Thank you, Maria Grazia, for welcoming me to My Jane Austen Book Club. I am happy to be here! It’s always exciting to launch a blog tour, and I’m grateful to you for hosting today.
Interrupted Plans follows the same timeline as the original work, with a few key tweaks. Before Elizabeth can travel north with her aunt and uncle, Lydia is caught with a gentleman and forced to marry. Narrowly escaping all-out scandal, the Bennet family is eager to put the past behind them.
To that end, Jane and Elizabeth travel to London to stay with their Aunt and Uncle Gardiner. It is there that Elizabeth crosses paths with Mr. Darcy once again. The following scene occurs as Darcy and Elizabeth are dancing together after having come upon each other rather unexpectedly.
Darcy returned to
the refreshment table where he had last seen Bingley. He found him in the
company of two ladies. It was unlike Bingley to seek out the company of ladies
these days. Not since Hertfordshire. Not since the day Darcy had betrayed the
best friend he had ever known, all in the error of pride and conceit. Shaking
himself from his mental gloom, he stepped forward as Bingley turned towards
him, revealing the faces of the ladies beside him.
Darcy froze, his
formal greeting catching in his throat as he stared at the beautiful woman
across from him. Elizabeth Bennet!
Her own lovely
face held a look akin to horror. Good
God, she is appalled to see me! In truth, Darcy could not blame the lady
for her response, as deeply as it hurt. Their last meeting had been anything
“Darcy! There you
are!” Bingley was speaking, but his voice held an anxious tremor that belied
his jovial welcome. “I have just been speaking with Miss Bennet and Miss
Elizabeth from Hertfordshire. You remember them, of course.” As he spoke, the
two ladies curtseyed.
his features to that of polite warmth—or so he hoped. Bingley was uneasy, and
Darcy immediately decided he must show him and the Miss Bennets that he had
learned to be a loyal friend these past few months.
“My apologies for
keeping you waiting, Bingley. Miss Bennet, Miss Elizabeth, it is a pleasure to
see you again. I trust you are both well?”
looked quite pale, but Miss Elizabeth’s colour rose as she replied, “Thank you,
Mr Darcy. We are both quite well.”
Her eyes refused
to meet his, however, and he endeavoured once more to put her at ease. “I hope
you are enjoying the ball?”
“We have only
just arrived, sir,” she answered. “However, it was most fortuitous that Mr
Bingley found us among the crush of attendees. It is nice to see you both
Did she really
mean that? It was impossible to tell. She still refused to look at him,
choosing instead to look at Bingley or her sister. At that moment, the
musicians began to tune their instruments, signalling the commencement of
dancing. Beside him, Bingley cleared his throat.
might I be so bold as to request the honour of your hand for the next dance?”
flushed but demurely accepted his friend’s offer, and after excusing them both,
Bingley led his partner to the floor. Darcy watched them, a heavy feeling of
regret settling in his gut. How wrongly he had treated them!
He turned back to
Miss Elizabeth, unsurprised to see her look of challenge. The impulse struck
him then to tell her all. He wished to spill the contents of his wounded heart
and lay himself at her mercy. It seemed, however, that he still had some pride
left, though he hoped it was at last in good regulation.
he said, watching as her anger cooled to wariness. “Would you do me the great
honour of allowing me to squire you through this dance?”
startled at his request and gave no answer, but she continued to stare at him.
Brigid Huey has been in love with Jane
Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young
girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids and spends her free time
reading and writing. She also has an assortment of birds, including five
chickens and too many parakeets. She dreams of living on a farm where she can
raise as many chickens, ducks, and goats as she likes and write romance novels
in an airy study overlooking the wildflowers.