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.
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!