The Gathering Storm (The Jacobite Chronicles Book 3)(3)

By: Julia Brannan

On the way to Rome, Angus (who has accompanied them as a servant) overhears a private conversation between two French courtiers, in which it is revealed that King Louis of France is secretly planning to invade England, and that one of the men (Henri), intends to give the plans to the British. Alex now decides he must do something to prevent this, but must first carry on to meet Charles and convey the news of the prospective invasion to him. He does, and Beth and Alex are married again in Rome under their real names.

After giving a misleading report of his meeting with Charles to Sir Horace Mann who is the Hanoverian envoy in Florence, Alex, Beth and Angus travel to France, where, at Versailles, Beth becomes acquainted with, and starts to like, the man Henri. Alex, as Sir Anthony, pretends jealousy and challenges Henri to a duel, during which he kills him, as though by accident.

Beth, having not been entrusted with his plans, and also having been kept in the dark about some other things, is very hurt and leaves suddenly, travelling back first to London and then Manchester, on her own, where she settles in with her ex-servants.

Alex’s return is delayed as he is held in prison for duelling. He sends Angus to Rome to stop Prince Charles riding to Paris to join the invasion and thereby raising British suspicion and Louis’ anger. Alex then returns home to London, where he is expecting Beth to be waiting for him. When he discovers she has left, he follows her to Manchester, where they are reconciled.



Alexander MacGregor, Highland Chieftain/Sir Anthony Peters, Baronet

Elizabeth (Beth) MacGregor/Lady Elizabeth Peters, his wife

Duncan MacGregor, brother to Alex

Angus MacGregor, brother to Alex

Iain Gordon, liegeman to Alex

Margaret (Maggie) Gordon, his wife

Simon MacGregor, clansman to Alex

Kenneth MacGregor, clansman to Alex

Dougal MacGregor, clansman to Alex

Robbie MacGregor, Dougal’s youngest brother

Alasdair MacGregor, clansman to Alex

Peigi MacGregor, Alasdair’s wife

Morag MacGregor

Janet MacGregor

Lieutenant Richard Cunningham, a dragoon and brother to Beth

Lord Edward Cunningham, cousin to Richard and Beth

Isabella Cunningham, Edward’s eldest sister

Clarissa Cunningham, Edward’s middle sister

Charlotte Stanton, Edward’s youngest sister, widow of Frederick

Sarah Browne, formerly lady’s maid to Beth

Graeme Elliot, former gardener to Beth

Thomas Fletcher, her former steward

Grace Miller, former lady’s maid to Beth

Mary Williamson, childhood friend of Beth’s

Joseph, Mary’s fiancé

Edwin Harlow, MP and friend of Sir Anthony and Beth

Caroline Harlow, his wife

Freddie Harlow, their infant son

Lady Philippa, cousin to Caroline

Lord Bartholomew Winter

Lady Wilhelmina Winter, his wife

Anne Maynard, an impoverished relative of Lord Winter

William, Earl of Highbury

Lord Daniel Barrington, his son

Thomas Fortesque, MP

Lydia Fortesque, his daughter

Lord Stanley Redburn, an elderly lord, desperate to marry

Gabriel Foley, leader of a band of smugglers

Helen, a beautiful young lady

Percy, a young gentleman

David, a young gentleman

Colonel Mark Hutchinson

John, a captain in the Horseguards

Sergeant Smith, a dragoon

King George II, King of Great Britain and Ireland, Elector of Hanover

Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King George II

Prince George, Frederick’s eldest son

Prince Edward, Frederick’s youngest son

Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, second son of King George.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart, eldest son of James Stuart (the Pretender), exiled King of Britain

Donald MacDonald, of Glencoe, a clansman

Ealasaid MacDonald, Beth’s grandmother

Joan MacDonald, cousin to Beth

Meg MacDonald, Joan’s twin sister

Robert MacDonald, their younger brother

Allan MacDonald, eldest brother of Joan, Meg and Robert

Nathan Sennet, a Redcoat soldier

John Murray of Broughton

Donald Cameron of Lochiel, Chief of Clan Cameron


France, February 1744

The tall, straight-backed figure stood alone on the beach gazing out to sea, the wind toying playfully with his hair and fingering the folds of his heavy winter coat. He had ridden out from the fortified town of Gravelines in the early morning, so early that even the servants had still been abed, and no one had seen the young man with the shock of red-brown hair as he had quietly left the house and made his way to the stables. He had ridden out into the darkness, the cold bite of the wind dispersing the alcoholic haze from the previous evening’s revels, leaving him clear-headed and exhilarated.

Tearing his gaze from the sea, he walked aimlessly for a time, the pebbles crunching softly beneath the soles of his fine leather boots, his mind soothed by the soft susurration of the waves. He waited until the sky turned from black to dark grey, then to a lighter pearl-grey, which transformed the sea into a restless sheet of rolling burnished silver.

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