It’s the 200-year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo this year. The epic battle was fought on 19-20 June 1815 and the bloody defeat of Napoleon did not come without cost. In one day of fighting there were around 55,000 men either killed, wounded, or missing in action from both sides.
Two of my heroes, Christian Trent, Earl of Markham, (A Kiss of Lies) and Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, A TOUCH OF PASSION, the latest release in my USA Today bestselling Disgraced Lords series, fought in the battle of Waterloo.
Grayson lost his best friend at Waterloo, and almost lost Christian, his fellow Libertine Scholar too. Christian was really badly burned at Waterloo (read the FREE prequel on my website) and it was only through the luck of the surgeons using salt water on his burns that he managed to survive.
My hero, Maitland Spencer, Duke of Lyttleton, from A Whisper of Desire, coming December 2015, uses the skills of one of the surgeons from Waterloo to save the love of his life.
So, what exactly was the state of the Army Medical Department at Waterloo.
There were about 180 surgeons on the day and another 60 drafted in to treat the injured in the aftermath of the battle. Let’s look at the numbers. Over 55,000 men either killed, wounded or missing. Say one third (conservative) were wounded, that’s about 17,000 men. Covered by 180 surgeons. It must have been a horrendous situation for both surgeon and wounded soldier.
There were 2,000 amputations performed at Waterloo as a result of the battle. And it is for good reason that an ebony-handled surgical saw and blood-stained white leather glove were last month chosen as part of the Waterloo 200 collection of 200 objects that came to define the battle.
Least we forget….I know my heroes won’t forget the cost in terms of friends and men lost.
Independent and high-spirited, Lady Portia Flagstaff has never been afraid to take a risk, especially if it involves excitement and danger. But this time, being
kidnapped and sold into an Arab harem is the outcome of one risk too many. Now, in order to regain her freedom, she has to rely on the deliciously packaged Grayson Devlin, Viscount Blackwood, a man who despises her reckless ways—and stirs in her a thirst for passion.
After losing his mother and sister in a carriage accident years ago, Grayson Devlin promised Portia’s dying brother that he’d always watch over his wayward sister. But having to travel to Egypt to rescue the foolhardy girl has made his blood boil. Grayson already has his hands full trying to clear his best friend and fellow Libertine Scholar of a crime he didn’t commit. Worse still, his dashing rescue has unleashed an unforeseen and undesired consequence: marriage. Now it’s more than Portia he has to protect . . . it’s his battered heart.
Here’s a snippet that sums up how my hero, Grayson Devlin, A TOUCH OF PASSION (March 2015) felt about the war:
Grayson looked out to sea over Portia’s head, remaining silent for some time. At last he said, “It’s not that I don’t want you, but our relationship and situation is complicated enough without bringing sex into our lives so soon. I wanted time for us to learn how we can make this marriage work for both of us.”
She knew how to make it work—he just had to open his heart to her. She reached up and traced his sensuous lips with her finger. “I swore I would only ever marry for love. I want what my parents shared.”
He nodded. “I can understand that. Your parents loved each other deeply, but you know they were an exception in our world. Marriages within the ton occur for many reason, hardly ever love.” He sighed into the breeze. “Your friend Rose is a classic example of a ton marriage. Did her family not marry her off to a man three times her age for money and title?”
She looked him squarely in the eye. “You spent a lot of your childhood in my family’s home. I can’t believe you don’t want what my mother and father shared. It was a true partnership built on love, trust, and respect.”
“I might have wanted that at one time, but I soon understood that your parents’ type of marriage was not for me.”
She drew back out of his arms. The crisp ocean breeze was not the only reason her body went cold. “I don’t understand you. I know the war and losing Robert changed you, as it would have changed anyone. But you can’t withdraw from life. If you do, what was all the loss and suffering for?”
“I ask myself that question frequently. What was all the bloodshed and loss for? It made me remember my father and how he led his life. He took his role as head of our family seriously. He knew he had responsibility for our family, our tenants, and, through the House of Lords, our country.”
She felt her stomach clench. It seemed to her that Grayson was comparing her father to his. She remembered the late Lord Blackwood as a distinguished and formal man. He could be very kind—that is, if he noticed you at all. Her father had been a loving and happy man who lived not for title or duty but for his family. “That’s commendable, but I’m not sure a life of duty excludes a life filled with love.” She knew he was hiding something, and she had a good idea what it was—he was scared to love. He’d lost so many people in his life. “I won’t marry a man who doesn’t love me.”
He took a step back, almost pushing her out of his arms, his jaw doing that manly jutting-out thing. “You gave me your word.”
She nodded. “I did. And I won’t break it. I agreed to marry you when we got back to Flagstaff Castle. I simply won’t set foot in Flagstaff Castle again until you give up this absurd notion of honor or fall in love with me.”
She knew what would happen next. As she predicted, his hands rose to his hips and his left eye developed that telltale tic. “God damn you, Portia. You fully understood what you were agreeing to when you took me to your bed. What if you are with child?”
Her hand flew to her stomach. How delicious would that be, to carry his child.
“I will not have any child of mine born out of wedlock,” he pronounced. Any minute she expected to see steam coming out of Grayson’s ears.
A dreamy smile spread across her face; she couldn’t hide it. “I shall of course agree to become your wife if I am with child. However, I will not be ambushed into matrimony for an out-of-date convention such as honor.”
He moved toward her, an angry mass of maleness. Portia soon found herself pressed back against the railing. “Honor is how I live my life, how your brother lived his, and what he died for. I will not have a woman such as you deriding what I and many men fought and died for.”
I’m giving away an audio book copy of Wicked Wagers the Complete Trilogy to one lucky commenter. Simply tell me from where, or from whom, does Grayson have to rescue Portia. Open internationally, but the audio book is a file from Audible.com. Drawn Sunday 19th April.
It’s also the last day to enter the Loveswept A TOUCH OF PASSION $25 Gift Card Giveaway, and Mug.