So This is Love – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

How are you today? I am very happy to receive at From Pemberley to Milton Laura Hile, an author who has marked me forever with one of my all time favourite books, Darcy by Any Other Name. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it! But today she is not here to talk about that book, she is visiting to share with you an excerpt of her most recently release novel, So This is Love

I am currently reading this book and I’m really enjoying it, in fact, the excerpt we are sharing today is precisely the point where I stand in the book, and I am looking forward to see how the romance between Charlotte and Captain Blunt will evolve. 

I used to only read Darcy/Elizabeth centered books, but after reading so many stories, one cannot help but feel the need for something different, so secondary based novels now hold a new appeal to me. 

So This is Love is certainly holding my attention, and I hope you like reading the excerpt as much as I am enjoying reading the book. And there is a giveaway, so don’t forget to comment 🙂 Let us know if you are only interested in Darcy/Elizabeth stories, or if like me your tastes have changed over time. If so, is Charlotte one of your favourites? Or is she a character that holds little appeal for you? I’m looking forward to read your opinion, but now I think it is time to let you read the blurb and the excerpt 🙂


“I am not romantic, you know. I never was.”

Newly escaped from a loathsome engagement of convenience, Charlotte Lucas has no interest in romance. More than ever, she is convinced that no man would—or could—love her. As companion to an aging aunt, Charlotte’s new life is as predictable as it is circumspect.

But then she is rescued from a robbery by her uncle’s heir, a masterful man who is disastrously handsome. Why has he remained as a guest in the house? Why is he so determined to draw Charlotte out and make her talk? And what of his invitation to visit his home by the sea?

Romance is not on the chart for Captain Jack Blunt. Never again will he be played for that kind of fool! He is ashore only to heal from an injury and see to business, nothing more. And yet the pointed disinterest of his cousin’s pert niece is intriguing. She is forthright, refreshingly honest—and altogether lovely.  She will make a fine wife for one of his officers. But not, of course, for him.

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You can find So This is Love at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


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Excerpt Introduction (general): Mr. Collins is little more than a stranger when Charlotte Lucas agrees to marry him. This is a prudent choice, given her situation. But when Mr. Collins crosses the line, something in Charlotte snaps. How dare he be so familiar, so shamelessly forward! It isn’t as if he loves her!

Come with Charlotte as she breaks the engagement, is sent away to her father’s relations, and discovers a future that is vastly different from the one she envisioned.

Because “I am not romantic” is anything but true. Charlotte simply hasn’t met the right man.

In this story, she will.

****

In Chapter 6, the coach in which Charlotte and her brother are traveling is robbed by highwaymen. Now she and her handsome rescuer must ride double on his horse.

With a nod to the passengers, Captain Jack Blunt took the reins and led the horse down the coaching road at a walk. Once out of sight, he stopped and looked back at Miss Lucas. “The trouble is this: because of an injury my foot will not bear me the full two miles. I’ll mount up behind you now, and we’ll ride together.” 

“I’ll gladly dismount and walk.” 

While he appreciated the spirit of her offer, Jack was not about to allow a woman to walk while he rode. “After twenty-odd hours cramped in that coach?” he countered. “Without sleep? I have traveled like that many a time; it is brutal.”

“Brutal is certainly the word.”

“It will be easier this way.”

“Easier for your pride!”

“How well you understand me! We’ll bring this off, trust me.” 

“I have no choice but to trust you, Mr. Blunt. I’ll have you know,” she added, “that although I am no horsewoman, I am not a coward.”

“Assuredly not, merely worn to the bone. You gave as good as you got back there.” 

Blunt swung into the saddle behind her, and after a bit of adjustment, they settled in. Never mind that she was half sitting on his lap! He shifted the hilt of his sword so that it did not dig into her side. 

“That was a bad business you were witness to,” he remarked, as he urged the horse forward. “I regret having to shoot that fellow, but there was nothing else to be done.”

“His flintlock had already been fired, hadn’t it?”

“It had,” he said grimly, “but at the time I did not know this. Moreover, he threatened to shoot you. From my vantage point, it was likely that he would. Barring that, he’d bludgeon you on the temple, possibly killing you.” 

“That is just what you did to the other man!” 

Blunt hesitated. He would never make her understand. “It was the easiest way to disable him. It makes no difference; he’ll hang soon enough.”

He felt her stiffen. “These are not novices or innocents, Miss Lucas. They have been robbing travelers for many weeks; I cannot fathom why there was no guard today. You saw Marlow’s cheek where the bullet grazed him.”

“Yes,” she said quietly.

“You do understand,” he added, “that last week another driver was shot and killed along this same stretch of road?” 

He sensed her discomfort. Apparently she did not know. 

“Highwaymen are romanticized by women and fools. Any one of you might have been killed today, including your precocious brother.” He paused. “Now, unfortunately, Johnny will think highwaymen rob with empty flintlocks and are easily mastered.” 

“Thank you,” she said stiffly, “for coming to our rescue.” 

“You are welcome. Your uncle was, ah, disinclined to accompany me due to his gouty foot. A pity; a second horseman would have been useful.”

Miss Lucas slewed round. “You talked this over with my Uncle Allen? Do I know you, Mr. Blunt?” 

“Perhaps you have heard your parents speak of me,” he said gently, “as Captain Blunt.” 

It appeared that she had heard of him after all. “Forgive me, but you introduced yourself as Jack. I have always heard you called Jasper.” 

“I prefer Jack,” he said grimly. 

“And I prefer Diana,” cried Miss Lucas, “for it is a lovely name and she, unlike me, is beautiful. But my name is Charlotte. Plain, ordinary Charlotte. Wishing a thing were different does not make it so.” 

Blunt’s response was to laugh. “There is nothing of the ordinary about you, Diana.” 

“That shows how little you know.” 

Again he laughed. Poor Miss Lucas was out of her element entirely. Now when would she realize that she was leaning against his chest?

Presently she did become aware, and she pulled herself rigidly upright. Her traveling bag made this an awkward maneuver. Jack put a hand to her shoulder and gently drew her back. “It’s easier for the horse if you do not fidget, Miss Lucas.” 

“That,” she muttered, “is an outright lie. What a wretched day!”

“It is indeed. Go ahead and have your cry,” he offered. “Don’t mind me.” 

“You are as stupid as you are ignorant, Captain Blunt,” she said. “I never cry. Not in front of people.” 

“But there is only me. You have rightly characterized me as stupid; I cannot be said to count.” 

“Crying solves nothing. For me, it only makes everything worse. Besides, I am not pretty enough to cry.”

“What nonsense is this?” 

“It is very true. In my family, I am the sensible one. When I cry, I never get my way, nor do I get sympathy. People become upset, and sometimes they become angry.” 

He leaned sideways to look at her. “Angry?” 

“It is easier for the horse if you do not fidget, Captain Blunt.”

That scotched him! “Aye, aye, ma’am,” he said meekly. 

They lapsed into silence. “Look,” said Jack suddenly. “Everyone cries. Even battle-toughened men on a warship. Even me, and I am as hard as they come. Not in the heat of battle, mind, but after. When I read the service for the deceased, and we send crewmen to their watery graves, I weep. We all do. There is not a dry eye on deck.” 

She appeared to consider this, but no tears came.

“You’ve had quite a day. Bounced inside that coach for hours on end, covered with dirt from the road, robbed at gunpoint, witness to a killing—” 

“And deprived of food and drink,” she added. “Johnny ate most of the food Mother sent.” 

“Did he now? Johnny deserves to be flogged.” 

“It is not his fault, poor boy. He is growing and is always hungry.” 

Blunt dug in a pocket for his flask and uncorked it. “Here,” he offered. “Sip cautiously.” 

She sniffed it. “But this is …” 

“Cognac from your uncle’s cellar. Otherwise known as brandy.” 

She took a tentative sip, closed her eyes, and then took a larger swallow. 

“That’ll do, Diana.” Blunt removed it from her grasp. “Just enough to take the edge off.” He eyed the flask and then took a swallow for himself. 

He heard her sigh. “It’s only a swallow,” he protested. 

“That’s what they all say.” 

Blunt gave a shout of laughter. What an unusual girl! 

He stole another look at her; her eyelids were at half-mast. “I recommend you settle in and take a nap.” 

Of course she was horrified; it would be no fun if she were not. “I could never! And if I did, I would fall sideways. You would have to catch me, which you couldn’t do because I am so heavy. We would both end up on the road.” 

“Egad,” said Jack, grinning. “I’d not thought of that. Stay awake, by all means.” 

Which meant she would be asleep within the quarter hour. 

Sure enough, Captain Blunt was right.


 

Encourager. Believer. Author. Teacher. Friend.
By day, Laura Hile teaches at a Christian school. By night—or rather, in the early morning when she can think! —she writes Jane Austen and Regency romance with laughs and happy endings.
The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with middle school students!
She enjoys gardening (she is a weed warrior!), choral singing, and having coffee with friends.
Laura lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with her husband and a collection of antique clocks. One day she hopes to add a cat or three.

Other books by Laura Hile: Darcy By Any Other Name and the Mercy’s Embrace trilogy. She is a regular contributor to the A Very Austen anthology series.

Connect with Laura:

Website: https://laurahile.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraHileAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2967234.Laura_Hile

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraHile

 


Laura Hile is offering one ebook copy of So This is Love to my readers. To apply to it all you have do to is comment on this post and let us know if you are a team Charlotte kind of person. The giveaway is open until the 22nd and the winners will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck everyone!

25 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

25 responses to “So This is Love – Excerpt & Giveaway

  1. J. W. Garrett

    Team Charlotte!! I love this excerpt and I REALLY like this Captain Blunt. Whew! Help us!! Where are my salts and my fan? My-Goodness I like him. Thanks to Rita for hosting this delightful post and to Laura for the generous giveaway. Good luck to everyone in the drawing. Blessings on it success and stay safe and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have good taste, J.W.

      I guess I do too, since I wrote him!

      I say, why not give our staid and steady Charlotte Lucas the most swoony hero? It was tremendous fun writing these two.

      Good luck in the giveaway!

      Like

  2. maomac

    I just finished this wonderful story with KU. It would be great to have a copy. A great new look at Charlotte!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, maomac, the rearead — or the desire to own a KU title — is a high compliment indeed.

      I wrote this book the way I did because it is what I like to read. Charlotte was wonderful to work with. As for the Captain, well. Which of us wouldn’t want him in real life?

      Thanks for entering the giveaway!

      Like

  3. sheilalmajczan

    This was an excellent romance, even without much of a connection to P&P. Loved it. Don’t include me in any giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I”m so glad you enjoyed it, Sheila. So This was certainly was fun to write.

      And, to date, this has been my fastest-written book ever! (Is that even good English?) One summer instead of three! (Or, in the case of Mercy’s Embrace, eight!) Well, it would have been one summer if I’d had two more weeks in September.

      What wondrous things we’d accomplish in life if we only had two extra weeks each summer. 😀

      Like

  4. Dung

    I’m usually a Darcy & Elizabeth focused story but after reading hundreds over the years you can’t but root for the minor characters. Definitely a team Charlotte when it comes to her finding love!

    Can’t wait to read this story! Congrats on your latest release Laura!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dung, thank you! It has been a while since I released a new novel.
      This was an anthology story that quickly outgrew its boundaries. I had such a wonderful time with the characters. Charlotte has become a favorite, and so has the hero she encounters.

      Thanks for your interest, Dung. Good luck in the giveaway.

      Like

  5. alexandrariverstories

    I couldn’t agree more regarding Darcy by Any Other Name. The concept and the execution were extraordinary and so essential in showing us why we love Darcy! 🙂

    I have no problem reading stories of secondary characters. I treat them as original stories. More or less I do that with D/E stories where the heroes appear very out of character. My favorite of course are the ones centered on D/E. The ones I don’t opt for are stories who focus on many couples in the same story. I want the story to be focused on the characters development.

    Diana–I mean Charlotte in this is intriguing. In the original she’s intriguing, too, if one sees her with today’s standards. She’s practical and perceptive and quick to make the most with the cards life dealt to her.
    I totally like her so I’d like her to have a better future than Mr. Collins. And Captain Blunt is refreshingly open.
    Thank you, both, for the chance to read this and the giveaway!
    Good luck with the new release!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed Darcy By Any Other Name, alexandrariver. I had way too much fun writing that book.

      I will say that it’s been gratifying to see romance readers discover Darcy through Kindle Unlimited, after they’ve readSo This Is Love

      As Sheila has said (above), So This is more of a romance than a P&P variation. I sure had fun writing it.

      H’m. Is there a theme going on here? Fun, that’s the ticket.

      Thanks for your interest, alexandrariver. Good luck in the giveaway!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. evamedmonds

    Way to go, Charlotte! I have always admired her friendship with Lizzy and her determination to follow what she wants in P&P. I might not agree with her choice in marrying Mr. Collins but she knows what she wants and goes for it and manages it well. It is great seeing her as a strong woman in the excerpt. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Eva,

      I think most of us identify with Charlotte, although hating her choice to marry Collins. This was the very thing Jane Austen did not want to do herself, but she understood it. So do we, unfortunately.

      I decided it was time for Charlotte to encounter a man who was “timbered up to her weight” (as Georgette Heyer says). It’s such fun to watch them spar together. The excerpt gives a taste of that.

      Good luck in the giveaway, Eva.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I wouldn’t say Charlotte is one of my favorites, though I love the way she’s portrayed in the 1995 P&P; very steady, reasonable, cheerful in her situation. And I do like to read about people besides Elizabeth and Darcy. So I look forward to your new take on Charlotte, Laura!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. caroleincanada

    Hoisted on his own petard! “It is easier for the horse if you do not fidget, Captain Blunt.” And that was only the first time! You already had me laughing! Yes, I must read this and soon! Looks like Charlotte is not going to be allowed to blend in with the background! Yeah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Carole,
      I figured this would be the perfect excerpt for Rita. 🙂
      These two come from very different backgrounds yet as you see, they are quite the pair. The Captain pulls Charlotte out of the Safe Zone in ways no one else ever has … and she ends up doing the same for him.

      My favorite thing in a romance is banter, and So This Is Love is packed with it. Yet there are things to think about too.

      I think you’ll like this book. Good luck in the giveaway. Carole.

      Like

  9. BeckyC

    Wonderful excerpt! 😂 I can see I am going to enjoy this variation! Looking forward to reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for entering the giveaway, BeckyC. This is more of a romance than a clever variation, although I bring in the Allens (Northanger Abbey) and other characters from P & P.

      And of course, Mr. Collins.

      It’s a fun read, just the thing for summer escape. Good luck in the giveaway.

      Like

  10. Gretchen

    I love the Darcy/Elizabeth books, but I also love to read about other characters. I do feel that Charlotte Lucas, Mary Bennet, and Kitty Bennet are rarely given enough attention. I’d like to see more books where these characters are given the chance to grow, learn, evolve and find true love.

    Like

    • Hi, Gretchen,

      The Darcy-Elizabeth books are certainly the most popular, but we need the t others too. This one is really fun.

      Thanks for entering the giveaway. Good luck.

      Like

  11. I do like to see a more romantic-minded Charlotte who finds love and happiness. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am still partial to EB & FD stories. Lately though depending on the characters, I ventured reading other stories that is not of ODC.

    I do love Charlotte and would love for her to find love and romance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As much as I would like to be Elizabeth Bennet, in real life I end up being more like our girl Charlotte. Or, well … whiny Mary Musgrove! Ha.

      Thanks for coming by to enter the giveaway, buturot. Good luck!

      Like

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