Hello everyone and welcome to a new great event. The Perfect Gentleman Blog Tour starts here at My Jane Austen Book Club today. Author Julie Cooper introduces you to the world of her novel with a lovely excerpt and offers you the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card from Quills & Quartos Publishing!
By the way, it's time to reveal the winner of the giveaway of a $20 Amazon gift card from Quills & Quartos Publishing attached to our previous cover reveal post!
The name of the winner is ... MARSHA! Thank you, Marsha, for dropping by and leaving your comment. Congratulations!
Author's welcome post
The Perfect Gentleman was inspired by my travels through JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction), after reading one very unlikely plot after another, wherein Darcy falls in love with a completely “inappropriate” Elizabeth from a different social class. I just could not see the haughty, arrogant son of Pemberley’s Finest lowering himself long enough to truly see her.
What, I asked myself, would create enough of a chink in Darcy’s Armour of Decorum to allow the “Real Elizabeth” in? Especially the particular Lizzy I had in mind! It was a challenge to create that chink—which actually required more of a crevice than a chink, or perhaps a Grand Canyon-sized fissure—and have some fun with it as well.
What follows is an excerpt showing just how far Darcy would have to fall in order to “see” his one true love. In a case of mistaken identity, Elizabeth believes Fitzwilliam Darcy to be the solicitor for a particularly reprehensible would-be “client” of her mother’s—Fanny Bennet, who just happens to keep a roof over their heads by accepting the occasional male protector. Darcy believes Elizabeth Bennet is an eight-year-old child and that the female he will be meeting is her demimondaine mother!
Excerpt from The Perfect Gentleman
Before entering the parlour where Mr Darcy waited, Elizabeth squared her shoulders, firmed her chin, and prepared to make her point swiftly and succinctly. This was not the daunting Mr Goulding, she reminded herself, only his hireling. Jacob was nearby in the kitchen and would come quickly if called. She had dealt with pawnbrokers, spongers, drunks, and harlots; she could certainly deal with a solicitor. She opened the door, prepared to speak, but instead stood with her mouth open, caught mid-syllable. “Mr Dar—”
He was the handsomest man she had ever seen. Tall, with broad shoulders, a dimpled chin, and a patrician nose the envy of any aristocrat—a nose worthy of much finer forebears than a mere solicitor ought to possess. He was dressed all in black except for a hint of silver thread on his waistcoat, making his shirt and cravat appear ruthlessly white. Even the stone in his stickpin was black—onyx, perhaps. There was a day’s growth of dark whiskers on his chin, giving him a rougher appearance, as though he had added the extra touch of noir purposely to suit his attire.
Darcy whirled at the sound of the woman’s voice, impatient to finish this ugly errand. Evidently, he had timed his visit with some sort of soirée, forcing him to insist upon an audience with Mrs Bennet using the infamous Darcy stare. Now he found himself staring once again, but for an entirely different reason.
By all that’s holy. No wonder Bennet lost his head.
The harlot was beautiful. He was no expert on female clothing, especially this sort of female, but her frock clung to her light, pleasing figure in an extremely promising fashion. Her hair was piled untidily upon her head, with curls escaping at her nape. She should have looked frowsy and unkempt, but instead she brought to mind pale skin in sultry moonlight and the last thousand nights he spent alone. Her eyes were wide, thick-lashed, dark, and appraising. She appeared much younger than she ought—part of her arts and allurements, he supposed—and he wondered how she maintained such a fresh, innocent aspect. Perhaps innocent was the wrong word, what with those eyes. No female with such eyes could be an innocent. Eyes so deep a man could drown in them, never remembering to come up for air.
Before he went down, he fiercely reined himself in. Doing so made his words emerge more sharply than he meant.
“I have come about the girl.”
There you have it, and I hope you’ll read more of The Perfect Gentleman to discover how these two manage to find a foundation for happiness, despite their rocky beginning!
’Tis no secret that Lizzy Bennet has dreams. The uniquely talented daughter of a woman with a dubious reputation, Lizzy knows she must make her own way in a world that shuns her.
Fitzwilliam Darcy carries the stains of his family’s disgrace upon his soul and only by holding himself to the strictest standards has he reclaimed his place in society. Now Georgiana Darcy has gone missing. If his fifteen-year-old sister cannot be found quickly, the scandal could destroy Darcy’s years of perfect behaviour. Lizzy Bennet know just what to do to find Georgiana. She is willing to join the pursuit to get what she wants but will Darcy be willing to trust her with his secrets? And what will they do when the search for Georgiana reveals what neither expected to find?
The Perfect Gentleman is a romantic adventure so big it needs two volumes in one book. Follow the adventure in A Not-So-Merry Chase and discover the surprises and temptations that await at Pemberley in Love Wisely But Well.
You can win a $50 Amazon gift card from Quills & Quartos Publishing! The contest ends on November 13. To be eligible, just comment on any of the blog tour stops and Quills & Quartos will select a random winner from the comments. You need not visit all the stops (one point per stop and comment), however, it does increase your chances of winning by earning more entries. Please check the Quills & Quartos Facebook to find out about winners.
About the author
Julie Cooper, a California native, lives with her Mr Darcy (without the arrogance or the Pemberley) of nearly forty years, two dogs (one intelligent, one goofball), and Kevin the Cat (smarter than all of them.) They have four children and three grandchildren, all of whom are brilliant and adorable, with the pictures to prove it. She works as an executive at a gift basket company and her tombstone will read, "Have your Christmas gifts delivered at least four days before the 25th." Her hobbies are reading, giving other people good advice, and wondering why no one follows it.