Monthly Archives: October 2020

As Only Mr. Darcy Can – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am really happy to receive Laura Hile at From Pemberley to Milton today to share with you an excerpt of As Only Mr. Darcy Can.

This is the second novel Laura Hile releases in 2020 and the first one, So This is Love, is among my favourites of the year, which means that my expectations towards As Only Mr. Darcy Can are very high. Laura Hile is a very talented author who is not affraid to write different stories and I am always surprised with how she can captivate me with her novels. I hope you can see her talent on the excerpt below and that you enjoy it 🙂

What a tangled web!

Mr. Darcy’s departure has solved nothing. He loves Elizabeth Bennet as much as ever—and he has left her vulnerable to Wickham’s lies. Why not send her a warning? Anonymously, of course. He must conquer his obsession, yet he must also do something to protect her.

But when Darcy is dunned for a bill of Wickham’s—an old trick—he sends the magistrate’s men with a warrant. Wickham, however, is nowhere to be found. At the same time, a titled lady appears in Hunsford. Why does she look so familiar? What of her pointed interest in Darcy’s sister? Is there anyone who will believe what Darcy suspects? 

Elizabeth has her hands full when she comes to Hunsford. Her army-mad youngest sister causes trouble everywhere! What is more, those cryptic Valentines keep arriving. And then there is Mr. Darcy, a man she is determined to dislike. Why must his suspicions about the unknown lady match hers? Sparks fly as she joins forces with him to discover a truth that is both laughable and treacherous.

As for being at odds with Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth’s heart has other ideas. Will a nonsensical demand ruin what has grown up between them? 

As Only Mr. Darcy Can is a feel-good Regency romp, featuring all your friends from Pride and Prejudice. Intrigue, romance, and laughter are waiting for you.





You can find As Only Mr. Darcy Can  at:

and on Kindle Unlimited






As Only Mr. Darcy Can is a playful, lighthearted romance, featuring all your friends from Pride and Prejudice. If you’re looking for a whimsical return to Jane Austen’s Regency world—and to escape from workaday stress and wearisome reality—then this is for you.

The story is loaded with fun twists and turns, so choosing an except without spoilers is challenging. Would you like something romantic? But of course you would! Here we see poor Elizabeth as she struggles to maintain her dislike for Mr. Darcy. She has been invited to take after-dinner tea at Rosings (without the Collinses!), and she is finding Mr. Darcy rather hard to resist.


That night Lady Catherine was in a peevish frame of mind. She forbade Georgiana’s lesson, which was probably just as well. There could be no objection to scheduling it for the following afternoon.

When the tea trolley was brought in, Georgiana was ordered to pour out. “You want practice,” Lady Catherine announced. “Tonight presents a perfect opportunity, for our guest is inconsequential. It is Anne’s place to act as hostess in my stead, but she has been properly trained. Her skills need no refinement.”

Mr. Darcy came forward to assist his sister. Presently he approached Elizabeth. “Would you care for coffee or for tea?” he said quietly.

“I’m brave enough for coffee tonight. With cream and sugar, please.”

He brought her the cup and saucer. “I hope you’ll play and sing for us.”

Georgiana seconded his request. “Fitzwilliam has told me how much he enjoys your singing.”

Elizabeth gave Mr. Darcy a look. “Your brother is too kind. My performance is nothing out of the ordinary, I assure you.”

“No hiding your light under a bushel,” called Colonel Fitzwilliam. “Come, Darcy. You must persuade her.”

Elizabeth discovered that she was blushing.

“Don’t press her, Fitz,” said Georgiana kindly. She lowered her voice. “If you’d rather not, I understand. Perhaps you can share with us whatever you’ve been working on. We’ll enjoy it very much, I am sure.”

Oh dear, this was not going well. “My sister Mary and I have been learning a piece that I am ill-prepared to play, let alone sing. The sorry truth is that I haven’t the voice for it. I prefer ballads to arias.” 

She guessed Mr. Darcy’s unasked question. “If you must know,” she said to him, “it’s Gluck’s Che Farò from Orfeo ed Euridice. Frankly, I cannot do it justice.”

Georgiana was undeterred. “I have the music here. Shall I accompany you?”

“Hear, hear.” This came from Colonel Fitzwilliam.

“Or, if you prefer,” said Georgiana, “I can play a ballad. I have in mind one of my brother’s favorites. He had me play it again and again, until at last I made him sing with me.”

Elizabeth heard a perfectly genuine groan. Mr. Darcy’s face was now red with embarrassment. “Georgiana,” he muttered, “no.”

The temptation to tease him was too great.  “I’ll sing Che Farò,” offered Elizabeth, “if you’ll sing the ballad with me.” 

Desperation was in Mr. Darcy’s eyes, but his bashful smile was intriguing. “You’ll regret it,” he warned.

“Darcy, singing? I’ll see that,” cried Colonel Fitzwilliam.

“Any more from you,” called Mr. Darcy, “and I’ll make you belt out God Save the King.”

Colonel Fitzwilliam broke out laughing. “A treat indeed. I’d set all the dogs to howling.”

Meanwhile, Georgiana was sorting through a stack of music. “Fitzwilliam has a fine voice. And you needn’t sing the harmony line,” she told him. “An octave lower will do. Here we are.”

She passed the sheet to Elizabeth. “I know the accompaniment by heart. You and Fitzwilliam may share this. He knows the words, but you might not.”

Elizabeth opened the music, and a gurgle of laughter bubbled up. She shot a look at Mr. Darcy, who was still blushing, and pointed to the title.

His eyes held a frank apology. “It—is a favorite.” He moved to open the instrument for his sister. Soon she began to play the opening measures. 

“Here we go,” he murmured to Elizabeth. “Do or die.”

“This was a bad idea,” she whispered back.

“You issued the challenge.”

“I thought you would decline.”

“Do you think me so poor-spirited?”

“Do you think me cowardly?”

They missed their entrance. 

Lady Catherine gave an impatient huff. Mr. Darcy bit back a grin.

Georgiana circled back and repeated the introduction. From the corner of her eye, Elizabeth saw Mr. Darcy’s chin come up. This was it.

Drink to me only with thine eyes
And I will pledge with mine.
Or leave a kiss within the cup
And I’ll not ask for wine. 

As he sang, Mr. Darcy’s voice became stronger and more confident. To Elizabeth’s surprise, he then launched into the tenor line, reading the notes.

There was more to this man than she realized.

The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Love’s nectar sip,
I would not change for thine.

At one time, Elizabeth had determined that she would never so much as dance with Mr. Darcy. And now here she was, singing a romantic ballad with him. 


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, So This Is Love, and the Mercy’s Embrace trilogy. She is a regular contributor to the A Very Austen anthology series.

Connect with Laura:





Laura Hile would like to offer one ebook of As Only Mr. Darcy Can to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and to apply to it all you have to do is let us know what you thought about this excerpt. The giveaway is open until the 2nd of November and the winners will be announced shortly after that.

Good Luck everyone!



Filed under JAFF

The Giveaway Winners are…

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re having a nice week despite these uncertain times, and I also hope that today’s post may cheer you up a little.

Today I am announcing the winners of the two giveaways we had here this month. I’ve hosted J. Marie Croft with an exclusive vignette of Play with Fire and Grace Gibson who visited us to reveal the cover of her book Silver Buckles. It was a pleasure having these ladies here, and working once more with the wonderful Janet Taylor on these tours. I would like to thank these 3 ladies for their patience and kindness and to Meryton Press for offering one ebook of each novel to my readers 🙂

I would also like to thank all the readers who left a comment on this blog 🙂 It makes me very happy to know you choose to spend some precious moments of your time reading and commenting on this blog 🙂 Thank you all!!!

And now, the winners are:

Play With Fire

*** Buturot***

Silver Buckles

*** Shelley Hoisington***

Congratulations ladies! As always can you please contact me throught e-mail ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so your prizes may be sent to you? Please provide me with the email address to which the books may be sent to you, and the Amazon store in which you have an account.

Happy Reading everyone!


Filed under JAFF

Silver Buckles – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

It is a great pleasure to receive Grace Gibson at From Pemberley to Milton today. She visited just a couple of weeks ago when we revealed the cover of her book Silver Buckles, and today she is stopping by with an excerpt I hope you like. 

Today’s excerpt shows you Mr. Darcy’s POV, and that is always my favourite POV, maybe because we are not privy to it in Pride & Prejudice. I hope you enjoy it and that you also apply to win a copy of the book, in case you haven’t bought it and read it already 🙂 In case you have, I would love to hear your opinion 🙂

I would also like to thank Janet Taylor for organizing this tour, and to Grace Gibson for once more sharing an exciting excerpt of her book with us 🙂

She staggered a great man. He was reeling. She was overwhelmed. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy, standing irritably at the edge of the Meryton assembly, declines to dance with Elizabeth Bennet. In a mood of revulsion, he rejects her without concern of being overheard. Country pretensions are always in need of squashing, and what better way to make clear he would not partner anyone outside his party? However, when he looks over at her, she does not appear humbled at all. She is secretly laughing at him!

Elizabeth is perversely delighted to encounter such an outrageous snob as Mr. Darcy. When he approaches her with a stiff, graceless apology, she coolly brushes him off, believing that, like most annoyances, he will go away when properly snubbed. But no! The man then puts out his hand and, not wishing to create a scene, compels her to stand up with him.

They go through the steps of the dance mutually disdainful and intent upon wounding each other. But by the time the musicians end their tune, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have traded barbs with such accuracy, they are unaccountably amused and engaged. Will this most inconvenient flirtation drive them apart—or, like silver buckles, are they a matched pair?




You can find Silver Buckles at:

and on Kindle Unlimited



Thank you for having me, Rita! I suspect that the care and feeding of a blog is time consuming and a labor of love, perhaps like an exotic pet that requires constant maintenance and attention, and so I am doubly appreciative for what you do.

In Silver Buckles, Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet start out in that most familiar stance of undeclared lovers—that of adversaries. But somehow, their attempts to provoke one another turn into a spark-filled flirtation that proves pretty irresistible to the gentleman. Unfortunately for him, Elizabeth is a genius at playing this game, as in this excerpt told from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. We find him at the home of Sir William and Lady Lucas for a dreary afternoon gathering.

Lucas Lodge

An afternoon at a country house filled with strangers who are neither elegant nor dignified is a kind of torture for me. Moreover, these people have known each other all their lives, and they are so comfortable together that one is acutely aware of being an outsider. Miss Bingley attempted to commiserate with me as I stood awkwardly on the fringes of the melee. I was having none of it, answering in a dead, mechanical voice to all her lamentations while watching the doorway for the Bennets.

When Miss Elizabeth entered the room, I left Miss Bingley and went directly to my object.

“Mr. Darcy!” she exclaimed in mild surprise at my undisguised eagerness to greet her. “You seem in high spirits. I had not thought this sort of gathering would be to your taste. I came fully prepared to witness your silent indignation at such a mode of passing an evening.”

“Yes, but I have thought that this middling sort of entertainment would be delightful to you. Am I right?”

“Well, when one lives in drudgery while plotting how to marry well, these middling entertainments as you call them are a respite.” Just as I opened my mouth to reply, she turned to greet Miss Lucas. “Oh, Charlotte, how pretty you look! Excuse me, Mr. Darcy, but I believe Mrs. Long is trying to get my attention.”

Dismissed! Delightful girl! I was sure a lazy smile threatened to give me away at that moment, and so I found a window and looked out at a mediocre garden while Miss Elizabeth’s middle sister—the plain one—plunked away at the pianoforte.

Miss Bingley was sure to trap me there for the purpose of more commiseration on such horrid playing however, so I looked around for an alternative and encountered my host, Sir William Lucas. He was a garrulous and amiable man, benevolent and believing himself to be quite an important figure after having been tapped on the shoulder by the King. He was not in any way an elegant or intelligent man, and he spoke endlessly of his brief moment in the sun at St. James’s Palace. However, just as I was about to snub him as he droned on in a most insufferable way, I caught the eye of Miss Elizabeth.

She was evaluating me, poised to judge me as I spoke to Sir William. She glanced softly at the man I was about to skewer with some pithy remark, and I pulled up short. Did she indeed like this oaf? Well, he was a harmless sort; I could grant her that at least. I took a deep breath and began to converse with a bit more consideration for someone who was trying desperately to earn my approbation. With one eye on my host and one eye on my saucy monitor, I listened to the minute details of a room at the palace where Sir William was honored—a second-rate chamber if I recall, used to dispatch the hordes of persons singled out for a token aimed solely at keeping the mythology of the Liege Lord intact.

I expected a reward, and what I received was a most dissatisfying afternoon in which I tried desperately to put myself in a position to earn it. Finally, at the very end of the ordeal, I pinned down my quarry only to receive a pert sort of farewell.

What better way to keep Mr. Darcy intrigued than to pointedly avoid him, particularly when he is hounded by marriageable ladies everywhere he goes. But Miss Elizabeth Bennet will have her say, and you’ll be able to read it directly from her point of view in Silver Buckles.


The blog tour for Silver Buckles is almost over, but you still have time to go back and read each blog stop. You can find all the blog tour schedule below 🙂

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Meryton Press is offering  8 eBooks of Silver Buckles throughout the blog tour. To apply to it, all you have to do is click here.

Good Luck everyone!


Filed under JAFF

The Mystery of the Missing Heiress by Riana Everly

The Mystery of the Missing Heiress is a prequel to P&P where we follow the events during which Georgiana is at Ramsgate from Darcy’s perspective. I loved how the Riana Everly was able to give a new life to what happened at Ramsgate and that it was told from Darcy’s perspective, but not focusing too much on Wickham. This novella’s goal is to introduce the reader to Alexander Lyons, a private investigator who will be a major character in book 1 of the Miss Mary Investigates series, but it was done in a very interesting manner because while allowing the reader to get to know this character better, the author develops a clever and dynamic twist to the whole Ramsgate affair. Let’s just say the events weren’t exactly as we usually see them occur in other books.

Alexander Lyons is a very interesting original character and I absolutely loved his intelligence, happy manners and the fact that he is in a way a self made man. He is a mixture between Darcy, Bingley and Mr. Thornton and I am eager to get to know him better in Death of a Clergyman.

I also loved Darcy’s character and how we started to see a couple of changes in him. In this Pride and Prejudice Prequel, we start to see how Darcy is ready to change for Elizabeth, how he only needed someone to guide him away from his proud manners. I enjoyed seeing this pre-Elizabeth Darcy, how he behaved during the Ramsgate situation, but above all how he interacted with other friends and acquaintances.

The Mystery of the Missing Heiress is a very short prequel novella meant to acquaint us with an original character, but I highly recommend it to those who love Darcy. It is true that Elizabeth is not present in this story, and this is not a romance, but it is very entertaining, and elucidative concerning Darcy’s character.  I enjoyed it immensely. 

You can find The Mystery of the Missing Heiress  (currently FREE) at:


Filed under JAFF

Death of A Clergyman – An Interview with Riana Everly & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone, 

Today I have the pleasure to interview Riana Everly, a very creative author whom I am always happy to see visiting From Pemberley to Milton. Ms. Everly has released a new series called Miss Mary Investigates whose main character is Mary Bennet my favourite sister, after Elizabeth of course.  This series has two books already, a novella called The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, which is an introduction to the series (and currently free by the way) and Death of a Clergyman, the first book in the series.

Today Riana Everly is here to talk to us a little more about this book, and I hope you enjoy it 🙂 Don’t forget to comment to apply to the giveaway 🙂


First of all, thank you for visiting From Pemberley to Milton and taking the time to answer some of my questions Riana. I am really happy to have you here once more, and I am eager to hear more about the Miss Mary Investigates series. Can you tell us what readers may expect from it?

I’m always delighted to visit your lovely blog. Thank you for hosting me.

As for the Miss Mary Investigates series, I have in mind a short series of six mysteries, each taking place in one of Jane Austen’s novels. The first is set is 1811, and each subsequent story will happen in the next year. This means I’ve had to arrange exactly when the Persuasion story happens, because we know for certain when that is supposed to take place (1814-15).

Right now I have the second story at beta readers, and two more are written, but still in the very un-pretty first-draft stage. During the course of the series, Mary and Alexander’s relationship will change as well, as they grow and get to know each other.

That seems so interesting! I can’t wait to see the mash ups you will create for the other novels, especially Persuasion. How did you come up with this idea?

I have dreamed about writing mysteries for a very long time. In fact, my first attempt at a novel was a mystery. It got as far as chapter two, so not exactly a brilliant success! Of course, I love JAFF as well, so it made sense to see if the two ideas would work well together. I know I’m not the first to do this, nor will I be the last, but Austen’s worlds are so rich, there is ample room to play around and see – literally – where the bodies lie!

That’s true, mostly all Austen characters have some hidden appeal. In fact, it’s not everyday we see a book whose main character is Mary Bennet, but she does appear to be the sister authors mostly write about, why do you think that is so?

I think that in some ways, Mary is like Darcy. Jane Austen gave us some hints and outlines about both, but very little detail. This gives a writer so much room to explore and imagine. It lets us try to get to the person behind the character sketches we’ve been left. In the case of Darcy, we can muse and ponder over why he was so rude to Lizzy at the Meryton Assembly, or how he felt after leaving her at Hunsford. In the case of Mary, we can explore what’s behind those boring talks and endless performances at the piano.

We never really know from Jane Austen whether Mary is really pedantic, or whether she craves attention. Is she always hovering over her sermons because she has nothing else to say, or because she is deeply devout at heart? Or is she looking for a way to understand the world, by finding answers in a book when no one pays attention to her? Or is it a bit of everything?

Mary is ignored and easy to tease, but she also has so much potential. I think that is one reason why authors enjoy exploring her world.

I agree with you and I personally love stories about Mary. I also loved The Mystery of the Missing Heiress where you introduce us to Mary’s love interest. What can you tell about Alexander Lyons to readers who haven’t read the novella yet?

Alexander is my new book boyfriend! He is everything a man should be, if at all he can help it! He is smart, good-looking, and thoroughly decent. He is a red-haired Scot, the son of a country doctor, with a strong accent and a great deal of contempt for the toffs. He trained as a lawyer in Glasgow and came to London to work as a clerk, but quickly discovered that his eye for detail and deductive skills made him popular as an investigator. In Missing Heiress, he not only helps Darcy find his missing sister Georgiana, but also helps one of Darcy’s friends win the hand of his lady love. And in the process, he and Darcy find they have a lot in common and start on the road to a sort of friendship, despite the great difference in their situations.

I have to say I found this novella very interesting and cleverly written, especially because while introducing a new character and interactions into the story you were able to give a new light and perspective into the exact same events that took place in P&P. Can we also expect that particular connection in Death of a Clergyman?

Yes and no. Rather than inserting a mystery into the canon events of Pride and Prejudice, I have used some of the action to set a mystery in action. I have tried to keep the characters very much as Jane Austen left them to us, but I have, perhaps, given them some back-stories and motivations that veer from her wonderful novel.

The story starts with the discovery of Mr. Collins’ body in a stream, near where Lizzy likes to walk. She had just refused his marriage proposal that very morning, and every piece of evidence seems to point to her. So, immediately we are leaving Jane Austen’s series of events.

But Darcy is still Darcy and finds he needs to act to save Elizabeth, even though he himself does not yet know how he feels about her. Sir William is still the self-appointed social convenor of the town, but now I have made him the magistrate as well. Colonel Forster is still in charge of the regiment of militia, and Wickham is… well, dallying with anything in a skirt and losing money at the gambling tables!

It appears you included almost everyone in this story, and I can’t wait to know who actually killed Mr. Collins! What gave you more pleasure while writing this book? Apart from killing Collins, that is 🙂 

I had so much fun writing this book, it’s hard to know what I enjoyed most about it. I loved getting to know Mary and Alexander, and it was a lot of fun seeing how Lizzy and Darcy interacted in such different circumstances. Would Darcy run away at the scandal attached to Lizzy? Would Lizzy start to think differently about Darcy when she discovered he believed in her?

But overall, I loved the mental challenge of putting a puzzle together, while providing enough clues that the ending made sense, without it being too obvious. (Hint: the butler did NOT do it.)

It is not the first time you choose a P&P secondary character to be your main character, do you consider giving them a voice a special challenge?

Secondary characters are a special joy to work with because, as I have mentioned earlier, we have hints about them from Jane Austen, but so much is left unsaid. Going back to The Assistant, we know that the Gardiners are elegant and successful people in a good marriage, but little else. The challenge there was finding their story that did not detract from the glimpse that Jane Austen gave us of them. Likewise, in Death of a Clergyman, I tried very hard to keep Mary as Miss Austen wrote her, but while looking at her from a different angle. She is not a particularly sympathetic character in P&P, but neither is she horrible. I wanted to acknowledge her shortcomings while highlighting her strengths as well, without changing the essence of what Jane Austen created.

Here’s a little glimpse into what’s coming up soon – I have a draft of a novel written all about Colonel Fitzwilliam! So there’s another secondary character about to move into the spotlight. It still needs a lot of rewriting and editing, and it will be a while before it’s ready to see the world, but he’s a fabulous character to write as well.

The Colonel is another favourite of mine, so those are the best of news! But if that is still under progress, perhaps you can tell us what to expect from Death in Highbury. That is the following book in the Miss Mary Investigates series isn’t it?

Yes, Death in Highbury should be ready for publication early in 2021. I’m really excited about that one. It’s not really a crossover between the two novels, taking place entirely within the world of Emma, with the exception of Mary and Alexander, who happen to be in Highbury when somebody (gasp) dies. A few other P&P characters may wander in and out of the other novels, but they are not really intrinsic to the stories. But they are part of Mary’s life, and so they come along with her.

Riana, before finishing our interview I must say how much I love the covers in this new series! Who is responsible for them? Is this something you enjoy working on too?

Thank you. These covers are a bit of a joint effort. My daughter created the silhouette of Alexander. She’s an artistic kid and knows her way about Photoshop. The concept behind the covers is mine: the background for each is a photograph of the location where the story takes place, and in the right season. So for Missing Heiress, the image is the seashore at Ramsgate. For Death of a Clergyman, the background is a photo of Hertfordshire in the autumn.

The wonderful cover artist who puts all this together is Mae Philips, at Coverfresh Designs, and she does a wonderful job. I enjoy playing with graphic design, but I could never come close to her lovely creations.

Thank you so much for visiting! It was a pleasure having you here. To my readers, expect reviews, very, very soon 🙂

Mary Bennet has always been the quiet sister, the studious and contemplative middle child in a busy family of five. She is not interested in balls and parties, and is only slightly bothered by the arrival of the distant cousin who will one day inherit her father’s estate. But then Mr. Collins is found dead, and Mary’s beloved sister Elizabeth is accused of his murder. Mary knows she must learn whatever she can to prove Elizabeth innocent of this most horrible crime, or her sister might be hanged as a murderess!

Alexander Lyons has made a pleasant life for himself in London, far from his home village in Scotland. He investigates missing documents and unfaithful wives, and earns an honest living. Then one day Mr. Darcy walks into his office, begging him to investigate the murder of Mr. Collins and to prove Elizabeth innocent of the crime. It seems like a straightforward enough case, but Alexander did not count on meeting a rather annoying young woman who seems to be in his way at every turn: Mary Bennet.

As the case grows more and more complicated, Mary and Alexander cannot stop arguing, and discover that each brings new insight into the case. But as they get close to some answers, will they survive the plans of an evildoer in the midst of quiet Meryton?




You can find Death of a Clergyman at:




Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specialising in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11, and has never looked back.

Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!

Riana Everly is giving away one eBook to one lucky blog visitor today. To enter, just leave a comment on the post and she will randomly select a winner five days after this blog is posted. Please include an email address so she can get in touch with the winner. “Name dot name (at) domain” will do fine if you want to avoid bots! She will contact the winner and email the book directly, so there are no concerns about not being able to receive Amazon gift copies, which sometimes happens.

Good Luck Everyone!


Filed under JAFF

A Wilful Misundertsanding by Amy D’Orazzio

A Wilful Misunderstanding is an addictive book that I could not put down until I reached the final page. 

In this story Mr. Darcy falls madly in love with Elizabeth when he meets her at Meryton and, despite his pride, he cannot imagine his life without her. He doesn’t make the tolerable remark, and is his most charming and irresistible version, making Elizabeth fall in love with him. Despite Mr. Bennet’s reluctance, he agrees to give his blessing and, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth get married shortly after having met. Their first months of marriage are pure joy and typical of a young and recently married couple, however, Darcy’s pride, insecurities and jealousy are constantly present and will make him commit the biggest mistake of his life. 

The reader will accompany these characters inner fears and feelings of loss and abandon for some time which generates a different type of angst. I admit I absolutely loved this twist in the angst because it felt more real and deep then the usual “miscommunication angst”.

Two years after Darcy’s decision, and Elizabeth’s reaction to it, they have become different people. Elizabeth has grown and become a more suspicious person, and Darcy has lost all his pride trying to become a humble husband wishing for forgiveness and a glimpse of the happiness he once had. These characters will need to find a way into happiness and readers will love to see all the efforts Darcy will make to conquer Elizabeth’s heart once more. He will be a devoted husband and father and his efforts cannot go unnoticed.

I had never seen a premise like this one and even if this is a variation, it was a breath of fresh air because I never knew what would happen next. I had no idea what to expect, and this, combined with a compelling writing style, made this book unputdownable. 

A Wilful Misunderstanding will show us many different phases in Darcy and Elizabeth’ s relationship, we see the initial attraction phase, the bliss of the first months of marriage, the trouble to come, the angst of the mistrust, the separation, the forced coexistence, the acceptance, the forgiveness and the falling in love. I cannot choose which phase I loved the most because they were all necessary to make the reader involved with the story and the characters. They all had something I cherished, even the ones where our characters were suffering, but I do know that with this diversity of phases in their relationship, there is always something for everyone’s tastes. 

Mr. Darcy will surprise most readers in this book because he does indeed go through many different phases, but the humbled Darcy will make you forget his past mistakes. He will become the perfect husband, and I absolutely loved his path to redemption in this book, it was perfect! I particularly loved to see how he welcomed Lydia Bennet into his house and how he helped her when she most needed. I loved the relationship they built together and how that made it possible for her to accept his advice. Lydia Bennet was my favourite secondary character in this book and I never like Lydia, so that says a lot. I loved her own story and how she grew to become such a practical lady. Caroline’s ending was also interesting, and even if I cannot say I loved her character, I did like to see what happened to her in the end.

A Wilful Misunderstanding is a very well written book that tackles issues of trust, abandonment, regret, and love that I recommend to all my readers. It was one of my favourites this year and I could not put it down.

You can find A Wilful Misunderstanding at:

and on Kindle Unlimited


Filed under JAFF

Silver Buckles – Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Welcome to one of my favourite types of posts: Cover Reveals!

Today we bring to you a new author to the genre and therefore to this blog: Grace Gibson. In addition to mosaic art, which she creates at Studio Luminaria, her home-based glass shop in El Paso, Texas, she enjoys writing regency romance and Pride and Prejudice variations for pleasure. Meryton Press saw Ms Gibson’s talent and decided to publish Silver Buckles, a regency variation that will take our ODC on a different path into happiness.

Today we are bringing to you first hand the cover of this new book which was designed by the talented Janet Taylor. As always, you may expect an impeccable taste of a classy lady. This cover has Janet’s style written all over it, and obviously, that means that it is a stunning cover!

I love the silver shade and the font on the word Silver, it is beautiful and classic, and the simplicity of the cover makes it very appealing to the eye. The spine is also beautiful and I think it would look beautiful on my shelves 🙂 However, I believe the back cover is where all the art is! But before telling you why I loved the back cover, I think it is time to show you the cover itself! So here it:


Don’t you agree that the colour and the silver buckles on the spine make it the perfect book to have on a shelf?

Now, the back cover caught my attention because if you read the blurb, which I am adding below, you’ll notice the scene we see in the cover represents precisely  what is written there and what I am assuming is one of the first scenes in the book. Janet Taylor is a specialist in that type of effect, she always adds something which is very relevant to the story and which is portrayed in an important scene to the back cover, and I love that because it makes me want to read such scenes. By visually seeing what the scene would reveal I always feel tempted to grab the book and jump right into that scene. 

I am also intrigued about the ladies who seemed to be whispering to one another below the musicians. The one on the left looks suspiciously like Mrs. Bennet and the one on the right may be an embarrassed Jane, even if she resembles more Georgiana, doesn’t she?

What is your opinion of the cover?

She staggered a great man. He was reeling. She was overwhelmed. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy, standing irritably at the edge of the Meryton assembly, declines to dance with Elizabeth Bennet. In a mood of revulsion, he rejects her without concern of being overheard. Country pretensions are always in need of squashing, and what better way to make clear he would not partner anyone outside his party? However, when he looks over at her, she does not appear humbled at all. She is secretly laughing at him!

Elizabeth is perversely delighted to encounter such an outrageous snob as Mr. Darcy. When he approaches her with a stiff, graceless apology, she coolly brushes him off, believing that, like most annoyances, he will go away when properly snubbed. But no! The man then puts out his hand and, not wishing to create a scene, compels her to stand up with him.

They go through the steps of the dance mutually disdainful and intent upon wounding each other. But by the time the musicians end their tune, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have traded barbs with such accuracy, they are unaccountably amused and engaged. Will this most inconvenient flirtation drive them apart—or, like silver buckles, are they a matched pair?


You can find Silver Buckles at:

and on Kindle Unlimited




I am so privileged to have received such a warm, gracious welcome at Meryton Press for my novel, Silver Buckles. I cannot say enough about how helpful everyone has been, from Michelle Reed and my amazing editors Debbie Styne and Ellen Pickels, to Janet Taylor, who produced this gorgeous cover.  The colors on the book jacket are delectable and Janet brilliantly featured those silver buckles.

We will get to the topic of shoe buckles later in this excerpt. But first, we find Elizabeth at the home of her Aunt Philips, where she meets a dashing young officer in the Militia. To her surprise, Mr. Wickham lets slip that he grew up with, and was poorly treated by, none other than Mr. Darcy!

This was all very shocking, and I hardly knew what to think, but there was something slightly chafing about Mr. Wickham’s story. Indeed, after my first inclination to swallow his tale whole, I classed it as a story rather than the absolute truth, and I would have picked at him very gently to unravel his assertions if Mr. Collins at that moment had not looked to be standing up from the card table. Quick as a flash, I absconded, and expecting to be hunted down by my odious cousin, I went home the long way around through Mrs. Long’s garden, across fallow fields, over stiles, and through a dry creek bed.

Triumph and cleverness came with a consequence, however, for when I happened to glance behind me, whom should I see but Mr. Collins in the distance, waving and struggling to reach me. I dashed ahead and crossed over the road to Netherfield to cut through a hedge, but in my haste, I stepped on a loose stone and fell in a flash of pain. I had twisted an ankle!

I sat on the edge of the road in a disheveled mound of dampened cloak and dusty hems, clutching my throbbing ankle, when Mr. Darcy appeared atop a great tall horse over the rise of a hill.

He dismounted instantly and came to me. “Miss Elizabeth, what has happened? Are you well?”

The full impact of the impression I made fell on me. With what humiliation did I undergo his interrogation and his unapologetic examination of my ankle. I blushed at the condition of my walking boots—scuffed and now muddy—with dull, tarnished brass buckles holding tight my well-worn straps. Blushing and stammering, I sought to make him go away, insisting I would be well enough to continue in a minute. But no! He would stand there and continue to wonder what had happened.

“Indeed, sir. It was nothing. I only slipped on a loose stone.”

“But I have seen you walking, and I cannot believe you would not be able to catch yourself from falling. A more sure-footed young lady I have never met.”

I looked obliquely behind him. My cousin was now within hailing distance and would soon bear down upon me.

Mr. Darcy, quick to notice everything, followed my gaze. “Who is that? Is that man following you? Were you running from him?”

Looking up into my interlocutor’s eyes, I smiled a bit grimly. “That sir, is the man my mother intends me to marry.”

“What? But who is this person?” he demanded.

“He is none other than my cousin, the man who will inherit Longbourn. And, having been incapacitated on the road here, I begin to know what a wounded animal must feel as the hunter approaches.”

By this time, Mr. Collins was upon us, red-faced, gasping for air, irritated, and astounded to find me down in the dirt.

“Cousin, you should not be walking out alone. I forbid it!” he roared. “Did you not hear me calling you to return to me? And you, sir,” he cried upon noticing I was not alone, “who are you?”

Mr. Darcy replied very coldly. “Who are you, sir? This lady is known to me, and I am here to offer her aid. She has injured her ankle.” He then very determinedly and pointedly turned his back on Mr. Collins. “Are you able to stand? Let me help you.”

He supported me as I stood with my weight on one leg. Mr. Collins began to sputter his objections, and Mr. Darcy said in a voice loud enough to overcome his protest, “I shall put you on my horse and have you home in no time at all.”

I would have objected—violently objected—in other circumstances. I am not a horsewoman, and above all things I hate being treated like a fragile trinket. I have twisted my ankle before. It is a hazard of walking all one’s life, and I have limped home without incident. But Mr. Collins’s presence was so abhorrent at that mortifying moment that I welcomed Mr. Darcy’s intervention and let him lift me up on his steed.

The rest of this scene will be featured on my first blog tour stop – Austenprose, on October 16th – if you would like to find out what happens after Mr. Darcy puts Elizabeth on his horse.

As the story weaves its way from Hertfordshire to Kent, and then to London, we find Elizabeth in a pivotal, internal quandary: she just might be asked to trade her brass shoe buckles for silver ones! Being Elizabeth Bennet, a lady who has taken her disadvantages and vulnerabilities and made strengths of them, we cannot be surprised when she does not relish the idea, much less surrender without resistance.


The blog tour for Silver Buckles will start within two days at Austenprose where you can read the rest of the scene we shared today, so don’t forget to stop by and follow the tour 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and see you on October 26th 🙂

Meryton Press would like to offer one e-book of Silver Buckles to one of my readers in celebration of the cover reveal. The giveaway is international and all you have to do is comment on this blog until the 21rst of October. The winner will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck everyone!


Filed under JAFF

A Wilful Misunderstanding – An Interview with Amy D’Orazio & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone, 

I hope you are all well and safe and curious about what my guest has to say about her latest book. I am talking, of course, about Amy D’Orazzio who has just released a new Pride & Prejudice variation called A Wilful Misunderstanding. I’ve read this book, which has a very unique premise, and fell in love with it. In one word, this book is addictive!

My review will be published this week, so if you’d like to know why I loved it so much (spoiler alert: it’s a 5 star book!), stop by and check it out next Thursday. However, if you’re interested in more spoilers, this time story related, you can read what Amy has to say about it. She will also talk about her career as a writer and her other projects, and I hope you enjoy the interview, but if there is anything else you’d like to know and that I didn’t ask, please do not hesitate to ask her yourself in the comments, I’m sure she will be delighted to answer all your queries 🙂



First of all, thank you so much for visiting, Amy! It is a pleasure to have you here, especially when you’re visiting to talk about a new release. After The Mysteries of Pemberley I wasn’t expecting to see another book from you so soon, so I was very happy to know that A Wilful Misunderstanding would be coming out in the beginning of October. This new book is a sequel of sorts that will have more characteristics of a variation than a sequel, is it not?

Hi Rita! Thank you so much for having me! I am very excited to be here and hope I can do a good job of being interviewed! 

A Wilful Misunderstanding is definitely more variation than sequel—we start somewhat in canon, but we really only get as far as the Netherfield ball before Darcy and Elizabeth get married. They tie the knot in December 1811, and we’re completely off canon from there! Jane and Bingley’s story is altered as well, as is Lydia’s story, so you are quite right: much more a variation than a sequel!

We have seen pretty much everything in the Austenesque genre, but this is something that seemed pretty much new to me.  How did you come up with the idea for this story? What inspired this particular premise?

I have always had this belief that D&E had an immediate spark. I think he did (which is why he reacted so rudely, feeling perhaps frightened of the feeling) and I think she did too, and was thus more deeply affected by his comments at the dance than she seemed. So, when I started this story it was sort of exploring what would happen if they both fell into the spark and how that might play out with a Darcy who had not been “Hunsford-ized” and an Elizabeth who was also quite young and naive.

 When I write a story, I tend to not really know where it will ultimately end up. For AWM I had a vision of Elizabeth and what she would become if she was taken away from everything she knew and loved. So that was the scene that started this, Elizabeth walking the moors of what started as Scotland but moved to Yorkshire—alone and having to dig down deep inside and become something different from the sheltered country girl she had once been. So, this story did become not only about her love of Darcy but also about her and growing from the girl she had been to the woman, wife, and mother she is by the end of the tale. 

This seems like a pretty angsty story with many romantic and intense moments in between. Should we be prepared with lots of chocolate and tissues to read this book?

Hey, I will NEVER discourage copious amounts of chocolate haha! I do think it’s pretty angsty…I hope it doesn’t bring too many people to tears! 

What about Darcy and Elizabeth, can you tell us a little of their characters? I know that authors cannot change these characters too much, but I’ve come to realise that in each story these characters have something in particular that defines them either in that moment in time or in that particular circumstance. What is it in A Wilful Misunderstanding?

I am a big believer in keeping characters as true to canon as I can—that said, characters are always tested and molded by the circumstances! I have always felt that Darcy of canon is probably a somewhat angry guy. At an age when most of his peers were out partying, he was left with a lot of responsibility and not a lot of fun. Add Ramsgate on top of it, and I think he was probably just sort of fed up with everyone and everything. My Darcy starts out much the same—a little angry, a little mistrustful. When he meets Elizabeth, in some ways he looks at her like a dieter looks at ice cream at the end of the day. Like screw it, I’ve been good all day, and now I’m doing what I want. It’s not until he loses everything and is faced with what his anger and pride have cost him that he really grows up and reclaims the good character we know he has. 

Elizabeth is probably the most different because she is put through something most regency women never dreamed of—having to fend for herself and her child. She is extremely brave and probably a little foolish and by the time she comes through that she is also changed. For her, the real story is how she becomes happy again—she goes from being a naive girl to a bitter, very guarded and angry woman, and then needs to make the decision to come full circle, becoming the joyful Elizabeth we are all used to seeing. 

These characters certainly went through a lot of changes in this story, especially Darcy who had to overcome his pride just like in canon. But speaking about your entire portfolio, which one of your books do you love the most? Is it A Wilful Misunderstanding?

Honestly, AWM is the book I always swore I would never publish, but many who read it online asked about it so here it is. (Ha ha!) My favorite is one I most definitely won’t ever publish—it’s a dual-timeline thing that combines my love of genetics and genomics with JAFF! I had lots of fun writing it, but I did kill off Regency Darcy in the course of the story, and I think it ripped a lot of people’s guts out. (Ha ha!) I had hoped the modern Darcy would make up for that but apparently, no—people were still pretty upset! 

How do you balance your own expectations with those of your readers when writing a new story?

Wow this is a really good question because one thing that makes writing JAFF tricky is that the reader DOES come into it with a lot of preconceived feelings about the characters and the story. I think some people might think writing JAFF is easy because Jane Austen did a good bit of the work for us, but I don’t think it’s true at all—we have to constantly be aware of how deeply our readers feel for our characters. 

I think it’s a really good thing for a writer to simply take off, let the muse drive the story, and write whatever is in your head trying to get out. No worries about the potential readers at all, just let it flow. However, when it comes time to publish, it’s a different matter. I don’t want to try and sell something to people that I would not want to buy myself. JAFF readers are really wonderful in the sense that if you can assure them of a HEA for Darcy & Elizabeth, they’re generally pretty willing to go along for the ride! 

What about reviews? Do you read them? And what is your position about them?

I do read them! I have never lost the genuine sense of excitement that I feel knowing someone has read my words. I was never trained as a writer, certainly never imagined I would be an author, so to me it is endlessly thrilling that someone not only read my words but cared enough about it to leave me a review. So even when it’s not a nice review, I am still smiling because, hey they read my book! They had feelings about my book! 🙂 

I’ve always wondered, for you, what is the hardest part about being a writer?

Ugh, I have no discipline. I might sit down to write and crank out 2000 words but more likely I’ll sit down to write, check Facebook, then discover a light that needs dusted, then decide to throw in a load of laundry and, next you know, it’s dinnertime. The sitting still is hard for me. 

I imagine that would also be the hardest part for me, it must be hard to be so focused, but not all is hard I’m sure, what are the pros of the job? 

Quality time with our favorite couple of course! And because truly, I just adore the JAFF community. I think we are very fortunate to have formed this global sort of close-knit group and I really appreciate that and feel grateful to be a part of it. 

That is definitely true, I feel very happy to be a part of this community too. I’m sure they’d like to know if you have have many unpublished and half-finished books at this moment.

OMG…so many. So, so many. I have a folder on my hard drive called WIPS, and in it are 17 manuscripts in various stages of completion. If I ever finished half of them, I’d be thrilled. 

And what can we expect next? Where is the muse taking you in 2021?

My next book will be out next July and it’s another from the boards: So Material A Change. Darcy and Elizabeth are both forced into marriage by outside circumstances—it’s mainly a love story, not so much angst and lots and lots of romance! 

I am looking forward for So Material a Change to come out so I can read it Amy! Thank you for letting us know about it and for taking the time to answer all these questions. It was a pleasure receiving you at From Pemberley to Milton today.

The moment he saw her at the assembly in Meryton, he knew he loved her.

WHEN FITZWILLIAM DARCY MEETS ELIZABETH BENNET in the fateful autumn of 1811, their mutual infatuation is immediate and undeniable. Within months, they are married and spend a blissful winter at Pemberley, falling more deeply in love with each other than either might have imagined possible. But spring in London proves more challenging to them. Accident and artifice join to devastating effect for the young couple, destroying their felicity and creating an outcome neither might have imagined.

TWO YEARS LATER, happenstance reunites them. Sorrow and anger have built walls between them but the love they once shared still remains. Will it be enough to conquer the sins of the past? Is the love they still hold within them strong enough to prevail over the anger and mistrust that tore them apart?



You can find A Wilful Misunderstanding at:

and on Kindle Unlimited





Today is the final stop of the blog tour for A Wilful Minunderstanding, but you can still go back and check out the other blog stops. Here is the schedule:


Quills and Quartos are kindly giving away an ebook of A Wilful Misunderstanding. To enter, please comment on this blog post.

Good Luck everyone!


Filed under JAFF

Play With Fire by J. Marie Croft – Exclusive Vignette & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone, 

How are you today? I hope you’re all staying safe and that the fall is already bringing you nice reading experiences. I have been reading very good books lately and today I am hosting an author who is known to me for writing very funny and compelling stories, so you know what that means… Another one to the TBR. Luckily this is a novella so I may be able to read it soon. I am talking about J. Marie Croft, and she is here today to present to you a vignette especially written for From Pemberley to Milton. This vignette is written in the same tone of Play With Fire, her recently recently novella which is part of the Skirmish & Scandal Series from publisher Meryton Press. I hope you like it, and of course, I am curious to read your thoughts on the comments. 

Thank you so much for visiting J. Marie, and thank you for organizing this tour Janet 🙂

Madness! It was nothing but madness from beginning to end, and Darcy was caught up in it.

What do occupants of Netherfield Park do on a dreary Saturday while the Bennet sisters are still in residence and they have nothing at all to do? They take a page from Mansfield Park, of course, and decide on a theatrical.

In the process of planning and performing the play, certain participants get more than a little carried away, especially Fitzwilliam Darcy where Elizabeth Bennet is concerned. There might even be a kiss…and a skirmish…leading to a duel.

No one involved in the play had set out with the intention of creating a scandal. None performing in the theatrical began with the aim of ending with blushing faces, or bruised bodies, or blemishes on their reputations.

Blame it on The Mésalliance.




You can find Play With Fire at:

and on Kindle Unlimited





Written especially for today’s post, Drink and Drivel is told, like Play with Fire itself, from Darcy’s point of view. Unlike the novella, however, this vignette was not edited by the eagle-eyed Ellen Pickels.


from Part II of Play with Fire: Assuming her sister’s hostess duties, Mrs. Hurst led the Bennet sisters and their aunt to the drawing room, leaving her husband, brother, and me to our port and prattle, the latter of which mostly centred on Miss Bingley’s conduct and, unfortunately, my comportment from earlier in the day.


Drink and Drivel

Bingley and Hurst, as might be expected, enjoyed a few laughs at my expense. Due to my atrocious behaviour during The Mésalliance, I was prepared for such and patiently endured the good-humoured raillery from my closest friend and his brother.

Soon, though, I will have an even closer companion—a wife! A kind, competent mistress and hostess for my homes, a charming partner on my arm at society events, a compassionate sister for Georgiana, a witty helpmeet during my days, a lover in our apartments at night, and a committed mother should we be blessed with children. I shall be fortunate to have Elizabeth in my life.    

Roderick Hurst, on the other hand, while not a particularly good friend nor a particularly bad man, was—like his wife and sister-in-law—endured strictly for Bingley’s sake. Similar to others in my sphere, Hurst’s chief goal in life was pleasure, which, in his case, led to gluttony, sloth, and drunkenness.

Dissimilarly, Elizabeth was an admirable, active, useful sort of person, and I knew my staff and Pemberley’s tenants would esteem her. Lost in visions of our future felicity, I did not appreciate Hurst’s interruption. 

“Now, Darcy, where is that fine brandy you brought with you? I say we break open the bottle in celebration, or commiseration, of your dwindling days as a bachelor.”

At my nod, a footman fetched the appropriate decanter from the sideboard, and the three of us switched from dainty port glasses to large rummers. To my disgust, Hurst then lit an oily, harsh-smelling cheroot and blew smoke rings across the dining room.

Watching those acrobatic circles dissipate into a looming, reeking haze, Bingley took a sip of the distilled spirit, savouring it as I had taught him. “Gentlemen,” he said, “what do you call a tumbler full of brandy?”

“A jolly good start to an evening, I would call it.” Hurst saluted me with his glass, downed its contents in two gulps, and reached for the stoppered, crystal container.

“You would call it that, Hurst. Darcy, what would you call a tumbler full of brandy?”

Warm. Fragrant. Delectable. Intoxicating. Fiery. Like Elizabeth. But I would never say such things aloud. Gently warming the bowl in my palm, I let the liquor deliver its aroma to my nose before the taste of it rolled around my tongue. “I suppose I would call a tumbler full of brandy aqua vitaeeau de vie…water of life.”

“No, gentlemen, you both are wrong.” Swirling the golden-brown liquid in the footed glass, my bright-eyed but dim-witted friend grinned. “A tumbler full of brandy is a drunken gymnast. Ha ha!”

Hurst snickered as I rolled my eyes.

While the jocularity continued, I longed to be with Elizabeth, sharing our own brand of banter. Checking my fob watch for the third time, I wondered what she was doing and saying in the other room. Is she, perchance, thinking well of me, or does she regret what happened today?

“…and I must drink spirits,” Hurst exclaimed, “because Louisa complains that all the ale I drink makes me fat.” 

“Fat?” Bingley’s scoff of disbelief was ruined by an anticipatory gleam in his eyes. “No, brother, I know for a fact it makes you lean.”

Irretrievably addled by thoughts of Elizabeth, my brain allowed my lips to stupidly ask how drinking brandy could possibly make Hurst lean. 

“Late last night,” said Bingley, “I saw him lean upon the wall.”

“Hah!” Hurst slapped the table a few times before blowing more noxious smoke fumes into the air. “Then I slid off the wall and injured my blasted forehead. Mrs. Nicholls told me to rub it with alcohol, but my brow is no better tonight.”

“That,” said Bingley, “is because you cannot get the glass any higher than your mouth!”

“Hah! True. And—Woe is me!—Louisa gripes about my late start to each day. But it cannot be helped, you know. While my wife advises me to get out of bed, sloth insists I lie still. Both sides must be given due consideration, and by the time I am done with contemplation, it is almost the dinner hour. Speaking of food… Do you suppose the womenfolk have sweetmeats in there?” He twitched his head towards the drawing room.

I, too, looked yearningly in that direction, my heartstrings giving a hard, sudden tug.  

Finally, Bingley took pity on me, at which time manly drink and drivel were abandoned in favour of tea and trivialities with the ladies.

As I approached, I heard Elizabeth’s sweet voice.

“Yes, Mrs. Hurst, Pemberley must be magnificent, for I have heard your brother and sister proclaim it so.”

“La, Lizzy,” cried her vulgar aunt, “soon you shall see its splendour for yourself and be its mistress!”

“My future is yet uncertain, Aunt Philips. But this much is irrefutable… With a husband I loved and respected, I could be happy in a simple cottage. A tall, powerful gentleman like Mr. Darcy could hardly be comfortable in a tiny dwelling. Like a mighty oak, an estate owner has roots running deep in his homeland’s soil. The oak’s sheltering branches and foliage provide for many creatures, and its limbs need space to stretch and grow. Such an impressive tree—or such an impressive man—could be neither contained nor content within a humble abode.”

Ah, but I might be content there with you, Elizabeth.

Entering the drawing room and taking a seat beside her on the sofa, I felt as though I had come home.


J. Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” Bearing witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter, are her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight (a Babblings of a Bookworm Favourite Read of 2014), her playful novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Just Jane 1813’s Favourite 2016 JAFF novella), and her short stories in six anthologies: Sun-Kissed, The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know, Rational Creatures, Yuletide, and Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl. Joanne lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, but can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

Meryton Press is giving away one eBook of Play with Fire to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and all you have to do is leave a comment on this post until the 12th of October. The winner will be announced shortly after. 

Good Luck Everyone!


Filed under JAFF

Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin

Being Mrs Darcy is not just another forced marriage story, it is an epic book that focuses on character development while keeping the narrative interesting and progressing at the exact right pace. 

I confess I thought the book would be too long for the premise it had, but in truth, it needed every single page and every single word in it. The writing is so compelling the reader is immersed into the story, and as the events take place, it becomes harder to remember the feelings the book incited in us in the beginning. The characters and their feelings grow throughout this book, and the reader follows their lead.

In Being Mrs Darcy, Elizabeth is spending a few days in Ramsgate with her father and Jane when she sees an argument between a young lady and a gentleman, she decides to intervene to assist the young lady, but the consequences are devastating. Gossip starts to spread involving her and Mr. Darcy who arrives at the scene shortly after Elizabeth’s intervention and he does the honourable thing, of course, and proposes marriage to Elizabeth, who has no other choice but to accept. But as you can see from this premise, none of them wanted to marry the other, so this is a forced marriage scenario not only to Elizabeth, but also to Darcy and even Georgiana who will play a big part in this story. 

In Being Mrs Darcy, Georgiana’s character is very different from the usual characterization we see of her, and in the beginning of the book I just wanted someone to put her in the right place. I think I hated Georgiana in this book, and that never happened before, so you can see how different and interesting her character is. However, I ended up loving the portrait Lucy Marin did of Darcy’s sister, she was not mean just because it was useful to the story, she had a true depth into her that I truly appreciated. Her character had to go through as much growth as Elizabeth and Darcy, and even if she does repent in the end, she never betrays who she was and how she behaved. We end up understanding her a little too, and that is because she was not a one-dimensional character, she was a reflex of real people who have many layers, and this was definitely something I was expecting from Elizabeth and Darcy’s characters, but not Georgiana, so it was a nice surprise to see that Lucy Marin decided to go beyond a flat character.

What I loved the most in this book was the character growth and how the scenes and dialogues contributed to that growth. Elizabeth goes through a lot in this book, and even if I felt pity for her during most of the book, I couldn’t comprehend why she was behaving like that. It took me some time to truly understand her character and where she was coming from. It was the same with Darcy, I started by being confused by him, hating him, and loving him. The characters are so well developed that we feel for them everything we feel towards real people. We all feel different things for the same person in different situations or phases of our lives, and that is what happens between the reader and the characters in this book. 

Being Mrs. Darcy is beautifully simple yet complex in the sense that despite the fact the story is simple, the characters have so many layers to them, that we feel transported into their lives, and into their daily struggles. I felt depressed with Elizabeth’s loneliness and overjoyed with Darcy’s defense of her in the end of the book. 

All the new Darcy family members were a nice addition to the narrative and I must say that in the beginning I didn’t like any of them, however, when I reached the end of the book I loved them all. 

Mrs. Bennet has a very small part in this book, but she was certainly a character I loved! I believe that with every single character the author demonstrated a true understanding of human nature and Mrs. Bennet was no exception. The only character I didn’t like was Mr. Bennet, but even he was an example of a perfect character.

Being Mrs Bennet is a masterpiece that involves readers in a story that has depth and interest and I believe it was the best book I’ve read this year. It doesn’t have a simple Elizabeth and Darcy love story, it takes these characters into a path of discovery and understanding that makes the book a must read. I highly recommend it.


You can find Being Mrs Darcy at:

Kindle Unlimited and on Audible


Filed under JAFF