delighted to welcome Victoria Kincaid! Author of 'The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth' & 'Pride & Proposals'. Victoria is treating us today, with an excerpt & giveaway of her latest novel 'Pride and Proposals'.
When I read the blurb, I had purchase it. I love angst in my JAFF novels and judging by the blurb I believe there may be plenty of it! Colonel Fitzwilliam proposes at the Hunsford Parsonage before Darcy!!!! I would say it does not matter, since she declined Darcy in canon, however we MUST have Darcy & Elizabeth together! But if Darcy does something to break the engagement how will it effect his relationship with the Colonel? Oh I have to find out what is going to happen!!! I am a big fan of the Colonel since JAFF embraced him and gave him bigger roles, hence I believe it may be bitter-sweet when D&E eventually get together. Elizabeth does seem to have her fair share of admirers, does she not? Whether it be Canon or JAFF!
Blurb~ What if Mr. Darcy’s proposal was too late?
Darcy has been bewitched by Elizabeth Bennet since he met her in Hertfordshire. He can no longer fight this overwhelming attraction and must admit he is hopelessly in love.
During Elizabeth’s visit to Kent she has been forced to endure the company of the difficult and disapproving Mr. Darcy, but she has enjoyed making the acquaintance of his affable cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam.
Finally resolved, Darcy arrives at Hunsford Parsonage prepared to propose—only to discover that Elizabeth has just accepted a proposal from the Colonel, Darcy’s dearest friend in the world.
As he watches the couple prepare for a lifetime together, Darcy vows never to speak of what is in his heart. Elizabeth has reason to dislike Darcy, but finds that he haunts her thoughts and stirs her emotions in strange ways.Can Darcy and Elizabeth find their happily ever after?
Initially, the colonel entered and settled on a chair near the fireplace, only to vacate it and wander about the room. They spoke of inconsequential matters: her health and that of her family. Elizabeth found herself concerned about the colonel’s health. He displayed a kind of nervous energy that she had never before encountered in him.
Finally, he settled once more in a chair, leaning forward so that his eyes caught and held hers in an intense gaze. When Elizabeth had first met the colonel, she had thought him pleasant, but not handsome. Now she was forced to reevaluate this opinion. The energy that lit his face transformed it; she could not tear her gaze away.
“I received a letter today.” He paused, and Elizabeth nodded. “My mother’s sister, Rebecca Tilbury, died unexpectedly last week.”
“I am sorry to hear it.” Elizabeth was mystified about the import of this conversation; he did not appear to be mourning his aunt’s passing.
The colonel waved away her concern. “I barely knew her. My family was not on good terms with her, and I had not seen her since my boyhood. The letter I received was from her solicitor. The terms of her will stipulate that I am to inherit her estate of Hargrave Manor. It is only an hour’s ride from my parents’ home in Matlock.” His eyes were unfocused as he contemplated the vagaries of fate and capricious relations. “I did not expect it.”
After a moment, the colonel returned his attention to Elizabeth. “The estate is quite good. Several hundred acres, producing a steady income of some four thousand a year.” Elizabeth nodded and smiled. “And a house in Town as well. I will sell my commission immediately so that I may take possession and manage the estate.”
“I am very happy for you. This is good fortune!” she said warmly. Now Elizabeth better understood why the colonel appeared so abstracted. He was coming to terms with his unexpected good fortune. However, why was he sharing the news with her now? Surely it could have waited until she visited Rosings on the morrow?
Colonel Fitzwilliam’s eyes fixed on Elizabeth’s face, provoking a blush from her. “Today, when we walked in the Park, I told you that younger sons did not have the luxury of marrying where they would like.”
Elizabeth’s breath caught.
“This thought has often tormented me this week. More than once I considered ignoring the needs of an income to follow the dictates of my heart. But today, I need not make such a choice. I can marry where I would. And I would marry you, Miss Bennet, if you would have me.”
Elizabeth’s whole body flushed. Thankfully, she was already seated, or she might have fallen. She opened her mouth, but no words emerged. This was the most unexpected event. Well, no, the most unexpected would be a proposal from Mr. Darcy. She almost laughed at the thought.
The colonel scrutinized her face anxiously, his hands absently kneading the gloves in his lap. “I can perceive that I have surprised you. Do not feel compelled to give me a response immediately.”
Elizabeth swallowed and found her voice. “Yes. That is, yes, this is a surprise.” Why was her throat suddenly so dry? Every word was hoarse to her ears. “Such an honor is quite unexpected.” Her mind was in turmoil as she attempted to sort through her feelings about the man before her.
“Miss Bennet, let me assure you of my sincerest affection.” He reached out across the space separating them and boldly took her hand in his. “Never have I encountered a woman who I felt would suit me so well. Your wit and vivacity—indeed, your spirit—are …” He swallowed hard and glanced at the fireplace. “To be honest, words fail me. I am a soldier, not an orator. But should you honor me with your hand, I will do everything in my power to make you happy.”
In truth, Elizabeth had not allowed herself to consider him as a potential husband. An earl’s son, no matter how impoverished he believed himself, was considerably beyond her expectations. But now that she reflected on their, albeit brief, association she recognized he was one of the most amiable men of her acquaintance. He was unfailingly charming and affable, polite to his aunt and cousins, even when they were at their most vexing.
When all Mr. Darcy would do was stare at Elizabeth in disapproval, Colonel Fitzwilliam would talk to her with great animation, eager to learn about her family and the country around Longbourn. Despite their short acquaintance, she was aware they shared remarkably similar tastes in books and music—and always anticipated their conversations with great pleasure.
Elizabeth had always expected to marry for love, but she fully recognized the precariousness of her family’s situation. Someone in her family must marry well, or their circumstances would be dire indeed when Mr. Collins inherited Longbourn. Jane seemed so out of spirits over Mr. Bingley’s rejection that Elizabeth wondered if she would ever wish to attract another man’s attention. And Elizabeth was loathe to trust her family’s future to the whims of her younger sisters. Goodness knows what type of husband Kitty or Lydia would bring home!
She did not love Colonel Fitzwilliam, but she believed she could love him upon greater acquaintance. No other man had so provoked her interest since the early days of her acquaintance with Mr. Wickham. And, she realized with no little surprise, she was rather more disposed to the colonel than she had ever been to Wickham. There was a certain openness in the colonel’s character, a selflessness, which she very much admired.
He provoked laughter from her far more than any other man she had ever encountered, which she considered quite a recommendation. Surely laughter was an excellent basis for friendship, and friendship a good start for a marriage, she reasoned. She could live a long time and never meet a man who suited her as well as the colonel.
“Miss Bennet?” Colonel Fitzwilliam’s eyebrows had drawn together, creating a crease in the middle of his forehead. He must have been awaiting her response for some time.
“Forgive me, Colonel, you have given me much to think about.”
He stood. “I should leave you to your thoughts. I have no desire to rush your decision.”
At the sight of the colonel moving toward the door, Elizabeth realized what her decision would be. In fact, the decision had already been made.
She rushed across the room, wishing to intercept the colonel before he reached the door. “No, please do not leave. Richard, stay.”
At the sound of his Christian name on her lips, the colonel turned to face her. His eyes sought hers, alight with hope.
“Yes.” She smiled gently at him. “My answer is yes.”
Richard’s face broke into a wide smile. “Ah, Elizabeth, you have made me the happiest man in England! Nay, the whole world!”
Victoria Kincaid is kindly giving one lucky reader a chance to win an e-book copy of 'Pride and Proposals. Leave a comment below for a chance to win. Do you think Darcy will throw a spanner in the works or do you believe he will be ever the honourable gentleman & suffer in silence?
Winner to be announced on the 15th July (open internationally). Good Luck everyone! Thank you Victoria, for sharing an excerpt with us & for your generous giveaway!
As always I delight in hearing your thoughts!