The Marquess Ronan Beckman the Third of Bolster was eager to arrive at the estate of his friend, Harold James, Baron of Wright. It was important, he believed, that men of their ilk spend frequent time together, although Harold was not quite so devoted to such mentalities as Ronan was.
As the coach went along through the woods, one of the horses suddenly let out and angry bray and the coach came to a halt. Ronan tapped the roof of the coach. The last thing he wanted was a delay in seeing Harold.
“What is it? Can we move on?” he called out to the coachman.
But there was no reply. Instead, Ronan sighed and waited until he suddenly heard a growl from the coachman and the sound of other men shouting and rushing towards the coach.
Ronan jumped out, curious as to what had actually happened. And there they were.
Three men, bandits. Clearly, thieves coming to take whatever they could get from a wealthy man’s carriage.
The coachman, evidently a hero unbeknownst to Ronan before this, rushed at one of the men with a warrior cry. The man turned and fled. With that, the coachman rushed at the second.
Ronan was frozen for a moment, but as he figured out what was happening, he immediately sprung to action, determined that he would not be a coward. The third man was coming after the coachman, in an effort to defend his friend. In response, Ronan threw himself into the back of the infuriatingly large man.
Just then, the heavy man spun around and knocked Ronan to the ground, his bulk a powerful force that struck the breath from Ronan’s lungs. Then, Ronan watched with his dark eyes, helplessly, as the bandit rushed to unhitch the horses from the carriage. The coach shook for a moment and then settled atinto a precarious angle.
The bandit leapt onto one of them horses, with his friend shoving the coachman and running behind.
“I shall get you for this!” the coachman yelled, shaking his fist in the air.
Ronan saw the episode unfold as he tried to gasp for air. But just as he tried to sit up so he could move, the oddly angled coach groaned. Before Ronan could make another move, it collapsed on his legs.
“Ahh!” he cried out.
“My lord!” the coachman yelled, rushing to his side.
Ronan stared up at him, the pain leaving him in a second shock of pain, just as he had recovered from the first.
“Oh, goodness. Lord Beckman, are you all right?” he asked.
Ronan gasped and tried to respond, but the crushing agony of his legs was too much. He could barely breathe from the pain he felt.
At last, he managed to get a full breath into his lungs.
“I…I think I am going to be all right. I just…it hurts,” he said through the gasps.
“I know. It is all right. I am here. I shall get you to safety,” the coachman said.
“Th-thank you. Thank you for chasing them away,” Ronan said.
“It was nothing. Honestly. I just want to make certain that you are going to be all right,” the coachman said.
It took a fair bit of trial, but the coachman finally leaned his back into the heavy coach and pushed with all his might. Releasing a groan of effort, finally the weight was lifted from Ronan’s legs.
He dared to look down at the mess of blood and bone.
And then everything went black.
Lavender Philips finished writing the date on the small piece of paper before poking a hole in the corner, pushing the length of twine through it, and then tying it around the amber bottle.
She was taking a tincture to Mrs. Stevens in the hopes that the woman’s joint pain would be relieved by the herbs she had included in this and in the salve.
Once everything was ready, Lavender twisted her straight, dark hair into a knot and pinned it up before dressing in the grey-green dress that matched her eyes. It was her favourite dress by far. She nearly always received compliments when she wore it and having so few dresses, it was the best option most days.
Soon enough, she set out to visit Melora and Mrs. Stevens. By the time she arrived nearly an hour later, she felt the strength of the sun on her back. It was growing warm and the walk home would be even hotter.
“Oh, Lavender! How wonderful to see you,” Mrs. Stevens greeted her. The woman was always so friendly and Lavender just adored her. It was even better that she was Melora’s mother.
“Thank you, Mrs. Stevens, I am glad to visit,” she said.
“Yes, yes, and Melora just arrived. Oh, it is so nice having her home for a couple of days. If she had not already been promised this time, she would not have been given the chance,” Mrs. Stevens said, leading Lavender to the small parlour. They were not a wealthy family, but they had enough means to have a real house instead of living in the tenements like Lavender did.
“Oh? Why is that?” she asked as she entered the parlour.
It was Melora who answered, standing and giving Lavender a hug.
“Actually, I wanted to talk to you about it,” Melora said, her blonde curls bouncing.
The two young ladies could not have looked any different from one another. Whereas Melora was tall and gently rounded, Lavender was quite short with only her feminine assets to give her shape. Melora’s skin was porcelain white as opposed to Lavender’s array of brown freckles against a lightly olive tone.
“About what?” Lavender asked.
“About my employer,” Melora said.
“Lady Beckman?” she asked.
“Well, not exactly Lady Beckman. It is about her son. Being a maid there is a decent enough position. I get paid quite well for my work and I have a nice room there. I am able to come visit home when I must,” Melora said.
“It does appear that you are quite well cared for,” Lavender agreed.
“Yes, but that is not the best part. You see, I was hoping that my dearest friend in all the world may soon come to work with me…” Melora said, trailing off.
It took Lavender a moment to understand.
“Oh! You mean me? You wish for me to work in the estate?” she asked, curious about the possibility.
“Indeed. I know that you would rather work as a governess, but—”
“No, I will take any position,” Lavender said with a laugh. She was, unfortunately, quite desperate.
“But I have not yet told you what this position would be,” Melora said.
“I assume you wish for me to be a maid, yes? I am more than capable of that. You have seen my home. I can be quite tidy,” she said, as if trying to convince her friend.
Melora pursed her lips and crossed her arms, looking rather annoyed.
“Forgive me. I keep interrupting you,” Lavender said.
“Indeed, you do,” Melora replied.
“Continue,” she said.
“Lady Beckman’s son was in an accident just over a week ago. It was awful. His legs were shattered. And she intended to have all of us care for him, to bring him food and everything, to assist him as needed. The doctor comes and goes,” Melora said.
“But it has not been enough. He needs someone to assist him constantly. So, Lady Beckman is seeking someone who is able to be his own private help. When I told her that I would be seeing a dear friend who also has medical knowledge on account of her father having been an excellent physician, she was very eager that I speak with you,” Melora said.
Lavender was astonished. She had not expected such an opportunity. As opposed to simply being a maid, she would be allowed to use her skills with medicine to ensure that the boy was healthy?
“Oh, I should love nothing more, Melora! I would love to have the opportunity to use my medical knowledge. And I know that you have said in the past that the son has a bit of pride, but I am excellent with children and I have no doubt that I shall be able to handle him,” she said.
Melora’s face slackened and then drew into confusion.
“Children?” she asked.
“Yes, for Lady Beckman’s son,” Lavender said.
“Lavender, my dear, Lady Beckman’s son is not a child,” she said.
Lavender blinked, thinking for a moment, before laughing.
“Oh, truly? I feel quite foolish. I always assumed. Whenever you spoke of her son, I always imagined a child. Anyway, child or grown man, I shall have no problems,” she said.
But Melora did not appear quite so convinced.
“You ought not to be so cavalier about it. He always had a bit of pride, but he has been somewhat insufferable these past days. Since the injury, he has grown irate,” Melora warned her.
But Lavender thought it would not be a problem in the least. She could handle an arrogant nobleman just fine. Particularly an injured one. Her father had always told her they were the worst patients, but that they provided a great deal of amusement. She would simply have to be amused.
“You need not worry. I shall be all right,” Lavender said.
But sShe saw the look in Melora’s eyes. There was definitely worry.
But Howevr, Lavender was eager for this. She needed a position urgently. Her father had saved money, but it had lasted only a matter of months. Since then, she had been trying to do odd jobs as she was able while searching for more permanent work. And what little money she made all went into the tenement room she rented.
Even food was scarce and often came from the kindness of friends.
But this was a real position. One which would pay her well enough. Perhaps she might even remember a bit of her old life, from back before her father had died.
Indeed, her life had not been easy. As Lavender’s mother had passed away during childbirth, her father had struggled to raise her with the assistance of his sister, for quite some time. But his sister had eventually moved north when she married.
But her father was well-respected and made decent money, so he hired a governess. Lavender grew into the sort of young woman society expected her to be. Finally, she achieved the step that all young ladies were eager to achieve. She entered society and, for a month, she attended balls and dressed in finery. She mingled among others of her station, men and women of wealth and some who even had titles.
But then, the tragedy struck once more. Her father, while walking in the city, was passing a building site.
A beam slipped from above and her entire world shifted. Her father was lost and everything she had went with him.
Most days, Lavender missed him terribly and could barely sleep at night, knowing that he was not still with her. But over the past year, she had learned how to live and take care of herself. She was doing her best, just hoping that things would continue to improve.
But she had never been given a chance like this. She had never imagined that she would be anything but a governess or a maid.
“So, shall I write to Lady Beckman? I am returning to her in three days. Am I bringing you along?” Melora asked.
Lavender could not keep the smile from blooming on her face.
“Yes. Yes, I shall be joining you,” she said.
“Wonderful! In that case, we must get you ready,” Melora said.
For the next three days, Lavender gathered her few belongings, sold two of her dresses to buy a nicer one, and looked through her recipes of tinctures and tonics for pain and infection just in case they were needed.
But finally, she set out with Melora. Whatever the future was to hold, she was certain it would be nothing short of a dream.
“I said three sugars,” Ronan grumbled. The maid quickly added a third spoonful without saying a word or looking him in the eye. At least she knew that it was better to just do what made him comfortable than to try and complain about anything. The last thing he needed was to suffer under the frustrations of the servants.
“Well, that’s one way to treat your fellow human beings,” came an irritated grunt from the doorway.
Ronan looked and saw Harold leaning against the wooden frame, his brow raised in disappointment.
“Great, so now I have you to be angry with me?” he asked.
“If you would like for me to be angry with you, I may certainly oblige,” Harold said.
“I would prefer that you leave me be,” Ronan said.
“In that case, I shall depart and take all your household employees with me. You cannot tell me that they would not be tempted,” Harold said, grinning at the maid who tried to keep her own smile at bay.
It was irritating to Ronan, but he also recognizsed the truth in Harold’s words.
“Why must you ensure that everyone likes you so well?” he asked.
“Why must you ensure they detest you?” Harold retorted, moving out of the way so the maid could leave the room. Harold then moved in further and closed the door before coming to sit beside Ronan.
“I do not ensure that they detest me. I only expect them to do what they are paid for,” he said.
“Hardly. You treat them as less than human. I cannot imagine your mother approves,” Harold said.
“My mother approves of nothing that I do.,” Hhe grimaced.
“Listen to yourself,” Harold said, incredulous and near to laughing. “Has there ever been a man more dour in all the world?”
“There have been plenty of men far more dour than I. What is this all about, anyway? Why have you come? Purely so that you may point out my failures?” Ronan asked.
Harold straightened his spine and his face grew serious.
“Actually, I came to share good news with you,” he said.
“What news could possibly be good at a time like this?” Ronan asked.
“I thought you would be glad to know that the bandits who are responsible for your pain have been caught and are going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Harold said.
This was good news indeed. Ronan was glad to hear that the men would face judgement for their actions. They deserved punishment for what they had done. Of course, it would not undo the consequences of their behaviours and that was something that Ronan could not quite so easily recover from.
“Why do you not look pleased?” Harold asked.
Ronan shrugged and chewed on his lip.
“I am glad that they were arrested. Truly. But what does it matter to me so long as I lay here with two broken legs? There is nowhere that I may go and nothing at all that I may do,” Ronan said.
“You are going to be just fine. Think of it this way, you have time to simply rest and relax and everyone is feeling sad for you but thinks that you are some sort of champion for having survived the attack. It is truly going to be marvelous for your reputation,” Harold said.
“Maybe, but it was my coachman who really made all the difference and I have little doubt that he will receive the praise for it,” Ronan said.
“Regardless, you need to be in a better mood. You are very fortunate that things have turned out in the way they have. Your life is going to be wonderful moving forward. Just as you always knew it would. You simply have to overcome the pain you are currently feeling, but I have no doubt that you shall do just that,” Harold said.
“Be honest with me. You and I both know that this is going to be a long, slow, and incredibly painful recovery,” he disputed.
Harold sucked in an annoyed breath of air and shook his head.
“You are positively determined to be disappointed by everything you see, are you not? I can hardly imagine what you were thinking when you decided to live such an unhappy life. I really do not understand it,” he said.
“Why are you judging me like this? I am only feeling the same as any other man would, given my predicament. I am a young, vibrant nobleman and I have every reason to expect that my life should go well,” he said, although saying those words felt heavy somehow, like they did not belong in his mouth or any man’s.
“You are feeling sorry for yourself and it is unbecoming. A nobleman considers his pride in how he is perceived, you consider your pride in what you think you deserve. Honestly, Ronan, you are going to have to face it one day. You are going to have to grow up,” Harold said.
The words rang in Ronan’s mind no matter how much he wanted to deny them and pretend they did not matter. The truth was, he knew very well that Harold was right. He had to grow up and stop pretending that he deserved anything better than this.
“Very well, I know that you are correct. I am sorry for allowing my mood to cause any disagreeable remarks on my part,” Ronan said.
He only half-meant it, but saying it was enough. The last thing Ronan wanted was to continue the argument when he believed that he was justified, but also agreed that Harold was half-right. After all, he really did need to give more consideration to the perception of others than his own perception of what he deserved. But it was not going to be easy.
“Well, although I do not believe you are going to suddenly be agreeable on any matter, I think we ought to discuss your plans to recover. I must admit that I am curious as to what the doctor has said,” Harold said.
“You may ask him for yourself. He should be here at any moment. He comes to visit every three days now just to ensure that I am still not risking infection and that the bones have not shifted out of the correct position,” Ronan said.
Harold grimaced as if the idea of it was rather unpleasant.
“Very well,” Harold said.
Indeed, just then, they heard the sound of a coach approaching the estate. Harold stood and looked outside, appearing rather impressed.
“You are an excellent judge of timing,” he said.
“Yes, thank you. I always thought as much,” Ronan said with a satisfied grin.
Within a few moments, the doctor was in the room with him. He greeted Harold and quickly moved to Ronan’s side in order to have a look at the leg and see how it was doing.
“Hmm…yes, it looks as though you are still healing nicely enough. I remain concerned, however, that you may be at risk for infection. Are the bandages being changed regularly as discussed?” the doctor asked.
“Yes, they are,” he replied.
Just then, his mother came into the room.
“Oh, good, you have come. I was eager to speak with you and ensure that my son is healing nicely,” she said.
“Yes, and I am eager to be sure that he is as well. Thus far, it looks as though he is going to be all right, but we really cannot say for months yet to come,” the doctor replied.
“But there is no infection, correct?” she asked.
“None. TAnd that is very good news,.bBut we must be certain to keep it that way. And, we must also be sure that he stays off the legs. With the multiple breaks, it could be quite agonizsing if he were to try and push himself into walking or even moving them,” he said.
“And what of a sturdier cast?” his mother asked.
“I cannot give a sturdier cast until the risk of infection is gone. For now, we must be able to easily change bandages,” he said.
Ronan groaned, mostly out of frustration than the pain, but the doctor and his mother both looked at him with concern.
“I cannot bear the thought of lying here for months to come. There are balls coming up in these months. There is work to be done in England. And I shall be stuck here, unable to do much of anything. Simply reading and resting,” he said.
His mother stared at him with the sort of glare that always left him ashamed. He knew better than to vocalize his complaints around her. What was he doing? There was no reason to allow himself to behave like this.
And in that moment, Ronan realizsed that Harold had been correct. He was giving himself far too great an opportunity to be full of angst and frustration and that would do him no good at all.
“Anyway, forgive my complaints. I understand that I have luxuries that most do not,” he said, understanding that it was the sort of apology his mother wouldas surely wanting to hear from him in that moment.
“Yes, well, I do hope you keep your spirits up,” the doctor said, rather uncomfortably. “It is important that you take every opportunity to see the good in all of this. After all, you have a long road ahead.”
As if he needed the reminder…
“All shall be well. We even have a new maid starting tomorrow to assist him. A young woman with some medical knowledge,” his mother said.
“What? Truly?” Ronan asked, surprised by this development.
“Yes. Truly,” she replied tersely.
“With medical knowledge?” the doctor asked, sounding dubious and very nearly amused.
“What is so difficult to believe about that?” Ronan’s mother asked.
“Well, begging your pardon, my lady, but young women are not able to study medicine,” he said.
“You must forgive my mother. In Ireland, women are afforded a good deal more freedom than they are here,” Ronan said.
His mother tutted and rolled her eyes.
“You have no idea how women in Ireland are treated, nor how strong they truly are,” she said.
That, for one, was true. Ronan remained astonished at his mother’s strength, being of Irish nobility and living in England where her people were hated. But her marriage to his father had been one of love and that was all that mattered, they always said.
Ronan knew they were disappointed in how selfish and spoiled he was, but he never hesitated to remind them that they had raised him this way. Even if his mother thought he should be more grateful, he would remind her that she had hardly suffered in her life, even through the conflict of her nationality.
But it was interesting news to hear that she had found him a maid, especially one with medical abilities. Such a thing was nearly unheard of. Whomever this woman was, he imagined she was not so clever as she believed herself to be. Still, he hoped she would be adequate in her duties and learn how to make his favourite tea just the way he liked it.
For a moment, he flashed with guilt. Indeed, Ronan knew he had been a miserable cur in these past few weeks, but the idea of having his own personal maid felt different somehow. While it ought to have made him feel more important, it only reminded him of his current incapabilities.
Regardless, he hoped that she would do what he needed when he needed it and that his recovery would be swift enough to not need her for long. No matter what, she had no idea what was in store for her.
Then again, maybe Ronan did not know either.
“A Marquess’ Miraculous Transformation” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
After the death of her father, an esteemed doctor, Lavender Philips is left without money or social respect. When her friend, Melora, informs her of a work opportunity at the estate of a nobleman, Lavender sees this as a chance to finally move forward. She might be hired as a simple servant, but her father’s legacy of medical knowledge is still within her. Therefore, when the Marquess needs her, she is willing to offer her help and ends up nursing his broken heart too… As their special connection starts growing, Lavender realises he might be her one true soulmate. With her heart beating faster whenever they are together, could this be the beginning of a powerful love?
The Marquess Ronan Beckman has found himself injured in the midst of a robbery. He is therefore in desperate need of a maid who can offer medical support as well. When he meets the charming Miss Philips, he sees that there is something so unique about her, that it makes him abandon his usual arrogance and selfishness. However, when Lady Foster, a woman that had always been after Ronan’s title, sees that he is recovering, she places herself back in his life. Unfortunately, Lady Foster also soon realises that Lavender is somewhat of a threat to the future she wants for herself and Ronan. Will Ronan manage to make the right choice and realise that Lavender is everything he’s been looking for his entire life?
As Ronan and Lavender grow significantly closer, it is Lady Foster who continues to come between them. As if this wasn’t enough, when a sudden illness strikes, they must decide just how much they trust and love each other. Determined to win this battle, they will fiercely fight for their love until the end. Will the power of their feelings manage to conquer the threat of death and romantic antagonists? Or will the wounds of the past tear their blooming love apart?
“A Marquess’ Miraculous Transformation” is a historical romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.