Her Duke in the Making – Extended Epilogue

Thomas’ family home in Pennsylvania was much as he remembered it. He helped Anne out of the carriage. “What do you think?”

“It’s charming,” Anne said with a smile. “This is where you grew up?”

Thomas nodded. Phillip exited the carriage behind them. “And here I thought you were a right pauper,” Phillip said with a grin.

Thomas chided his friend, “Compared to some, I suppose I was.”

“I think it is splendid,” Anne decreed. She had been around Thomas and Phillip long enough that Thomas could always count on her to mediate when she saw they were perhaps going to begin embarrassing themselves. It had been Anne’s careful persistence that had got Phillip to renew his interest in travelling to America.

Phillip fell into step behind them as they walked towards the house. The door flung open before they got too far up the path. Thomas’ mother came out to greet them with her arms open wide as if she meant to hug all three of them.

“Mother!” Thomas enveloped the woman in an embrace which caused her to laugh and pat his back.

Thomas’ mother gasped, “You are suffocating me, Thomas!”

When Thomas released her, the woman enveloped Anne in a hug. “Oh, bless you, child! I have heard so much of you that I think I know you already.” She released Anne at last and eyed Phillip. She looked over at Thomas. “And this is Lord Windham, I presume?”

Thomas nodded. “His Highness, Lord Windham, fifth in line to the throne.”

“Oh, do not start that,” Phillip groused but could not help laughing as Thomas’ mother hugged him as well. “I say, I like America! Lots of hugging!”

Thomas’ mother shooed them all towards the house. “Go on with you all. There are rooms for everyone.”

Thomas found his stepfather waiting for them in his favourite chair. “Father,” Thomas said with a warm grin.

The man stood up and welcomed Thomas back with a thump on the back. “Well done, boy, well done.”

Phillip and Anne were introduced, and the family sat around talking. “Where is, Jo?” Thomas had been expecting the girl to meet them at the door.

Thomas’ mother laughed. “Oh, your sister has taken a job.”

“A job? What sort of job?” Thomas tried to rationalise that with what he knew of his sister.

“Lady Seymour,” Phillip interrupted. “Is it normal for young women here to hold jobs outside of the household?”

Thomas’ mother blushed. “You hear how proper he addresses me, Daniel?”

Thomas stepfather chuckled. “I do.”

“Why, yes, some girls do hold jobs. She wanted to save a bit of money, and well Daniel and I always raised the kids to be mindful of their spending.” Lady Seymour gave a light shrug. “She is helping the local seamstress, doing hemming and such.”

“That is a wonderful profession,” Phillip said in earnestness.

Lady Seymour smiled at him. “That is very kind of you to say. She really is quite headstrong.”

“It must be a family trait,” Anne said with a little wink at Thomas. He laughed at his bride and had to admit that she probably had a point.

The womenfolk went into the kitchen soon after, and to Thomas’ surprise his stepfather put his hand on his shoulder. “She seems a wonderful young lady. Your mother and I are so proud of you, Thomas.”

Phillip smiled at the heartfelt exchange. Thomas could hardly formulate words. His stepfather was a stern man at times, all business. To have him say he was proud was a deep honour. “Thank you, Father.”

The front door thumped open, hitting against the hinges. “That’ll be your sister.”

Thomas chuckled as Josephine came tearing through the room and embraced him. He hugged her back. “You have gotten so tall! How did this happen? I have not been gone that long.”

“Mama said I stubbed my toe,” Josephine said with a quick grin. Thomas saw the girl’s expression change as she noticed Phillip.

Thomas cleared his throat as Josephine scrambled to back away from him. She put her hands behind her back and gazed wide-eyed at Phillip. “May I introduce, Josephine Seymour, my sister? Jo, this is Lord Phillip Windham.”

Phillip gave her a deep bow. “I have heard of your industry, and I am intrigued. Do you enjoy the fabric arts?”

Josephine stared at him for a moment before she covered her mouth with her hand. She dashed out of the room without a glance back at any of them. Phillip looked over at Thomas. “Was it something I said?”

<strong> </strong>

<strong>Phillip</strong>

Phillip walked out into the yard and spied Josephine sitting on a fence. He called out, “Dare I approach or shall you flee?”

“I am not a rabbit,” Josephine called back.

Phillip walked over. “Are you sure? Because the last I saw of you was you leaping out of a room.”

“I had things to do,” Josephine said haughtily.

Phillip smiled despite himself. “A girl as young as you has many things to do?”

“I am fully 18 years old,” Josephine declared. “And yes, I do have things to do.”

Phillip leaned against the fence careful to stay a bit away from the girl. Americans were a tricky lot, and he had not as yet mastered all their customs. “I do hope that I did not lead to you forgoing your evening meal. I did not see you when we ate.”

“I was simply tired.” Josephine eyed him with such an open curiosity that Phillip was intrigued. Her hair held a copper tone similar to her father’s. Her brown eyes were sharp and clear as if she could see right to the heart of the matter and only needed him to declare his guilt.

Phillip shrugged. “Have it your way, Rabbit.”

“Are you certain you are a Lord?” Josephine tapped her heels against the fence she was perched on.

Phillip laughed. “I have the papers and everything to prove it. Do you need to see them?”

“Why would I?” Josephine raised her eyebrows at him as if challenging Phillip, but he could not say what the challenge was for.

He chuckled. “Whatever you say, Rabbit.”

“See a real gentleman would not call a lady such as that.” Josephine hopped off the fence.

Phillip eyed her and put his hands in his coat pockets. “Do you know many Lords?”

“No,” Josephine said simply. She turned and walked a short distance away before she stopped and turned around. “Why do you wear your coat all the time?”

“It is a habit,” Phillip said honestly. “Where I come from, people are very modest.”

Josephine did not look like she thought much of that. “That’s a pity.”

“Why?” Phillip asked as the girl turned to leave.

She smiled. “It just is,” she said with a shrug before she turned and sauntered away.

Phillip stood watching her for a bit then turned and went back into the house. Anne was sitting at the kitchen table. She gave him a smile. “What were you up to?”

“Attempting to converse with a rabbit,” Phillip said as he sank into a chair.

She gave him a knowing look. “Really? I thought I saw you talking to Josephine. Must have been my imagination.”

Thomas came in and looked between them. “What is going on?”

Anne leaned back and gave Phillip a look. He sighed. “I was talking to your sister outside, and your wife saw me.”

“The intrigue,” Thomas said dramatically as he sat down next to Anne. “What were you talking to Jo about?”

Phillip shrugged. “Nothing really. I just enquired after her. She did not come to the meal last night, and I was concerned that I might have made her uncomfortable.”

“I assure you that Josephine is very difficult to make uncomfortable,” Thomas confided.

Phillip nodded and agreed, “She does seem to have a very strong mind about things.”

<strong>Thomas </strong>

Anne nudged Thomas. “You really should intervene.”

“Why?” Thomas did not look as if he were eager to do so.

“We have been here three weeks, and Phillip is absolutely beside himself. What happens when we leave for England?” Anne nodded over towards the kitchen window. Phillip was waiting on Josephine to return from her work. “He waits to catch a moment with her like some lovesick bard. And your sister tortures him.”

Thomas snickered. “She adores him.”

“I do not know how things go in America, but surely there must be some peace for them.” Anne leaned against Thomas and gave him a pleading look.

Thomas grinned at her and gave Anne a kiss on the cheek. “I can speak with him, but it is up to the two of them. Not to mention my parents.” He stood up and went outside. “Phillip,” he called.

Phillip reluctantly left his post and came to see what Thomas wanted. “Yes?”

“Walk with me,” Thomas said as he stepped through the gate and into the meadow beyond.

Phillip did so even if Thomas saw his eyes go back down the road. “Is something wrong?”

“No,” Thomas assured him. “I just know that we have to return to England at the end of this month. A date that is fast approaching.”

Phillip nodded. “I wonder what they would do if I did not go back.”

“Probably send out search parties,” Thomas informed him with a grin. “Be serious.”

“I am being serious.” Phillip sighed. “This place is so different, yet a lot is the same. Why cannot I just stay here?”

Thomas eyed his friend. “You love England. You love hunting on your land, and despite it all, I think you even love your mother.”

“Blasphemy. You take that last part back,” Phillip said with mock indignation.

Thomas chuckled. “Perhaps that was a bit much, but you will never be happy here.”

They walked for a minute neither of them speaking. The birds in the trees screeched at each other over some squabble that humans would never understand. Thomas looked over at his friend. “Josephine had spoken of going to school in England.”

Phillip eyed Thomas. “I do not know what you are implying.”

“Phillip, I have eyes. Anne has eyes. Even my mother has seen how you two are. Perhaps the only two who have not yet come to the conclusion is the two of you.” Thomas sighed.

He looked uncertain. “I do not think she would have me.”

“You are a Lord. You are fifth in line to the throne,” Thomas intoned loudly.

Phillip chuckled. “So, you are saying I should bribe her?”

“I am saying that if she can see you despite all of that, then perhaps you should give it a shot,” Thomas advised. “Jo is not a flighty girl prone to fancies. She likes a good solid foundation. It is obvious to me that she sees something in you.”

Phillip frowned and looked down at his boots. “What if she does not really see me?”

“There is only one way to find that out,” Thomas reminded Phillip.

Phillip laughed, and Thomas gave him a curious look. “It is a good thing that I have already spoken to your stepfather and mother.”

“You did not,” Thomas exclaimed. “Why did you not tell me?”

Phillip shrugged. “Well, I do not know what she will say. Truthfully she is the wildcard in all this. What if she says no? What if she would rather be independent?”

“Are you going to lock her into a room?” Thomas asked the question with humour.

Josephine called. “Oy, who are you locking into a room?”

Phillip laughed. He and Thomas made their way over to the fence where Josephine was eyeing them curiously. “I was talking about this rabbit that I want to take home to England.”

“Well, rabbits like to be rabbits,” Josephine said simply. “Will the rabbit be allowed to be a rabbit or will she have to act like some doll?”

Phillip shook his head. “She only has to act like herself. Trust me; I am no one to be trifled with at home.”

Josephine smiled. “Then I would love to go to England with you. Wait, you were asking me to marry you, weren’t you?”

Phillip chuckled and said, “Yes.”

“Good. Well come on then,” Josephine said haughtily as she headed into the house. Anne stepped back and let the girl go in while she covered her mouth with one of her hands.

Thomas put his hand on Phillip’s shoulder. “Welcome to the family.”

THE END


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101 thoughts on “Her Duke in the Making – Extended Epilogue”

    1. Bridget — you simply HAVE to write a story with Jo as the heroine. Just the little bit of character you wrote in this extended epilogue was wonderful. I’d love to see how you flesh out her character… 🙂

    2. I loved the book. You are a great author I have read all your A books .your STORIES always touch my heart. But this one with Thomas and Ann was so special I didn’t want it to end .

    3. I really enjoyed the extended epilogue! You chose wisely to focus on Jo and Phillip. I was hoping to hear more about them and their romance. Jo is quite a character, very funny and definitely strong-willed. I’d definitely read their story. I was happy to read that Anne and her Duke visited America as a newly married couple, and Anne got to learn more about Thomas and how lucky she was to have found her own true love!

    4. I really enjoyed this book, so glad I purchased it. Now I really want to read about Phillip and Josephine. Thanks

  1. I enjoyed the story line, but I missed your previous style of writing. The tone is even different. You are one of my favorite authors and I humbly await your next novel

  2. I liked the story, but thought it simple. I would have liked a bit more adventure. Keep writing.

  3. I enjoyed reading your book. it had a refreshing different story line from most romances. I knew how it would end, happily ever after, and I want that ending. the extended portion seemed too rushed. maybe another book about phillip and his romance /story would have been a better approach.

  4. Bridget,
    I do so love your stories. This one was a little slow starting, but I stuck with it and still I didn’t put it down. For the main reason you always keep the story going. This book is just as great as all of your others. Loved the ending. I was hoping for Lord Phillip to find his true love by the end.
    Thank you and waiting patiently for the next one.

  5. I liked and enjoyed the story. I would have liked more depth to Thomas’s challenges at becoming a duke, his responsibilities regarding the estate and how he handled the numerous estate issues. I also hoped for more romance between Anne and Thomas.

    1. My dear Peggy, thank you so much for your kind, thorough feedback! It is very helpful for me and I will keep your comments in mind for my future stories. I’m happy you enjoyed the story! 🙂

  6. There are a couple of storylines that could be continued. I have read many of your stories and enjoyed them all.

  7. Enjoyed this sweet story. I agree that the extended version was too rushed! Enjoy your writing style but the romantic parts are a bit sedate.

    Looking forward to my next read.

    1. Thank you my dear Susan! I’m so excited you enjoyed the story and I appreciate your honest feedback. I will keep this in mind for my future stories!

  8. Love the story: I didn’t think it was going to be as good as it was, due to its slow beginning. Anxiously waiting your next book.

  9. I loved the book. I enjoyed the development of Thomas and Anne’s relationship. The lessons Thomas had to learn to fit into society made me chuckle. I was disappointed with the epilogue. It seemed too rushed to me.

  10. Loved this story! It was a nice clean romance. Would love to read a story with Phillip and his romance with Josephine also. Thanks for writing such interesting stories.

  11. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to other related novels; specifically Phillip and Josephine and Dorothea.

  12. Loved the characters in the story and the story line.
    Very enjoyable and a great happy ever after. Will enjoy the
    Next about about Phillip and Jo. Please continue updating
    With Thomas and Anne along with Dorothea.

  13. I liked this book. Could see both of them were attached to each other both dreaming of the other.

  14. I LOVE this book.! It was definitely different from others . It was very exciting to learn how much Americans were seen( and probably today also) . I’m glad that Lord Windham instantly fell in love with Thomas’s sister Josephine. I thought it was so funny how Lord Rowley got what he deserved. Thank you for such wonderful expressions, people and wonderful books. May God’s blessings continue to always be with you and your family.

  15. I truly loved this book. I found the rules that young women had to live by amusing and I wonder how they would go over if I tried imposing them on my granddaughters. They’d probably have me committed. Please do a story on Phillip and Josephine. I can just imagine high societies reaction to her. This was truly one of your best. Thank you.

  16. A nice gentle story compared to some you have written. I but more venture would have been nice but on the whole I enjoyed reading it

  17. It’s your fault my house isn’t clean. Your books are too intriguing and fun to put down! And I love the extended epilogue!

  18. Beautiful as always. Love your style of writing. This story is very refreshing. I would love to hear more about Philip and Josephine. Wonder what ever happened to Lord Rowley? Always wondered why Thomas’s mother had to flee to America. Does not really say anything other than to protect her son. Was her husband dead? Just curious. It kinda makes me feel like something is missing. Will you write a story about Philip’s cousin? Just a thought.

  19. Loved this story of Anne and Thomas, and like most would love to read the story of Josephine and the often inebriated Phillip. Keep the books coming and I will keep reading them. Have a great day.

  20. It was a beautiful story. I would love to hear more about Anne and Thomas but hope to see you write about Philip and Josephine. I see a little humor there. I hope you will continue with both couples. Anxiously awaiting your next story.

  21. I love your work!!! This story is by far one of the best Ive read of yours. I love everyone not accepting the duke for who he is and even Anne. I love how she stuck with him and never gave up completely. I love how love snuck on them both. I love how well you described everything about society. Such a great read! Thanks so much for keeping me up all night catching up on your books. What to read next?

  22. Your book again is superb! Your mode of writing and story line always keeps me reading. The story of Thomas and Anne was sooo good and the extended part was a lead in to another book (I hope). I love your clean romances are the best.

  23. I enjoyed this story, but you do need a good proofreader and you need to research titles in the British aristocracy. You kept referring to Anne as Lady Anne Hope or Lady Hope when she is not eligible to be referred to as Lady. According to Courtesy Titles – Debrett’ s: ” The younger sons of an earl, and all sons of a viscount or baron and daughters of a viscount or baron have the courtesy style of “The Honorable” before their forename or surname. The daughters of a duke, marquess or earl have the courtesy title of “Lady” before their forename or surname.” Therefore, Anne is The Honorable Anne Hope when announced or otherwise Miss Anne Hope because her father is a baron. Also, please write Philip and Josephine’ s story. There is potential for a great read there.

    1. I thank you for your honest feedback, my dear Shirley. This helps me fix such issues but also be more careful with my future stories. I will keep your comment in mind. 😊

  24. This is my first book of yours that I have read. I was perfectly Wonderful. I Wanted it to keep going, and not ever end! You are a wonderful writer and I Can’t wait to read all your books!

  25. I agree that the extended part seemed a bit rushed. Windham’s character seems to be rich in history and needs a strong story to follow up what began in Thomas’s story. I love your book. This was my first time reading your work. The story was interesting and kept me reading well into the night.

    1. Thank you so so much, my dear Janet! ❤ I’m so excited you enjoyed the story and I appreciate your honest feedback. I will keep this in mind for my future stories!

  26. Just loved the story although Ann’s title would not have been “lady” if her father was a baron. But it took nothing away from a great read. Please say you have written phillip and Josephine story and when I can read it. I am sure the ton will be astounded and cant wait to read how it makes phillip a better man hopefully leaving his drink in the past.

    1. I’m so excited you liked my story dear! Thank you so much for your honest feedback! I will keep your comments and suggestions in mind for my future releases! 😉

  27. Really enjoyed this book. Of course I knew how it would end, but you get them married, then off to America. The epilogue had some blank sections and it had too quick of a conclusion. I hope a future book wraps it together.

    1. Thank you so much for your honest feedback, dear Jane! It’s really helpful and I’ll keep your comments in mind for my future releases. 🙂

  28. What a different kind of love story . Thomas was a delight as an American turn duke. Anne was amusing as a stubborn young English girl. But I loved how they came to love each other . GREAT READ.

  29. I enjoyed the story of Thomas &Anne also it was good that Lord Rowley was dealt with looking forward to reading more of your books soon.

  30. I really enjoyed this book. I agree with the others. There are several different storylines that would make good read. Keep up the good work!

  31. Anne and Thomas story was very instering Thomas beening a American made a great Duke with help from Anne and her Family he made a great friend in Philip the other characters in the story I like except for Lord Rowley didn’t like him at all I hope in another book the story of Philip and Josephine loved the Extented Epilogue but to short could have gone a little longer would have to see Anne and Thomas with Children.

  32. Another great book by one of my favorite authors. I truly enjoyed reading about Thomas learning the English rules of the ton. A sweet love developed between Anne and Thomas and it was a pleasure to see Lord Rowley taken down. I hope to see Philip and Josephine’s story some day.

  33. This was such a great book! But I do love all of your works. I could assume where the story was going yet there were plenty of twists and turns to make it wonderful!! And thank you so much for the extended epilogue, it was a nice unexpected treat!! I can’t wait for the next book to come out! Jenn

  34. Loved this story and agree that you need to write a story about Phillip and Jo, my only criticism would be that the common greeting of hello did not come in to everyday use until Edison used it on his first phone call. So historically it is incorrect. I accept that it is an American writing about a culture that is as different as chalk and cheese. However all that aside, l loved the story. Thank you very much 😊

  35. This is a very good story and it is a very good extended epilogue and so sweet that Jo and Phillip has found each other

  36. I liked this book. A little slow and would have liked a little more action but very good. Would love a story on Phillip and Jo.

  37. I really enjoyed the story and it was nice to be taken back to the plan ways of the English. Really enjoyed the romance and the fashion and the dress style. Would recommended it to my mother as there was no sex or violence. A really good story. Keep up the good work.

  38. I really enjoyed this historical romance. So different from others yet somewhat alike – especially about the ‘ton’ and their ‘rules’. And I really enjoyed the Extended Epilogue – made me chuckle a few times.

  39. I loved your book and would like a sequel to this story! Love to hear more about Thomas and Anne and about Josephine and Phillip. I enjoyed every minute of it and would recommend it to everybody!!

  40. Hi Bridget. Another great novel. Well written and a great story. Such lovely characters who engaged my interest throughout. It takes a great author to be able to do that and you manage to do so with each novel. The extended epilogue was well received and like others I hope that another novel will come into existence about Philip and his lady. That one would allow you to have so much fun, can you imagine her amongst the stiff people of the upper crusts in England! Full stars for this one. 🌺

  41. What a wonderful story. Anne and Thomas were destined to be together from the beginning. I also loved the extended epilogue. I agree that you need to write a book on Phillip and Josephine, including Anne and Thomas of course. I love the fact that you are able to write stories without blatant sex or violence. Just wonderful love stories!

  42. Hi Bridget,
    The story was a clean story. I felt the heroine’s fall for the hero Should have been a little more convincing. The extended epilogue seemed rather rushed. Considering Philip falling for Jo, there is no explanation why the girl ran closing her mouth suddenly. Also how they both fell in love. The main story if it had been little bit edited, it would have been crisp and more engaging

  43. I really enjoyed this book in fact I have enjoyed all the books that you have written. I was wondering if you will or have written a book about Phillip and Josephine. Because I would love to read the story. I can just imagine Jo getting into a lot of mischief and causing Thomas and Phillip all kinds of problems. Thank you so much for this delightful story. I wish my Grandmother was alive today so I could share this story with her. She would have loved reading this book. Thank you for writing the books they have given me a lot of joy.

  44. Such an interesting story. Fun, upsetting sometimes, exciting, wondering – just a lovely book to read.

    This extended epilogue does have a few typos – probably the website used (can do this in Amazon also)

    . . . .“Was it something I said?”

    Phillip
    Phillip walked out . . . .
    And a little further down – Thomas

  45. Loved the whole thing. I read it twice! Great ending and extended epilogue. Thank you for making me smile first thing in the morning. I would love to find out how Jo and Philip survive the ton.
    Happy Tuesday

  46. Aw you can’t leave it there. Jo and Phillip? What’s next?

    But shouldn’t Sir Quincy be ……Sir Christian name Quincy?

    1. 🥰 I am glad you liked it as much that you want more dear Meg! Maybe there will be more in another book!
      About the typo, yes you are absolutely right!

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