Meanwhile, Georgiana is finding her suitors—and the prospect of coming out—to be very unappealing. Colonel Fitzwilliam seems to be the only person who understands her fondness for riding astride and shooting pistols. Georgiana realizes she’s beginning to have more than cousinly feelings for him, but does he return them? And what kind of secrets is he hiding?
Romance and merriment abound as everyone gathers to celebrate a Very Darcy Christmas.
Today we have an excerpt from Victoria Kincaid's latest Austenesque novel, A Very Darcy Christmas, just in time for the holiday season! Mrs. Bennet is up to her usual hysterics, and Darcy must attend to her as best he can. After you enjoy this fun excerpt, be sure to enter to win a copy of the book. But be quick-- this giveaway ends at the stroke of midnight Christmas morning, about the time that Santa will be leaving our homes here on the east coast of the U.S.!
Thanks to Victoria for the excerpt, and I hope you all enjoy. Merry Christmas!
Darcy straightened his cravat as he strode toward Pemberley. Wickham was safely stowed at the Lambton Inn, and Darcy had rented the room for a week. Hopefully the Wickhams would be gone by then. At least that resolves one of my headaches. Unfortunately, the number of remaining headaches was sufficient to keep him occupied for the rest of the day.
Why must Elizabeth and I possess such troublesome relatives? Darcy wondered as he neared Pemberley’s grand front entrance. Or perhaps the better question was: why were the troublesome relatives the ones who visited? Why could it not have been Charles and Jane who showed up unexpectedly on their doorstep? Or some other reasonable relative like…? Darcy thought for a moment. As Georgiana and Richard were already at Pemberley, he could think of no other candidates.
The moment Darcy pushed open the solid oak front door, his ears were assaulted by a piercing shriek. “Oh, Mr. Bennet! You have no compassion for my poor nerves!”
Elizabeth’s father stalked down the staircase while his wife fluttered behind him. Elizabeth trailed after them, rolling her eyes. Perhaps I should have stayed longer with Wickham, Darcy mused—and then immediately recognized it as a sign of desperation.
The moment Mrs. Bennet saw Darcy, she hurried up to him. “Mr. Darcy! How fortuitous you are here! You must begin drilling your men immediately.”
Darcy blinked. “My men?”
Behind Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth had a hand covering her mouth. Was she trying not to laugh—or cry?
“This morning the maid told me that the footman had told her that his cousin had heard that the maid at the Lambton Inn said there was a Frenchman in town!” Mrs. Bennet announced triumphantly.
She paused to await his reaction.
“Indeed?” Darcy finally said.
“Yes! The Frenchman had lunch at the inn yesterday.”
“Do you not understand the import?” Mrs. Bennet asked. “He must be a scout!”
“Scout?” Darcy asked blankly.
“For the invading force!” Mrs. Bennet explained. At this pronouncement, Mr. Bennet threw his hands in the air and stalked out of the room.
Darcy massaged the back of his neck with one hand. “There are many French men and women who live in England. Most escaped from the ravages of the revolution and fled the guillotine.”
She lowered her voice. “But why would such a person be in Derbyshire—so far from the coast?”
Elizabeth rubbed her temples as if a headache were coming on.
Darcy decided to take another tack. “Madam, the French army is quite occupied fighting in Spain right now. I am certain they have no intention of invading England.”
“But the paper described unusual troop movements! And French ships have been spotted by people in Brighton and Dover!”
“France is not far from Brighton and Dover,” Darcy pointed out. “So one might reasonably be expected to see French ships from there.”
Elizabeth chimed in. “Even if France were to invade, we are very far north here. It would take them a long time to reach Derbyshire.”
“That is what they want us to believe,” Mrs. Bennet said in a tone so low it was practically a whisper. “They want to lull us into a sense of safety—and then they will attack!”
“We are safe,” Darcy insisted. “We are very far from France here. I assure you—”
Mrs. Bennet interrupted him. “You must prepare to defend Pemberley! Your footmen must train every day. Are any of your tenants versed in weaponry?”
Darcy sighed, beginning to understand why Mr. Bennet’s response to his wife’s tirades was often silence. “I do not know. Although my steward might.”
She gave an approving nod.
There must be some way to distract this woman! Surely she could not think about imminent invasion every minute of the day. “Have you been to visit the shops in Lambton?” he asked her. “Mrs. Reynolds said the milliner has just received some ostrich plumes.”
“Ostrich plumes!” Mrs. Bennet’s face lit up. While popular in London shops, the feathers were rare in the country.
“One of the footmen could escort you into town,” Darcy offered eagerly.
She pursed her lips. “But they must stay and drill.”
“Papa can take you,” Elizabeth volunteered. “It is the least he can do.”
Perhaps there was a way to temporarily rid them of another troublesome guest. “Would Mrs. Wickham like to go as well?”
“An excellent suggestion!” Mrs. Bennet cried and ran for the bottom of the stairs. “Lydia! Lydia!” Her voice echoed and reverberated off the marble throughout the hall.
Darcy winced as Elizabeth gave him an apologetic look. While Mrs. Bennet made a commotion bellowing and ascending the steps, Darcy sidled over to Elizabeth. “Do you recall those ostrich plumes we bought for Georgiana that she did not care for?” Elizabeth nodded, understanding dawning in her expression. “Would you be so good as to ask Mrs. Reynolds to collect them and send them to the milliners immediately? I believe I can delay your parents’ departure sufficiently.”
Elizabeth’s eyes sparkled with mischief as she set off in search of the housekeeper.
Giveaway - A Very Darcy Christmas
Author Victoria Kincaid has generously offered a copy of her novel A Very Darcy Christmas for one of our readers! The contest is open internationally, and the winner may choose between a print edition or ebook copy. The giveaway period ends at 12am EST on December 25, 2016. Utilize the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good luck!
About the Author
The author of best-selling Pride and Prejudice variations, historical romance writer Victoria has a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she is a freelance writer/editor who teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head.
She lives in Virginia with an overly affectionate cat, two children who are learning how much fun Austen’s characters can be, and a husband who fortunately is not jealous of Mr. Darcy. A lifelong Austen fan, Victoria has read more Jane Austen variations and sequels than she can count – and confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.
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