Hello, dear readers! I am very excited to welcome author Amy D’Orazio to Austenesque Reviews today! Amy is a brand new author to me and I’ve yet to read her lovely new book, The Best Part of Love, but I already know she is awesome because she fell in love with a Mr. Bingley too! 😉 Amy is here to share an enticing 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!
The following vignette is an original creation for the readers of Austenesque Reviews. It is a part of the story which takes place “off-screen” so to speak.
Caution. Although I have purposefully used vague language in this vignette, there could be some information inferred which would be seen as a spoiler. It will in no way harm your enjoyment of the story or ruin the mystery for you but if you are a reader who doesn’t like to know anything, you might prefer to come back after you read the book!
Elizabeth Finishes Reading Henry’s Journals
When Elizabeth finished reading the world looked different.
At some point in the course of her perusing, her hand had risen and was pressed to her throat. With some effort she lowered it to her lap. Unbidden, Elizabeth’s eyes fell again to the journal on the desk in front of her.
Hanley believed it could not be done but I dare say I shall prevail. I saw her even today, my wife — though she does not yet know how perfectly suited she is. A lady but not one accustomed to higher society, or so I do believe. I shall have my man learn what he can of her but she is young. I doubt she knows anything of the world in which I live.
She is a pretty girl, though I do not think any would call her beautiful, and she is from Hertfordshire. Everyone knows these country girls can scarcely help themselves from falling with child. Hearty girls, first to last, just the thing a man wants when he needs an heir, and quick.
For a moment, she despised her, that young Miss Elizabeth Bennet who had wandered about Bath thinking she understood life and love. She hated her for her naivety, her stupid, cocksure belief in herself that had made her succumb to such a man. She hated her for being a mere object, a beau idéal for his purpose. Not the sort of woman who makes a man lose his sense for her — just the sort of woman who fills a purpose.
He knew. He knew and he wished to triumph from the grave. That was all it ever was. I became a part because I was stupid and young and delighted in the good fortune laid before me. Vanity, not love, has been my folly.
Henry had played to her vanity and he had done it well. Such a power it had been! — to imagine a man so besotted with her. She remembered it well that heady feeling of knowing a man was held in her thrall. And then to find out he was not just a man, not just any man… an earl. A wealthy peer of the realm, absolutely enchanted with little Miss Elizabeth Bennet, long known as the less-pretty Bennet sister, the one who read too much and walked too far and was too much inclined to give her opinion.
She thought rather strangely of a play she had seen once. One of the actors in the play was slapped rather hard across his face. As she watched him she winced wondering who would wish to play the role of the man who got slapped. Who would consent to such a thing? Were the wages worth it?
Elizabeth rose, the journal still in her hand and stared at the room around her. A beautiful room which boasted of every luxury — silken wall coverings and thick, warm rugs, a large bed and handsome furnishings in the most modern style. She chuckled bitterly.
“Well, Lizzy, you tell me: are the wages worth it? Because you have been slapped about now for several years.”
The notion of that filled her with rage and she took several quick paces, arriving at the door. Somewhere in her mind was a vague notion of confronting him, that man, the man who still called the tune and watched her dance to it. How dare he!
An image of Darcy stopped her.
An image from so long ago: the very first time he had proposed to her and she smiled remembering how stiff he had been, how proper and controlled — sure marks that he felt the very opposite. Such a dreadful offer of marriage! But she had been rather awful in receipt of it, growing angry and levelling insults at him in reply. She had accused him of being mercenary and flatly denied that he had any true regard for her and what had he said in reply?
“I fell in love with Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn in Hertfordshire.”
She smiled even as tears sprang into her eyes at the remembrance.
He spake the truth that day: he, Fitzwilliam Darcy, of large fortune and fine, noble heritage, had quite literally lost his senses, falling in love with a girl he understood to be a simple country girl of no distinction.
He loved her then and he loved her now; indeed his love for her was now his destruction — but he held it fast nevertheless. That was real love, Darcy’s love.
She could no longer tolerate being deprived of that love.
She went back to her seat, settling in carefully. She might be in an impossible position, but she would be bound no more. Many years ago, her former self, of tender years and limited life experience, had allowed herself to be conscripted to a cause that was not her own. It would not do.
She was not Elizabeth Bennet. She was not Lady Courtenay. She was Elizabeth Darcy, by Jove and she would resume her rightful place by his side or she would happily die trying.
Wow! Poor Elizabeth! Looks like she learned some lessons about love the hard way. I’m dying to know the how and why and… just everything! I really, really can’t wait to read this story now!
Connect with Amy
Meryton Press is generously giving away 4 paperback and 4 ebook editions of The Best Part of Love in conjunction with this blog tour!! Woot woot!
Commenting on this post and entering through the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win!
- This giveaway is open worldwide (Paperbacks US only). Thank you, Meryton Press!
- This giveaway ends January 21st!
~ The Best Part of Love Blog Tour ~
Thank you to Janet Taylor, Meryton Press, and Amy D’Orazio for making this blog tour possible! Click the image above to check out the rest of the tour!