Friday, 12 June 2020

So This Is Love by Laura Hile - Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: So This Is Love by Laura Hile
Today I’m excited to be welcoming Laura Hile back to Babblings of a Bookworm with the first blog visit for her new book, So This Is Love. This book focuses on one of my favourite minor characters from Pride & Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas, who is going to take a different path to canon. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I’ll hand over to Laura for a guest post. There’s also an ebook giveaway for one of you!

Book cover: So This Is Love by Laura HileBook Description

“I am not romantic, you know. I never was.”

Newly escaped from a loathsome engagement of convenience, Charlotte Lucas has no interest in romance. More than ever, she is convinced that no man would—or could—love her. As companion to an aging aunt, Charlotte’s new life is as predictable as it is circumspect.

But then she is rescued from a robbery by her uncle’s heir, a masterful man who is disastrously handsome. Why has he remained as a guest in the house? Why is he so determined to draw Charlotte out and make her talk? And what of his invitation to visit his home by the sea?

Romance is not on the chart for Captain Jack Blunt. Never again will he be played for that kind of fool! He is ashore only to heal from an injury and see to business, nothing more. And yet the pointed disinterest of his cousin’s pert niece is intriguing. She is forthright, refreshingly honest—and altogether lovely.  She will make a fine wife for one of his officers. But not, of course, for him.

So This Is Love is a joyride of a Regency, bringing whirlwind romance and happily-ever-after to Jane Austen’s staid and practical Charlotte Lucas.


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Excerpt from So This Is Love, introduced by Laura Hile
Book cover: So This Is Love by Laura Hile

Mr. Collins is little more than a stranger when Charlotte Lucas agrees to marry him. This is a prudent choice, given her situation. But when Mr. Collins crosses the line, something in Charlotte snaps. How dare he be so familiar, so shamelessly forward! It isn’t as if he loves her!

Come with Charlotte as she breaks the engagement, is sent away to her father’s relations—and discovers a future that is vastly different from the one she envisioned.

Because “I am not romantic” is anything but true. Charlotte simply hasn’t met the right man.

In this story, she will.
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In Chapter 2, poor Charlotte becomes less and less confident about her decision to marry Mr. Collins.
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Indeed, lately it was all Charlotte could do to maintain composure in Mr. Collins’s presence. If only she did not see so much or think so much!
“I have no opinion,” Charlotte reminded herself. “None at all.”
But she did have an opinion, and therein lay the trouble. Moreover, this opinion would not curl up or slink away, but instead chose to taunt her. It had been taunting her for days.
Just now, for instance, it was obvious that Mr. Collins had mixed up the value of the playing cards. And not just any cards, but a knave and an ace. What simpleton would do a thing like that?
In addition to everything else, must Mr. Collins be stupid?
Charlotte took herself in hand. There was no excuse for being petty and ungenerous. “Not every gentleman needs to play whist,” she told herself firmly. “Mr. Collins has other qualities that are admirable.”
Never mind that she was unable to think of even one!
Mr. Collins’s gaze held an expression of shame mixed with bravado. “Whist is not often played by Lady Catherine de Bourgh,” he said, as if this explained everything. “Doubtless you find my skills a little underdeveloped.”
He looked at her expectantly. Was he waiting for her to reassure him? He was! Charlotte knew her duty and said all that was proper. But oh, she hated the duplicity of this. It was not as if whist were a complex game!
“Card games did not come my way during university days,” he announced. “I felt it was my duty to dedicate every moment to my studies.”
Was it truly duty? Or was it because he was so unintelligent that he had difficulty learning anything?
Fortunately, Charlotte did not speak this thought aloud. She sorted her cards and said mildly, “If Lady Catherine is not in the habit of playing, when she does it will be in your best interest to lose.”
She was rewarded with a braying laugh.
“Shame, shame!” he chided. “You oughtn’t to speak of the provider of my living—that is to say, the provider of our living—with such levity.”
“I understand,” said Charlotte. She played her card, and her father and Johnny did likewise. Mr. Collins hesitated, gazing with dismay at his cards.
“Come on, Collins,” said her brother. “We haven’t got all night.”
“Now, son,” said Sir William. “Give the man space to think.”
Charlotte drew a long breath, and then watched her betrothed put down a low-ranking card from the wrong suit. Another blunder.
Johnny gave an unmannerly whoop. Mr. Collins’s face took on a pinched expression.
“I can do this,” Charlotte told herself. “I can manage him as husband.”
And she would! She would encourage him to keep busy with his duties as rector, to practice reading aloud sermons in his study, to call on parishioners, and to cater to Lady Catherine’s every whim.
If he allowed it, she would even teach him how to play cards properly.
Again Charlotte told herself what she had said to Elizabeth Bennet, for it was very true. “I am not romantic. All I ask is a comfortable home.”
The game played itself out, and Johnny took on the duty of tallying the points. Charlotte knew without looking that she and Mr. Collins had lost again.

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Author Laura Hiles
Author bio:

Encourager. Believer. Author. Teacher. Friend.

By day, Laura Hile teaches at a Christian school. By night -- or rather, in the early morning when she can think! -- she writes Jane Austen and Regency romance with laughs and happy endings.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There's never a dull moment with middle school students!

She enjoys gardening (she is a weed warrior!), choral singing, and having coffee with friends.

Laura lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with her husband and a collection of antique clocks. One day she hopes to add a cat or three.

Other books by Laura Hile: Darcy By Any Other Name and the Mercy’s Embrace trilogy. She is a regular contributor to the A Very Austen anthology series.

Connect with Laura:

• Website • Facebook • Goodreads • Twitter 

Book cover: So This Is Love by Laura Hile
Buy links

So This Is Love is available as an eBook and is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. You can also get the story in paperback.

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf



Giveaway Time!


Laura is very kindly offering to give away an ebook of So This Is Love to one of you! To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day worldwide on Friday 19 June.

If you have any difficulties adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

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52 comments:

  1. Ceri, thank you for featuring me today. It's been a while since I have released a new novel, and this one is really fun. We love to see our girl Charlotte kick Collins to the curb.

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    1. I am so happy you visited Babblings of a Bookworm with this book, Laura! I'm looking forward to reading it :)

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  2. I enjoyed reading the WIP until the last couple of chapters and the Mary Bennet solution, whch ruined the book for me. Pity because I enjoy reading about the secondary characters more than Darcy and Elizabeth.

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    1. I'm sorry about that, Vesper. There had to be a way to get Elizabeth to Hunsford (off screen) to meet up with Darcy.

      I'm glad you enjoyed most of the book.

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    2. I know you are a big Mary fan, Vesper! My big no-no is Darcy and Elizabeth not ending up together. Anything else I don't mind a bit of variation in how they end up. I will keep an eye out for the Mary ending when I read this.

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  3. Good for Charlotte to ditch Collins! I hope things work out well for her in this book.

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    1. Happiness for our girl Charlotte was my main focus, Nightstitcher. If she is brave enough to kick Collins to the curb, she deserves to meet a swashbuckling hero, right? Someone who casts Collins into the shade.

      This book is a fun, romantic escape. Good luck with the giveaway!

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    2. I'm pleased for her too! Although canon Charlotte knew what she was taking on with Mr Collins she paid a high price for the privilege of getting married. It's nice to think that she could have had a happily ever after without such a downside!

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  4. Captain Jack Blunt! What a name! I’m delighted that Charlotte has the courage of her convictions and breaks her engagement with Mr C.
    Her meeting with Mr B will be interesting to read and I look forward to witnessing their romance.
    Thank you for hosting,Ceri. Hope you and yours are well. Best of luck with your book,Laura.

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    1. Mary, thanks for entering the giveaway.

      I tried out various names for Charlotte's hero, but only this one stuck. Then it turned out that his hair and beard are blond.

      Like Chris Hemsworth in Thor.

      Well, all right then! We loves us a swoony hero with a sword in his hand!

      This guy not at all like Collins, nope. Go, Charlotte!

      Best of luck in the giveaway, Mary.

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    2. Laura kindly sent me an excerpt where Charlotte meets Captain Blunt and it's a good meeting. I went with this one as it was the first blog visit and it seemed like it would introduce the book nicely.

      I didn't realise that he looked like Thor though! What a wonderful mental image for when I read it!

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  5. How intriguing!! I love it when Charlotte gets a real happy ending! Mr. Collins is indeed horrid.

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    1. Hi, Maria,

      Oh, I agree! We want our girl Charlotte to have the happiest ending ever! So I sent a hero her way who is as unlike Collins as chalk is to cheese.

      This book is filled with delicious banter between Charlotte and the Captain. Isn't that what we love about a romance?

      Thanks for entering the giveaway. Good luck!

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  6. Charlotte is one of my favorites! She is SO level headed but every person has their limits!

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    1. Lily, I LOVED working with Charlotte. In this story, her intelligence, wit, and sly sense of humor (which comes out when she's not having to be careful) emerged in a wonderful way.

      As I told Maria (above), there is much delicious banter in So This Is Love. And isn't that a change from Mr. Collins?

      Good luck in the giveaway!

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    2. I am very fond of Charlotte too.

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  7. For me this was a delightful romance...with or without the connection to P&P.

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    1. Good for you, Sheila, for recognizing this. A romance, not a variation, was in my mind when I wrote it.

      No re-scrambling of Jane's pairings for this book (well, except for the reference Vesper dislikes, mentioned above).

      So This Is Love is meant to be a swashbuckling romance that is just plain fun to read (the kind of thing I like!) with plenty of banter and opportunities for our girl Charlotte to shine.

      I know that you already own this book, Sheila, but your name's in for the drawing just the same. If you win, I will gladly gift the eBook to a friend of your choice. How's that?

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    2. Glad you enjoyed this one Sheila, because it's a good indication that I will too!

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  8. I have this book and LOVE it! I know your readers will enjoy the read. Congratulations Laura! And thanks Ceri for featuring here.

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    1. Jen, it's lovely to see you here. Thanks for your encouragement and support.

      As I said to Sheila (above), you're here so you're in for the giveaway. If your name is chosen, I will gladly gift the eBook prize to a friend of your choice. How's that?

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    2. Thanks for stopping by with your endorsement Jen! It's always helpful to know that a book is a good read :)

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  9. Carole in Canada13 June 2020 at 14:44

    So looking forward to reading a new book by you Laura! I love when Charlotte is given a better option! thank you for a chance at the giveaway!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Carole, it's been too long since I released a novel.

      Sigh. I teach middle school for nine months of the year. That's no excuse for brain-deadness. Wait, maybe it is.

      And you are absolutely spot on. Our girl Charlotte is confronted with a much better option, all right. Think Patrick McGillvary from Mercy's Embrace combined with Chris Hemsworth in Thor and you'll have the right idea.

      Then put a pistol and a sword in his hands. Swashbuckling, any? Go, Charlotte!

      My designer couldn't make the cover guy too blond, or he'd look like a surfer dude. Plus, not too many Regency models sport gentleman's beard ...

      This is a fun romantic read, designed for escape. Good luck in the giveaway, Carole.

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    2. Thanks so much for stopping by, Carole! It is good to see Laura releasing a new book. It amazes me that she has time to write with her job. I know I struggle sometimes for the energy to do my blogging, which obviously takes a fraction of the effort that writing would!

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  10. Laura, please do not include me in the give away. Although thank you for that generous thought. I would have a problem choosing between my many friends. Your raffle is a better way to go. I just wanted to add my opinion about your book here.

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    1. You could draw names out of a hat, like Ceri will do...

      That's okay, Sheila, I understand the struggle. Heck, I would like to give a prize to every single person who comments on here.

      Have a lovely day! Read on!

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  11. You definitely have my attention!

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    1. Was it "Chris Hemsworth: comment to Carole that got you, BeckyC?

      Yeah. Charlotte deserves a guy like THAT.

      Heck, we want to read about a guy like that.

      Thanks for entering the giveawy. Good luck!

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Becky! I hope you enjoy the book when you read it.

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  12. Oh, I have always wanted a different story for Charlotte. You know, she is smart, intelligent and very observant... even more so than Elizabeth. She knew going in what was in store for her with this engagement to Collins and was willing to endure it for the prize. The promise of a future at Longbourn could or would erase a multitude of sins. Or, at the least, cover the most horrid behavior. However, I think we can see from the excerpt that Charlotte had reached her limit or tolerance for said horrid behavior. It took a lot of courage for her to break the engagement but I applaud her resolve. I have this on my wish list and look forward to reading it. If I don't win... I plan to purchase it. Blessings on the success of this and thank you and your publisher for the giveaway. Good luck to everyone in the drawing. Looks like Ceri will have a large hat to fill with all these names. LOL! Thanks for hosting Ceri, you rock.

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    1. *Laura speaks behind her hand* Stay tuned, J.W., for more promotional giveaways.

      This is an anthology story that quickly grew too large, not only in length, but also in the person of our hero, Captain Jack Blunt.

      Oh, that man.

      Sheila correctly identified this book as being a romance, rather than an Austen variation. I simply had to give our girl Charlotte a better story.

      Novels that are not Darcy-and-Elizabeth centric do not usually sell well, but this quickly became a story of my heart. Even if I lost money, this was a tale that deserved to live, to be told.

      To my intense wonder, I am discovering that other readers feel the same way. So This Is Love is loaded with all the romantic ingredients we love: swashbuckling adventure, a toadish villain (who gets put in his place), sparkling banter, and romance.

      Because, you know, this is Charlotte. She deserves to encounter the real thing.

      Thanks for stopping by, J.W. Good luck in the giveaway!

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    2. Thanks so much for commenting, Jeanne. Good luck winning a copy :)

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  13. How cool is this? Charlotte plus a dashing Naval hero. I do love seeing her get a much better fate and a bit of an adventure.

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    1. Hi, Sophia Rose,

      As I was saying to J.W. (above), this is quite the story.

      The hero our Charlotte encounters is as different from Collins as can be ... and the man is not at all safe. How is it that he is so bewitchingly attractive?

      We readers know. Oh, we do.

      Good luck in the giveaway, Sophia Rose. Follow me around for other giveaways to come.

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    2. To be honest, I would be happy to see Charlotte with a sensible man, and ask nothing more than that. For him to be a dashing naval hero is just the icing on the cake!

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  14. I love when Charlotte proves to be romantic after all and marry for love rather than security. Sounds like one I would enjoy. Congrats on the release!

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    1. Hi, darcybennet!

      You are so right. Our girl Charlotte is more than up to falling sincerely in love. I wrote this one to please myself, and it's a joyride.

      Thanks for entering the giveaway.

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    2. Yes, me too, Darcybennet. It's nice to see a romantic side after all.

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  15. Love that Charlotte gets her own story. She’s a minor character that is somewhat ignored.

    I always felt bad that she settled for Mr. Collins. Glad she gets a chance at happiness.

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    1. Hi, Dung! Thanks for entering the giveaway. Our girl Charlotte is deserving of some happiness, yes. I became even more fond of her while working on this book. So of course I had to give her a swoony hero. :)

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    2. I always felt for her too, Dung. Although she made her choice with her eyes open there must have been times that she regretted it.

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  16. Thanks Ms Hile for writing a story about CL. Being EB's close friend, I am always wishing in stories she would have a true HEA with someone she loves and who loves her dearly. It seems this is one of the stories.

    Thank you for the excerpt and the chance to win a copy.

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  17. Buturot, thank you for entering the giveaway. This is the kind of story I like: escapist with plenty of delicious banter -- and adventure too.

    Good luck in the giveaway!

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  18. I love Charlotte HEA stories, especially it more excitement than being married to Collins. Congratulations. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. KateB, thanks for entering the giveaway. Good luck!

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    2. It's nice to see Charlotte given a happy ever after isn't it!

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  19. I am pleased that Charlotte has another man whom she truly loves in your novel. I always felt she can do better than marrying Collins. I look forward to know more of her story.

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    1. Hi Luthien. I hope you enjoy it when you read it.

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  20. Oh, dear, how many women end up "managing" their husbands like Charlotte did? The man she discovers in So This Is Love is unlike any man she's known. He simply won't be managed -- and he treats Charlotte's opinions as important and worthy of consideration.

    This makes for fun reading. Good luck with the giveaway, Luthien84.

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