Hello, dear readers! I am very excited to welcome back author Amy D’Orazio to Austenesque Reviews today! As you might have seen, Amy D’Orazio has a new release out this month! I so adored Amy’s first book, The Best Part of Love, and the turbulent and emotionally-wrought journey it took me on. I cannot wait to read Amy’s new release, A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity! Amy is here to share a most swoon-worthy scene that was especially written for this blog post! So even if you have already read this book (and I know some of you definitely have!) this may be something new for you to enjoy!
Good morning, Meredith! It’s such a pleasure to be back at Austenesque Reviews to share my first post for the blog tour of my newest release, A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity. This is a little vignette that is not actually in the book. It is referred to in memory by Darcy but we never know how it happened from Elizabeth’s perspective. This is their first engagement, before any of their troubles arose. It takes place when the Gardiners and Elizabeth have gone (as in canon) to Derbyshire and have chanced to meet Darcy at Pemberley. As in canon, Miss Darcy invited them to dine but in this case, they were able to actually do it because Elizabeth chose to delay her reading of Jane’s letters about Lydia.
Engaged to Mr Darcy! Elizabeth hugged the delicious secret to herself, savouring it like the bits of cake she used to hide away in her room. She wondered whether the Gardiners had noticed her abstraction that day. Her behaviour, she knew, had bordered on the uncivil, but how could she speak of Mrs Gardiner’s relations or the sights to be seen in Bakewell when all her thoughts were of him?
He was somewhat abstracted himself, she observed, for he had been silent and grave since the moment they had arrived at Pemberley to dine. In other times it might have alarmed her or made her think he regretted proposing to her but now she knew more of him. Now she understood that the moments he said the least were the very same times he felt the most.
You take a keen interest in the roses.” Elizabeth jumped, not having realised he had drawn close behind her. Had she been looking at roses? She supposed she had been looking out the window in the general direction of some garden or another.
She turned to face him, and spoke in low tones meant for only his ears. “You know my preference, Mr Darcy; I am far more easy in a garden than I am in a drawing room.”
I should by no means suspend any pleasure of yours, then. I shall take you there directly.”
Turning, he spoke to his sister, using tones meant to inform the whole room. “Miss Bennet has expressed an ardent wish to see our mother’s roses, Georgiana. Pray forgive us; we shall return directly.”
No one else paid them much mind; Mr Darcy had chosen his moment well. Mr Gardiner was deep in conversation with Mr Bingley, Mr Hurst had fallen asleep, and Miss Darcy was showing Mrs Gardiner some sketches she had drawn. Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst had mysteriously disappeared from the room on a quest of interest only to themselves.
They left the house in silence, Elizabeth breathing deeply of the warm August air and the scent of late summer. They had walked some little distance when Mr Darcy stopped, turning to her and raising her hand to his lips. “I hope you do not dislike that I have stolen away with you.”
I could not dislike it,” she said, feeling the rush of colour to her cheeks, “for indeed I was hoping for it.”
I am so happy,” he confessed in a low voice, “I began to disbelieve we were truly betrothed.”
So did I,” she replied in similar tones. “I was just thinking of it as I stood there. I shall admit, I was not looking at the roses at all; I was thinking only of you.”
Mr Darcy glanced over his shoulder, looking back at the house, before drawing her nearer and enfolding her in his embrace. Elizabeth paused a moment, uncertain, and then circled his waist with her arms, bringing him even closer. She felt him sigh into her hair and then kiss her lightly. Minutes passed in this fashion, precious minutes that filled her with contented delight.
Come,” he said at last, his voice hoarse. “I think I must show you some roses.”
She knew that it was a matter of anxiety to him that she should love Pemberley — and indeed, who could not love Pemberley? — but she resolved to see the roses with exaggerated felicity to please and reassure him. As it was, such resolutions were unnecessary for the roses were a triumph. She gasped loudly the instant she saw the profusion of beauty before her.
Like everything else at Pemberley, the roses had been planned in accordance with nature. This garden was not the result of careful planning and contrived situation; these were a riot of beauty, roses climbing and rambling and blooming as they were meant to do naturally.
Do you like them? My mother took great pride in this garden, and many of these are varieties she planted herself.”
I love them.” Elizabeth’s enthusiasm was genuine. “Truly I do. I could spend days here just getting acquainted with them all.”
The smile that went across his face told of the pleasure her words had given him. “I shall see to it that you have a posy of them in your chamber every morning.”
It would seem a shame to tear some poor maid from her duties just to cut flowers for me.”
Who said anything about a maid?” He caressed her cheek with the tip of his finger. “I shall see to it myself.”
The idea of his bringing her flowers in her bedchamber made her blush deeply, but as was her custom, she made a teasing reply to cover her maidenly embarrassment. “Sir, I must warn you: you show every sign of being an indulgent husband.”
Oh dear. What if you should become insufferably spoilt?”
It is of grave concern.” But she would be his wife, and she would show him, even now, how his attentions and advances would be appreciated. She moved closer, hardly an inch between them. “I suppose, however, if I spoil you in return, the effect may be lessened.”
He closed the last inch, and she felt the warmth of his breath on her face as he asked, “How will you spoil me?”
She peeped up at him through her lashes. “Why, in any way you would like me to.”
He whispered her name as he pressed her tightly against him, lowering his lips to hers and kissing her as she had not known she longed to be kissed.
Ahhh! *swoon* Seems like such a lovely blossoming romance! But according to the title and blurb it looks to be short lived! Oh dear! Poor Darcy and Lizzy! What happens to them?!? I’m dying to find out! Btw, isn’t that cover just stunning?!? What a gorgeous crimson cloak!!
Connect with Amy
Meryton Press is generously giving away 8 ebook editions of A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity in conjunction with this blog tour!! Woot woot!
Commenting on this post and filling out the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Meryton Press!
- This giveaway ends March 8th!
~ A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity Blog Tour ~
Thank you to Claudine Pepe, Meryton Press, and Amy D’Orazio for making this blog tour possible! Click the image above to check out the rest of the tour!