Lady Clarabelle Leigh Tremayne
She is the only child of the widowed Earl of Deysbrooke.
Having been motherless since the age of 6, when the countess died in childbirth after several miscarriages, she adores her father and he in turn dotes on her.She is a happy and social lady with many friends, and many hobbies. She is not afraid to speak her mind and quite independent. And most of all she thinks the best of everyone and will do anything within her power to help a friend in need.
The earldom and belonging estates are entailed away to a distant cousin, but the majority of the Earls possessions and wealth is not entailed away and will fall to Clarabelle when her father passes away.This is one of the main reasons why Clarabelle is married before she has even experienced a season. Her father indulges in a little matchmaking with some old friends of the family and an arrangement is made between her and the 3rd son of the Marquess of Rawdenstall, Captain Lord Ashley “Ash” Lyvedon.
Though the march is initially arranged without either party meeting each other, it all works out for the best as they fall in love within moments of meeting each other.The engagement period is set for a suitable amount of time, the end of the summer so that Clarabelle can experience a London season. However the ongoing war disrupts these plans, when Ash’s regiment is ordered to the peninsular, and the couple marries in haste before his departure.
It will be 4 year before they see each other again, and by then Ash is a completely different man to the one Clara fell in love with. But can she make him confide in her so she can help him or will his defensiveness and cold demeanour drive the two of them apart?
Captain Lord Ashley “Ash” Rodrick Lyvedon
He is the 3rd son of the Marquess of Rawdenstall and captain of the 14th Light Dragoons.
Ash has never thought much about getting married, he enjoys being in the army and being his own man. But when his parents suggest a match between him and the daughter of a family friend he does not object. He knows he must marry some time and as he does not really have the inclination or disposition to go traipsing around balls and parties for a wife he is more than happy for his parents to make this choice for him.
Of course when he meets his future wife he thanks God for his luck, for she is really his soul mate and true love ,and it would have been a disaster if his parents had made the wrong choice.Somewhat unconventionally their courtship does not start until after they are engaged, but as they have been given a nice long engagement period to settle in and get to know each other this is perfect for them.
This all changes though when Ash regiment is ordered to the peninsular and he must leave Clara at home. he is torn between his first love Clara and his second love the army, but Clara knows how long he has waited for this opportunity and gives him her blessing to go.In the Peninsular he sees things to terrible to mention, both in an out of battle. He distinguishes himself by saving a fellow campaign and is promoted (was lieutenant, now captain), but more and more he longs home to Clara and away form the atrocities of the war.
At he battle of Salamanca he is injured, and when recovered enough is sent home to England. This should have been the solution to his problems except he cannot reconcile the gruesomeness and horrors he has experiences with the beauty and purity he sees in Clara. He shuts himself away from her, for he now thinks he is not worthy of her and he thinks he will damaged her as he is damaged himself.To shut out the pain and horrors he starts drinking heavily and isolates himself completely.
Will he realise that Clara can be his saviour before they are totally estranged or will he fade away from everything he once loved and cared for?