The Lord’s Deceiving Game – Extended Epilogue


One year later

Christianna almost fell asleep as she held onto the wriggling baby. She had been fed, and Christianna had made sure every need had been dealt with, but her daughter had decided to be very lively. She had no idea how seeing as she had been up most of the night. Christianna was running on very little energy, and she was struggling to stay awake.

Having a child was something to be proud of, but it was a struggle when they were so animated. And Jessica was only a week old.

The door opened and closed, and Christianna looked up to see Adam crossing the room towards her.

“We have to watch her closely. She seems a wild little one. Even when she is sleeping, she doesn’t seem to calm down,” he said with humor in his voice.

“She’s just being lively.” Christianna defended her daughter with a jesting tone.

She was sitting upright in bed, and all she wanted was to cuddle with her child, but it seemed like Jessica had other ideas.

“Let me take her.” Adam leaned over and gently took his daughter from his wife’s arms. “I’ll look after her. You get some sleep.”


“No buts. You spent two days giving birth to her, and I don’t think you’ve properly rested. Make the most of it while I spend time with our child.” Adam kissed her head. “You can’t look after a baby if you don’t look after yourself.”

He did have a point. Christianna wanted to argue, but another yawn came on, and she felt Adam gently pressing on her shoulder.

“Go to sleep, darling.” He kissed her and pulled back with a smile. “I’ll look after Jessica. The wet nurse can feed her if you’re still asleep. Now close your eyes.”

Christianna found her eyes closing as his soothing voice, letting the sleep take over. It wrapped around her and dragged her under, feeling like a warm cocoon. There was a part of her that was worried about her daughter being elsewhere, but she told herself that she shouldn’t worry. Adam had Jessica, and he doted on her more than she did.

Her husband had been a rock throughout her pregnancy. Christianna had tried to carry on as usual, but it was hard. She had become emotional all the time, and things seemed to upset her pretty quickly. Adam didn’t bat an eyelid throughout it all. He simply held her when she cried, held her hand as she talked, and got things for her that Christianna didn’t realize she needed. It was surprising that he would put up with all of it, especially as she had been pregnant for nine months of their thirteen-month marriage, but Christianna wasn’t about to complain. She knew how lucky she was to have Adam at her side.

She couldn’t have asked for a better partner.

When she opened her eyes again, it was to someone kissing her. Adam was leaning over her, giving her a smile that warmed her. Christianna accepted the kiss, sighing as Adam sat on the edge of the bed and deepened the kiss for a moment before pulling back. Christianna rubbed at her eyes and yawned.

“Where’s Jessica?”

“She’s fast asleep in her crib.” Adam nodded at the crib by the window. “She fell asleep about half an hour ago. I’ve just been watching both of you sleep.”

“That can’t have been interesting.”

“Trust me, it was fascinating.” Adam stroked her hair. “How are you feeling after your sleep?”

“How long have I slept?”

“Almost three hours.”

It felt like longer. But Christianna was feeling a little better; although, she did feel a bit sluggish still. Adam kissed her nose.

“Take your time. It’s going to take a while before you catch up with your sleep. It’s called motherhood.”

“I just hope I start looking better than a complete mess.” Christianna frowned. “I feel like a lump.”Adam chuckled.

“Trust me, you certainly don’t look like one. You look beautiful to me.”

“You would say that.”

“And I’ll keep saying it.” Adam kissed her before sitting up, taking her hand, and lacing their fingers together. “I received a letter from Mother today. She wants to come and meet her granddaughter.”

“Of course she does. I’m surprised she hasn’t come to visit before now. She said she wanted to help during the labour.”Adam paused.

“That was my fault. I asked if she could give us two weeks after the birth so we could get used to having a baby. I wanted us to recover from the childbirth and bond before we let anyone else come and visit. I said the same to your family as well.”
Christianna blinked. She’d had had no idea about any of this. Now she knew why Louisa had politely turned her down to come and help when she went into labour.

“You did that?”

“I did.” Adam’s thumb rubbed across the back of her hand. “You went through two days of labour, and that scared me. I want you to have some calm and get used to being a mother before everyone descends on you.”

She should have been mad about that. There had been points during her labour when Christianna wanted her mother. She had had three children, so she knew what childbirth was like. Even overbearing as she was, Lady Carnarvon would have been a welcoming presence. Her mother had certainly mellowed over the past year since seeing her daughter was genuinely happy. But instead of being mad, Christianna smiled.

“Thank you.”

“You’re not mad?”

“You did what you thought was right by me, and that’s all I could ask for. You’ve always looked after me.” Christianna sat up, adjusting the pillows behind her. “What else did your mother write about?”

“That people have been asking after us, and when were we going to come back to London.”

Now that was interesting. The scandal at what happened between them had been pretty big, and they had made the mutual decision to go to Adam’s estate in the country and stay there until everything died down. Considering how much people were talking about their situation,

Christianna didn’t think it would die down anytime soon. Apparently, there were people already putting it behind them.

From the look on Adam’s face, he wasn’t too keen on the idea of going back to where the mess had happened.

“Do you want to go back to London?” Christianna asked.

“You want me to be honest?”

“Of course.”

Adam sighed.

“I’d be happy not to go back to London again. It’s just brought me a lot of grief. But it’s up to you.” He squeezed her hand. “I’ll follow your lead.”

He had been doing that a lot. Giving the decision-making to her. Christianna had protested in the beginning, but she got used to it. She did the same to him, and their balance seemed to work. And, if she was honest, she preferred living out in the country. The solitude could feel like the walls were closing in on her, but Christianna had good company in the shape of her husband, and she wasn’t about to argue with that.

Jessica and Adam were all she needed to be happy.

She looked up at the crib.

“Mother hosts a Christmas ball at our London home in early December. Jessica will be eight months old by then. How about we show our faces for a couple of hours there and see how it goes? If it goes well, we can venture into London for a couple of weeks at a time. If it’s a disaster, we don’t have to.”

Adam thought for a moment. Then he nodded.

“I like that idea.”

“I’m glad you do.” Christianna smiled. “I do want to spend Christmas here though. This place does look beautiful with all the snow.”

“You just want an excuse to stay on the estate, don’t you?”

“Of course.”

Adam chuckled. Then he leaned in and kissed her.

“I love you, Christianna. I’m glad I stopped running.”

“So am I.” Christianna stroked his jaw. “Could you ask Isabella if I can have some tea brought up? I’m in need of some.”

“Of course.” Adam kissed her forehead. “And if Jessica’s still asleep, perhaps we could have a cuddle.”Christianna laughed.

“You do know that the idea of doing anything after I’ve given birth isn’t a good idea.”

“It’s just cuddling. That’s all.”

“I’ve heard that before.”

Adam grinned.

“Not this time.” He kissed her mouth. “You tell me what you want, and I’ll do it. No questions.”


“None.”Christianna giggled.

“Then how about you get that tea, and I’ll think about the cuddle?”


Seven Months Later

“Oh, Chloe,” Lady Willowshire scolded softly, swatting at Chloe with her fan. “Would you stop fiddling with your dress?”

“My apologies, Mother. There was a stray thread on my skirt.”

“It’s fine. Nobody’s going to notice. It really will fall to pieces if you fuss over it.”Chloe bowed her head.

“Forgive me, Mother,” she mumbled.

She couldn’t help herself. She had been very nervous about coming out tonight. Even though she was eager to see Christianna and meet her husband again, there was still a fear in the back of her mind that they would be caught and exposed. Chloe was frightened that she would say the wrong thing and then everyone would know. Her father would be disappointed if she breathed a word to anyone.

Not being able to tell her closest friend her family’s problems was very difficult. But Chloe had made a promise.

“Oh, darling.” Lady Willowshire’s expression softened and she reached across to grasp her daughter’s hands. “I know it’s hard. But we have to make the best of it. And remember, don’t discuss finances with anyone. That includes Lady Balenbury.”

“I know, Mother,” Chloe sighed. “But she wouldn’t betray my trust. I know she wouldn’t.”

“Maybe she wouldn’t, but your father asked you to promise.” Her mother looked worried. “Please, darling, do this for us. For me?”

When her mother was vulnerable like this, it was hard for Chloe to refuse. She squeezed her mother’s hand and nodded.

“All right. I won’t.”

“Thank you.”

Chloe sighed and looked out of the window. It was difficult when there was the threat of scandal hovering over their heads. When her father had come home and said they were close to bankruptcy, Chloe had felt panic. She didn’t know what to do. And her mother had been distraught. There were so many things they would have to cut down on, including the servants and the finer things. Chloe wasn’t too fussed about that, but she did care what people thought. Her mother was very proud, and her father was well respected. That would go down once the ton found out he was not going to have anything to show for his title.

If only she could talk to someone about it. Chloe didn’t like bottling it up inside. But she had promised her parents that this would be kept a secret. Somehow, they would find the money and get their wealth back. Chloe had no idea how they were going to do that, but it would happen. Her parents were resourceful. They would be fine.


Their carriage pulled up outside Carnarvon Manor and both women alighted, Lady Willowshire wrapping herself up in her coat and shivering as they went up the steps. The snow was starting to fall again, settling on Chloe’s hair. The cold tickled her face. Snow was beautiful to look at, but not so great to be out in. She was looking forward to seeing how beautiful the country was under a blanket of snow at Christianna’s home.

That would be a nice respite away from London for Chloe. Maybe it would do everyone some good.

Lady Carnarvon was in the foyer, greeting her long line of guests. She smiled with warmth in her eyes as Lady Willowshire and Chloe approached her.

“Lady Willowshire, Lady Chloe.” She clasped the other ladies’ hands in turn. “It’s good to see you. I’m glad you could come.”

“Thank you, Lady Carnarvon.” Lady Willowshire gestured at the hostess’ attire. “I must say you’re looking well.”Lady Carnarvon beamed.

“When you have two grandchildren, you tend to find things a little brighter. I didn’t realize that until it happened.”

“I’m sure.” Chloe’s mother glanced at her daughter. “Why don’t you go and find Lady Christianna, dear? Your daughter has arrived, hasn’t she?”

“Oh, she’s here. You’ll find her in the dining room.” Lady Carnarvon pointed down the hall. “The quickest way is down there and to the right.”

“Thank you, my Lady.” Chloe touched her mother’s arm. “I’ll come and find you later, Mother.”

“All right, dear.”

Leaving the two women behind, Chloe headed down the hall. She had been to Carnarvon Manor before, but it always felt like a maze. The bigger the house was, the more the halls seemed to twist and turn. It was strange, but Chloe wasn’t about to argue with the architect.

Especially when the outside was magnificent. These buildings did look very grand.

It was just not her style. Smaller and simple would work for her.

She reached the open dining room doors and Chloe was about to enter when someone came out. Chloe stopped abruptly so she didn’t bump into them and looked up to apologize. Her voice died away as she found herself looking up at a tall, raven-haired man practically towering over her. His eyes narrowed, and something flickered before it was gone. Then he gave her a brief nod and stepped around her, walking around the corner and disappearing from sight.

Chloe was left feeling dazed. Who on Earth was that man? And what had just happened there? She had never felt her ability to speak vanish in the presence of a man. And she had never openly stared at a man like that before. Chloe had encountered good-looking men before, so why was this stranger any different?

Her mother’s machinations to get her married to a wealthy gentleman was starting to rub off on her. Chloe was in her second Season, and she was still unmarried with no offers. Her parents were a little put out by that, and Lady Willowshire said they were going to focus on finding her daughter a husband this time. If the prospective suitors found out about the impending bankruptcy, Chloe would have no offers at all.

The pressure to get married before everything vanished was pressing down on her shoulders. It was probably why she was getting affected by a handsome man she had never seen before. He had been very pleasant to look at, and he also had stunning green eyes. Chloe hadn’t seen eyes like that before. They had been mesmerizing.

Maybe there was a chance. Providing nobody knew about her financial future.


Chloe jumped and looked around. Her spirits lifted when she saw Christianna crossing the dining room towards her. Beaming, Chloe hurried to her friend and clasped her hands as they exchanged kisses to the cheek.

“Oh, Christianna, it’s so good to see you. You look like you’re glowing.” Chloe inspected her friend. “I don’t think I’ve seen you look this lovely since…well since you were pregnant with Jessica.”

“Ah.” Christianna bit her lip, a twinkle in her eye. “Now that you mention it…”
It took a moment for realization to sink in. Chloe stared.

“You’re…you’re pregnant?”

“Yes, but don’t tell anyone yet.” Christianna put a finger to her lips. “Adam and I are going to wait to tell everyone else. Maybe as a Christmas gift. But it’s been confirmed.”

Jessica was going to have a brother or sister. Chloe resisted the urge to squeal; instead beaming and squeezing Christianna’s hands.

“Oh, congratulations! I’m so happy for you and Adam.”

“Thank you.” Christianna slipped her arm through Chloe’s and they started to wander through the tables. “I’m really glad that things are falling into place for me now. Especially after how our beginning started.”

Chloe remembered that. She had been shocked that Adam had gone after Christianna to get his own revenge, and even more shocked that her friend forgave him. If it had been her, Chloe would have said absolutely not and walked away. She had been rather leery of Adam after the wedding, but she eventually softened. It was clear to anyone who looked at them that Adam loved his wife, and he would willingly do anything for her.

She could only wish that she could find a man like that for herself. Someone who would marry her without caring about her financial status.
Thoughts of the dark-haired man who nearly walked into her floated through her head. Would he care if she was practically penniless?



Christianna frowned.

“Are you all right? You looked like you wandered off there in your mind.”

“Oh. I hadn’t realized.”

She needed to concentrate. Otherwise, her friend would know that something was wrong. She was good at knowing when Chloe was not herself.

“Are you sure you’re all right?” Christianna asked. “Because if you’re not, you can talk to me?”

“I know.” Chloe brightened up and managed to put a smile on her face. “So what are we going to do when we get up to your place? Is the snow as thick there as it is in London?”

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  • Great book, I enjoyed the characters. I just would like to see the name of the sequel in the extended epilogue.

  • Great read.A little excitement and adventurous lady with a lord out for revenge.Extended Epilogue was a nice finish.Look forward to next story.

    LOVED the characters LOVED Adam who set his sight on Christiana but was it love he was looking for it revenge.
    I loved this lots of twists and turns and secrets.

  • Really great book. They had a lot to get through. Duels, leaving the country.
    The extended epilogue was so sweet really brought it all togather.

  • Enjoyed the challenge to a duel part and how Christiana showed up at the duel. Took a lot of guts!

  • Adam and Christiana really were destined to be together. Despite the dramatic start to their romance it all came together in the end. A very enjoyable read.

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