Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey

Book cover: Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey
I’m happy to be welcoming Brigid Huey back to the blog with her new novella. It’s the latest in the Skirmish and Scandal series from Meryton Press and is called Spies of Our Acquaintance. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I will bring you an excerpt. There’s an ebook giveaway too! Read on for more details.

Book Description 

French spies in Meryton!

Can the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice “keep calm and carry on” when Napoleon’s war comes to their neighborhood?

After Mr Darcy apologizes for insulting her at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet begins to see another side to the gentleman she has sworn to hate forever. As their acquaintance grows into friendship, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by this man from Derbyshire.

Darcy, meanwhile, cannot stop thinking about Miss Elizabeth. After the nefarious Wickham appears in Meryton, Darcy resolves to warn her of the man’s previous offenses. Matters become more urgent when Wickham proves to be involved in espionage for the French!

When Darcy and Elizabeth are captured by a French spy, they must work together to find a means of escape. With reputations and hearts at risk, what consequences will result from their perilous adventure?

Book cover: Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey
Excerpt from Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey

In this excerpt, Elizabeth encounters Mr Darcy in the gardens at Netherfield. What transpires might just change the course of their relationship!

* * * 

Elizabeth spent some time in the garden, grateful for the fresh air and beauty it provided. She found much to delight her. The gardens at Netherfield, left to their own devices for a time, possessed a certain wildness that appealed to her. The chrysanthemums gave way to a large bed of lavender, and Elizabeth thought that the mistress of such a house would have great variety in her drying room. Jane would do a fine job of it.

I must not let my fancies run away with me. Mr Bingley is half in love with Jane, to be sure, but we do not know what his intentions are.

“Miss Elizabeth!”

Mr Darcy’s voice brought her steps to an abrupt halt. With a sigh, she turned to greet him and Miss Bingley, only to find that he was alone. He stopped a few feet away from her and took off his hat.

“I meant to enquire after your sister’s health when we met earlier. I hope she has improved?”

“Thank you, Mr Darcy,” Elizabeth replied, surprised that he would seek her out in this way. “I believe she is a little better. She assured me that she was well enough to do without me this afternoon though I am not sure that I believe her.”

“Are you in the habit of doubting your sister?”

“Pray, do not mistake my meaning. Jane is a very private creature. She does not show her emotions as easily as I do, and she would much prefer to keep her suffering to herself. I should not have stayed away from her so long. Indeed, I should return to her now.”

Mr Darcy was looking at her strangely, as if he had just solved a particularly vexing puzzle. “Allow me to escort you.”

They fell into step together, walking at a leisurely pace towards the house.

“Miss Elizabeth, please allow me to apologize for what happened earlier. I had no wish to exclude you from our walk.”

His frank declaration surprised her. She had not thought him in the habit of apologizing to anyone. A glance at his face left her in no uncertainty of the sincerity of his feelings. He looked positively contrite.

“Please, do not make yourself uneasy on my account, sir. I am perfectly happy alone in a garden.”

He pressed his lips together as though unsure of how to reply. They walked on a few steps more without a word exchanged. Just as Elizabeth began to become uncomfortable with the silence, Mr Darcy spoke again.

“There is something that does make me uneasy. Though I have no wish to bring you pain, I feel I have acted dreadfully, and I would like to beg your pardon.”

“Mr Darcy, you are talking quite seriously!” Elizabeth teased. “Surely, allowing Miss Bingley to have you all to herself is no significant infraction.”

He shook his head and looked down at his feet as they walked. “Nay, it is not for Miss Bingley that I apologize. I am speaking of another matter entirely. Pray, excuse my frankness, but did you happen to hear me speaking with Bingley at the Meryton assembly?”

Elizabeth could not conceal her shock at such a question. Of course she had heard him. Mr Bingley had been attempting to cajole Mr Darcy into joining the dance, suggesting her as a partner. She had laughed off Mr Darcy’s uncharitable response as best she could, but his words had been burnt into her mind. “She is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me.”

“I—I am not sure what you mean, sir.”

“Disguise of every sort is my abhorrence, and I can see by your looks that you did hear me. I must beg leave to apologize.”

Elizabeth said nothing. How could she respond to this: admit to the man that she had heard him? She should not have been listening to his conversation, no matter how accidentally she overheard him.

“I spoke of you in a most ungentlemanly manner, and I apologize. Furthermore, what I said was grievously false.”

This was not at all the Mr Darcy she thought she knew. His actions now were not of prideful conceit but solicitous repentance. Who could have believed Mr Darcy so capable of a pretty apology?

* * *

My goodness, that is a pretty apology! What a lovely excerpt! You can enjoy another excerpt tomorrow if you follow the blog tour to From Pemberley to Milton.

About the Author:

Brigid Huey has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids and spends her free time reading and writing. She also has an assortment of birds, including five chickens and too many parakeets. She dreams of living on a farm where she can raise as many chickens, ducks, and goats as she likes and write romance novels in an airy study overlooking the wildflowers.

Contact Info: 

WebsiteFacebook Author PageEmailInstagram: @brigidhueywrites / Twitter 

Other Books by Brigid Huey

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods

Interrupted Plans

 

Buy Links 

The novella, Spies of Our Acquaintance, may be purchased on Amazon. It is available as an eBook, a Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited. The audiobook, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, should be released in six to eight weeks.

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf


Book cover: Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid HueyGiveaway Time!

 

Meryton Press is giving away an ebook of Spies of our Acquaintance to a commenter here. The giveaway is open internationally. Please leave your comment below, and remember, if I don’t have your email address you will need to follow the comments or check back in at a later date to see if you're the winner. Please leave your comment by the end of the day worldwide on Tuesday 31 August 2021. If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

 

Blog Tour Schedule 

Please check out the other stops on the blog tour.

August 25th Babblings of a Bookworm

August 26th From Pemberley to Milton

August 27th Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

August 28th Probably at the Library


23 comments:

  1. Aww, that was sweet. I wonder what this early apology will do to Elizabeth’s thoughts concerning Darcy. Thanks for the excerpt, and the opportunity to win a copy of the book.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Good luck with the giveaway!

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  2. I have this on my "Wish List" to borrow from KU. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

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  3. I loved this book, Brigid! Congratulations on another enchanting tale. <3

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  4. And this settles that!!
    Looking forward to the rest!💜

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  5. Carolel in Canada25 August 2021 at 20:33

    Congratulations, Brigid! What a sweet excerpt and I look forward to reading it!

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  6. Thank you for hosting, Ceri! I enjoyed the excerpt and the book, Brigid. It was "enchanting" as Nicole said!

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  7. Thank you so much, Janet. The cover is enchanting, too!

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  8. Thank you for hosting me, Ceri! I always love being a part of your blog.

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  9. What a well written version of "the apology." I think a spy based JAFF is a great idea. Good on you, Brigid. Thanks for hosting, Ceri!

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  10. Yay for Darcy. Surprise for Elizabeth!

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  11. That is quite a gorgeous apology! Mr Darcy truly seems to be a good and kind hearted soul here. Thank you for sharing this excerpt.

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  12. Neat changes for this variation and intriguing what an early apology might do.

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  13. I have a comment to add on behalf of Wendy. Unfortunately she couldn't comment on the post, but she is dying to read this story.

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  14. Sounds intriguing! I'm eager to learn more during the blog tour.

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  15. What an interesting premise - love the idea of Wickham having an extra level of villainy! - and I enjoyed the extract. Good luck with the release, Brigid!

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  16. Thank you for this. This is interesting Mr Darcy apologizing early in the story. Now eager how the interactions/perceptions of these two will be with that out of the way.

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