Hello readers! I’m very excited to be participating in The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy Blog Tour and to be able to welcome author Beau North and Brooke West to Austenesque Reviews today! It sounds like Mr. Darcy finds himself in an extraordinary situation in this Pride and Prejudice variation! I can’t wait to read it myself! Today Beau and Brooke share a scene from their new release to whet your appetite!
First, we’d like to thank Meredith and Austenesque Reviews for being a part of our blog tour. We’re so looking forward to discussing this with you all in the comments! To give a little set up for this excerpt, we join Mr. Darcy in London in the months after his departure from Hertfordshire. He has been trying valiantly to forget a certain lady he met in Meryton, with very limited success. Unfortunately for him, he happens upon one of the few people who know him well enough to see through his pretenses—his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. His friendship with Colonel Fitzwilliam (here named Robert) is one of the more important relationships in his life, and their connection will be very important to Darcy further along in the story. We hope you enjoy!
Darcy’s mouth compressed into a grim line as the ball hit the floor with a loud clack.
“You have fouled again, my boy,” Admiral Bridgewater said with a chuckle. “I recall you being more adept at billiards than this! But…it has been a long war.”
Darcy stood to his full height, a head taller than the weather-beaten admiral, before giving an elegant bow.
“Another game?” the admiral asked eagerly.
“I think not,” Darcy said with a terse smile. “You will empty my till yet.”
The admiral smiled and nodded his head graciously.
True to his word, Darcy spent the better part of his day at Boodle’s after a mill at Jackson’s. Bingley had not shown up, and Darcy could only feel relief. His relief was short-lived, as he heard a familiar voice calling his name.
“Darcy! There you are, you scoundrel!” His cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam approached him with a sunny smile on his face. Darcy cursed his luck. There were two people who had a way of seeing through his pretenses: one was his housekeeper Mrs. Reynolds and the other was the man now striding towards him.
“Fitzwilliam, it has been far too long,” he said with a bow.
The colonel rolled his eyes. “Always so blasted formal. Are you going home for dinner?”
“I thought I might dine here.”
“Excellent! I shall join you if you want for company.”
“On my account, I suppose?” Darcy asked with a lazy grin.
Fitzwilliam dismissed him with a wave. “Oh come now, Darcy, you love paying my way. It keeps the distinction of rank preserved.”
“From Her Ladyship’s lips to your ears it would seem,” Darcy said with a chuckle. “Very well, I hope you are in the mood for dreadful beefsteak.”
Fitzwilliam laughed, his eyes twinkling. “Ah but you forget, Cousin, the Regulars do not have the benefit of a fine French chef. Dreadful beefsteak is divine when a poor soldier can get it.”
Darcy scoffed and shook his head. A footman led them to a comfortable table, tucked away in the corner of the room where he could observe all of its occupants. Brandy was served. Darcy made a show of studying the amber liquid, pointedly not looking at his cousin.
“Are we to have no conversation then?” Fitzwilliam asked testily. Darcy faltered for a moment, a sudden pain lancing through his chest. I believe we must have some conversation, Mr. Darcy. He could almost see the flinty spark of her eyes. He cleared his throat, locking that memory away in the confines of his heart.
“My apologies, I was woolgathering.”
Fitzwilliam nodded, his cool blue eyes cutting through Darcy’s distracted façade. “I stopped by Darcy House today. Georgiana told me I might find you here.”
“Oh?” Darcy asked, keeping his expression impassive. Fitzwilliam narrowed his eyes at him.
“Oh, hang it, man! The poor girl is worried. Even I can tell you are distressed.”
“She need not bother. As you can see I am very well.”
“I see nothing of the kind! Though I can say I believe I know the source of your trouble.”
Darcy’s brow rose. “Please, enlighten me, Cousin.”
Fitzwilliam’s lips twisted into a knowing smile. “Trouble with the fairer sex, I expect.”
Darcy harrumphed but said nothing, his silence confirmation enough. Fitzwilliam sat back in his chair, pleased with himself.
“Crossed in love, are you? Or perhaps you have been too long without having your chimney swept.”
“And your chimney is swept too often, you poxy goat,” Darcy said through clenched teeth.
Fitzwilliam grinned, his shoulders shaking in sudden mirth. “Come now, perhaps it is time you visited Mrs. Easton’s establishment. You know she is always of the utmost discretion.”
“Unlike yourself,” Darcy said. “I can assure you I need no such…guidance from you.”
“Suit yourself. Perhaps our aunt will finally convince you to marry Anne.”
Darcy’s brow rose. “Do you think that likely?” A footman appeared with their food, quieting the colonel, who tucked in immediately. Darcy had never been so relieved to see Boodle’s dreadful beefsteak.
About the Authors
Beau North is the author of Longbourn’s Songbird and a contributor to the anthology Then Comes Winter. Beau is a native southerner who now calls Portland, Oregon home with her husband and two cats. She attended the University of South Carolina where she began a lifelong obsession with Literature. In her spare time, Beau is the brains behind Rhymes With Nerdy, a pop culture podcast and website, and a contributor at the San Francisco Book Review.
Brooke West is a contributing author to the anthology Then Comes Winter. Brooke has a naturally creative soul that pulls her into myriad artistic endeavors. While writing fiction always has been her life’s passion, Brooke also finds joy in silversmithing, sculpting, and costuming. Between projects, she runs and practices yoga. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, son, and three cats.
Thank you, Beau and Brooke! I love seeing relationships like this where Colonel Fitzwilliam isn’t fooled by Darcy’s protestations! A true friend knows the truth when you try to lie. 🙂 I wonder if Darcy will open up to Colonel Fitzwilliam?
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Beau North and Brooke West are generously giving away 8 copies of The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy in conjunction with this blog tour!! Woot woot! Commenting and entering through the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win! (US winners can choose paperback or ebook, international winners will receive ebooks. Up to 4 paperback winners only.)
Beau and Brooke are having a fun little vote for your favorite would-be Mr. Darcy. For readers who wish to vote in our The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy contest, the choices are shown below.
There is a lovely grand prize for one lucky person too!
- A paperback copy of Then Comes Winter by Meryton Press, edited by Christina Boyd
- A paperback copy of The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Beau North and Brooke West
- A paperback copy of Longbourn’s Songbird by Beau North
- A $15 Amazon Gift Card
- Assorted Jane Austen postcards and Pride and Prejudice Post-ots by Girl of All Work
To vote for your favorite image of Fitzwilliam Darcy from the images shown above, go to The Many Faces of Fitzwilliam Darcy Contest Link. The winning image and the winner will be announced on October 20, 2016, at our last blog stop, So Little Time… So Much to Read.
Thank you to Claudine Pepe, Beau North, and Brooke West for making this blog tour possible!
October 8 ~ My Jane Austen Book Club
October 9 ~ Just Jane 1813
October 10 ~ Pemberley to Milton
October 11 ~ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life
*October 12 ~ Austenesque Reviews*
October 13 ~ Margie’s Must Reads
October 14 ~ Babblings of a Bookworm
October 15 ~ The Calico Critic
October 16 ~ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy
October 17 ~ Diary of an Eccentric
October 18 ~ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
October 19 ~ More Agreeably Engaged
October 20 ~ So Little Time… So Much to Read