Blog Tour Opening by author Amy D'Orazio
Maria Grazia, thank you so much for being hosting my “coming-out” party for The Best Part of Love! I hope that everyone will enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
The story started with a simple premise — what if Elizabeth Bennet wasn’t what she seemed? What if Darcy came to know her as the country maiden of limited means and poor connexions … and then discovered she was something entirely different?
There have been some excellent books by very talented authors who have explored this theme, but it was in developing the backstory of how and why Elizabeth, a.k.a Lady Courtenay came to be (secretly) wealthy and titled that my story really began. I spent many happy days researching ancient plots, conspiracies and all manner of intrigue to come up with the rest of it.
The story incorporates many of our favorite characters from “fanon” including Lord and Lady Matlock, Darcy’s aunt and uncle, who happen to be intimate friends of Lady Courtenay. Lady Matlock as you will see below hopes to arrange a match between her favorite young countess and her nephew — but alas, Darcy’s behavior in Hertfordshire has come back to haunt him.
About the Book
When Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Miss Elizabeth Bennet he has no idea that she — that indeed, the entire town of Meryton — harbors a secret. Miss Elizabeth, a simply country girl from a humble estate, manages to capture first his fascination and then his heart without him ever knowing the truth of her past.
When she meets Darcy, Elizabeth had spent the two years prior hiding from the men who killed her beloved first husband. Feeling herself destroyed by love, Elizabeth has no intention of loving again, certainly not with the haughty man who could do nothing but offend her in Hertfordshire.
In London, Elizabeth surprises herself by finding in Darcy a friend; even greater is her surprise to find herself gradually coming to love him and even accepting an offer of marriage from him. Newly married, they are just beginning to settle into their happily ever after when a condemned man on his way to the gallows divulges a shattering truth, a secret that contradicts everything Elizabeth thought she knew about the tragic circumstances of her first marriage. Against the advice of everyone who loves her, including Darcy, Elizabeth begins to ask questions. But will what they learn destroy them both?
About the Author
Amy D’Orazio is a former breast cancer researcher and current stay at home mom who is addicted to Austen and Starbucks in about equal measures. While she adores Mr. Darcy, she is married to Mr. Bingley and their Pemberley is in Pittsburgh PA.
She has two daughters who are devoted to sports which require long practices and began writing her own stories as a way to pass the time she spent sitting in the lobbies of various gyms and studios. She is a firm believer that all stories should have long looks, stolen kisses and happily ever afters. Like her favorite heroine, she dearly loves a laugh and considers herself an excellent walker.
Read an excerpt
“Concerning the matter of your marriage, my dear…” Lady Matlock smiled hopefully. “My nephew Darcy is a very handsome man”
“Very handsome, indeed,” Elizabeth agreed without enthusiasm.
“You heard, I suppose, of his estate in Derbyshire? It is quite grand.”
“Ten thousand a year. Yes, I know. It was often mentioned in Hertfordshire, as you might imagine.” The two ladies shared an awkward chuckle.
“He practically raised his sister.”
“She was very sweet.”
Lady Matlock paused, studying Elizabeth for a moment. “I think the two of you — ”
“Absolutely not,” Elizabeth said firmly. “Do not waste another thought on it.”
Lady Matlock regarded her with dismay. “But why?”
“Forgive me, but your nephew is — ” Elizabeth stopped herself. “Mr. Darcy and I are not friends. Let us leave it at that.”
“Did something happen last night?”
“No, Mr. Darcy was gentlemanly enough last night.”
“Did something occur in Hertfordshire that has coloured your opinion of him?”
Elizabeth shook her head. “It hardly signifies. He made his opinion of me and my character known in the autumn, so any overture he makes towards friendship now can only be seen for what it is — false, and based solely on my name and station. It is one thing to enter into an arranged match with a man who I can at least hope has some affection for me, but it is quite another to marry one who I know disdains me and settles with me only for fortune.”
Lady Matlock frowned, her disappointment plain. “I do not understand.”
“You said yourself that he had not mentioned meeting me in Hertfordshire. Would it surprise you to know that, not only did I meet him, but I also resided at Netherfield with their party for nearly a week? It was the most uncomfortable, awkward week of my entire life, made bearable only by the fact that I knew my dear sister, who had fallen ill, needed my assistance — assistance she would not have received from either of those sisters of Mr. Bingley.”
Lady Matlock nodded. “Those two would not spare a glass of water to one dying of thirst on their doorstep. But what did Darcy do?”
Elizabeth sighed. “He insulted me at an assembly, he accused me of having a liaison with a footman — Jervis, by the by — and we argued constantly. He lurked about, following me into halls and eavesdropping on my conversations as though he expected to catch me in some mischief. It was clear he thought little of my character; and that, I cannot abide. Regardless of what title or fortune you might put upon me or take away from me, I am a lady.”
“He is not always easy in a society unknown to him, perhaps — ”
“It is one thing to be uneasy,” Elizabeth retorted, “and another to be rude, disagreeable, and haughty. He recommended himself to no one, least of all me. Forgive me, madam. You have been nothing but good and kind to me, far more than was ever required, and I feel your solicitude keenly. However, this match cannot be made. I am resolved to have no part with that odious man.”
Lady Matlock released her breath in a huff of disappointment. “If that is how you feel, I would not try to persuade you otherwise.”
“Thank you.” Elizabeth gave her a slight smile. “Let us speak on other things then, shall we?”
Terms and Conditions
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants should provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified).
Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.
Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. Paperback or ebook format will be randomly selected for each winner as well.
**NOTE: Paperback copies are available for continental US winners! Ebook copies are available for all winners, including international winners! If more international winners are randomly chosen than the 4 allotted ebooks, then that will decrease the number of paperbacks. 8 books will be given away to 8 different winners.**
6 Jan My Jane Austen Book Club
7 Jan Just Jane 1813
8 Jan Babblings of a Bookworm
9 Jan Every Savage Can Dance
10 Jan Tomorrow is Another Day
11 Jan Savvy Verse & Wit; Character Interview, Giveaway
12 Jan Half Agony, Half Hope
13 Jan Austenesque Reviews
14 Jan Darcyholic Diversions
15 Jan Delighted Reader; Review
16 Jan From Pemberley to Milton
18 Jan Obsessed with Mr. Darcy
20 Jan Diary of an Eccentric
21 Jan More Agreeably Engaged