How are you this week? I am very excited to bring to you an excerpt of Outmatched which is Jayne Bamber’s latest novel and will be released in 4 days. You may ask why I am excited about it, and I shall not refrain from telling you! I have a soft spot for mash ups, and I’ve seen several over the past years, but never have I seen a mash of Sense & Sensibility and Mansfield Park, and that is what Jayne Bamber will bring us! Isn’t that an interesting take on Jane Austen? I loved the idea 🙂
Another reason why this book capture my attention was the cover…you know I absolutely love covers and am not ashamed to admit I do judge books by their cover right? Well, this one is exquisite! I absolutely loved it and definitely want this paperback on my shelves!
Before letting you read this excerpt, I would like to thank Jayne Bamber for visiting once more. I wish you the best of luck with this new release. And now, without further ado…
“It seems you must disoblige one of your children, Sir Thomas, and you must be the chooser of the pain inflicted. Your son disinherited, or your daughter married to an imbecile she cannot love.”
When Sir Thomas Bertram returns home to Mansfield after his year in Antigua, he expects respite from his many troubles, in the bosom of his family. Instead he is met with blackmail, collusion, and the ominous threat of scandal.
When Mrs. Margaret Dashwood takes her daughters from Norland to Barton Park, she carries with her a secret hope that they might someday return, though she is not yet ready to pay the price for it.
A mutual connection bent on manipulation and revenge sets the stage for heartbreak, intrigue, and plenty of surprises as the worlds of Sense & Sensibility and Mansfield Park collide. Alliances shift along the way as familiar characters, bound by family ties, descend on Norland Park. There everyone has their own agenda, and constant peril looms as a large party of relations all scheme to outwit, out-maneuver, and outmatch their opponents.
Elinor & Marianne Dashwood, Maria Bertram, Fanny Price, and Mary Crawford forge new friendships and alliances amidst the chaos of conspiracy, romance, redemption and self-discovery, the likes of which Norland Park has never seen before.
You can find Outmatched for pre-order at:
Hello, readers! It is such a treat to be back at From Pemberley to Milton. My new book, Outmatched will be out this Friday, and I am here to whet your appetites for this fusion of Sense & Sensibility and Mansfield Park with another excerpt!
With a wide cast of characters mingling together in such surprising ways, Mary Crawford emerges as nearly a heroine in her own right, and my favorite kind of heroine – a very flawed one. There are a few surprises in store for her over the course of the novel, but I am sure it shocks nobody that she and Marianne Dashwood bond over their love of music.
More excerpts will follow over the course of my blog tour, more chances to enter the raffle for a free eBook. For now I leave you with a little glimpse into the mind of Mary Crawford….
Mary Crawford was happy when their walking party turned back to the house, and doubly so when their approach afforded her a glimpse of the equipage that conveyed her harp at last. Her instinct was to look over at Edmund, who had spoken to none but his mother and aunts during their excursion. Mary felt quite as though this was her last chance, for her performance on the harp had won him over once before, and if it did not succeed again on this occasion, she would be utterly at a loss.
And yet, she wondered at it all. Little more than a fortnight ago, he had been the one to exert himself to bring her around. She had been warming to the notion of compromising her ideals, of really considering the life of a clergyman’s wife. She knew not what angered her more – that he had thought it right to expect such a concession from her, or that she had been very near to accepting it, only to find it all now in vain. To be sure, his withdrawal from her had whet her appetite – like Henry, she enjoyed the thrill of the chase.
Or so she had thought. Already it had begun to wear on her. It was different for men – lovelorn Henry was every bit the star-crossed hero in his pursuit of Maria, which Mary wished rather than fully believed to be sincere. But for a lady, however gently-bred and well-dowered, to behave in such a way, even towards such an honorable man, must be a desperate and unbecoming thing, inviting censure and derision, or worse yet – pity. She did not make the rules of society, but she was obliged to follow them.
How it chafed! If Edmund was so inclined to sulk about, let him do as he wished. She was really almost resolved not to trouble herself any further. Whatever vexed him, he was not inclined to confide in her the way she would like – but better he should reveal such a deficiency in both trust and candor now, rather than once it was too late for her.
Her pace back to the manor grew swift and resolute – she would enjoy herself here just as she set out to do, and she would play her instrument, even for an empty room! And yet she knew it would not come to that. Marianne Dashwood had expressed some musical inclination, and Mary took pains to attach herself to the girl as they made their way back through the meadow.
“Miss Marianne,” said she, “I hope you will join me in welcoming a new arrival to your brother’s house – I have sent for my harp, and I believe it is arriving even now.”
Still hanging on the arm of her handsome beau, Miss Marianne looked over at Mary, her eyes flashing with excitement. “You play the harp! Oh, but I never had the patience to learn – I should dearly love to listen to you.”
“I mean to subject you all to it, if I can,” Mary teased with a wink.
“Let us all make merry music,” Mr. Willoughby rejoined, giving Mary one of the smiles that must have caught Miss Marianne at once. “If you will both play for the group, I shall add my own voice to the harmony. I am sure we must find someone to play violin, and then, you know, we might make a tour about the countryside like proper troubadours.”
Marianne’s tinkling laughter was music of a sort already, and Mary found it incredibly endearing. “Oh, you must sing, Willoughby! And when Edward comes, you must read some poetry for us – I am sure your example might do him good!”
“Your sister is sure to write me a very pretty note of thanks,” he whispered, though far too loudly.
Mary had lost the thread of conversation, but was not ready to relinquish the fine company. “Pray, who is Edward?”
“He is Fanny Dashwood’s other brother – do not let Robert Ferrars’ character mislead you, for Edward is everything amiable and kind.”
Mary laughed. She had not found Robert Ferrars to her liking at all, despite her hostess’ best efforts to unite them over dinner and afterward, and Miss Marianne’s candor engendered the same in Mary. “That is certainly a welcome relief! All I have had from Robert Ferrars is a preposterous rhapsody about parsonages – I was a guest in one recently – and yet such observations were not at all to my liking – or even sensible! Well, I am glad that Edward Ferrars will not be talking such nonsense to us all. Pray, when is he expected?”
Marianne chewed her lip. “I cannot say – but I am sure he must come very soon. Although I do think on the subject of parsonages he may have much to say, for I believe he aspires to join the church.”
“Oh – I had thought Robert Ferrars the younger son. Surely the elder would not take orders!”
“That is just Edward’s way. But you shall hear better sense from him than some of our party.”
“Than from most, if my information is correct,” Mr. Willoughby added.
Mary furrowed her brow. He could be nothing to her, if the elder Miss Dashwood was already attached to Edward Ferrars – she was not like Henry in that respect. Yet what a disappointment that another dull clergyman was to come amongst them! She wished for all the world that if they were to have any addition to their party, which was rather a large one, that it be the sort of man she had hoped Edmund might prove to be.
To Mary’s chagrin, her feelings must have been readily apparent on her face, and Mr. Willoughby leaned in to tease Marianne. “You shall not entice Miss Crawford with such language as this, Marianne. If she can expect only a clergyman whose feelings are engaged elsewhere, she shall grow quite desolate.”
Mary took the jape in good humor. “Oh, yes. Better to say we shall be joined by a handsome, brooding sort of fellow – a romantic hero of first rate appearance, with a decided air of mystery and fashion, prone to fits of passion and most eager to bestow his affections.”
“How very novel,” Mr. Willoughby drawled.
“It would be rather like a novel if such a person appeared amongst us,” Marianne laughed. “Surely I know of no such man, besides you, Willoughby – though you are far too open to be called mysterious, but for my meeting you in such heavy rain. Surely John and Fanny do not know anybody half so interesting, and would likely not admit him to the house if they did! But I shall hope for your sake nonetheless, Miss Crawford.”
Mary had let her disappointment over Edmund make her nonsensical, and she tried to laugh it off. “I am sure I shall not grow too desolate. I have my instrument now, and my very handsome harp must be the object of all my hopes and affections.”
We are halfway through the blog tour, so you still have time to learn more about this book! Here is the tour schedule:
Jayne Bamber is offering one ebook copy of Outmatched to my readers. To apply to it, please click on the Rafflecopter link.
Good Luck everyone!