From the Author
Thank you so much, Maria Grazia, for this opportunity to visit My Jane Austen Book Club and share an excerpt from my new release, By Reason, by Reflection, by Everything. It’s always a great pleasure to be here.
About the Book
What if Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her late sister, Lady Anne, were not the only two who enjoyed a favorite wish for Fitzwilliam Darcy’s future marital felicity? What if the elder Mr. Darcy had a favorite wish of his own? What if he promised his firstborn son to the firstborn daughter of his old university friend, Thomas Bennet? Are promises made always promises kept? Or is a love like Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet's destined to prevail?
Read an Excerpt
(Reprinted with Author’s Permission. All Rights Reserved.)
Known for his fastidiousness, no one was more disappointed that he was late arriving to welcome Pemberley’s newest guests than Darcy himself. It could not be helped. In his haste to return to Pemberley after his lengthy wool-gathering session that morning, he struck out on a less traveled path across a wide-open meadow which seemed safe enough but instead was wrought with peril. His stallion took a most unexpected tumble. Neither man nor beast was injured. However, the accident resulted in an inevitable delay.
Upon arriving at Pemberley, Darcy found his attire badly stained, and he decided to don fresh clothing before joining the others.
Darcy was not disappointed by what he saw upon his late arrival. If he could have changed but one thing it would have been his visceral response upon laying eyes upon the dark-haired young woman with amazing dark eyes. She stole his breath away. On the other hand, he did suffer a bit of disappointment of sorts, for although he had no intention whatsoever of giving any serious consideration to his father’s marital scheme, he meant to afford the occasion with the proper civility that was warranted. That, of course, meant singling out the eldest daughter for the greatest measure of his esteem. But how could he when all he saw was the younger of the two ladies?
Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
Fortunately, his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam had seen fit to recall Darcy to his purpose by claiming the place by Miss Elizabeth’s side, leaving Darcy to act in accordance with what was expected of him.
Darcy’s mind wandered to the precise moment when he tore his eyes away from the younger sister and regarded the older Bennet daughter.
She is fairly lovely, but alas she does not tempt me. As for her sister, I fear I may be in grave danger.
He shook his head to clear away such thoughts. As though trying to bolster his own resolve that he was simply going along with the scheme for his father’s sake, he voiced aloud, “It is not as though either of the two women will likely garner my affection.”
Turning away from the window, Darcy watched as his cousin wandered into the room. The colonel looked like he wanted to say something and did not know where to start. He marched around the room with his hands clutched behind his back.
“Why do I fear I am about to be subjected to a severe rebuke?” Darcy inquired.
His cousin gave him a stern look. “The fact that you would say such a thing is a strong indication that you are aware your behavior was beyond the pale earlier today.”
Darcy shrugged. “If you are referring to my tardiness in arriving to greet the Bennet family, it simply could not be helped.”
“Indeed, you were noticeably late, which I wager was more by design than not.”
“By design?” Darcy repeated, his brow arched.
“No doubt you meant to suspend your would-be bride’s pleasure in beholding you for the first time.”
“On the contrary, for I am not one who enjoys toying with a young woman’s sensibilities.”
“Then how exactly would you explain your unabashed fascination with her younger sister?”
“I solemnly declare I meant no offense.”
“Are you quite certain?”
“In all honesty, my reaction took me by surprise as well. I shall endeavor to make amends to Miss Bennet when next we meet. I believe it is the least I can do, what with her being the eldest daughter and the guest of honor of sorts.”
“Capital,” said the colonel. “And I shall endeavor to see that Miss Elizabeth Bennet is agreeably diverted as well.”
Hearing his cousin speak those words took Darcy slightly aback, but he dared not voice his discomfort aloud. He knew his cousin well enough to know that Miss Elizabeth would be perfectly safe with him what with the colonel being a second son as well as a gentleman. Not that the colonel did not have a way with women, but Miss Elizabeth was not just any woman.
She is a gentleman’s daughter. Indeed, a gentleman with no fortune. Nothing that would tempt my cousin.
Would that I might say the same of myself, Darcy silently considered as the image of Miss Elizabeth Bennet lingered in his mind: her light and pleasing figure and the beautiful expression of her bewitching dark eyes, which rendered her face uncommonly intelligent.
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