Monday, 17 December 2018

Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

I'm very happy to be welcoming Abigail Reynolds back to the blog with her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Mr Darcy's Enchantment. This time the variation is quite a major one... this is a world where magic is real....

Let me share the blurb with you, and then we will hand over to Abigail for an excerpt from Mr Darcy's Enchantment.

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds
Book Description

In a Regency England where magic and faeries are real…

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a powerful magician who controls fire, water, and wind. What he cannot control is his growing feelings for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. But Darcy is also sworn to uphold the laws which forbid women to use magic, and Elizabeth knows it.

Elizabeth’s sentiments towards Darcy are quite different. She detests his arrogance, and she fears he will expose her use of forbidden magic. He is the last man in the world she would choose to help her on a difficult and dangerous task.

But when a magical war looms between the land of Faerie and their world, a Lord of Faerie demands that Darcy and Elizabeth serve together as his emissaries to make peace with the other mortals. That mission throws them into the middle of a chaotic power struggle between magicians whose power dwarfs their own, and everything Elizabeth has ever believed about her family, her friends, and her enemies will be called into question.


This magical variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice makes the land of Faerie as real as Regency London and Rosings Park, as bestselling author Abigail Reynolds presents new challenges for Darcy and Elizabeth in her longest and most enchanting story to date.


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Introduction to an Excerpt from Mr Darcy's Enchantment from Author Abigail Reynolds

We all know Pride & Prejudice is magic, right? Well, in Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment, the magic is real. So is the traditional land of Faerie – the same Faerie Shakespeare wrote about in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But the story is about Darcy and Elizabeth, not about the inhabitants of Faerie. The vast majority of the book takes place in the Regency world at Rosings and in London, but our dear couple does visit Faerie on several occasions.

I particularly enjoyed writing Darcy and Elizabeth in Faerie because it reverses their roles. Darcy is on top of the heap in the mortal world – rich, well-connected, and one of the most powerful magicians in England. Elizabeth is far beneath him. But Elizabeth knows her way around in Faerie, and Darcy doesn’t. Nobody there cares about his money or his connections, and as for his magic – pfft! Any fay creature can outdo Darcy’s magic. They dismiss Darcy as unimportant, and he has to rely on Elizabeth to keep him safe. You can just imagine how his pride suffers!

I’ve published excerpts elsewhere, but none of them have been set in Faerie. This one is Darcy’s first visit to Faerie, and the only thing he knows for certain is that it’s very dangerous to tell lies in Faerie. Enjoy!


Book cover: Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds
Excerpt from Mr Darcy's Enchantment

The palace, for that was the only term Darcy could apply, truly was made of silver filigree. How could it possibly stand? The walls should not be able to hold a roof, and the towers ought to have collapsed of their own weight. It was disconcerting to see the laws of nature so casually violated.

No one met them at the door. Elizabeth looked at him, shrugged, and entered. Darcy followed close behind her, hoping uninvited guests were not slain on sight. It would seem in keeping with the barbaric glamour traps.

A tall silver throne sat at the far end of an impossibly long hall, with an equally tall, equally impossible being slouched in it. He was surrounded by fay folk. Darcy recognized dryads and sprites in his retinue, along with some diminutive figures he could not name. Drawing closer, he could see that everything about the laird was longer than he expected – longer legs, longer arms, and long, tapering fingers. His cheekbones were prominent and his chin narrow, and he was dressed in a tabard made from cloth of gold trimmed with sea green silk. His hair was spun gold and hung nearly to his shoulders, making him a picture of unearthly beauty sitting in a beam of impossible indoor sunlight. Cuffs of silver filigree covered his lower forearms. Darcy had never seen a Sidhe, the most powerful fay, but he had no doubt the being before him was one.

Elizabeth halted a short distance from the throne and lowered herself into a deep curtsey. Darcy opted for the most cautious course and made his court bow.

“What brings mortals to my hall?” The Sidhe’s voice seemed to contain chiming bells.

Darcy’s throat was tight, but he said, “We have come to seek your permission to return to our own world.”

The fay lord stepped down from his throne and paced in front of them. Darcy was unaccustomed to having to look up to see someone’s face, and he did not like it, especially given the fay’s grim expression. There was something odd about his tilted, emerald green eyes, their pupils shaped in tall ovals not unlike a cat’s eyes, under eyebrows shaped more like wings than arches. His skin was pale and translucent like fine porcelain. The sight of him sent a shiver down Darcy’s spine.

“Why did you come here that you wish to leave so soon?”

Elizabeth seemed unperturbed by the astonishing sight. “I fled here to escape a powerful mage. Faerie was the one place I knew he could not follow me. I am told he is no longer pursuing me, so I may return home safely.”

“The doors to Faerie are blocked to mortals.”

She held out her stone. “When I was a child, I had a fay friend. She brought me to Faerie sometimes. She gave me this years ago in case I ever needed to return here. I did not know there would be glamour traps or that I would no longer be welcome. I should not have come here if I had.”

The fay lord loomed over her. “Years ago there were no glamour traps. They were created after the war with mortals began.” He whirled to face Darcy. “And you. Who are you?”

Absolute honesty. This would not be pleasant. “My name is Fitzwilliam Darcy, and I am a mage.”

“The one she was fleeing?”

“No.” In case that might seem less than honest, he added, “That was my uncle.”

He turned to Elizabeth. “Are you a mage as well?”

“No. Mortal women are not permitted the use of magic.”

“Not permitted? How barbaric. You, mage – why were you pursuing her?”

“I was worried about her. She had been missing for days.”

The fay lord silently paced back and forth, back and forth. “Throwing yourself into Faerie because you were worried?” he asked scornfully.

He was going to have to say it. “I love her.” He avoided looking in Elizabeth’s direction.

“Ah, love and death, those human mysteries.” With another one of his lightning quick twists, he turned to Elizabeth. “And you. Do you love him?”

Darcy interjected, “She does not.” He would rather say it himself than hear Elizabeth saying it.

“Permit the lady to answer for herself!”

Elizabeth licked her lips, obviously uncomfortable. “My sentiments towards him are confusing. I cannot claim to love him, but I also cannot be certain I do not love him.”

Darcy stared at her, repeating her words in his mind. They made no sense. But surely it was better than a straightforward denial, was it not?

The fay lord seemed pleased by this peculiar non-answer. “Have you ever murdered a tree?”

“Murdered? Do you mean cutting it down?” asked Elizabeth in bewilderment.

“Call it what you wish.”      

“I have never cut down or killed a tree. Once I asked my father to trim away a branch that was blocking my window, but the tree is still there.”

Had he ever given an order to cut down a tree? Darcy frantically ran through his memory. No doubt his steward had done so on occasion, and could be considered to be acting in his name –

“I do not speak of that sort of tree, but the trees in a grove.”

“I have never harmed a tree in a faerie grove.” Elizabeth sounded more certain this time.

“And you?”

“I have never cut down any trees in a grove.” Why was it so important? Were the trees sacred to the fay?

The fay lord demanded angrily, “Why have your fellow mortals broken our treaty?”

What treaty? How could he respond to this? “I beg pardon for my ignorance, Lord, but I do not know what treaty you refer to.” Was that suitably humble?

“The only treaty! The Great Treaty between fay and mortals. We gave you your freedom, and you preserved our groves!” He practically spat out the words.

How was he to admit he had never heard of this treaty the fay held so dear?

Elizabeth, braver than he, asked, “Honored Lord, when was the Great Treaty made?”

He waved his hand as if shooing away nonsense. “Perhaps a thousand of your years ago, or a little more.”

She took a deep breath. “Honored Lord, mortal life is fleeting and mortal memory is even shorter. A thousand years is more mortal generations than I can count. I am ashamed to admit that today’s mortals do not know the Great Treaty ever existed. We do not know why the fay have been attacking us. Mortals do not even know you are at war with us.”

“How can this be?” he cried. He stalked back to his throne and threw himself into it.

Elizabeth said quietly, “It must be the Enclosure Acts. Landowners have been cutting down wooded areas and enclosing them, but when they cut down a faerie grove, the faerie ring is destroyed.”

It could not be. Or could it? Last spring one of the neighboring landowners had cleared a forested area that bordered on Rosings Park, and now fay attacks were common there. Surely the ring they had traveled through should serve the same purpose, and it was close by. But he knew nothing of how faerie rings worked or why they were important.

“Is there something we should do? Does he wish us to leave?” Darcy asked in a low voice.

“I think not,” said Elizabeth slowly. “I believe we should wait to be dismissed.”

A dryad-like creature draped in a diaphanous green silk drifted silently towards them, stopping just in front of Elizabeth, but not looking at them. An apple on a silver plate appeared in her hand.

Elizabeth stiffened, but she took the apple. “I tha… Eating this will give me great pleasure.” Her voice shook.

The dryad made no acknowledgment before continuing her journey across the hall.

Elizabeth sidled closer to him, her face pale. “I should have warned you earlier. You must never thank them. It is a grave insult. And… And I do not believe our thoughts are fully private here.”

How could their thoughts not be private? “I do not understand.”

“Just a moment ago I was wishing I had eaten another apple. I was wishing it rather loudly, if such a thing is possible.”

Good God, what might they have overheard from his thoughts? They could not hear them all, or there would be no need to ask questions. Perhaps they could only hear thoughts that expressed strong desire. If that was the case, the Sidhe lord should know all about his desire for Elizabeth’s love. Even through his fear, he ached for her.

The Sidhe gestured to another dryad. She glided towards them with a gem-studded silver cup in her hands. She offered it to Elizabeth, who drank from it and returned it to her. The dryad held it out to Darcy. Society would hold it rude for a man to drink from the same glass as a lady, but here it seemed expected. He took a careful sip. It was a sweet, flowery wine that sparkled like champagne, and it made his head spin a little. He handed it back to the dryad, who offered it to Elizabeth again.

Elizabeth hesitated briefly before taking it and drinking from it again. She turned towards him and offered it directly to him, watching him closely. If she thought he should drink it, he probably should. He took it and drank again. Now his head definitely spun for a moment. Was there some drug in the wine? Was it safe? Elizabeth seemed untroubled by it.

The dryad took the goblet from him and walked away.

The Sidhe lord seemed to come to some sort of conclusion. He strode towards them once more. “Walk with me,” he commanded.

Darcy and Elizabeth trailed after him through the impossibly long hall, half running to match the pace of his long legs. At the far end a wooden door suddenly appeared in what had been a filigree wall a moment before. It opened itself, revealing an enormous garden filled with climbing vines and exotic flowers with a hauntingly beautiful scent.

A silver filigree gazebo sat in the center of the garden. The lord stopped before it and spun to face them. “Our two worlds are bound together like twins residing in the same womb, and anything that interferes with that binding harms us both. Not all of us are happy with this war against humans. It is King Oberon’s son who wishes it. Oberon is completely in his thrall.”

“If there is a way to end the war, we would do anything in our power to promote it,” Darcy said carefully.

“I am glad to hear it.” The Sidhe held out his hand, now holding two tiny cakes. Was this some sort of ritual?

Elizabeth took one of the cakes and ate it. “I am honored.”

Darcy followed her example. Like the wine, the cake tasted of flowers, and again, his head spun.

“We will speak further, but you must leave now,” said the Sidhe. “Oberon’s representative is nearing this place. There is a whitethorn tree in the grove from whence you came. Meet me there on Beltane at sunset. Both of you, and no one else. Do you understand?”

Darcy nodded. “We will be there.”

“Into the gazebo,” he ordered, pointing a long tapering finger.

The silver filigree looked too fragile to hold Elizabeth’s weight, much less his own, but Darcy was beyond arguing. He followed Elizabeth, grateful the floor seemed to support him.

But only for a moment. The floor dissolved under him, and he struck cold earth with a bone jarring thud. They were in the faerie circle at Rosings and the spell book still sat outside it. Sharp knives seemed to be stabbing into the arm he had fallen on.

Beside him Elizabeth pulled herself to a sitting position and rubbed her hip.

“Are you hurt?” Darcy asked.

“I will have a bruise or two, nothing more. I must say these transitions seemed easier when I was younger, but perhaps I am simply less resilient. And you – are you injured?”

Darcy cautiously moved his arm. It hurt like the devil. “A bit sore. More stunned by how quickly everything happened.”

“I had forgotten how abrupt the Sidhe are. One would think immortality would allow more time for civility, but it does the opposite for them, as if any wasted moment is lost forever. And they are accustomed to being in command, as you may have noticed.”

“I noticed,” he said dryly.

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Author Abigail Reynolds
Author Bio

Abigail Reynolds may be a nationally bestselling author and a physician, but she can't follow a straight line with a ruler. Originally from upstate New York, she studied Russian and theater at Bryn Mawr College and marine biology at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. After a stint in performing arts administration, she decided to attend medical school, and took up writing as a hobby during her years as a physician in private practice.

A life-long lover of Jane Austen's novels, Abigail began writing variations on Pride & Prejudice in 2001, then expanded her repertoire to include a series of novels set on her beloved Cape Cod. Her most recent releases are Conceit & Concealment, the national bestsellers Alone with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections, and Mr. Darcy's Journey. Her books have been translated into five languages. A lifetime member of JASNA, she lives on Cape Cod with her husband, her son and a menagerie of animals. Her hobbies do not include sleeping or cleaning her house.


Buy Links

This book is available to buy now! You can get it in paperback or kindle. It's also available in kindle unlimited. Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads Shelf

Giveaway Time!

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds
Abigail is very kindly giving away 2 ebooks of Mr Darcy's Enchantment. To win, just comment on this post! Please leave a way for me to contact you in case you are the lucky winner. Closing date is the end of the day on Sunday 23 December.

Thank you so much to Abigail for the generous giveaway!

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61 comments:

  1. I have to admit that I read this book on kindle unlimited. I loved it. My favorite Reynolds book by far. Very Harry Dresden meets P & P.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm thrilled to hear you loved it so much. :)

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    2. I'm so pleased to hear it's your favourite by Abigail Reynolds. I am looking forward to reading it.

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  2. Thanks Ceri for hosting. I already have a copy of the book. I just wanted to stop by and say congratulations to Abigail Reynolds on the success of this work. I really enjoyed it and want to encourage others to grab their own copy. This had to be the longest list of evil characters I've ever seen. Scared the crap out of me on more than one occasion. Whew! It will take me a while to recover from this one. I loved Darcy and Elizabeth. Sorry, I got carried away there. Congratulations again and good luck to those in the drawing.

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    1. Thank you, and feel free to get carried away on that subject any time! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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    2. Hi J. W. Glad you enjoyed it. I will look forward to having the crap scared out of me too :)

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  3. This is such a wonderful mix of fantasy and Pride and Prejudice. Plenty of angst and times of worry. It is a book that is very difficult to put down. Good to luck to those of you entering. You will love it.

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    1. Thank you so much! My twenty-something daughter called me recently and said, "Mom, I hate you, I need sleep, and I'm renaming my cat [presently named Pip] Pepper." So I guess she found it hard to put down, too!

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    2. I hope it's not too angsty, Deborah Ann, because I am a bit of a sensitive lamb! Although I do like some angst. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

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  4. I have nothing but, wonderful reviews. I have already purchased this book and it is in my to read pile. Good luck with others entering the giveaway.

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    1. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy it! I've been hit with a couple of bad reviews in the last few days, so I appreciate the reminder that there have been many wonderful ones as well!

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    2. I hope you enjoy reading it, Shelley. I hope to read it very soon!

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  5. Okay, I'm hooked! To be honest, I don't usually love fantasy (with the exception of Harry Potter!), but I do love Abigail Reynolds, and I've been hearing such great things about this book. And that excerpt sealed the deal. :) Ceri, you know where to find me if I'm lucky enough to win the giveaway. If not, I will be purchasing a copy!

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    1. Jennifer, I'm so glad you'll be giving it a chance! I'm thrilled every time a reader who isn't into fantasy gives it a try. It's much more like Harry Potter than The Hobbit.

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    2. Hi Jennifer. Although I don't tend to read fantasy as a genre (aside from Harry Potter, like you!) I don't mind fantasy elements as long as the characters are enjoyable. I've read JAFF with fantasy elements before and liked it.

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  6. I can't wait to read it! And I will have the honor of translating it into Spanish!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Tere! I hope you enjoy it.

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    2. That's so awesome, Tgruy, that you get to translate it!

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  7. Abigail Reynolds was my first P&P Variations author that I read. She opened up a whole new world for me which I am ever so grateful for. I was a history major at University and my favorite time in History is the Regency/Victorian era. To have access to so much history, pictures, first hand information and knowledgeable comments is amazing. Then Abigail Reynolds throws another twist into the machinery, that of the fae world. This reminds me a bit of Shakespear play A Midsummer Dream, I loved it and I am very earger to read how Ms. Reynolds married the two. This small snippet is very intriguing and has me hooked.

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    1. Very insightful based on a short snippet! My land of Faerie is based on British folklore and heavily influenced by Shakespeare, who (in this universe) visited Faerie and based A Midsummer Night's Dream on his experiences there. I've borrowed a couple of his characters to mix in with the characters I've borrowed from Jane Austen. ;)

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    2. Hi Unknown. Thanks so much for commenting. If you'd like to enter the giveaway, please can you add your name to your comment or even better, some contact details?

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  8. This book was highly anticipated and worth every minute of impatience of it being published. It was in my top five favorite books of the year. I'll be rereading it again and again in years to come, (much like so many other Abigail Reynolds books.) I wasn't a fantasy reader either, except Harry Potter :) and Maria Grace's dragon series. I cannot recommend this highly ENOUGH! When I finished it I just sighed 'wow.' I would love my own copy as I read it on KU but it will get to my library soon regardless.

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    1. Wow, thanks so much! It means a lot that you gave it a try and that you loved it. Thanks for making my day!

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    2. So glad to hear such enthusiasic praise of this book, Michelle!

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  9. I am looking forward to reading it! I have never read a fantasy JAFF before but Abigail’s books were the first JAFF I read and she got me hooked!

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    1. There aren't many fantasy JAFFs out there, but I'm glad you'll give this one a chance! :)

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    2. It's very true, there isn't much fantasy JAFF out there. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it, Lily!

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  10. Thank you for this excerpt as it gives memore information. If Abigail Reynolds wrote it, I know it will be good. So, are Elizabeth and Darcy compromised since they are away together? evamedmonds(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I was glad to be able to bring you the excerpt, Eva. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it :)

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  11. I also read this on KU but would love my own copy for the future. Her books are ones I have reread in part or in whole over and over again. Loved this one.

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    1. I agree, Sheila, Abigail's books are definite re-readers. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one.

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  12. I already have the eBook but wanted to comment and say how much I liked Abigail's story.

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    1. Jen, I'm so glad you liked it! You've always been such a great supporter of JAFF writers, and I'm so glad you're publishing your own books now.

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    2. Thanks for the comment, Jen! Glad to know that you enjoyed the book.

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  13. Oh my goodness...the visuals, the scents, the tastes were so tantalizing...as if I was experiencing them myself! Thank for a chance at the giveaway!

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    1. Later in the book, Elizabeth drinks faerie wine which tastes of apple blossoms and elderflowers in the moonlight, and one reader has already tried to recreate this drink with sparkling apple juice and elderflower liqueur. I really want to try that!

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    2. Good luck in the giveaway, Carole!

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  14. I love fantasy books so I'm very excited about this release. Loved the excerpt especially how well Elizabeth handled everything. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book. jadseah4(at)yahoo

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. The book is also available on Kindle Unlimited for those who don't win. :)

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    2. If you love fantasy books already it must be good to have it mixed with JAFF! I hope you enjoy this when you read it.

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  15. This was a fabulous story and I loved this fantasy world mixed with the P&P story.

    Please do not enter me, Ceri! :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Sophia! I'm really looking forward to reading it.

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  16. It seems that everyone has read it but me. :-( To my defense I don’t allow myself to get new books until the 29th of December --I have a work deadline. You see it’s a matter of discipline and... survival. My books list is growing though so I dearly hope I win this! ;-) (I'm so sure it'll be good!)

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  17. How silly of me… I forgot to add my mail… it’s viewokto(at)yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk

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    1. I feel like that too, I haven't read this book yet, or in fact, hardly anything. For me, it's a seasonal problem rather than a work deadline. Every year I think I will get time to read in the run up to Christmas and every year I am either busy or exhausted! We will get our reading time soon! Thanks so much for adding in contact details :)

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    2. Thanks Ceri-- I feel a little less silly now. ;-)
      And not alone in my "crazy" state. :-)

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  18. Love Abigail Reynolds stories. Can’t wait to read this one.

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    1. She is a must-read author for me, Alp :)

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  19. I’ve read ‘Alone with Mr. Darcy’ at least a dozen times, as well as ‘Darcy’s Refuge’ and your other books. I’d love to read this one too. A known story in an unknown setting.... I’m very curious!

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    1. Hi Heleen. I meant to read Alone with Mr Darcy but it came out later than expected and when it came out I had a full reading schedule. It's a book I hope to read this year, so I'm glad to hear such praise for it. I loved Mr Darcy's Refuge too.

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  20. I am intrigued by the story. I have not read a P&P with magical elements before and this will be my first. Thank you for the giveaway, Abigail.

    evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Luthien. I hope you enjoy the story when you read it :)

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  21. I love Abigail! I think I've read all her earlier books. I can't wait to read this one. It would be my first magical au. Julhenke(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  22. Oh! I'm on US eastern time and here it is still 12/23... 😐

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    1. Hi Juliana, that is fine. I include any entries made before 10am my time the next day, which is about the time where it will be 24/12 worldwide :)

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  23. Just had the opportunity to read the book! Loved it! The ending left me wanting more!!!

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    1. I can't wait to read it, Dung! So glad you enjoyed it.

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  24. Sorry for the delay, everybody! Winners have been posted: https://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot.com/2019/01/winners-mr-darcys-enchantment-by.html

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