Today, I have an excerpt from this week’s upcoming release, Unravelling Mr. Darcy (Dash of Darcy #4), as well as a Pride and Prejudice fan video. The lyrics of the song in today’s video fit quite nicely with the premise of my light-hearted novella. Consider these two things…
BrokenDoll7. “Pride & Prejudice – The Reason.” YouTube, YouTube, 4 Mar. 2008.
The song ends with these lyrics:
I’ve found a reason to show
A side of me you didn’t know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you
The description of my upcoming new release says:
What’s a gentleman to do when he has laid his heart before a lady only to have it crushed beneath her dainty slipper? If you’re Fitzwilliam Darcy, there is only one thing to do ─ unravel your tightly wound pride, mend your ways, and convince the lady of your worth.
And what’s a lady to do when she has spoken harshly and knows she has done so unfairly? If you’re Elizabeth Bennet, you take a deep breath, swallow your dignity, give him a second chance, and perhaps along the way, discover a gentleman you didn’t know existed.
Can you see the connection? I’m sure you can, but let me tell you a little bit more about this story anyway.
Unravelling Mr. Darcy begins immediately following the moment in Pride and Prejudice when Darcy says
Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness.
In the next paragraph, we read that he hastily left the room and the parsonage.
Not so in this new version of events.
In this version, he is not leaving quickly but is rather willing himself out of the room and praying for some sort of divine intervention — which he gets. Elizabeth calls him back and apologizes for her rudeness.
Here I must pause and warn those who are looking for the utmost propriety in a story that they will be sadly disappointed in this tale, for it begins with a rather indelicate discussion about why Elizabeth is feeling ill and why her words were so harsh.
This apology and the discussion of several topics in the parsonage’s sitting room that follows Elizabeth’s apology lead to Darcy being granted a second chance to win Elizabeth’s heart. To do so, Darcy is amending his ways in grand style. Therefore, prepare yourself to meet a Darcy who, though still noble and honorable, has made a 180-degree turnabout because
He’s found a reason to show
A side of him she didn’t know
Unravelling Mr. Darcy will be hitting the digital shelves beginning this Thursday, September 21, 2017, and a print copy will follow shortly thereafter.
One more little side note in relation to this story: Last week, I mentioned that I wanted to get the sequel to a point where I could include a small sample of it at the back of this book. That has not happened. I have begun what I think will be the sequel telling Anne’s story, but it is not to a place where I can say “Yes, this is definitely how the story will begin.” Therefore, revealing any of her story will wait until I can. However, Anne’s story, Becoming Entangled, will be available in the late fall, around the time of American Thanksgiving or shortly thereafter as it will depend on my editors’ schedules as much as my ability to get the story written.
AN EXCERPT FROM Unravelling Mr. Darcy:
“Henry was not well-behaved,” Lady Margaret countered. “Dancing was an allowable way for him to get his hands on the ladies and charm them into meeting him in less public locations.”
Lady Matlock did not refute the statement. After all, it was a meeting in a not so public location that had led to her claiming the title of Lady Matlock.
“Darcy’s father was all that was proper, and he enjoyed dancing,” Lady Matlock said after taking a few quiet sips of her tea.
“Only with my mother,” said Darcy.
Lady Matlock’s brows drew together and her lips pursed in displeasure. “Sir Lewis –”
“Couldn’t keep time with a clock,” Lady Margaret interrupted. “He may have loved dancing, but the toes of any lady he danced with disliked it immensely. You cannot count him. He also loved Catherine.” The right corner of her lips turned up in a half smile as she took a sip of her tea. As everyone in the family knew, Lady Catherine and Lady Margaret disagreed with each other far more often than they ever agreed. It was likely due to each lady possessing a will of iron, but if asked, neither would ever admit to such. Each was far more likely to cite the interminable stubbornness of the other without so much as hinting that she was just as obstinate.
Possessing obstinacy rather than dancing, Darcy thought, would serve any lady better who dared to join the Fitzwilliam family. A wilting wallflower would likely spend too many days in tears and fits as she attempted to please a rather difficult to please lot of relations such as he possessed. Elizabeth would do well. The thought brought another smile to his lips.
“You are looking rather pleased this afternoon,” Lady Matlock said rather tersely to Darcy. She was never one to feel her displeasure at being proven wrong graciously.
“I do apologize. I shall attempt to be sullen.” Darcy tried to keep his expression blank, but he could not help a small smirk.
Lady Matlock gasped while both Lady Margaret and Richard dissolved into laughter. Georgiana lowered her head and attended most carefully to her stitching, though her shoulders shook, giving away the fact that she too had been shocked into silent giggles.
“Of all the insolent things to say! And from you! I should not expect it from you!”
No one could miss the irritation in Lady Matlock’s tone or features.
“I do apologize,” Darcy said once again, feeling just the tiniest twinge of guilt. However, he could not feel so remorseful as he likely should. He had felt rather light and not entirely himself since yesterday afternoon in that sitting room when Elizabeth had uttered those three words — perhaps you might.
Lady Matlock huffed. “It is all well and good that you do not wish to dance since you are unfit to be seen in company. How did you get that black eye?”
“Likely the same way he got the split lip,” muttered Richard, earning him a glare from his mother. “Fisticuffs.”
“It was just a bit of a joust with a friend,” Darcy explained. Bingley was, thankfully, still Darcy’s friend. He had vented his displeasure with Darcy’s part in separating him from Miss Bennet, and then the two had retired to Darcy House to enjoy a couple of pints of fine ale while discussing their Bennet ladies.
“Why would a friend…” Lady Matlock’s words died on her lips, and her eyes grew wide. “It was that tradesman’s son.”
“Indeed it was.” Darcy rose and placed his empty cup on the tea table.
“That sweet boy?” asked Lady Margaret. It was how she often referred to Bingley. Her terms of endearment for Bingley’s sisters were not so pleasant. She did not like Miss Bingley or Mrs. Hurst, but Bingley she adored. “Did you steal his angel?”
Darcy chuckled. “Not exactly but something along those lines.”
Lady Margaret’s eyes lit with curiosity. “Do tell,” she said, patting on the seat of the blue tufted chair next to her. “And do not leave out any details.”
Darcy took the seat indicated and, leaning close to his great aunt, whispered, “I thought the lady was indifferent to him and recommended he not return to his estate and call on her. However, it appears I was wrong, and he was not pleased to forgive me without sufficient repayment.” He shrugged. “I do not blame him. I would likely do far worse to myself if I were in his position.”
Lady Margaret’s eyes twinkled. “Genevieve was not wrong in thinking you greatly altered today. I say, you seem as little concerned about your appearance as Richard is wont to be.” She chuckled. “There must be a reason,” she prodded. “What is her name?” she whispered, casting a wary glance at her daughter-in-law. “I promise I will not say a thing.”
Darcy cocked a brow in disbelief. Lady Margaret was incapable of keeping such a promise.