When a simple accident is misinterpreted and threatens Elizabeth Bennet's reputation, her fate seems sealed as Fitzwilliam Darcy's wife. While the bride is resigned, the gentleman could hardly be happier until betrayals and schemes threaten to entirely take the matter out of their hands. Overcoming the plots before them will take all the patience, perseverance and collaboration they can muster, but a partnership requires truth. Self-discovery and trust await Jane Austen's most beloved and willfully blind couple as they attempt to master their own destiny in life and love.
Sounds enticing, doesn't it! Read on for the excerpt, and a chance to win an ebook of 'No Cause to Repine', open internationally.
* * * * *After an unnerving amount of time, Mr. Gardiner said, “Allow me to thank you, Mr. Darcy, for conveying our niece to us and relieving her from what I assume was an intolerable situation.” His tone was neither friendly nor antagonistic but held something akin to suspicion.
Darcy civilly replied, “It was the least I could do for Miss Elizabeth.” He did not discern that his tone sounded coldly indifferent.
Mr. Gardiner gave Darcy a level look and motioned to a note on his desk. “Your express was quite vague, and you can imagine I am full of questions. Let us not hedge on the matter.”
“I admire a forthright attitude.” Assuming the plainspoken demeanour that always served well for business transactions, he said, “Very well, I will relay the events that led us to the conclusion that departing Kent immediately and journeying to Town was necessary.”
In the midst of the tale, Darcy paused. He had not considered the indelicacy of explaining how he had fallen upon Elizabeth. Memories best left for his private chambers flooded his mind and senses. Her pleasing and soft but firm body, her pert breasts right next to my eyes, the fragrance of lavender surrounding me as her strong thighs cushioned my face. My hands were so close...
Darcy cleared his throat and, resisting the urge to loosen his cravat, attempted to banish such thoughts. “I landed on her person.”
He glanced at Mr. Gardiner and saw a bemused expression on the man’s face, but he nevertheless continued to explain succinctly the circumstances that necessitated Elizabeth’s departure.
Mr. Gardiner knit his hands together and brought them to his face. He tapped his forefingers against his lips and seemed to consider the young man’s words. He settled for frankness again and asked, “Am I to assume that you have come to an understanding with my niece?”
“Yes, sir. She accepted my hand in marriage, and we depart tomorrow to meet with Mr. Bennet.”
Darcy was unsure how much he should explain, but he could not suppress a small smile from forming at this first acknowledgement of his engagement. He was reluctant to share his private dealings with a stranger, but he did not desire Elizabeth’s family to believe he merely felt obligated to the match.
Edward Gardiner narrowed his eyes, with a more suspicious tone than before. “I infer from your description of events that you called upon Elizabeth alone, Mr. Darcy. What do you say to that?”
Darcy hung his head for a moment. When he looked up, the expression of regret in his eyes was unmistakable. “It was not my intention, Mr. Gardiner. I had believed all the ladies within the house. My cousin had often called on them at other times in a similar way. I do confess to not departing immediately upon learning of my mistake.”
“Why should you put my niece in such a position?”
Darcy shook his head and closed his eyes. The older gentleman was determined to know it all. “As soon as I thought clearly on the matter, I decided to depart. Your niece is everything proper, and I should never wish to taint her name. It did not immediately occur to me to leave because rational thought often leaves my mind while in her presence. I also confess to enjoying her sole company. I regret that I acted inappropriately, but you should know that I had every intention of asking for Miss Elizabeth’s hand during my stay in Kent before I even darkened the door to the parsonage.”
Mr. Gardiner looked at Darcy for a discerning minute, then said with compassion in his eyes, “You love her. You will care for her.”
Darcy met Mr. Gardiner’s eyes. “Yes, with all my might.”
“I suggest you argue that case before my brother Bennet tomorrow, young man.”
A footman announced supper, and before departing, Darcy arranged to speak with Mr. Gardiner and Elizabeth on a serious matter before he left for the evening.
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Twelve years ago she fell in love with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy Coincidentally, or perhaps not, she also met her real life Mr. Darcy twelve years ago. They had their series of missteps, just like Elizabeth and Darcy, but are now teaching the admiring multitude what happiness in marriage really looks like and have been blessed with two children, a four year old son and a one year old daughter.
Previously rereading her favorite Austen novels several times a year, Rose discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction due to pregnancy-induced insomnia. Several months later she began writing. The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter is her first published work. Rose has a degree in history and hopes to one day finish her MA in Modern Europe and will focus on the Regency Era in Great Britain and produce historical fiction novels of the era. For now, she gets to satiate her love of research, Pride and Prejudice, reading and writing….and the only thing she has to sacrifice is sleep! She proudly admits to her Darcy obsession, addictions to reading, chocolate and sweet tea, is always in the mood for a good debate and dearly loves to laugh.
You can connect with Rose on Facebook, Twitter and on rosefairbanks.com
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If you just can't wait and need to buy the book, the ebook is due for release on 14 May but you can preorder. Here are the UK and US Amazon buy links, but I think it'll be available to buy in other e-formats and paperback format is out already!