Good Afternoon everyone,
I’m very pleased to welcome Heather Moll to From Pemberley to Milton today. She has brought with her an excerpt of her latest book, which has a plot that captured my attention! I love novels in cozy settings, and anything that occurs at Netherfield is bound to be cozy. In this book the Bennet sisters will stay two extra days at Netherfield and this, along with some discoveries made through some eavesdropping, will change everything! I am looking forward to know the extent of these changes, but until I get my hands on this book, I’ll have to settle with what is being shared in the blog tour. Today is the second stop, and I hope you like what Heather Moll brought to you today 🙂
Hello Rita and thank you so much for welcoming me back to From Pemberley to Milton! I’m pleased and proud to share an excerpt from Two More Days at Netherfield with you and your readers. Jane and Elizabeth—through means that you’ll just have to read about—stay longer with the Netherfield party while Jane recovers from her cold. This significantly changes a few relationships and takes us in an exciting direction away from canon. When Elizabeth leaves Netherfield, she and Darcy have a very different relationship from what it was when she arrived. In this excerpt, Jane and Elizabeth are on their way home, and Jane has had a private exchange with Bingley that both Darcy and Elizabeth want to learn more about.
Miss Bingley moved to Elizabeth and, to Darcy’s surprise, offered her hand.
“Miss Eliza, it has been a pleasure to have you stay. Your sister’s rapid return to health was due to your capable and generous nursing.”
“Thank you, Miss Bingley. You have made me feel very welcome.”
She then thanked Bingley for his hospitality and allowed him to hand her into the carriage. Elizabeth looked out the side glass and gave a little wave to the group assembled on the lawn, and then they were gone.
Miss Bingley turned her back as soon as the horses moved. Bingley watched the carriage for longer, then all but bounced towards the stairs.
“Wait a moment,” Darcy called. His curiosity could not be abated. “I must ask, although, of course, you would be right to refuse to answer me. What did you say to Miss Bennet?”
“You may ask questions which I shall not choose to answer.”
Darcy bowed before Bingley laughed. “Darcy! I tease! She looked happy, did she not? I did not imagine it?”
“Whatever you said caused her to smile in a way I have never before seen.”
“I told her I would call on the Bennet ladies tomorrow and that I particularly hoped she would be at home.”
“You have expressed a marked interest now.”
“I wanted to indicate how much I enjoyed her company. I need to know Miss Bennet better. I say, you ought to come with me tomorrow! Nothing untoward could be construed by both of us calling.”
Bingley clapped Darcy’s shoulder and then bolted up the stairs.
Darcy looked back towards the drive. The edges of his lips turned up with the thought of speaking with Elizabeth tomorrow. Darcy shook his head, reined in his smile, and slowly walked up the stairs in a manner more befitting a gentleman.
“Tell me, what did he say?”
“What do you mean?”
“Keep your secrets; I will not ask you again.” Elizabeth looked out the side glass, taking in the scenery she saw every day of her life.
A full minute passed before Jane blurted, “He wishes to call at Longbourn tomorrow!”
Elizabeth gave a shriek of glee and clapped her hands. They laughed gaily, Elizabeth with delight at her sister’s unrestrained happiness, and Jane with nervous embarrassment.
“You must not tell Mamma that Mr Bingley specifically hoped I would be at home; I will never hear the end of it. Let us say that he is calling on all of the ladies.”
“I will not say a word, although who could doubt he comes to see you? I dare not tell my mother. If I do, she will drive all her daughters out into the next rainstorm in the hope of us catching a husband.”
“Am I apt to expect too much?” Jane’s countenance showed an eager yearning that her affections would be returned. She had a great fondness for Mr Bingley, and there was no proper way for her to show it. What an unfortunate truth in which it is improper for a lady to be justified in falling in love before the gentleman’s love is declared.
“No, but if Mr Bingley is not willing to offer his proposals, there is always the cousin wishing to make us amends waiting for us at Longbourn. If you have misunderstood Mr Bingley, you can take Miss Bingley’s advice and marry this Mr Collins.”
Jane looked away. Keeping silent was Jane’s way of avoiding expressing a negative opinion. Elizabeth suffered no such limitation. “From our sister’s note, our cousin does not appear to be a sensible man.”
“Perhaps Mr Collins does not express himself well on the page and will prove impressive in person. We ought to reserve judgment until such time as we have met him.” Jane did not speak in an admonishing tone, but Elizabeth felt the reprimand.
She felt anew her resolution to be less disapproving, less hasty to condemn on little evidence. Her pride in her own discernment had been unsettled in the face of her misconceptions regarding Darcy, a man she was now happy to be on friendly terms with. She should give her cousin the benefit of the doubt.
“I will follow your example, and I am determined not to judge him beforehand.” After a pause, Elizabeth added, “But you may depend upon hearing my opinion when I do.”
“I could expect no less from you. I do appreciate you staying on at Netherfield, Lizzy. What say you of Mr Darcy now?”
Elizabeth’s heart beat quickly when she recalled the self-conscious way he requested she save two dances for him. It is socially unacceptable for me to admit to admiring Darcy before he publicly demonstrates his admiration first. “I have seen a great deal of him, have heard his opinion on subjects of literature and taste; he is well-informed, and his observations just and correct. He has no mistaken pride, and I am pleased to know him better.”
While her sister Jane is ill at Netherfield, Elizabeth Bennet overhears Miss Bingley and the proud Mr Darcy discussing his admiration of Elizabeth and her fine eyes. Not sure what to think of his praise after all of their previous disagreements, and more flattered than she wants to admit, Elizabeth teases him for the disparaging remark he made about her at the Meryton Assembly. Darcy is then forced to reconsider his opinion of a woman who has truly bewitched him more than any other.
The result of this unintended eavesdropping leads to confrontations and apologies on both sides and, eventually, the beginnings of a friendship between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their warming acquaintance impacts the courtship of Darcy’s friend and Elizabeth’s sister, the jealous temper of Miss Bingley, and even the behavior of Mr. Wickham after he arrives in Meryton.
How are the events of the winter drastically affected by the Bennet sisters choosing to spend two more days at Netherfield.
You can find Two More Days at Netherfield at:
Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a master’s in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring Austen’s letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of Two More Days at Netherfield and His Choice of a Wife. She lives with her husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether to clean the house or write.
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Quills & Quartos Publishing is giving away one ecopy at each blog stop of the Two More Days at Netherfield blog tour. All you need to do to enter the giveaway is comment on this blog post, and Quills & Quartos will randomly choose one random winner after February 21. So, make sure you join in the conversation and follow the blog tour 🙂
Good luck everyone!