Today I have the pleasure of being part of the blog tour for the wonderful story Mr. Darcy's Promise by Jeanna Ellsworth. For a limited time, February 8-14, Mr. Darcy’s Promise will be available for .99¢ exclusively from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
"Jane Austen’s classic Regency story comes alive again in a tale of pride, prejudice, and a promise. Georgiana Darcy makes her way to Netherfield Park to meet the woman her brother so admires. While at first Georgiana’s presence smooths the course of true love between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, the ghosts of her past appear to wreak havoc on all of them. Unhappily, Elizabeth finds herself placed in the care of the Darcy family at Pemberley. Assuming he knows the cause of Elizabeth’s distress, Mr. Darcy makes a promise on his gentleman’s honor. The promise, although made with good intentions, becomes nearly impossible to keep for Mr. Darcy, and somewhat vexing for Elizabeth.
Some promises are made to be broken but will the ever-trustworthy gentleman let go enough to secure Elizabeth’s heart?"
For the full list of blogs taking part in the blog hop then please take a look here.
I read Mr. Darcy's Promise a few months back and I loved it. It is a very moving story which is highly romantic, funny and a clever exploration of an alternative path for the universally loved classic. (See my review here.)
Today I will be the third blog posting an excerpt from chapter one of Mr Darcy's promise!
To read the first part of the chapter visit Addicted to Jane Austen and to read the second section, preceding the excerpt below, visit My Love for Jane Austen.
So, here is the third excerpt from chapter one of Mr Darcy's
The next few days were spent between strange looks from Mr. Darcy, smiles of mischief from Miss Darcy, and frowns of frustration from Miss Bingley. Elizabeth was greatly relieved when Jane was finally feeling well enough to come down. The last few days without her had been wild! First Mr. Darcy greeted his sister with such tenderness she could scarcely believe it was him, and much more strangely, he asked her to dance a jig. A jig, of all things! He seemed much more relaxed with Georgiana around and she scarcely knew what to think of him!
It was Sunday morning and Jane and Elizabeth were hours away from returning to Longbourn. All Elizabeth had to do was patiently wait for church services to finish and then Mr. Bingley would have his carriage return them home. Church seemed to be taking especially long this morning! Elizabeth realized she had heard very little of what the clergyman said because of the reflection she was doing on Mr. Darcy. Why was he so changed towards her? She again wondered if she misjudged him. It hadn’t been all that unpleasant dancing with him either. What am I doing? Why would I enjoy a dance with a man who has always held me in such contempt? She did not know what to think of it.
The clergyman did not have Mr. Darcy’s attention either. More than anything, Mr. Darcy was overcome with the realization that Elizabeth was leaving Netherfield and he would not see her every day. Oh, the torture this thought brought! Her charming smiles, the merriness of her laughter, the way she crossed her ankles, the looks of impertinence, the soft full lips as she spoke his name . . . No, this would not do! He must marry and marry well! Marriage? Who said anything about marriage? He had simply been admiring her intelligence.
If Mr. Darcy was being honest with himself, which he was not, he would have said there was no other woman like her. No other woman stirred feelings of admiration and sparked sensations of curiosity to know more, like Miss Elizabeth did. But Mr. Darcy was not being honest with himself. Instead he was thinking of their one dance together and that relaxed smile on her lips and how much he wanted to kiss them. He thought about how well she got along with Georgiana and how quickly Georgiana had opened up to her. He was thinking about how nice it would be for Georgiana to have Elizabeth’s influence in her life, and in a moment of honesty, in his life.
“William, the song is over, you can sit down now,” Georgiana whispered, pulling on his hand.
He quickly sat down and whispered his thanks. Look what Elizabeth was doing to him! Focus, man!
After the closing prayer, Georgiana leaned over and continued, “I think I would like to call on Miss Elizabeth tomorrow. Would that be acceptable?”
A small smile spread across his face, but only briefly, as he realized he would not be calling on Elizabeth with Georgiana. For the life of him he couldn’t think of a single excuse to do so! He then thought of Georgiana in the presence of the other Bennets and frowned. Elizabeth’s youngest sisters alone would be the worst influence possible! And Mrs. Bennet was something else! How could anyone live with such a shrill voice calling out orders, opinions, and innuendos so quickly that people were dizzy just listening for five minutes! He looked at Georgiana, ready to tell her exactly what he thought when he saw the expectant look in her hopeful eyes and it undid him. Why was he always a sucker for fine eyes?
“Georgiana, if you would like to, you certainly may, but not alone. See if Miss Bingley or Mrs. Annesley will go with you.”
Georgiana frowned. If her plan was going to work, he needed to accompany her! “I was hoping to have you . . .”
Then he heard her. That voice, and it was certainly as loud and obnoxious as ever.
“Mr. Bingley! Oh Mr. Bingley! Thank you so much for the care you gave to my dear Jane! She is looking so much better then when I saw her last, does she not?” asked Mrs. Bennet.
“Of course, I have never seen her more beautiful!” Mr. Bingley replied.
“And the church lighting near the altar is so becoming of her complexion!” Mrs. Bennet then proceeded to lead Mr. Bingley by the arm as if to place him closer to the very altar she spoke of.
Elizabeth was caught between amusement and shame at her mother’s behavior, but then her feelings quickly turned to concern for Jane, who was now the object of much scrutiny by the people passing them down the aisle. Only their mother would push her matchmaking skills in the middle of church! She looked at Mr. Darcy and saw his disapproval written all over his face. Yes, he was quite displeased.
Promises to return the Bennet daughters as soon as possible were made and Mr. Darcy quickly escorted Georgiana out.
That! That was precisely why he could not align himself with any Bennet, much less Elizabeth! Her family was so ridiculous he would be laughed at wherever they went! Master of Pemberley laughed at? He could not bear it. He would no longer think on her fine eyes or the oft-raised eyebrow. He would no longer seek out her company, no longer look at her, nor let his mind drift to those chocolate curls. No, he decided. He simply would no longer desire her. No sooner had he decided this then he found his very own hand reaching for Elizabeth’s to assist her into the carriage. The surge of sensation running from his hand up his arm was so strong he dropped it as soon as possible, opening and closing his hand trying to dispel the sensation. He could still feel the heat and tingling that merely touching her caused.
Elizabeth noticed the quickly dropped hand as well. So the old Mr. Darcy was back in fine form, so prideful and conceited that he could not properly hand a lady into a carriage. Of course all these people were watching and she curtailed the temptation to say something smart when she bit her lip. Only a few more minutes with him and then she should never see him again! But she knew that wasn’t true, especially if Jane and Bingley got married. She would be thrown in his path over and over again! This realization did not help her mood any.
Georgiana saw Elizabeth bite her lip and turned to Miss Bingley and asked, “Miss Bingley, could I persuade you to pay a call to Miss Bennet and Miss Elizabeth tomorrow with me? I have heard such lovely things about Longbourn’s gardens and I know you would feel it appropriate to check in on Miss Bennet’s health.”
Mr. Bingley piped up and said, “What a marvelous idea!”
Seeing the rudeness of a refusal right in front of the Bennet sisters, Miss Bingley said, “Of course, Georgiana, it would be my pleasure!”
Both Mr. Darcy and Miss Bingley noticed the broad grin that splayed across Georgiana’s features. Elizabeth, however, had been looking out the window to avoid seeing what she knew would be further displeasure on Mr. Darcy’s face.
Jeanna Ellsworth also has a second book coming out, Pride and Persistence, which is due to be published in March. This book sounds like a lot of fun - think 'Pride and Prejudice' meets '50 First Dates'!
"Undaunted by a threatening storm, Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley insists he must deliver his letter to Miss Elizabeth Bennet–– then tragedy strikes. Riddled with guilt, Elizabeth comes to the aid of the comatose Mr. Darcy and stays by his side until he regains consciousness. She soon learns that although Mr. Darcy has awoken, he has not returned to himself. And with no memory of his first disastrous proposal, he has concluded that there is nothing he wants more than to propose to Miss Elizabeth.
This humorous journey of love leaves one asking, does persistence pacify prejudice? Can Elizabeth see the real gentleman behind the injury, a man who persists in professing his love to her every chance he gets? In this Regency variation of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet both learn the value of persistence."
This sounds like it is going to be a good one! To read the first chapter, go on over to her blog.
The lovely Jeanna is also offering some great giveaway opportunities during this tour. Throughout the blog hop, she is offering seven chances to win a signed copy of Mr Darcy's promise, one for each blog taking part. Enter as many times as you wish for your chance to win!
How to enter on my blog: if you have Twitter, follow Jeanna (@ellsworthjeanna) or if you have Facebook, like her author’s page (search Jeanna Ellsworth) and then just comment to let me know you have done this. If you do not use either Twitter or Facebook then just leave a comment with your thoughts on either of Jeanna's stories!
Please also leave your email address so that Jeanna can get in touch with the winner, who will be randomly selected from the comments. The giveaway on my blog ends on the 14th February. Good luck! And don't forget that there is more than one chance to win!
I highly recommend taking advantage of this brilliant promotion, for the story is well worth a read, even at the full price!
I just want to say a big thank you to both Jeanna Ellsworth and to Angela Simmons for including me in this blog hop and good luck to Jeanna with the publication of Pride and Persistence and for any other books in the future!
Your affectionate friend,