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36 thoughts on “Spellbound by a Dazzling Beauty – Extended Epilogue”

    1. Hi, I did enjoy this book but was getting very irked when they called Phillip Lord Goldfield not Bolton. The proof reader didn’t pick it up.

      1. Thank you so much for your kind feedback and support, dear Eunice. I truly appreciate it! I will look into it with my editor!

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

        Thank you again and have a lovely day!

      2. I just got through reading this great book. I love this book from the beginning to the end. The character Mary’s stepmother was truly evil. And I’m glad that Mary and Charlotte made amends with each other. I’m looking forward to reading more books from this amazing author. I give her a 5 star rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

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

    2. I enjoyed the story thoroughly and was glad that Charlotte found redemption through her live with John, and Mary and William found each other. I was confused when Philip was called Lord Goldfield instead of Lord Bolton. Hopefully that error was corrected.

  1. Another thrilling read, astonishing story about stepmother and stepsister being nasty.Looks like that is the topic at the moment for writing about.This was an ok read.Extended Epilogue was a delightful ending

  2. You have given us another amazing story, the trials and tribulations between Mary and her steps was quite intriguing. It was nice to see the reconciliation between Mary, her father and her step-sister. The extended epilogue is a great glimpse into their later lives.

  3. I had reservations at first about another evil stepmother tale, but you managed to keep my interest and delight me with the outcome. Everyone getting what they deserved.

  4. Story was a good read and the extended epilogue was a great ending. Sorry Mary’s father was so filled with grieve not to see what his wife was doing!

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

  5. I enjoyed your book very much. I too would be heart broken if my father took someone else’s word over my own. I would have liked to know if Lady Mary had a boy or girl but all together a delightful read.

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

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

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

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

  6. It is May of 24 and I enjoyed the story. Stayed up until 4 Am to finish it. The love that Mary showed to everyone was what made the story delightful. I would also like to know about the birth and gender if you can fit it in another story. Thank you for all the great reading.

    1. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the story! I’ll definitely consider including more details about the birth and gender in a future story. Thank you for your thoughtful feedback and for being such a dedicated reader!

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