Hello dear readers,
I’m very happy to be hosting author L.L. Diamond for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton with an excerpt of her upcoming novel Particular Attachments.
I am currently reading her book Particular Intentions, so I cannot think of a better timing to be sharing with you and excerpt of its sequel.
Particular Attachments will be released in 3 days, on the 14th of September, but until then, you can pre-order it on Amazon, read a marvelous excerpt below and follow the blog tour for more info on the book 🙂
Thank you so much for having me! It’s so nerve-wracking and exciting to finally be publishing Particular Attachments! I really enjoyed writing Georgiana’s story and introducing Lord Sele. I just love him. I hope the readers do as well!
From the edge of the ballroom, Georgiana sipped her punch while Lydia chatted merrily with her current dance partner. Her behaviour had been similar with all of her partners thus far: open and gregarious. She was definitely enjoying the ball.
Georgiana peered a short distance away where Lizzy and Fitzwilliam were deep in conversation with a good friend of her brother’s. Lizzy tilted her head as she regarded Georgiana. Lizzy was ensuring she was well, so she lifted a corner of her lips to set her sister’s mind at ease.
In contrast to Lydia, Georgiana’s card this evening had been dominated by her male relations, who all made certain she was not forced to endure awkward conversation with a stranger during her first ball. Uncle Henry, her brother, Richard, and Milton had each partnered her for a dance and now, she struggled not to fidget while she awaited Nathaniel for the next set.
Lady Lindsey had greeted her after the second set, and they spoke amiably until Richard claimed her hand before the music could begin again. She had even espied Lord Lindsey taking a turn with his wife, but thus far, Nathaniel was missing.
After another sip of her drink, she rose to her tiptoes to scan the room. Lydia could no longer claim Nathaniel held a tendre for her if he failed to even make an appearance at the ball. Ha! She would not be forced to uphold her side of a polite discourse on the weather, the state of the roads, or—
“Miss Darcy, I hope you are well this evening.”
She dropped ungracefully from her toes as she attempted to whirl around. A palm supported her elbow while she steadied, her punch splashing precariously around the edge of her cup. Did it spill? A glance down the pale blush silk revealed her gown was unblemished. Thank heavens!
“I believe we have escaped catastrophe.”
Her eyes rose from her cup to the cheerful, deep mahogany eyes she had just been seeking. “You startled me.”
His hand left her arm as he bowed. “I wholeheartedly apologise. I had no reason to believe you would take such a fright in a room crowded with people.”
One side of his lip twitched, and it took all her strength to withhold a frustrated growl. “I was by no means frightened. You merely caught me unawares.”
“As I said, I humbly beg your forgiveness.” His voice was tinged with humour.
Good heavens! He was still as impossible as when they were young!
With a grin, he offered his arm. “We should move closer to the dancers. I would not want to miss our set. Should I be so careless, you might not see fit to grant me one in its stead, and your brother would tease me mercilessly after I sought his permission.”
“You did?” Fitzwilliam would have allowed the privilege with the close relationship of their families, but he was correct. Her brother would enjoy pestering Nathaniel if she refused to dance with him now.
She placed her punch on a passing servant’s tray and rested her hand upon the heavy wool of his sleeve. Better to have this portion of the evening concluded than to prolong the agony.
“I anticipate an enlightening conversation at dinner. We have not spoken in years, so I hope to learn of your adventures since we were last in company.”
Dinner! Custom dictated they be seated together during the meal following, and he actually expected it of her. Could she not sit with Lydia and Lizzy?
“I had not thought . . .” What was she to say? Would he consider her rude if she claimed she had no desire to dine with him?
“Miss Darcy.” His voice lowered as he faced her. “I requested the supper set for the pleasure of dancing with you as well as conversing with you during the meal. I do hope you are not considering abandoning me to the whims of the other ladies present.”
Her eyebrows rose. “They might expect the enjoyment of your company after you prove yourself a willing and able partner. I may not have the ability to protect you as you seem to think.”
“Nathaniel!” called Lady Lindsey, strolling forward on her husband’s arm. “I am glad to see you have arrived. I sent the carriage back as you requested.” A mischievous glint lit the lady’s countenance and Nathaniel’s face coloured.
“Yes, Mother. I arrived a few moments ago.”
Georgiana flinched. He arrived a few moments ago? He avoided the beginning of the ball and made an appearance merely for their set and dinner?
Lady Lindsey grasped her free hand. “Miss Darcy, I do hope you remember my husband?”
She gave a quick curtsey. “Yes, I do. I am glad to see you hale, my lord.”
With a slight bow, the earl smiled. “Not as glad as I am to be well again, I assure you.”
The music ended, the dancers dispersed to find their next partners, and Nathaniel dipped his head to his parents. “I was promised a dance by Miss Darcy. If you will excuse us.”
His steady and sure stride brought them to the top of the set near Lydia. The impertinent hussy glanced over and bit her bottom lip with a grin. Oh no! Lydia would not embarrass her again, would she?
A few moments after he took his place across from her, the music began and Nathaniel bowed as she curtsied. They both stepped forward and joined hands.
“How are you enjoying London?”
Her gaze met his, but she could not hold it. Instead, she looked over his shoulder. “We have only been in town a short time. Other than preparing for the ball and making several calls, we have not ventured much further than Bond Street.”
“If you are at all like my mother, nothing exists beyond Bond Street.”
Her head whipped back in his direction with a huff. “In the past, I have taken great enjoyment in a few small recitals and performances as well as several plays at Covent Garden.”
Their turn completed, they retreated to their original positions and awaited the other members of their group to take their turn. Nathaniel’s curved lips and the crinkles at the corners of his eyes betrayed his amusement. How could he prick every last nerve she possessed?
As the pattern shifted them together once more, he stepped a hairsbreadth closer than necessary. “I beg your pardon if I caused offence. You will forgive me, will you not?” His bottom lip protruded into a slight pout. He appeared ridiculous with such a childish expression. A laugh burst from her, and she pressed her lips together in an effort to quash the sound.
She gave an affected sigh. “I suppose I must, though I do so begrudgingly.”
“Oh ho!” he cried. “The Georgiana Darcy I remember still exists beneath the layers of silk and bejewelled pins in her hair. Should I be concerned you might care for retribution should I speak without thought?” He bent slightly towards her ear. “You will not kick me in the shin, will you?”
A wisp of his breath caught her ear and a frisson travelled down her spine, causing her to start. “I might. If you behave as you did at twelve.” Good! Her voice did not tremble!
“’Tis tempting, but I believe I should prefer you to know me as I am now.” He watched her from the corner of his eye. “However, you must allow me to prove myself.”
They parted to take their places in the line once more.
Their eyes met and she held his gaze. Why would he need to prove himself? “To what purpose?”
His brow drew down. “Will you ask the same of any man who requests to call this Season? You cannot expect to début without gentlemen taking notice.”
She stiffened, filled her chest with air, and drew herself as tall as she could. “I cannot prevent their interest, but I can dissuade them. I have no reason to torment a respectable man.”
They bowed and curtsied when the first song ended.
With a tilt of the head, he stared at her while the music for the second dance began. They again honoured their partners and Georgiana stepped inside to turn with the neighbouring gentleman. When she returned to the line, Nathaniel did the same with the lady beside her. When they joined hands, he drew her closer.
“Pray tell, how would you torment a respectable man?”
The muscles in her back tensed. “I have no intention of marrying.”
Blurb: She swore would never marry!
Georgiana Darcy is a lady with a secret! The last thing she wants is to return to London, but what else can she do when her brother and his wife make plans to spend the Christmas season in town. When Lizzy’s youngest sister, Lydia, joins them, Georgiana gains a confidante, but will Lydia’s outgoing nature cause problems when Lord Sele, son of a family friend reappears in Georgiana’s life?
As an insufferable boy, Lord Sele vowed he would marry Georgiana, but was his return from Ireland a coincidence or was his sole purpose to pursue her? He admits to desiring friendship, but Lydia is determined his desire is Georgiana and she will stop at nothing to see her best friend happily settled.
What is Georgiana to do when faced with the society she has managed to avoid for her entire adult life as well as the one man determined to change her mind about marriage? Will she be able to overcome her fears despite the spectre from the past that seems to be haunting her? Will she be forced to tell her secret and choose happiness or will someone from her past ruin everything?
L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way.
After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.
Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!
Don’t forget to follow the blog tour 🙂
September 8: Just Jane 1813 – Review
September 9: Babblings of a Bookworm – Character Interview
September 11: From Pemberley to Milton – Excerpt
September 12: More Agreeably Engaged – Character Interview
September 13: Austenesque Reviews – Outtake
September 14: Austen Variations – Release Day Post and Giveaway
September 15: Just Jane 1813 – Character Interview
September 16: My Jane Austen Book Club – Outtake
September 17: My Vices and Weaknesses – Excerpt
I hope you have enjoyed the excerpt, and I look forward to discuss this book with you 🙂