Sunday 3 March 2024



 Dear Austenians,

Welcome, one and all, to My Jane Austen Book Club! I am thrilled to extend a heartfelt welcome to each of you who decided to join us on the second day of a truly special journey.

Today, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce our esteemed guest, Christine Combe! Welcome back and thank you for being a part of this delightful gathering.

Today, we have the privilege of exploring Christine's latest literary marvel, The Husbands of Elizabeth Bennet. This brilliant duet, crafted with Christine's masterful pen, promises to whisk us away to the enchanting world of Jane Austen's iconic characters.

We are invited to unravel the mysteries and marvels of Elizabeth Bennet's world. From the tranquil beauty of the countryside to the elegant ballrooms of Regency England, Christine's prose effortlessly transports us to a world where love, laughter, and longing dance hand in hand.

In the excerpt shared with us, we catch a glimpse of Elizabeth's indomitable spirit as she navigates the tumultuous waters of love and loss. Christine's narrative prowess shines brightly as she weaves a tapestry of intrigue and suspense, drawing us ever deeper into the heart of Austen's beloved universe.

Please, scroll down and embrace the magic that awaits within the pages of The Husbands of Elizabeth Bennet.

Christine, once again, I extend my sincerest gratitude for gracing us with your presence and for sharing your literary gifts with our community. Your talent and passion illuminate our shared love for all things Austen, and we are truly privileged to have you with us today.

To our cherished readers, I extend a warm invitation to lose yourselves in Jane Austen's world as recreated by our guest. May your journey through Austen's world be as delightful as the company you keep along the way.


 Thank you for having me, Maria  Grazia— I am so very happy to be featured on your blog today. 

Greetings fellow Austenians, and welcome to the second day of my blog tour! I am very excited to be visiting My Jane Austen Book Club once again, this time to talk about two new books!

That’s right, two — I’ve written and published a duet (or duology, if you prefer) in the last six months, entitled The Husbands of Elizabeth Bennet.

 In volume one… 

In volume two…

Aren’t these covers lovely? Now, how about an excerpt from volume one? Read on…




A pleasant walk in the country—Elizabeth Bennet had taken many simply to enjoy the beauty of nature.

This one, she had taken to escape her home.

A small part of her felt guilty at leaving her sister Jane to suffer the continuous lamentations of their mother without her support, for Mrs. Bennet had bemoaned the departure of Netherfield’s current leaseholder each day of the fortnight since Charles Bingley, his family, and his friend Mr. Darcy had gone to London. Constant was her chatter on the subject, wondering why Bingley had gone, why he hadn’t come back, what had Jane done to drive him away…

Elizabeth was sensitive to her sister’s feelings on the subject—she knew Jane had cared for Mr. Bingley very much—but when their mother wasn’t decrying the young man for his fickleness, Jane was crying on her shoulder because she missed seeing him. Because she wished he hadn’t gone away. She cried over her fear that Caroline Bingley—Mr. Bingley’s unmarried younger sister—was right and that Mr. Bingley had not cared for her at all because his heart was already set on another.

Considering Georgiana Darcy is the same age as Lydia, I would have thought her brother of the mind that she is far too young to marry, Elizabeth mused as she walked.

With a sigh, she dismissed all thoughts of Mr. Bingley and Jane’s disappointment, and through her nose she drew a deep, fortifying breath—she’d stepped out on this unusually warm December morning to avoid the drama going on at home and clear her head, not bring it along with her. Elizabeth walked a steady, slow pace along the road that would take her to Oakham Mount, her favorite spot to think, read, or just enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

As she approached a section of the road which was lined on both sides by a small wood, where the trees closest to it created something of a canopy through the spring and summer months, Elizabeth’s eyes widened at the sight of a horse with what looked to be a carriage harness around to it, or at least part of such a contraption. The chestnut beast lifted its head when it took notice of her, then turned and started toward her. They met halfway between their positions, and it was with a hesitant hand that Elizabeth reached for the horse’s bridle.

“Dear creature, where did you come from?” said she in a gentle voice as she stroked the horse’s velvety nose with her free hand. “What’s happened to the rest of your carriage, and your master, hmm?”

The horse lifted its head and gave a short neigh, then it turned toward the wooded part of the road. Elizabeth went along, a mixture of curiosity and trepidation filling her. She began to pray that the creature beside her was leading her to nothing, but she sensed it would bring her onto a scene most dreadful.

She was not wrong. Soon after their reaching the edge of the wood, Elizabeth gasped at the sight of an overturned carriage several feet away. Her companion’s partner was still hitched to the vehicle and prancing anxiously in place. She saw a man dressed in livery lying eerily still on the ground by the back of the carriage, a large red stain coloring the dirt road beneath him.

“Oh, dear God,” Elizabeth cried softly as her eyes darted about. Were the culprits still here? Where was the driver, and the occupants of the carriage? Could the latter still be inside?

As much as she wished it otherwise in that moment, she knew it was her Christian duty to see if there was any hope of saving the man on the ground, and to lend aid to any other person who might have survived the accident. She let go the bridle of the horse that had brought her to the horrible scene and approached cautiously. Bile rose in her throat as she noted that the man on the ground was unmistakably dead, for he had what she assumed was a gunshot wound to his temple.

This was no simple carriage accident.

Elizabeth looked around again. She neither saw nor heard anyone but that did not mean she was alone. Her eyes fell to the ground again, and she looked about for anything that might be used as a weapon to defend herself; her heart sunk when she saw nothing but thin twigs.

Again, she drew a fortifying breath, and stepping around the body, she approached the carriage. The curtain about the back window was askew, so she stepped as close as she could to peek inside it. There was a single person—a man—inside, but she was certain that he was deceased also, for his neck was bent at an odd angle, his eyes were open wide, and he did not move. Elizabeth’s own eyes began to sting with tears for the loss of the two men. The carriage had clearly been attacked by highwaymen, and her sense of fear was heightened at the thought, as such a thing was almost unheard of this close to Meryton.

A sharp neigh from the horse at the front of the carriage caused Elizabeth to emit a short screech of fear. She then heard what sounded like a moan—and knowing it could not possibly be the gentleman behind her or the one inside the carriage, she moved around the vehicle and noted another liveried man on the ground a few feet from the carriage. A second weak moan told her he was most definitely alive, and she hurried over, her fear temporarily forgotten.

Elizabeth knelt beside him as she took in his appearance; he had brown hair shot with gray around the temples, though there were no age lines about his face, and he seemed quite fit. His left leg was bent at an odd angle below the knee, suggesting a bad break, and there were multiple wounds to his chest and abdomen that still bled.

“Sir? Sir, can you hear me? Talk to me, tell me your name,” said she as she picked up his hand and patted it.

The man turned his head toward her, his eyes fluttering as they opened. “H-help me…” he muttered so softly she nearly did not hear him speak.

Elizabeth nodded vigorously. “I will, sir. You must hang on; I will go and get help!”

The man’s hand tightened ever so slightly around hers. “No… stay…”

“But sir, I cannot help you if I stay!” Elizabeth cried softly. “I must fetch help—men to carry you, the apothecary—”

The sound of approaching horses drew a gasp from Elizabeth, her attention drawn sharply in the direction from which she’d come. Two men on horseback approached—slowly, at first, but then their pace picked up as they took note of the overturned carriage. The man in front seemed familiar, but she could not place him until he called out:

“Hello there, is there anyone alive?”

Mr. Bingley! Elizabeth’s mind cried out in relief. She looked down at the carriage driver as tears of relief spilled from her eyes. “Help is come, sir! Help is come to us!”

His only reply was to moan again. Elizabeth patted his hand again, then she set it down gently and stood. “Mr. Bingley, over here!” she cried out, waving her arms that he would see her.




The die is cast! Tell me what you think in the comments below and remember to visit each blog on the tour and write down the keyword for each day. Comment on the last blog (All That They Desire) with the sentence the words create to enter for your chance to win print copies of both novels! Contest open worldwide!




If for any reason you cannot comment on the last blog, reach out to Christine via email or Facebook with the full sentence to qualify for the drawing.


 Thank you for stopping by to learn a little more about The Husbands of Elizabeth Bennet today, and thanks again to Maria Grazia for having me!

Christine Combe

 Both volumes of The Husbands of Elizabeth Bennet are available in ebook, paperback, and hardcover from Amazon. Also available to read in Kindle Unlimited. 


 Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen‘s work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on her next book.



Email: / Blog: All That They Desire / Facebook: Christine Combe


Glory said...

Congratulations on both of the books. I look forward to reading them ~ Glory

jeannette said...

Thank you for this excerpt. I'm intrigued and certainly looking forward to reading this story.