* * *
I love the story of Romeo and Juliet. I think everyone can empathize with the idea of lovers who are able to love each other despite familial prejudices and kept apart by forces beyond their control. So I’ve always wanted to write a Romeo and Juliet-type story (with a happy ending instead of people dying in a tomb). I liked the idea of combining R&J with Pride and Prejudice in part because it gives our heroes, and especially Mr. Darcy, a different set of obstacles to overcome.
We’re very accustomed to seeing Darcy as the master of his fate, with complete control over his estate and his fortune. But in Darcy vs. Bennet, his father is alive and very much in charge of these things. His father also hates the Bennets because of a longstanding feud. So this creates a very interesting dynamic; Darcy must always consider his father’s reaction to his relationship with Elizabeth. Darcy is still a very strong character, but he must overcome a new set of challenges.
Writing is always a process of discovery. When I start a book I always think I am prepared for the upcoming twists and turns in plot and characterization, but I’m always taken off guard by what ends up happening. While much of Darcy vs. Bennet follows the basic plot of Pride and Prejudice, adding a family feud and a new major character resulted in some new and surprising plot developments. I was very pleased how it turned out; and hopefully my readers will be as well!
“What happened to this woman?” Richard asked.
“She disappeared,” Darcy mumbled. “She simply left—left us, left the ball, everything.”
Richard rubbed his chin. “A woman ran away from Fitzwilliam Darcy?”
Darcy shot his cousin a quelling look, disliking this levity at his expense. “It is not as if there are many women running to me.”
“There would be if you wanted them.”
Darcy had no desire to have this conversation once more. He fell wearily into his chair. “I asked her if I could court her.”
“What?” Richard leaned forward so abruptly, some of his brandy spilled on the floor. “Why, that is wonderful!”
“She said no.”
Darcy’s cousin blinked and then frowned. “Are you certain you understood her correctly, Cuz? You are the kind of man all women dream of.”
Rather than being flattered, Darcy bristled at this compliment. “Apparently not all. She took the first opportunity to escape my company.”
“Perhaps she misunderstood your intentions. If you visit her house…”
“I cannot,” Darcy replied. “I know neither her surname nor where she lives.” He levered himself out of his chair and poured himself more brandy at the sideboard. This conversation required more alcohol.
“No surname?” Richard exclaimed.
“It was a masquerade,” Darcy ground out. “I expected to learn her identity at midnight, but she was gone by then.”
“Surely your host could tell you—”
Darcy was already shaking his head. “There were three Elizabeths invited, but none were young and unmarried—with a headful of dark curls.”
“She was uninvited?”
“Apparently. I care nothing for that. But I wish I knew her name…”
“Perhaps she was from a neighboring estate.”
“I considered that as well. I questioned the Berwicks at length. No doubt they thought me unhinged. But they have no neighbors named Elizabeth who fit that description.”
“Perhaps she gave you a false name.”
“It is possible.” Darcy thought about how the name seemed to suit her. He threw himself back into his chair, unconcerned about how his clothes would crease. “Why did she run? I cared not that she was uninvited. But she is the first woman I ever—” He stopped before revealing too much. Richard might be his best friend, but Darcy did not discuss his feelings with anyone. He rubbed his face with his hands. “She did not know my name or that I am the heir of Pemberley, and yet she liked me. I swear she liked me!”
“Perhaps something else caused her to flee,” Richard suggested.
Darcy stared moodily into his brandy glass. “Such as?”
“She might be a member of a notorious smuggling ring…or perhaps a French spy. Or maybe she ran off to join the gypsies.” Richard grinned.
Darcy snorted. Under other circumstances he might have laughed.
Richard made an expansive gesture. “Now that you know what kind of woman you find attractive, you may look for—”
Darcy’s teeth ground together. “There are no other women like her! Do you know how many women I have met in this quest for a wife? Hundreds! They all simper and agree with everything I say.”
“And Elizabeth did not?”
Darcy paused to think how he would describe her. “No…she…teased me. Challenged me. I do not know why I find that appealing.”
A smile quirked one side of Richard’s mouth. “Perhaps because no other woman does so?”
“Perhaps.” Darcy stood again, leaning an arm against the mantel.
* * *
Elizabeth Bennet is drawn to a handsome, mysterious man she meets at a masquerade ball. However, she gives up all hope for a future with him when she learns he is the son of George Darcy, the man who ruined her father’s life. Despite her father’s demand that she avoid the younger Darcy, when he appears in Hertfordshire Elizabeth cannot stop thinking about him, or seeking him out, or welcoming his kisses….
Fitzwilliam Darcy has struggled to carve out a life independent from his father’s vindictive temperament and domineering ways, although the elder Darcy still controls the purse strings. After meeting Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy cannot imagine marrying anyone else, even though his father despises her family. More than anything he wants to make her his wife, but doing so would mean sacrificing everything else….
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Hmm, I wonder who Darcy met at the masquerade?!! Since Victoria Kincaid has promised us a happy ending this is a variation that I'm very keen to read, particularly as I mentally re-wrote the ending of Romeo and Juliet after I read it, no tragic outcomes for me!
Victoria Kincaid has kindly offered to give away an e-book copy of 'Darcy vs. Bennet' to one of you. To enter, just comment on this blog post by the end of the day on Saturday 9 April. This is giveaway is open internationally.
If you cannot wait that long to read this book, it's available to buy now, in e-book or paperback
Thanks to Victoria for this peep at her new story, and of course for the lovely giveaway. If you'd like to know more about Victoria Kincaid, or her other works, check out the links below: