Good Afternoon everyone,
I am sure you’ve all heard about the Skirmish & Scandal Series by Meryton Press, but if you haven’t, this is a series of novellas from different authors that despite being stand alones, share in common the “Skirmish & Scandal” theme. So far MP has released five of these novellas, and today I am hosting Kelly Miller who is here to share with you an excerpt of A Consuming Love, the fifth novella to be released in the series. This excerpt is from Mr. Darcy’s POV and I am sure you’ll love it 🙂
Thank you for visiting Ms. Miller, and thank you Janet for the opportunity to be a part of this tour and for doing such a wonderful job organizing it 🙂
The methodical world of rich, proud Fitzwilliam Darcy is in chaos: a country lady of modest origins has utterly captivated him.
The knowledge that Elizabeth Bennet is an unsuitable match fails to diminish Darcy’s fascination for her, nor does his self-imposed distance from the lady hinder her ability to intrude upon his thoughts at all hours of the day. What can solve his dilemma?
When circumstances compel Darcy’s return to Hertfordshire in assistance of his friend Mr. Bingley, he must confront his unfathomable attraction to Miss Elizabeth.In this Pride and Prejudice Regency novella, one afternoon spent in company with Miss Elizabeth Bennet is enough to make an indelible and life-altering impression upon Darcy, setting him on a rocky course towards the fulfillment of his desires. Will Darcy attain happiness, or will his ingrained pride be his downfall?
You can find A Consuming Love at:
and on Kindle Unlimited
The following excerpt is in Darcy’s point of view, and takes place at Netherfield Park:
They entered the library, a handsome, well-appointed room with an abundance of bookcases and naught but one half-shelf of books.
With a glance at Bingley, Miss Bennet said, “While the rest of the house is furnished, this library offers a woeful dearth of books. Whomever leases this house must bring their own reading material. Of course, we also have a small circulating library in Meryton.”
His friend shrugged. “That is of no consequence to me; I had more than my fill of books at university. Other than whatever reference manuals I shall consult for estate matters, I shall not do much reading. I plan to spend my leisure time shooting, riding, and visiting neighbours.”
Miss Bennet maintained her smile, but a momentary furrow appeared between her brows. Darcy did not scruple to conceal his own disappointment in Bingley’s answer. His efforts to interest his friend in expanding his mind through reading had been unsuccessful. Nevertheless, Bingley’s next statement provoked the beginnings of a smile.
“Now Darcy, on the other hand, is an avid reader. I believe he reads through several books in any given week. He will have to pack his own supply of books when he comes to stay.”
The lady’s eyes gleamed in his direction with renewed curiosity. “Is that so, Mr. Darcy? May I ask what you are reading now?”
Mr. Bennet, too, had perked up. The gentleman pushed up his spectacles and peered at him.
“Last night I finished, The Royal Tribes of Wales, by Philip Yorke. Before that, I read Memoirs of Modern Philosophers, by Elizabeth Hamilton, because my sister had expressed an interest in reading it. It is my habit to read new books before my sister does, if only so we can discuss them afterwards.”
Eliz—or rather, Miss Bennet’s eyes sparkled with undisguised interest. “I have read the novel by Miss Hamilton and found it well written, creative, and courageous in many ways though disappointing in others. What did you think of it?”
While Bingley’s eyes glazed over at this topic that held no interest for him, Mr. Bennet looked on with a raised brow, and Miss Bennet’s luminous irises riveted on him. Excitement welled within his chest. “I thought the novel succeeded in promoting her views in an entertaining way. My sister is reading it now. How did Miss Hamilton’s work disappoint you?”
“While it is laudable to promote the notion that an individual’s virtues should be more important than their class or gender, she could have gone further. She believes women should be granted the same opportunities for education as men, yet she hints that a woman’s ultimate role is to run a household. As a writer, Miss Hamilton herself has entered a realm that many believe ought to be restricted to the males of our society. If ladies could avail themselves of the same opportunities for education as gentlemen, they might take on many of the professions now limited to males. I could point to many examples of women who have led countries, run estates, or worked to harvest a field of wheat alongside her husband and children.”
“I cannot fault your logic. I have every expectation that in the future the strict lines of class and gender will be amended, though I predict it will take many generations.” Before him stood an articulate, well-read, and educated lady, though perhaps her instruction had been formal. He would bet that Miss Bennet had not attended one of the seminaries patronised by young ladies of the higher circles. Had she even had a governess? Regardless, Darcy could name no other person with whom he would rather debate this and a myriad of other subjects.
With a nod to Bingley—who had begun to tap his foot, a vexatious habit his friend exhibited when bored or anxious—Mr. Bennet cleared his throat. “Under other circumstances, I should be pleased to hear your impressions of Yorke’s treatment of the Welsh princes, Mr. Darcy, but I suggest we continue our tour of the house.”
They resumed their walk through the mansion. Miss Bennet, walking abreast of Darcy, made an aside. “My uncle Gardiner has made connections through his business that allow him to obtain many books or manuscripts before they reach the book shops. A close friend of my uncle, a publisher, gave him a preliminary version of a novel to be published in the next few weeks, Sense and Sensibility, written anonymously by a lady. After my uncle and my aunt read the novel, they sent it to me. The story follows a widow and her three daughters, who are left to live in reduced circumstances when a family member fails to fulfill his promise to provide them financial support. I found it compelling, affecting, and honest. I look forward to reading this author’s future works.”
“Sense and Sensibility. I thank you. I shall remember the name. I am always looking for novels that my sister might wish to read.”
The lady glanced his way with a smile that sent a shiver down his back. It struck him then what an ideal friend Miss Bennet would make for Georgiana. Miss Bennet’s cheery, genial manner would penetrate the barrier of his sister’s innate shyness and insecurities. Of course, he could not allow such an actuality; it would be untenable for Georgiana to have a friend who so enticed him.
Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.
A Constant Love is her fourth book published by Meryton Press. The first three are novels: Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy; Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic variation; and Accusing Mr. Darcy, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic mystery.
Other Books by Kelly Miller
Meryton Press is giving away an ebook of A Consuming Love to one of my readers. To enter the giveaway please comment on this post and let us know what you thought about this excerpt. The giveaway is open until the 26th of February and the winners will be announced shortly after that.
Good Luck everyone!