The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is a Victorian romance which will delight readers with its fascinating characters and action-packed storyline.

The heroine in this book is Amelie Hampton, a naïve girl who is focused on being an independent woman and therefore works as a columnist for the Marriage Gazette. The story starts when she decides to secretly observe a blind date between two people who are meeting due to the Gazettes matchmaking adds and discovers one of them is none other than Harold Radcliffe, a gentleman she has been pining over at her book club. It is when she is spying the couple that she meets Michael Baker, a strong and dashing detective who is investigating the suspicious death of Mr. Radcliffe’s late wife.

The narrative will explore the investigation that will see Michael Baker and Amelie Hampton join forces to solve the mystery behind Mr. Radcliffe’s character, but it is not the unknown that will keep the reader glued to the book’s pages. This book is unputdownable due to the electrifying dialogues and scenes between Michael and Amelie. Their romance captivated me from the very first scene until the last one and it was the main reason why I couldn’t put this book down.

In this story, there is much more happening then a romance between two characters, so its pace is quite fast, but also extremely satisfying due to the banters between Michael and Amelie. Their dialogues and reactions to one another made me laugh, sigh and even cheer out loud for their happiness. I loved their arguments as much as I loved their romantic gestures, and I couldn’t wait to read the next scene as soon as the one I was reading was over.

As mentioned before, for me the mystery was secondary in the sense that it existed to allow the romance to be built, but I also liked the way it was written. Even if there was no surprise in the end, I enjoyed every step taken by these characters to solve the mystery because every scene was beautifully written, entertaining and surprising. The reader may know who did it, but he never knows what will come next in the investigation.

The writing in The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is excellent as it made me visualize every scene and every character. This was the first time I read anything from Nancy Cambell Allen but it will certainly not be the last.

Summing up, The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart is an entertaining mystery where the romance takes a predominant role and will captivate most readers. The main characters are enticing, and the secondary make the reader want to see a sequel. I highly recommend this book.

 

You can find The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible


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A Seaside Summer Review & Giveaway

A Seaside Summer FINAL COVER (002)

A Seaside Summer is the perfect historical romance to read during a vacation in the summer. This anthology puts together 3 wonderful novellas that have in common a seaside storyline, and therefore give the book a sense of connection, but that differ in everything else, so the reader is faced with a diversity of characters that keep pulling his attention into the book.

“The New Countess” by Josi S. Kilpack is an interesting story which develops the relationship between Lord and Lady Avery, a couple who has recently entered a marriage of convenience after their respective spouses’ deaths. I liked the fact that this was not their first marriage and that they both needed to concede on some aspects, and to give the other an opportunity to be open about their personal preferences and goals to allow their love to grow. Lady Avery started getting on my nerves at a point, but it was also interesting to see her character grow.

“Mishaps and Memories” by Martha Keyes started in a very Pride and Prejudice like manner and it was quite humorous, so it was a fun story to read between the other two. Judith Jardine and James Carlisle romance was implausible at times but endearing to watch. I particularly liked his reaction when regaining his memory and her insecurity towards his feelings.

“Moonlight Summer” by Heather B. Moore was my favorite story in the book and the perfect ending to a captivating anthology. I adored Dorothea Atkinson’s character and loved even more her romantic hero Mr. Rosewell. They were perfect for each other, and their love story was beautiful. This novella is so well written I could clearly visualize every scene in my mind, and even picture Miss Atkinson’s drawings.

In fact, the writing quality is another aspect the three stories have in common as they are all beautifully written and engaging. They were the first contact I had with Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes and Heather B. Moore and they have convinced me to try their other works.

The length of each novella is simply perfect because they were long enough to allow me to get to know the characters and to feel engaged by them, but short enough to be read (or listened to) during a small break between tasks or chores. The past few weeks have been very hectic for me, so I truly appreciated having these stories waiting for me to relax in the little time I had to spare.  

Summing up, A Seaside Summer is a beautifully written anthology composed by 3 compelling stories that will give readers a good time during their holidays. Even though these stories are novellas, it was astounding to see how much the authors were able to accomplish in each story when it comes to background context, character development and romance intensity. I highly recommend this book.

 

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

This was the first narration by Kim Bretton I have heard, and I am happy to say I have found another narrator who is able to captivate readers with the cadence of her speech and inflexion of her voice. I particularly liked her portrayal of the many children present in the stories, her narration made them sound very sweet, and it was always pleasant to hear their interventions. She has a very agreeable voice and is perfectly able to distinguish the characters with her inflexions, mannerisms etc., so she is definitely a narrator I recommend.

 

You can find A Seaside Summer at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 


NEW author bio

Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance, Timeless Romance series, and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton’s Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

Martha Keyes is a Whitney Award winning author born, raised, and educated in Utah—a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape whenever she can by traveling the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University.

Word crafting has always fascinated her, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she considered writing her own stories. When she isn’t writing, she is honing her photography skills, looking for travel deals, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and twin boys in Vineyard, Utah.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She’s lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


 

NEW blog tour

There are still a few more days on the blog tour, so you still have the opportunity to learn more about this book 🙂

Aug 23 Austenprose (Review)

Aug 24 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt) 

Aug 24 Getting Your Read On (Review)

Aug 25 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Aug 26 Heidi Reads (Review) 

Aug 27 Our Book Confessions (Review) 

Aug 30 The Lit Bitch (Spotlight)

Aug 30 Wishful Endings (Review) 

Sept 01 The Book Diva Reads (Spotlight)

Sept 01 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Sept 02 Laura’s Reviews (Review) 

Sept 04 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Excerpt) 

Sept 07 Probably at the Library (Review) 

Sept 08 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) 

Sept 09 Books and Socks Rock (Spotlight)

Sept 10 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review) 

Sept 11 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt) 

Sept 13 From Pemberley to Milton (Review)

Sept 13 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 

Sept 14 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Sept 15 Relz Reviewz (Spotlight)

Sept 15 Reading with Emily (Review) 

Sept 16 Lu Reviews Books (Review) 

Sept 17 Greenish Bookshelf (Spotlight)

Sept 17 Austenesque Reviews (Review)

Sept 17 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Sept 18 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Sept 19 Eli’s Novel Reviews (Review)

A Seaside Summer Book Tour Banner


NEW giveaaway time

Mirror Press is pleased to offer one digital copy of any of the 16 previous books in the Timeless Regency Romance Collection to one unique winner at each stop on the tour. 

To qualify, please leave a comment with this blog post before 11:59pm, September 26, 2021. Visit each stop on the tour and leave a comment to increase your chance to win a book. 

This contest is open internationally. The winner will be drawn randomly from the comments and announced on each blog on September 27, 2021. The winner must claim their prize before October 04, 2021.

Good luck to all!

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Pemberley by Moonlight by Stephen Ord – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to be sharing with you an excerpt of Pemberley by Moonlight by Stephen Ord today. Mr. Ord is a new author at From Pemberley to Milton, but I was very intrigued by his book which has just been published by Quills & Quartos.

It looks like it has a lot of mystery, and I expect to see a very strong and special bond between Eilzabeth and Mr. Darcy. Plus, it is a novella, so it has the perfect length for me at the moment 😊 Mr. Ord has chosen an excerpt of the first chapter of the book to share with you and I hope you like it as much as I did.

Thank you for visiting Mr. Ord! Congratulations and all the success with this new release!

Again, I would like to Q&Q not only for publishing new authors, but also for allowing me to spread the word about these books 😊


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Hi Rita! Thank you very much for hosting me here at From Pemberley to Milton today.  Hopefully I will have an opportunity to interact with your readers and find even more excellent JAFF to add to my ‘to read’ list for the dark nights coming in soon.

In the excerpt from Pemberley by Moonlight the reader will immediately pick up that while the environment of Pemberley is a beautiful as ever, something is not quite right.  Allowing Georgiana, who is my view helps Elizabeth come to terms with Mr Darcy being more than she believed from first impressions in canon, interact with her early, draws you into this strange new situation with a missing Darcy.  I also hope that I’ve conveyed the fact that Elizabeth can be very much herself and has no trepidation about being at Pemberley here.  I like to think that it’s a very Lizzy thing to do when she smiles to herself at her own whimsy.

Pemberley By Moonlight, Chapter One :

“Oh my, Lizzy! Is it not beautiful?” Mrs Gardiner asked admiringly. “Truly, one would put up with much to become mistress of Pemberley.”

“Sadly, Aunt, for someone to become the mistress of Pemberley, one would need to find its master.” 

Owing to recent happy events in their family—the marriage of Miss Jane Bennet to Mr Charles Bingley, intimate friend of said gentleman—Elizabeth had become quite familiar with the mystery of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, absent master of Pemberley, who had not been seen by anyone in the past year. 

Elizabeth returned her gaze to the scene outside of the carriage. Light glinted off the lake and some of the windows of the large handsome manor house, causing her to wince slightly from the reflection of the bright sun.  As part of their northern tour, Elizabeth and her favourite relatives, her aunt and uncle Gardiner, had bent their steps towards Lambton in Derbyshire, where her aunt had passed much of her youth. From there, they had journeyed to Pemberley for a visit. Elizabeth was nearly overwhelmed by the beautiful setting of the great house and wondered at its tragic recent past. 

Having petitioned the housekeeper, Mrs Reynolds, for a tour, the small group entered the grand house. Elizabeth’s footsteps echoed lightly on the marble floor as she followed the housekeeper through the spacious house. The furniture and decorations were tasteful and unassuming to her eye, and she found that she admired the taste of the owner. 

As the tour continued, Elizabeth found still greater sources of admiration for the missing gentleman. Elizabeth listened with interest as Mrs Reynolds waxed eloquent to the Gardiners about her missing master, describing a man who was generous, fair, intelligent, and kind. As the small party toured the public rooms, the housekeeper praised Mr Darcy’s gift of a new pianoforte and refreshed furnishings in the music room ‘just to delight his sister’, his excellent care of the estate and all of the dependents linked to it, and his sense of responsibility compared to other young men. 

There were many paintings and other objects of art which gave clues to the history of this grand place. “The Darcys can trace back to the Normans,” Mrs Reynolds informed them proudly as she led them through the gallery, pointing out this and that illustrious personage. Elizabeth was especially taken with a portrait of Mr Darcy and found herself gazing into his kind eyes. She tilted her head slightly as if to provoke a change in expression in his handsome face, and then smiled to herself at her whimsy. 

Mrs Reynolds had stepped back to allow them to examine the works in the gallery at their leisure but their attention was returned to her, hearing her utter a small cry.

“Madam?” enquired Mr Gardiner. “Are you well?” 

“I…yes…” The housekeeper, so poised only moments before, appeared flustered where she stood over a small cabinet. “There should be ten,” she said, speaking to herself. 

Elizabeth walked over and found a collection of jewelled boxes, some which appeared to be quite old. “Has something gone missing?” she asked. 

The housekeeper shook her head, seeming to regain her equanimity. “Someone must be cleaning it. If you are finished here, allow me to give you over to Carter, our head gardener. Pemberley boasts some of the greatest gardens…”

Acting on her cue, Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle followed the lady outdoors. Upon exiting the house, Elizabeth passed through the momentary coolness caused by the shadow of the grand building. As they walked beyond the shaded area, Elizabeth was caught by an object in the near distance that appeared almost blindingly white in the sunlight. Going nearer to see what it was, she was shocked to find a life-sized sculpture of what appeared to be Mr Darcy himself in the semi-formal rose garden. 

Unable to help herself, Elizabeth left her relations and proceeded towards the statue. The heady fragrance from the mixed pink, red, and yellow roses surrounded her. Mr Darcy’s statue had been placed on a paved circle within, and was tall, standing around six feet.  Elizabeth had to gaze upward to see his features more closely. Much like his portrait, the statue portrayed a handsome man with unruly, wavy hair, a slightly cleft chin, and an aristocratic nose. 

Unlike the portrait however, Mr Darcy’s statue was placed in a peculiar, almost distressing posture. Whereas Mr Darcy’s portrait showed a more commonly-seen upright stance of strength, the gentleman’s statue stood with his arms stretched towards Pemberley, the expression on his face appearing almost pleading. To Elizabeth, it was as if his whole heart was contained within that beautiful building, and by his will alone, he would protect it and all within. Judging from Charles Bingley’s stories of the man and the high praise given him by the housekeeper, the sense of duty portrayed was probably accurate. “He is a gentleman unlike any I have ever known,” Elizabeth murmured as she continued to regard him. “Indeed, I wish I had the chance to know him.” 

Elizabeth had understood that none of the family were at Pemberley, so she startled when suddenly hearing a lady’s soft voice coming from the other side of the statue.

“Oh, Brother! If you do not return soon, Uncle has said they will petition the courts to have you declared dead. I am so sorry. I cannot face life alone. I am sorry that I hurt you so and you had to go away. I would give anything to do it all over again.” 

The hidden young lady’s voice trembled, as though she was weeping, and Elizabeth’s tender heart moved her to make herself known. “Forgive me, miss,” she called out softly. “I could not help but hear you. May I render any assistance to you?”

There was a brief silence and then a young lady emerged from the other side of the statue. She appeared to be sixteen or seventeen and had fair hair and blue eyes. She was taller than Elizabeth, and her figure was well-formed and womanly. Elizabeth believed her to be Miss Darcy, having seen portraits of the girl, painted when she was younger, during the house tour.

“My apologies for intruding,” Elizabeth said gently. “You are in distress. May I summon someone for you?” 

The girl chuckled darkly. “If I thought anyone cared about anything but forcing a marriage on me, I would send for them at once. But no one does.” 

Elizabeth could hear her aunt and uncle at a distance, speaking with the gardener, but otherwise the ladies were alone. She took a step nearer to the girl. 

“I am sure that is not true,” she soothed. Having sisters of about the same age, she was well accustomed to the ‘no one cares about me’ feeling that beset them all at times. 

“And I assure you that it is quite true,” the girl replied. “I made a dreadful, terrible mistake last summer and it appears I shall pay for it my whole life long.” 

Elizabeth knew not how to reply to this assertion but was spared a reply by the girl’s next question. 

“Who are you?”


 

“I wish I could meet you, Mr Darcy, and tell you to come home.  There seems to be a large gap in the world where you should be.”

WHAT HAS HAPPENED to Fitzwilliam Darcy? 

IT HAS BEEN NEARLY A YEAR since the master of Pemberley disappeared, leaving behind his distraught young sister and a family in turmoil. But clues to his whereabouts are scarce and it soon seems there will be nothing to do but see Georgiana married and have him declared legally dead. 

ELIZABETH BENNET, ON HOLIDAY with her aunt and uncle, visits Pemberley and soon finds herself drawn into the mystery of the missing gentleman. But what secrets are hidden within the gardens of Pemberley? And what is the strange attraction she feels towards the statue of the man she has never met? 

Powerful forces want to keep them apart, but true love will overcome even the most fearsome evil.

PBM cover

 

 

 

You can find Pemberley by Moonlight at: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

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Stephen Ord discovered Jane Austen during his teens, and then found the treasure trove of works inspired by her as he reached forty. Becoming part of the JAFF community inspired him to contribute his own stories, and now he doesn’t believe he can stop writing (and indeed, does not want to).

Stephen reads a lot of everything and has done so from early childhood. When he was around eight years old, he bought a book on unsolved mysteries. One of the mysteries was around the life and times of Lord Byron, and several of the others were around Ancient Egypt. This was the seed that grew into an ongoing fascination with Regency times, ancient cultures and mythology.  

Stephen has read a lot on the cultures and histories of Britain, Rome, Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt (amongst others). These histories have joined works from Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and books of just about every other genre, inside his rather active imagination. He knows it is time to write more when his ears begin to whistle.

Stephen lives and works in Bonny Scotland, where his lovely wife and two kids keep his feet on the ground, while supporting him to have his head in the clouds on occasion too.

Stephen Ord

 


NEW giveaaway time

Quills & Quartos would like to offer one ebook copy of Pemberley by Moonlight to one reader commenting on this post. The winner will be choosen and announced on the Q&Q Facebook and Instagram pages shortly after the blog tour is over. 

Blog Tour PBM

Good Luck Everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Winners Announcement & August Bookmail Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

How are you today? I know I’ve been absent for the past week, and I must apologize for that. I took some vacation time and spent the last week in Ireland where I had hoped to have some time to read and blog, but then…Ireland happened! I mean, what was I thinking? It was kind of obvious I wouldn’t have time for anything else apart from enjoying that beautiful country, right? I should have planned everything a little better, but I confess that spending the entire week visiting the country without anything else on my mind was wonderful!

Unlike many people, I never had a huge curiosity towards Ireland, so I was pleasantly surprised by it and ended up loving the country. The landscapes are stunning and much more diverse than I was expecting, the people are super nice and funny and I even found some incredible literary places! (ok, on this end, I confess I could have done better, but I was mainly thinking about the hikes I would do when I planned the trip and didn’t leave much time to explore Dublin where most of these places would be).

I should have visited MoLI (Museum of Literature Ireland) and researched other literary related places like the house where Oscar Wilde lived (my hotel was on that street, so I passed by it few times but didn’t give it much attention). Nevertheless, I was able to visit the Book of Kell and the Long Room at Trinity College Library.

Long Room

It is wonderful, isn’t it? I hope that these books are perused from time to time, it would be a pity if they were only on the shelves for people to look at.

I also discovered a wonderful room dedicated to Irish literary works in the EPIC museum (by the way, this was the best museum I’ve ever visited, if you ever decide to visit Dublin I highly recommend it).

Isn’t this an interesting idea? I felt like a child removing the books from the shelves just so I could hear its narration for a while.

But anyway, this post is not supposed to be a blog travel one, so I’ll go directly to the point. Because I didn’t blog last week, I have to announce the giveaway winner of Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigit Huey who visited last month with an excerpt, and I still need to show you the book mail I got in August so we may have the usual monthly giveaway, so without further ado, the giveaway winner of Spies of Our Acquaintance is:

Spies of Our Acquaintance

*** Jen D ***

As for the book mail, I received quite a few books, which means the TBR is once more out of control, the good thing is I will have a few more weeks off this month, and I plan to use them to read! Ireland was great, but now I need vacations where I will only eat, read, sleep and repeat, do you know what I mean?

But I digress, the books I received on the mail during August were:

Find you in Paris by Alix Nichols – Source: Purchased

The Olive Branch by Sarah Courtney – Source: Gift from Author

Twists of Fate by Joana Starnes – Source: Gift from Author

The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth by Victoria Kincaid – Source: Purchased

Elizabeth Abroad: France by Sophia Grey – Source: Purchased

august bookmail giveaway

You know the drill, just leave a comment on this post to apply to the giveaway until the 16th of September, I will announce the winner shortly after that.

I will also post this giveaway on From Pemberley to Milton’s Facebook and Instagram page’s so that participants from all platforms are eligible for this giveaway 🙂

Good Luck everyone!


Good Luck Everyone!

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Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m very happy to be welcoming Brigid Huey back to From Pemberley to Milton with her new novella Spies of Our Acquaintance. It’s the latest in the Skirmish and Scandal series from Meryton Press and it appears interesting! There will be spies, adventure, and above all Darcy and Elizabeth must face a difficult and challenging situation together which is something I always love to read in the book. This story seems perfect for an afternoon read, but I’ll let you read both the blurb and the excerpt so you can tell me if this entices you as much as it did me 😊

Let me know what you think in the comments and apply to the giveaway Meryton Press is offering.


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In this scene, Elizabeth is studying Darcy’s character and may have overstepped a bit. She attempts to make up for it by offering him a chance to ask about her own follies, with interesting results!

 

“You seem to delight in finding fault with me, Miss Elizabeth. I cannot defend myself against your superior wit, but I shall claim to be loyal to those with whom I am on intimate terms.”

His look was so serious that Elizabeth bit her lip in consternation. She had provoked him beyond what was civil merely to understand him better. He closed his book fully, setting it on the table next to him. She could not allow him to leave after insulting his honour.

“Stay, Mr Darcy. Do not leave on my account. I meant not to imply that you are without honour or loyalty.”

He stared back at her, his dark brow stern and unyielding. She could not fathom what he was thinking but disliked the idea that she had insulted him.

“Come, I give you leave to ask me a question now,” she said, trying to lighten her tone. “I have delved into your character quite mercilessly, and here is your chance to do the same.”

“I do not claim to be a student of character as you do.” 

“That is no matter! It is only fair, sir. I have needled you about one of your follies, now you may ask about one of mine.”

“And do you mean to direct me in this as well, or do I have leave to ask any question?”

“You may ask whatever you wish, sir!” She smiled at him, hoping to put him at ease once more.

“You admit that you are a student of character—that you enjoy observing the vices and follies of others.”

“I am a student of character, though I would not wish you to think that I make a habit of laughing at others. I simply take pleasure instead of pain in these natural occurrences.”

“As I have seen. If I may be so bold: you have not allowed the follies of Miss Bingley to affect you as they may have affected many other young ladies.”

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at this little speech. He was being very direct indeed.

“My question is this then, Miss Elizabeth. When forming your opinions of others, do you allow yourself to be swayed by your prejudices?”

“I hope not, sir. What is your assessment?”

“I am merely trying to ascertain whether your feelings towards me have been moulded by my egregious remarks at the assembly. I myself would find it hard not to form a prejudice against one who insulted me.”

Elizabeth said nothing for a moment. Her thoughts towards him had been influenced by his behaviour at their first meeting. She had not thought herself prejudiced against him unjustly, though perhaps to form an opinion about a person after one interaction was allowing oneself to be prejudiced.

“I believe you may have discovered a truth about which I was not aware, sir, though I am not ignorant of my own vices. For example, I can be quick to anger, and I am of a rather passionate nature, I am afraid.”

“I doubt very much that being of a passionate nature is something you should regret.”

His eyes had grown dark, and Elizabeth felt herself leaning towards him. His lips parted, as if he meant to say something, but he merely stared at her. She jumped as the clock on the mantel chimed the hour. 

“Is it that late?” Her mind was strangely muddled. “I must return to my sister, Mr Darcy. If you will excuse me.”

He had risen when she had and now offered her a courteous bow. “I hope you find Miss Bennet well, Miss Elizabeth.”

She thanked him and left the library for the quiet and relative calm of her sister’s sick room.


 

French spies in Meryton!

Can the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice “keep calm and carry on” when Napoleon’s war comes to their neighborhood?

 

After Mr Darcy apologizes for insulting her at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet begins to see another side to the gentleman she has sworn to hate forever. As their acquaintance grows into friendship, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by this man from Derbyshire.

Darcy, meanwhile, cannot stop thinking about Miss Elizabeth. After the nefarious Wickham appears in Meryton, Darcy resolves to warn her of the man’s previous offenses. Matters become more urgent when Wickham proves to be involved in espionage for the French!

When Darcy and Elizabeth are captured by a French spy, they must work together to find a means of escape. With reputations and hearts at risk, what consequences will result from their perilous adventure?

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Novella SooA FW 082321 wobld M

The novella, Spies of Our Acquaintance, may be purchased on Amazon US and Amazon UK. It is available as an eBook, a Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited. The audiobook, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, should be released in six to eight weeks.


 

Brigid Huey has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids and spends her free time reading and writing. She also has an assortment of birds, including five chickens and too many parakeets. She dreams of living on a farm where she can raise as many chickens, ducks, and goats as she likes and write romance novels in an airy study overlooking the wildflowers.

Other Books by Brigid Huey

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods

Interrupted Plans

***

You can contact Brigid Huey through the following media:

Website:  https://brigidhuey.com/

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrigidHuey/  

Email:  brigidhueywrites@gmail.com

Instagram:  @brigidhueywrites 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BrigidHuey


NEW giveaaway time

 

Meryton Press is giving away an ebook of Spies of our Acquaintance to a commenter here, and the giveaway is open internationally until the 3rd of September.

Good Luck Everyone!

17 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

The Merchant and the Rogue by Sarah M. Eden – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you are all well and that you’ve had a chance to go on holidays or will soon. I will finally take some time off next week and I’ll be visiting Ireland, which is actually where the excerpt of The Merchant and the Rogue I am sharing with you today takes place, so it made me even more eager to read the book and see Dublin through the authors eyes.

The Merchant and the Rogue is the third novel in The Dread Penny Society, have you read any of the previous books? If you have, let us know what you think of them. I confess I haven’t read any, but their concept is appealing, so you know…never ending TBR 😊 I hope you all like the excerpt!

Thank you so much for visiting Ms. Eden, and thank you for inviting me to be a part of the tour Laurel Ann 😊 It was a pleasure to be amongst all these bloggers sharing information about what seems like an excellent read. 

 


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The Dead Zoo by Borgan Donnelly

 

In the heart of Dublin City, between the River Liffey and the Grand Canal, surrounded by Merrion Square, Trinity College, and St. Stephen’s Green, sits the imposing and stately Leister House where meets the Royal Dublin Society. And housed in the newest wing of this residence-turned-Society premises is a museum of a most unusual nature. Its contents are not unknown elsewhere; its function is not strange for a museum. It is made unusual by the oddity of its name, a moniker both amusing and dark.

This place of learning and study and preservation is a museum of natural history, filled with the remains of animals large and small, bird and insect, mammal and fish. Skeletons sit alongside wax models that occupy displays alongside taxidermy of a most realistic nature. Whales and eagles, rodents and trout, a Tasmanian tiger and a polar bear. The species are too numerous to name here, but the museum is far from empty. And its contents have earned it, amongst the locals, the name “The Dead Zoo.”

Early on a spring morning, Amos Cavey, a man who had earned in his thirty-five years a reputation for intelligence by virtue of having mentioned it so very often, stepped inside the zoo of no-longer-living creatures, having been sent for by William Sheenan, keeper of the exhibit of mammals.

William had asked this tower of intellect to call upon him at the zoo, not out of admiration but desperation. Amos never ceased to brag of his intellectual acumen, and William

was in need of someone who could solve a very great and pressing mystery.

Amos walked with unflagging confidence up the Plymouth stone stairs to the first floor where the mammals were housed. He was not unfamiliar with the museum and its displays. Indeed, he had once proclaimed it “quite adequate, having potential to be impressive indeed.” He had made this observation with a great deal of reluctance as it might very well be seen as a declaration of approval of the Royal Dublin Society, which he did not at all intend it to be.

Alighting on the first floor, he stepped into the grand hall where the preserved species were displayed, some on shelves, some behind glass, some posed on pedestals. The ornate ceiling rose three stories above the stone floor. Two upper stories of balconies overlooked the space beneath. Tall columns supported those surrounding galleries, giving the room a classical look, one designed to complement a place of learning.

He held back his inward expression of frustration at having to step over and around a mop employed by a janitor. The man offered no acknowledgment of their near collision, but simply continued his efforts, so intent on his work that one would assume he was expunging the worst of muck and grime rather than polishing the floor of a museum that was kept quite clean.

“Do not mind Jonty,” William said as he approached. “He is so very dedicated to his work. We owe the beauty of this building to his unflagging efforts.”

Jonty grunted but didn’t speak, neither did he look up from his mopping. As William had declared, he was quite good at what he did, and no oddity of character would see him dismissed from his position. Do we not endure things in people when we value something else enough?

“Your note,” said Amos with his usual air of superior intelligence, “indicated you are faced with some puzzle you find unsolvable.” He spoke the last word with an unmistakable tone of doubt.

“Indeed, I am.” William’s tone held far too much worry for anyone to mistake his sincerity.

“I fancy a challenge,” Amos said. “Tell me of your mystery, and I will find your answer.”

The reader may find this declaration a touch too arrogant, but Amos did have a most impressive intellect. He was not wrong to rate his abilities so highly, though his tendency to regularly regale people with acclamations of his intelligence made him a difficult person with whom to spend any length of time. Were William not truly in need of Amos’s particular assistance, the self-assured intellectual would not have been offered so sincere a welcome.

“How familiar are you with our collection?” the harried keeper asked as he motioned for Amos to walk with him amongst the displays.

“I have visited a couple of times.” Amos looked over the nearest animals with an eye to evaluating them. “I found the musk ox mother and calf intriguing. The particularly large

trout, however, I take leave to declare might actually be a salmon.”

William let the criticism pass, not wishing to dwell on anything other than the matter at hand. They passed the dodo skeleton, a particular favorite of his, though why it was displayed amongst the mammals, he could not say.

“I am, however,” Amos said, “quite intrigued by the polar bear.”


 

London, 1865

Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often-mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her the freedom and income to employ and protect the poverty-stricken Londoners she’s come to care about, and it gives her father something to do other than long for their hometown of St. Petersburg. She is grateful for the stability in their lives, but she often feels lonely.

Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a Penny Dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. His membership in the secretive Dread Penny Society allows him to feel he isn’t entirely wasting his life, yet he feels dissatisfied. With no one to share his life with but his sister, he fears London will never truly feel like home.

Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at her print shop is aboveboard. When the growing criminal enterprise run by the elusive and violent Mastiff begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.

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The Merchant and the Rogue Sarah Eden 2021

 

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You can find The Merchant and the Rogue at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

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Sarah M. Eden is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning Proper Romance series novels including The Lady and the Highwayman and Ashes on the Moor. Combining her passion for history and an affinity for love stories, Sarah crafts smart, witty characters and heartfelt romances. She happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library and dreams of one day traveling to all the places she reads about.

Sarah M Eden author headshot

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 


NEW blog tour

 

The Blog Tour for The Merchant and the Rogue is just starting so don’t forget to follow it to know more information about the book.

Aug 16 Among the Reads (Review)

Aug 16 Austenprose (Review)

Aug 16 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 

Aug 17 Literary Time Out (Review)

Aug 17 Getting Your Read On (Review)

Aug 17 Heidi Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 17 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 18 Our Book Confessions (Review)

Aug 18 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Aug 19 Fire & Ice (Review)

Aug 19 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Aug 20 My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Aug 20 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

Aug 20 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)

Aug 21 The Calico Critic (Review)

Aug 22 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

Aug 22 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 23 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Aug 23 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review)

Aug 23 Reading with Emily (Review)

Aug 24 Wishful Endings (Review)

Aug 24 Relz Reviewz (Review)

Aug 24 The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 25 Bookfoolery (Review)

Aug 25 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

Aug 26 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 26 Nurse Bookie (Review)

Aug 27 So Little Time… (Excerpt)

Aug 27 Probably at the Library (Review)

Aug 27 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Aug 28 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

Aug 28 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Aug 29 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Aug 29 A Darn Good Read (Review)

Merchant and the Rogue Blog Tour Banner

 


NEW giveaaway time

Please help Sarah M. Eden get her latest novel, THE MERCHANT AND THE ROGUE, to hit the New York Times best-seller list by purchasing a copy between August 15-22, 2021.
Everyone who submits a copy of their receipt and fills out the form during the week of August 15-22 will receive The Merchant and the Rogue – Swag Bundle. Supplies are limited, so act today. Please visit the Swag Bundle webpage for details.

The Merchant and the Rogue Offer

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Books on sale

Good Afternoon everyone, 

I was perusing amazon today and saw there were a few books that went recently on sale so, as usual, I thought it would be helpful to put them all together in a list. I couldn’t find as much as usual, but still, I thought this might help.

As you know, these are not all the books that are currently on sale, just the ones I could find on my search.

If you know of any other books on sale please do not hesitate to share them with us 🙂

 

Jane Austen Fan Fiction on Sale for 0,99$

 

Duty Demands – 0,99$

Book Blurb:

When Elizabeth’s father dies unexpectedly, she is surprised to find that the proud, arrogant Mr. Darcy wants to marry her- and even more surprised when her uncle tells her why. But after they are married she begins to see a different side of her husband.
Darcy thinks that Elizabeth has married him for love, but slowly begins to realize that all is not as it appears in their marriage. Will he still love her when the truth is revealed?
Will our two favorite characters overcome their misunderstandings and achieve a marriage based on more than duty and obligation? This is a Pride and Prejudice variation brought to you by the author of Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit, Love’s Fool: The Taming of Lydia Bennet, and One False Step.

 

Mr. Darcy, The Beast – 0,99$

Book Blurb: 

With gentlemen scarce at the Meryton assembly, Elizabeth Bennet means to scold the man in the shadows who refuses to dance. But when he comes into the light, she sees his horribly scarred face and his limp.
Fitzwilliam Darcy survived a tragic carriage accident that claimed the life of his sister, and by all accounts of those who knew him, he is much changed. Now, he is a beast of a man, often in a bad temper, owing the pain he still suffers from the injuries he incurred.
Elizabeth pities the man until he kisses her in the middle of the dance floor at the Netherfield Ball with everyone looking on. He’s trapped her in a marriage that is not of her choosing, and now she must travel with him to the isolated estate of Pemberley.
Mr. Darcy knows what he’s done is monstrous. But there are monstrous things within him now. He doesn’t know what has possessed him to trespass against this beauty that will now be his wife. He knows he is beyond any hope. And yet… she stirs things within him. He will not let her go.
This first book in the Happily Ever Collection unites Beauty and the Beast and Pride and Prejudice. Though each story in the collection takes its cue from a fairy tale, there are neither magic nor otherworldly elements in the stories.

 

Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit – 0,99$

Book Blurb: 

When Darcy proposes to Elizabeth at Hunsford, she declines his proposal with courtesy instead of anger, and he is left to discover on his own why she will not marry him. How can our beloved couple find their way to each other when Darcy doesn’t know what she holds against him?

 

Jane Austen Fan Fiction on Sale for 1,99$

The Darcy Scandal – 1,99$

Book Blurb: 

When Elizabeth Bennet’s sister runs away with a notorious rake, there’s only one way Fitzwilliam Darcy feels he can properly protect the woman he loves and her family: he must marry her. But this presumptuous action is by no means appreciated by Elizabeth, who had only just begun to see a better side of the gentleman. As their relationship progresses on unsure footing, the threat of another scandal threatens to drive them apart and to ruin.

This is a somewhat steamy romp featuring everyone’s favorite Pride and Prejudice characters. Enjoy this unique ride to Pemberley.

 

The Darcy Governess – 1,99$

Book Blurb:

When the death Mr. Bennet leaves his widowed wife and daughters penniless and at the mercy of the first men to make an offer of them, Elizabeth Bennet takes matter into her own hands. Headstrong and self-sufficient, Elizabeth accepts a role as governess to the young miss of the illustrious Darcy household. Elizabeth’s position is greatly affected by the sudden reappearance of its master and this, along with the discovery that there is more to this man than meets the eye forces her to decide between what is right, and what she desires. Join Elizabeth Bennet on this re-imagined adventure featuring best-loved characters from Pride and Prejudice, inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, as Elizabeth endeavors to find her way amidst pride, prejudice, and misunderstanding.


I Hope this has been helpfull everyone!

Happy Reading!

 

Disclaimer: The Amazon links used in this post are affiliate links.


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A Consuming Love by Kelly Miller

a consuming love4 stars

What if Mr. Darcy met Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet before Bingley took lease of Netherfield? What if he was so besotted by her that he refused to join Bingley on his trip to Netherfield to avoid being in her company and allowing his feelings to grow?

In this variation, when Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley visit Netherfield for the first time, they are met by Mr. Bennet and Elizabth who are helping their neighbor by showing the house to the interested parties. 

Mr. Darcy quickly realizes that Elizabeth would be the perfect match for him and therefore doesn’t go with Bingley to Netherfield when he takes up the lease, however the Bingley sisters visit him at a later stage to ask for his help in separating Mr. Bingley from

Jane. Hoping to help his friend, he travels to Hertfordshire to analyze if what the Bingley sisters are saying is true and it is then that he reconnects with Elizabeth. 

This is a very short and satisfying story with a low angst level that I believe most readers will enjoy reading.

The first chapters are captivating with many interesting and witty discussions between Eizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and I enjoyed seeing them connect with one another so early in the story and without the usual prejudices we often see (a bit of pride is still present, of course). I could understand and relate with their mutual interest with one another as their first encounter was thrilling, however, I don’t believe Darcy would feel such a strong feeling for Elizabeth as love after only two encounters, interest yes, but not love, and that is probably my only quibble with this story. I felt the strength of their attachment was too fast and deep considering the little contact and situations they had been through, but that is of course explained by the length of the novel, and therefore somewhat expected.

One aspect that surprised me in this story, and that I truly loved was Georgiana’s mature view of what was going on around her. I loved the way Kelly Miller developed Georgiana in A Consuming Love and I know that readers who like Georgiana will be proud of her in this book.

Another point I enjoyed in this story was the efficient and smart way with which Darcy handled the younger Bennet sister’s education issue. It was priceless!

A Consuming Love is a novella that can be read in one afternoon and that will certainly be enjoyed by readers who like low angst and sweet romances between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their encounters are interesting, and the reader will certainly fall in love with this Darcy.

 

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

Harry Frost’s narration was magnificent as usual, he made several characters come alive and kept the reader interested in the narrative with his different voice inflexions. I highly recommend the audio version.

 

You can find A Consuming Love at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited and on Audible

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Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke

back to the bonnet

Back to the Bonnet has been on my TBR shelf for a few months and my only regret was that I did not pick it up sooner because this is one of the most original, fun and interesting stories I’ve read this year.

In this book Miss Mary Bennet inherits an old bonnet from her late great aunt Harriet, but this bonnet holds a secret no one would imagine, it has magical powers, namely the ability to go back in time.

When Mary discovers this characteristic, she realizes she has the power to secretly help her family so she starts going back in time to fix some situations, and as the story progresses, the reader starts realizing that the events he witnesses in Pride and Prejudice would never have happened without Mary’s intervention. So why doesn’t she stop Lydia from eloping with Whickham? Well, that is part of why this book is so interesting. It has a story of its own, and the reader will have to read along to discover why Mary is able to fix some situations but not others.

One of the aspects I loved the most about this book was its originality and the unexpected factor. The reader never knows what is going to happen because the Pride & Prejudice events as we know them may or may not exist the first time around. The reader keeps seeing events that will be erased, modified and/or replaced by others due to Mary’s intervention, and not knowing if, when, or how she will change them was very exciting. Because I never knew what would happen next, I could not put the book down until I knew if something was truly going to happen, how it would play out, and why Mary would allow for Lydia’s elopement to occur. That question never left my mind until I reached that part of the book. The question is, did she allow it?

The plot of Back to the Bonnet is definitely original, but the way it is written and the events that transpire through the entire story were even more original and impressive in my opinion. Even if the story will go through the events of Pride & Prejudice, this book has a story of its own, a hidden story the reader was not aware of, and the behind the scenes events that take place are at times even more exciting then the P&P events themselves. I cannot express how much I loved the way this story progressed.

Another aspect I loved in this story was Mary’s character. I believe her character has a lot of potential, therefore, I like to see how writers develop her character in a different light, which is usually the case, but in this novel what I absolutely loved was that the author didn’t portray her as a different Mary. She was exactly as Jane Austen described her, we simply know more about her because we can see her perspective of all the events that are occurring. It was also very enlightening to witness firsthand her opinion concerning Elizabeth’s actions. We usually see Elizabeth as a heroine, but has anyone thought about how her family would react to her attitudes? What would they think if they knew that she not only refused Mr. Collins but also Mr. Darcy? In this book we get to see the other side of the story and it was really interesting.

I absolutely loved how faithful and interesting Mary’s character was in this novel. I loved her strength, her dedication to her family, her morals, her posture towards life, etc. There was only one small quibble I had for a time, which was her actions towards the Collins’s, but as I approached the end of the book, I forgot about that, so in the end it didn’t bother me as much.

Mary’s relationship with Charlotte and Chamberlayne were also an added value to the story, and I particularly liked to see how Chamberlayne’s story played out and the way that they helped each other.

Summing up, Back to the Bonnet is certainly one of the most original and exciting books I’ve read this year. I could not put it down due to the excitement and unknown present in the book, as well as the writing style which is extremely appealing. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves Mary Bennet and likes different approaches to Pride & Prejudice. You will not regret reading this sensational novel 😊

 

 

You can find Back to the Bonnet at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited


 

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The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am very pleased to bring to you an excerpt of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy, not only because I liked it very much, but also because it is the first time I am welcoming its author, Christine Combe, at From Pemberley to Milton. I always love to get to know new authors and discover new books within the genre, so first visits are always very special to me, but I certainly hope this is not Ms. Combe’s last visit. In today’s blog tour stop you’ll be able to read part of chapter 4, and I hope you like it as well. If you’d like to read more, you can visit A Happy Assembley or check out the rest of the blog tour stops.

It was a pleasure to have you here, and I would like to wish you all the success with this new release Ms. Combe. Thank you for visiting and for giving readers a chance to win a copy of this book 😊

 


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TRoFD Ebook Cover

Greetings, fellow Austenians! I’m so excited to be visiting From Pemberley to Milton for the first time. Today I’m here to brag about my newest release, The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy

Back

In this new story, circumstances are vastly different for ODC: Elizabeth and her sisters are the daughters of a baronet, and Darcy has no fortune. But as always, the stars align and one of literature’s most beloved couples unite, determined to take on the world together!

In case you haven’t visited my blog or been following along as I posted the chapters at A Happy Assembly, here’s part of a scene in chapter 4:

 

Saturday, 16 February 1811

Sir Thomas was always a welcome visitor at Netherfield.

On this fine Saturday, Elizabeth thought him even more so than usual, for he claimed to have brought news of an estate that Jane might lease. The three sat down to tea accompanied by biscuits and cucumber sandwiches in the drawing room, and the baronet had consumed a little of each offering before withdrawing from an inner pocket of his jacket a folded piece of paper.

“I may have found an estate for you, Jane,” he said, repeating his statement made upon entering the house. “It is a little on the expensive side, as I understand it to be a large house, but there are multiple gardens, a shrubbery or two, and woods and groves enough to satisfy even Elizabeth’s enthusiasm for them.”

“Indeed, Father?” said Elizabeth. “I am intrigued, for you know I love a good walk.”

Her father chuckled. “Precisely my point,” said he, then he opened the letter he held. “I have here an offer from a peer—the Earl of Disley—who tells me of an estate in his keeping called Pemberley. It once belonged to his brother by marriage, who died going on five years ago, and shall be given over to his nephew in future. But at present, the earl has authority over the property and should like to see some life in it again, as it has stood empty since his brother’s passing.”

“Does Lord Disley know that your inquiry was on behalf of a young, widowed mother and her sister, sir?” asked Jane.

Sir Thomas nodded. “He does—you know I was clear in stating that this new place of residence was not for myself but a member of my family. Understanding that I enquired about available properties on behalf of a daughter, the earl desires to meet with me before discussing the matter further. I imagine he looks to assure himself that you have the capacity for running such a household.”

“Then would not meeting with Jane herself be more beneficial in assuring His Lordship of her ability to manage a household?” said Elizabeth with a scoff. “So typical that a man should not think a woman capable of speaking for herself.”

“Now Elizabeth, do not be so quick to judge,” her father admonished. “He is an earl, after all, and is likely to be a trifle mortified to have to let the property at all. No aristocrat I’ve had chance to meet in the last fifteen years has been comfortable in admitting he has not the finances to maintain his lifestyle, let alone his property. I suspect the leasing of this estate to aid him in paying off some debt or other.”

“Father,” said Jane, “whilst I am honored by the offer of a lease from a member of the nobility, and I certainly trust your judgment, I must say that I should like to see the place for myself before agreeing to any terms. After all, it is not you who will be paying the rent, and as such, I should like to judge with my own eyes rather than allowing others to judge it for me.” 

“But of course, Jane,” Sir Thomas agreed. “I fully intend on both you and Elizabeth accompanying me to Derbyshire.”

“Derbyshire!” cried Elizabeth. “But that is where our aunt Gardiner is from!”

Her father smiled. “Indeed, my dear Lizzy, and both you and she will be pleased to know that the village of her youth is but five miles from the estate in question. She may even know some of the history of it and the family who lived there.”

Jane, while lowering her teacup to its saucer, looked to her father and said, “Have you spoken to Mamma about this offer?”

“Not as yet. I desired to present it to you first and know your feelings on the matter before saying anything to your good mother,” Sir Thomas replied. “I do not think, however, that she will continue her lengthy protestations once she learns from whence the offer originates.”

Elizabeth snorted over her teacup. “Indeed, Papa. Upon hearing that an actual earl has offered up an estate, she will no doubt insist we take him up on it, whatever his terms.”

“You said it was on the expensive side, Father,” said Jane then. “I will be able to afford the rent, I hope?” She still thought economically though she had little need now to be concerned about cost. 

“Oh, of course—I should not even have mentioned it if I did not know you could, though it is more than the asking price for Netherfield’s lease before Bingley purchased the place. The earl asks eight hundred per annum—which, considering your income, is more than manageable. Game rights would be an extra charge, but you’ll have no need to concern yourself there. However…”

Here he paused and glanced at the letter again. “However, Lord Disley does state that there are many former staff members he would like to see employed again, should we agree to the terms.”

Jane nodded. “Oh, of course—I should be quite happy to employ local servants as needed, though I’ll certainly bring a few of the girls from here, as well as my maid and Margaret’s nurse.”

“If I may, I suggest you make one of the local girls a lady’s maid for Elizabeth,” said her father. “It would be a generous gesture and certainly will help in endearing you to the local populace.”

Elizabeth sighed. “Oh, to have my own maid… But Jane, as lovely as the idea is, I would not ask it of you.”

“Nonsense, Lizzy,” Jane protested. “Papa is right; it would be a very generous thing to do. Besides, as Mamma likes so much to remind us, you are a baronet’s daughter. It is expected that a young lady of your station should have a lady’s maid.” 

“Listen to your sister’s sense, Elizabeth,” said Sir Thomas. “In truth, I should like to have afforded a maid for each of my girls—for you do deserve the luxury—but thought two between the five of you would suffice, especially with the added expense of a governess—the latter of which, you know, your mother insisted upon after our elevation. Heaven forbid that the daughters of a baronet be brought up without the aid of a governess.”

The last he said with a roll of his eyes, though Elizabeth suspected by his tone that the words were her mother’s and not his own. She could well imagine Lady Bennet—her head suddenly full of the self-importance that seemed to go hand-in-glove with rank—all but demanding such expense be paid. It was likely she would have desired each of her girls to have their own maid, for she certainly did, if only to maintain the appearance of greater wealth than her husband’s actual income. 

Elizabeth laughed. “Very well, then. Whether at Pemberley or somewhere else, I shall be happy to accept a maid of my own.”

Later that evening, the sisters at Netherfield returned their father’s visit by taking dinner at Longbourn. It was during the meal that Sir Thomas announced to his wife he had received a reply to his inquiries for Jane’s quitting the neighborhood. Lady Bennet sniffed and lifted her nose in the air, declaring that she had no desire to hear of it as she still considered the scheme a foolhardy one. 

Sir Thomas raised an eyebrow. “Do you mean to say I should not reply to the Earl of Disley?”

Lady Bennet’s mouth fell open. “E-Earl? Of Disley?” she stuttered, her gaze flicking between her husband and her eldest daughter. “An earl has answered your letter, Sir Thomas?” 

“Oh, indeed, Lady Bennet,” he replied nonchalantly, producing the letter from his jacket pocket and holding it up. “The gentleman offers very good terms, though he desires to meet with me in person before accepting my application. However, if you do not think it acceptable, I am certain our daughter will defer to your judgment.”

Elizabeth suppressed the urge to laugh—her father so liked to bait his wife with such comments, knowing full well that the remark would grant him precisely the response he expected.

They were neither of them disappointed. Lady Bennet sputtered nonsensically for a full twenty seconds before declaring in a shrill voice, “Of course you should go! You cannot insult the Earl of Disley by not meeting with him!”

She looked to Jane then. “My dearest girl, you simply must agree to the terms! It is the property of an earl! He will surely call upon you, and he may have sons—oh, I hope he has single sons! I should very much like to see my daughter married to the heir of an earl… I say, even a younger son would do, for he is sure to be rich and you would still be so very highly connected and could introduce your sisters to other nobles and rich men!”

Yes, Mamma, Elizabeth thought with some amusement. That is precisely Jane’s hope—to seduce the Earl of Disley’s son, if he even has one, so that she may throw her sisters at his wealthy friends.

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When Elizabeth Bennet moves with her widowed sister and niece to an estate in Derbyshire, she does not expect to find herself captivated by the mysterious steward of Pemberley. Though cautioned not to spend more time in his company than she ought, Elizabeth finds she cannot stay away from him.

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s father lost half the family fortune to a pair of swindlers and the rest to gaming and investments that gave no returns. He knows he is no good for the daughter of a baronet, but he falls for the lively Elizabeth in spite of every reason he should not.

When the two determine their mutual attraction cannot be denied, Darcy decides to accept the challenge of re-entering society more for the sake of Elizabeth’s reputation than his own. Because both know it won’t be easy for him to regain the good opinion of the ton, Darcy goes to his noble relations to seek their assistance and Elizabeth joins him in London to support his efforts.

Of course, the expectation of whispers and snobbery is scant preparation for facing down the harshest critic of them all: one’s own family.

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TRoFD Ebook Cover

 

 

You can find The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

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Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen’s work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on her next book.


NEW blog tour

So it’s official—Jane is moving out and soon to be looking at Pemberley! Tell me what you think in the comments below to enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy, now available for purchase from Amazon! 

 

TRoFD Blog Tour Schedule

Contest open until August 14, 2021. Good luck!


 

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice