Good Afternoon everyone,
I’m incredibly happy to be receiving today at From Pemberley to Milton one of the authors I admire the most in this genre, Jenetta James.
Jenetta captivated me on the first line of Suddenly Mrs Darcy some years ago and my admiration keeps growing with each new novel she releases. Her writing style is unique and captivating and she is now presenting us with a different type of novel, not a romance but a mystery! Of course there is plenty of romance there, but I know you will also love to see Darcy’s mind at work trying to solve a murder that could endanger someone he loves very much 😉 You guessed who it is didn’t you? Well, I’ve read the book and let me tell you that s the only thing you will guess! The mystery will remain until the very end, and even if you have good detective skills, I doubt you’ll guess who the murderer is 🙂
But enough of my prattle about Lover’s Knot, I’m sure you prefer to read an excerpt of it.
And with that, she gave me the smallest smile and sat down. The light flickers on the cream of her gown as she sits and her slender shoulders lean back against the silk brocade of the chaise. I linger for a moment, simply admiring the scene before me—and her person. Something in the way she sits, how she folds her hands and holds her shoulders, makes me want to reach out and touch her. A creature of great power is coiling inside me, and she remains its owner. Content that the three ladies are conversing as though they are old acquaintances, and conscious that I am close to thoughts that may be a source of shame to me later, I obtain a drink for myself and stand to the back of the room. A number of my family accost me in conversation, discomforted as they are by silence. I exchange pleasantries with my cousin Edmund and compliment the Protheroe girls on their performance. The chatter of familiar voices and the clink of glasses on polished wooden tables accompanies the soporific melody of the music. I watch how Elizabeth’s head bobs towards my sister to speak in her ear and inclines to listen as the movements change. A chestnut curl kisses the nape of her neck and she has a habit of threading and re-threading her fingers together when she concentrates. She wears, I assumed her finest gown, which I had never seen before. It is a simple creation in cream silk and fits her form with an almost negligent beauty. This scene appears to me to be as far away from the Hertfordshire of our acquaintance as it is possible to be.
I become aware of Lavinia Protheroe stationed beside me a moment later than I should have.
“So. What have we here?”
She speaks with provocative leisure. Her grey eyes flick towards me and she takes a sip of her sherry, brow arching. “A young gentlewoman, who you apparently are acquainted with, but whom I have never heard of, apart from in passing from her aunt. Now, if it stopped there, it would not be odd at all, of course. The world is full of persons who have met on one, or even two occasions, meeting again, is it not?”
She pauses, employing her trademark Socratic technique. If she were a man, I would have maintained my silence. But Lavinia Protheroe is my godmother and was my mother’s best friend. She is in her fifties and I am a guest in her home. She is also, in her own manner, unbearably charming as well as ruthlessly inquisitive. At length, therefore, I answer her questions.
“There are even people in the world, I am told, whom I do not know.”
“Are you putting this to me as a topic to debate, or as a truth you have adopted?”
“You know I like a debate.”
“I do. But there is nothing to debate, as you well know. It is of course true that there are not merely some, but many people in the world with whom you are unacquainted. You may be the best connected woman in London, but what does that mean?”
In the corner of my vision, I see her smile, playfully. She has a way of drawing me out, and she knows it.
“I do not deny that you possess a sort of social brilliance. Because you do. But you do not know everyone there is to know.”
“How very bold you are this evening, Fitzwilliam. What can be the cause I wonder?”
“In any case, knowing and not knowing are relative terms. Just because one knows a person’s name, that is not to say that one really knows them, is it? Have you ever thought how many people of your acquaintance are barely more than mysteries in human form? Even if you had Miss Elizabeth Bennet on one of your lists, or you had played bridge with her mother or danced with her great cousin at your coming out or some such— you would not really know her. To go back to the matter at hand. It is not at all surprising that a young unmarried woman from Hertfordshire, who has never spent significant time in Town should have eluded you.”
“No, indeed it is not. But it is odd that you know her, while I do not.”
“You know I hold you in the highest esteem, Godmother. But you do not travel with me everywhere.”
“No indeed. I cannot abide horses, as you know. This is why I must ask questions, Darcy. And you must tell your poor, old godmother the answers and keep her abreast of events. Now—this Miss Elizabeth Bennet”—her eyes turned towards the ladies on the chaise and she flutters her fan enough for both of us—“how did you come to meet her?”
“You would not credit it if I told you.”
She raises her eyes and I know that far from deterring her, I have interested the lady even more.
“She was lately a guest at Netherfield. At Charles Bingley’s house—”
“Yes, yes. I understand what you refer to, Darcy. I read about it in the news sheets. And of course, I received your letter. Good grief. Was she … present?”
“She was. She discovered the crime, in fact.”
That fact sits like an ache in my head. In how many ways have I re-enacted the whole business in my head to avoid that aspect? I could have discovered the body or Bingley or Hurst, or one of the servants. If only Elizabeth had not gone to check on her sister, she would never have left Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst. She would have been smiling over tea cups in the drawing room when some other unfortunate soul had seen what she had seen. Alas, it happened the way it happened, and there is nothing to be done about it.
“Then I am sorry for her. What a ghastly thing to have in one’s life, even accidentally. It speaks in her favour that she is here at all.”
“It also speaks for your regard for her that you tell me this. There are some, Darcy, who would see it as a sort of blot on a girl.”
“Nonsense. How can the innocent discovery of a crime whilst one is undertaking a blameless ordinary task be a blot on anyone’s character?”
“Hmm. You may very well say that. The world, is an unfair place. It is significant to me that you do not judge her for it. Indeed, you go further.”
“Well, as far as I am aware, you agreed to Georgiana being here this evening because almost everyone here is a Fitzwilliam or a Protheroe, and she so loves the music.”
“That is correct.”
“And yet, within moments of Miss Elizabeth’s arrival, you introduce her to your sister. And you have left them to themselves for most of the evening, forming their acquaintance without your presence.”
“Should young ladies not occasionally be left in peace to enjoy one another’s company, Mrs. Protheroe?”
“Of course, they should, Darcy. But you forget that I have known you and Georgiana all your lives. I saw you watch over her as a baby. I saw you as her brother and lately as her guardian. We have been by ourselves and with family, as well as with a smattering of others here and there over the years. The manner and the extent to which you have sought to protect her has not escaped me. It is not every new acquaintance whom you would permit, still less encourage, to sit with your sister without the chaperone of your own eyes. And so, I express surprise, nothing more. For now, at any rate.”
Having made her point, she ceases moving her fan, clicks it closed in her small hand, and rests her eyes on the ladies before us.
A great love. A perplexing murder. Netherfield Park — a house of secrets.
Fitzwilliam Darcy is in a tangle. Captivated by Miss Elizabeth Bennet, a girl of no fortune and few connections. Embroiled in an infamous murder in the home of his friend, Charles Bingley. He is being tested in every way. Fearing for Elizabeth’s safety, Darcy moves to protect her in the only way he knows but is thwarted. Thus, he is forced to turn detective. Can he overcome his pride for the sake of Elizabeth? Can he, with a broken heart, fathom the villainy that has invaded their lives? Is there even a chance for love born of such strife?
Lover’s Knot is a romantic Pride & Prejudice variation, with a bit of mystery thrown in.
You can find Lover’s not on :
Jenetta James is a mother, writer, lawyer and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practices full-time as a barrister. Over the years, she has lived in France, Hungary, and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing, and playing with Lego. She has written, Suddenly Mrs. Darcy and The Elizabeth Papers as well as contributed short stories to both The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues.
Praise for The Elizabeth Papers, by Jenetta James:
“… a captivating novel … brilliant and fresh and unforgettable. It will definitely be on my Best of 2016 list and is easily one of the best Pride and Prejudice inspired novels I have ever read…” Diary of An Eccentric
“a story that feels up close and personal … poignant, stirring and beautifully crafted… a mesmerising page turner” JustJane1813
“… this is when we realise what an incredible work of art this book is, and how two different stories can be so perfectly interlaced that they become one single story … “ From Pemberley to Milton
“a novel that will appeal to fans of Jane Austen and romantic mysteries” Publishers Weekly
“Outstanding. Imaginative. Creative … brilliantly put together … totally unique in its style…” Amazon review (5*s)
“Love still conquers all … a beautiful read, not to be missed” Amazon review (5*s)
“… this book ranks with the best …” Amazon review (5*)
Praise Suddenly Mrs. Darcy, by Jenetta James:
“…a touching, sometimes dark, often playfully sexy interpretation of what might have been.” –Joceline Bury, Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine
“Jenetta James’ writing made it incredibly easy for me to sink into Elizabeth’s story and connect with her emotionally.” —Austenprose
“…discerning premise, inventive intrigue, and beautifully developed romance! Ms. James is skilled storyteller with a compelling voice and satisfying respect for Jane Austen’s characters.” —Austenesque Reviews
Don’t forget to follow the blog tour for more excerpts, guest post and reviews!
March 29 My Jane Austen Book Club/ Guest Post & Giveaway
March 30 Savvy Verse & Wit / Guest Post & Giveaway
March 31 Liz’s Reading Life / Book Review & Giveaway
April 1 My Vices and Weaknesses/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 2 Of Pens and Pages / Book Review & Giveaway
April 3 So Little Time / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 4 Austenesque Reviews / Author Interview & Giveaway
April 5 From Pemberley to Milton / Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 6 Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway
April 7 More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway
April 8 My Love for Jane Austen / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 9 Diary of an Eccentric / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 10 Laughing with Lizzie / Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 11 Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway
April 12 Just Jane 1813/ Author Interview & Giveaway
Jenetta has selected a lovely giveaway package where one lucky winner will receive a Pride & Prejudice scarf, a Kindle cover and paperback copies of all five of her JAFF books.
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once each day and by commenting daily on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached to this tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented.
The winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international. To enter it, click here.
Good Luck everyone!