Mr. Darcy’s Bride(s) – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello dear readers,

Regina Jeffers is an award-winning author of cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings and vagaries, as well as Regency era romantic suspense. A teacher for thirty-nine years, Jeffers often serves as a consultant for Language Arts and Media Literacy programs. With multiple degrees, Regina has been a Time Warner Star Teacher, Columbus (OH) Teacher of the Year, and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar.

With 32 books under her belt since 2009, Jeffers is considered one of the publishing worlds most prolific authors, and today she is visiting From Pemberley to Milton 🙂

I am very, very happy to welcome such an incredible author and to be able to share with you some information concerning her latest release,  MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs 🙂

 

 

Marriage by Estoppel

One of the possibilities I explored in researching my latest book, MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs was marriage by estoppel as a plot point. According to Investopedia, “Promissory estoppel is a legal principle that a promise is enforceable by law, even if made without formal consideration, when a promisor has made a promise to a promisee who then relies on that promise to his subsequent detriment. Promissory estoppel is intended to stop the promisor from arguing that an underlying promise that was made should be not be legally upheld or enforced. Promissory estoppel is a legal principle that a promise is enforceable by law, even if made without formal consideration, when a promisor has made a promise to a promisee who then relies on that promise to his subsequent detriment. Promissory estoppel is intended to stop the promisor from arguing that an underlying promise that was made should be not be legally upheld or enforced.” As you can readily imagine I was thinking of some sort of breach of promise suit, when our Mr. Darcy does not marry Anne De Bourgh as he had intended to do, but rather finds himself speaking his vows to a our “dearest, loveliest Elizabeth.”

I was well aware of promissory estoppel being used in marriage issues in the United States, especially in common law marriages. For example, in Martin v. Coleman, 19 S.W.3d 757 (S.Ct Tn 2000), it states that our courts have recognized marriage by estoppel when parties have believed in the validity of their marriage and have evidenced that belief by cohabitation. [Rambeau, 212 S.W.2d at 361.] The doctrine of marriage by estoppel is applied in exceptional cases. It does not apply in cases where the parties knowingly live together in an unmarried state and are privileged to discontinue that relationship at will. [Crawford, 277 S.W.2d at 392.] And although England does recognize Promissory Estoppel, where the doctrine of promissory estoppel prevents one party from withdrawing a promise made to a second party if the latter has reasonably relied on that promise, most of the cases I found dealt with contractual law. I felt I was writing myself into a “legal” nightmare, so I abandoned the idea of promissory estoppel as part of my plot. Good old “Breach of Promise” took its place. We must remember that the Regency is an era in which marriage is pretty much forever, and engagements meant you were just as good as married-—neither person can call off without damage to his reputation, but the lady had more leeway to back out. Even so, she still risks being labeled either a jilt if she makes a habit of this.

If you are interest, you may read more on Promissory Estoppel here: Promissory Estoppel http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/promissory_estoppel.asp#ixzz4mdnX1f81

Introducing MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs…

I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.

ELIZABETH BENNET is determined that she will put a stop to her mother’s plans to marry off the eldest Bennet daughter to Mr. Collins, the Longbourn heir, but a man that Mr. Bennet considers an annoying dimwit. Hence, Elizabeth disguises herself as Jane and repeats her vows to the supercilious rector as if she is her sister, thereby voiding the nuptials and saving Jane from a life of drudgery. Yet, even the “best laid plans” can often go awry.

FITZWILLIAM DARCY is desperate to find a woman who will assist him in leading his sister back to Society after Georgiana’s failed elopement with Darcy’s old enemy George Wickham. He is so desperate that he agrees to Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s suggestion that Darcy marry her ladyship’s “sickly” daughter Anne. Unfortunately, as he waits for his bride to join him at the altar, he realizes he has made a terrible error in judgement, but there is no means to right the wrong without ruining his cousin’s reputation. Yet, even as he weighs his options, the touch of “Anne’s” hand upon his sends an unusual “zing” of awareness shooting up Darcy’s arm. It is only when he realizes the “zing” has arrived at the hand of a stranger, who has disrupted his nuptials, that he breathes both a sigh of relief and a groan of frustration, for the question remains: Is Darcy’s marriage to the woman legal?

What if Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet met under different circumstances than those we know from Jane Austen’s classic tale: Circumstances that did not include the voices of vanity and pride and prejudice and doubt that we find in the original story? Their road to happily ever after may not, even then, be an easy one, but with the expectations of others removed from their relationship, can they learn to trust each other long enough to carve out a path to true happiness?


 

Enjoy this Excerpt from MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs…

 

“Mr. Darcy?” his butler said tentatively. “There is a gentleman below who requests a few minutes of your time.”

With a frown marking his brow, Darcy looked up from his book. “At this hour?” He wondered if his aunt had sent a magistrate for Miss Elizabeth. “Does the gentleman have a name, Thacker?”

“A Mr. Gardiner, sir.”

Not the magistrate, he thought, but someone to remove her from my protection, nevertheless. Miss Elizabeth’s family has come for her. The idea did not please Darcy half as much as it should, but it was only proper to speak to the man. He had set several barristers to work today in pursuit of whether he was married to the woman or not. One of the men mentioned the possibility of Darcy’s pursuing a Promissory Estoppel case where one person makes a promise to another, but there is no enforceable contract. However, Darcy had no desire to sue the woman for the promise to “love, honor, and obey.” He simply wished to know whether he needed to approach the church courts to void his marriage. “See him up, Thacker,” he instructed.

Within a few minutes, a well-dressed gentleman appeared in the open door. He presented Darcy a bow of respect. “Please pardon the lateness of my call, Mr. Darcy.”

Darcy’s bow was less formal. “I suspect I am aware of your purpose.” He gestured to a nearby chair. “Come join me. Would you care for a drink?”

“No, thank you, sir.”

Gardiner claimed the chair to which Darcy directed him. “That will be all, Thacker.” His butler bowed from the room, and Darcy resumed his seat. “You have come for Miss Elizabeth.”

Mr. Gardiner’s tense shoulders sagged in what appeared to be relief. “She is here? Thank our dearest Lord. When Elizabeth did not return to my office, I began to search for her. It was only by accident that I overheard a tale of how you and Lord Haverton had rescued a girl in the street. Did she step into the way of his lordship’s coach? I told Lizzy that her plan would prove dangerous.”

Ah, Mr. Gardiner is not aware of all that has occurred. “I fear your niece ran into the street when she noted my pursuit.”

“Your pursuit?” Gardiner’s eyebrows drew together in confusion. “Why would a man of your consequence chase after a young woman of little notice? Did our Lizzy offer you an offense?”

“Not unless one would consider her taking the place of my bride during my wedding an offense,” Darcy said in droll tones.

“But she was supposed to be at the wedding of her…” Gardiner’s words slid to a halt as the truth found root. “Oh, my…”

A hint of sympathy touched Darcy’s countenance. “Your niece appears to act before she thinks.”

Gardiner ruefully acknowledged, “You have no idea the half of it.” The gentleman smiled mirthlessly. “Elizabeth meant to disrupt the wedding of her sister to Mr. Bennet’s heir.”

“Mr. Collins?” A wry grimace twisted briefly at Darcy’s lips as Mr. Gardiner’s features again registered his surprise. “Miss Elizabeth has explained her purpose in preventing her sister’s marriage to my aunt’s rector.”

Gardiner’s tone was singularly ironic. “Your aunt is Lady Catherine De Bourgh?”

Darcy nodded his affirmation. “Needless to say, her ladyship was in attendance at my nuptials, as I was to marry her daughter.” The gentleman did not disguise his groan of despair as he buried his face in his hands. “Lady Catherine means to have Miss Elizabeth turned over to the magistrate once she learns of your niece’s whereabouts. Such is the reason I brought Miss Elizabeth here so a physician could attend her, and I could protect her from my aunt’s wrath. Moreover, it is important that I determine whether the vows we spoke are legal or not. Fraud must be in place prior to the nuptials. As Miss Elizabeth and I held no acquaintance until I called in upon her earlier today, fraud may not be applicable to annul the marriage.”

“But did not Elizabeth use her sister’s name in the exchange of vows? That was her intent in foiling Collins’s marriage.” Gardiner contested.

Darcy drawled with cold formality. “She said, ‘I, Elizabeth, take thee William.’ I am Fitzwilliam Darcy, but am known to family and close associates as William. Although we did not sign the registry, I am not certain whether a shortened name is grounds for annulment or to have the marriage declared void. When I spoke my vows, I did so to ‘Anne,’ my cousin.”

Gardiner shared in ironic tones, “Anne is one of Elizabeth’s middle names.” Studying Darcy carefully, the gentleman cleared his throat. “I am certain your legal advisors have already discussed this issue, the marriage is valid as long as those who marry by license marry whom they think they are marrying, no matter what names are used. Elizabeth should have objected to the joining when the vicar asked if she took you as her husband. The fact that she did not could indicate her intent to marry you or her intent to practice fraud. The church courts could rule either way. As to the signing of the register, it is commonplace practice in the church, and I know some bishops have issued warning to clergymen about keeping careful records, but it does not mean the register must be signed immediately after the ceremony. I know a gentleman, a client of mine, who signed the register more than a week following his nuptials, which were conducted by special license and at his betrothed’s home. The clergyman had to call upon the gentleman to secure the man’s signature.”

It was Darcy’s turn to know surprise. “I was unaware of your niece’s full given name, and as to the other information, I was aware of some, but not all of what you have shared.”

“What I do not understand is how Elizabeth appeared at your wedding. She was to be at All Saints at Kingston upon Thames. Where were your nuptials held?”

“A chapel at St. George, which is also near the Thames.”

“Admittedly, Lizzy knows little of London. Mr. Bennet despises the place and comes to Town only when necessary. She and Jane visit often, but not enough to understand the city’s diverse populations and the neighborhoods harboring each or how there are hundreds of churches with ‘Saint’ in their names.” He smiled sadly. “Why did she not hail a cab to return to my office?”

“Miss Elizabeth left her reticule at the church,” Darcy explained.

“But someone would have paid the fare,” the gentleman began in explanation, but halted his protest. “It does not signify to second-guess Elizabeth’s frightened state.” Gardiner sighed heavily. “What do you wish me to do with Elizabeth? It is you who my niece has offended.”

Darcy counted to ten before he responded. What he wished to do and what was proper were in sharp contrast. “Miss Elizabeth should not be moved this evening. Doctor Nott reset her shoulder, and she struck her head upon the paving stones when Haverton’s team knocked her down. Such an injury must be handled carefully. Moreover, your niece has expressed concern at having disappointed her mother’s aspirations. Miss Elizabeth believes her punishment could be extensive. I know from my cousin that Lady Catherine’s ire has yet to abate. If you are agreeable, I think it is best if Miss Elizabeth remain with me until she is well enough to face her accusers or until we have a definitive answer as to whether ours is a legal joining. The vicar did pronounce us man and wife.”

 

Mr. Darcy’s Brides is now available at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

You can also find all other Regina Jeffers books on her Amazon Page, and contact her through the following links:

Website   www.rjeffers.com 

Blog     “Every Woman Dreams…”    https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com 


 

 

Now for the GIVEAWAY: Regina Jeffers has two eBook copies of MR. DARCY’S BRIDEs available for those who comment below. To be in the mix, leave your comment by midnight GMT on Monday, August 21.

The winners will be announced shortly after, so please make sure you are following the blog to receive an email with the announcement of the lucky winners 🙂 I’m sure you don’t want to miss you name in it 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

41 Comments

Filed under JAFF

41 responses to “Mr. Darcy’s Bride(s) – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

  1. Thank you for hosting me today, Rita.

    Like

  2. alp1788

    Can’t wait to read this book and to find out whether they are married.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glynis

    Oh this is getting more and more delicious! The names were valid so surely the marriage is as well??? Oh my, the more I read the more I want to know what happens. Thank you so much Rita and Regina for sharing this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s the third excerpt of this book I read and my curiosity is killing me! lol. I wonder how ODC will face this situation and when their feelings will show. I love Regina’s books. The last one I read, “A Dance With Mr Darcy” was amazing! I am sure this one will be great too! Congratulations on the release of your new book and thank you ladies for the giveaway! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Theresa M

    a new twist! definitely looks to be a fun read! thanks for the excerpt. and explanation of estoppel.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ria

    Very intrigued as to how this story plays out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Ria, you will not expect the way the world turns upside down when Darcy and Elizabeth meet without the “requirements” of Society casting a shadow over their relationship. Best wishes in the giveaway.

      Like

  7. Did Anne want to marry Darcy or is she happy that it hasn’t happened

    Like

  8. Mary

    What an interesting premise!! Darcy and Lizzy married or are they?
    Can’t wait to see how the story unfolds and what becomes of ODC!
    Best of luck with this book,Regina.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can’t wait to read this one! Love the excerpt!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Claire Ferguson

    Oh I am so intrigued!!! Can’t wait to read this one!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ginna

    There seem to have been many, many laws relating to marriage! Definitely serious business. At least we’re all familiar with ‘breach of promise’. I can just see a good portion of your book having to taken up with explaining the law you were intending to use, if you had gone a different way..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sally Cline

    What a mix up! Lizzy reminds me of Lucille Ball getting herself into all kinds of trouble! So funny! Can’t wait to read this one.

    Like

  13. I love how Regina uses such fascinating historical context in her stories to build the conflict. What a unique premise on this one. I look forward to reading it.

    Like

  14. J. W. Garrett

    Oh dear… what will happen next. This excerpt it leaving us hanging with all our hopes that D&E are legally married. Oh what fun!! Such a creative venture. Excellent choice. Love it. Blessings on the launch.

    Like

  15. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Regina’s new book. It was very entertaining and one that I found hard to put down. Since I already have the book there is no need to put me in the drawing, but I encourage all of you to give it a try! Thanks for featuring Regina’s book here. Jen Red

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’ve never heard of promissory estoppel before this, Regina. There are so many legal terms that I’m glad I am not in the law profession. Anyway, the excerpt piqued my interest to know how the story progresses. Thanks for gifting us a wonderful premise.

    Like

    • Estoppel is a collective name given to a group of legal doctrines in common law legal systems whereby a person is prevented from making assertions that are contradictory to his or her prior position on certain matters before the court—the person is said to be “estopped.”
      England and Wales have four types: equitable, proprietary, promissory, and estoppel by representation of fact. The U.S. has only equitable and promissory. LOTS of fun to decipher.

      Like

  17. This story sounds like a lot of fun, a unique idea but what s tease, how does it go on?!! I have to find out 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ooh this sounds so interesting! Love that twist. Would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wonderful post! Thanks, Regina, and congrats for the release of yet another gem. Can’t wait to read ‘Mr Darcy’s Brides’, it sounds fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m playing catchup on this blog tour – missed the first part of it as last week was so manic for me in many ways that my blog emails piled up beyond all proportion. So, I’m just dipping in to the second half, so to speak. I’ve read all of the other posts and excerpts and am loving the sound of Regina’s new work a lot.

    Reading the legal definition of estoppel reminds me of some of the documents I used to proofread occasionally for my husband before he retired from his profession as a solicitor. Legal definitions can sound so convoluted, can’t they? I don’t blame you for not going with that alternative, Regina. I think you’d have definitely written yourself into a corner with that one!

    Like

    • A solicitor would have been helpful, Anji. As I come from a family where law is studied carefully, I understood the “legal” language, but I was not certain how to make it easy for the majority of the readers.

      Like

  21. evamedmonds

    Oh, my, this book gets more interesting the more excerpts I read. I would love to win a copy! I knew about Breach of Promise but had not heard of Promissory estoppel. Thank you for that information. I had been so curious about what happened to Elizabeth and some of the pieces are beginning to fit together. Keep writing – your books are marvelous! Thank you for the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

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