Hi friends!! As you may have noticed, I’ve been enjoying my fair share of Christmas reads this month! I think it will become a new tradition for me! 🙂 Which is great, because there are some holiday reads that came out this year that I won’t be able to fit in this month, but most definitely want to read next December, like Anngela Schroder’s new holiday novella – An Unexpected Merry Gentleman! This sounds like such a charming and lovely story! Check out this cute interview Anngela put together!
Meredith, thank you so much for having me on Austenesque Review today. It has been a whirlwind of a month, and I am grateful you found the time to squeeze me in to share my Christmas release with your readers. An Unexpected Merry Gentleman is a lighthearted read set at Netherfield for the Christmas holiday. Darcy and Georgiana are there by circumstances they can’t control, and he is forced to face his budding feelings for Elizabeth. I introduced a few new characters in the story, Mr. Bingley’s Aunt––Mrs. Taylor, and the most delightful additions––the Gardiner’s children, Miss Victoria Gardiner and Miss Emily Gardiner, both miniatures in both looks and personalities to their older cousins Jane and Elizabeth Bennet.
Darcy is charmed by the young girls, most noticeably by Emily, who returns the affection. I hope it’s alright, but I asked both the Miss Gardiners to join us today for a brief interview? They are on the way to the park with their Nanny, but were going to stop by to say hello. Oh, here they are.
Anngela: Hello girls. I’m so glad you could make it. This is Meredith and we have a few questions for you.
Miss Gardiner: Thank you so much, Mrs. Schroeder. And thank you, Mrs. Esparza, for having us on your blog today.
Miss Emily: Yes, thank you. Our mother told us what an honor this was and––
Miss Gardiner: Emmy, remember what Mama said.
Miss Emily: That is right. Yes, Mrs. Esparza. Thank you.
Anngela: I have been told you both had a lovely time at Netherfield for Christmas. What was your favorite part?
Miss Gardiner: I so enjoyed meeting Miss Darcy and learning a duet with her. She was so kind.
Miss Emily: Yes, and her brother Mr. Darcy was so fun. He was so in love with our Lizzy––
Miss Gardiner: Emmy! Some people have yet to read the book!
Miss Emily: Oh, dear me! Never mind that. Mr. Darcy was so fun. My favorite was when he built the snowman for us. And he is such a good brother to Miss Darcy.
Miss Gardiner: Yes, he is.
Miss Emily: But, I so wanted to slide down the bannisters with him.
Miss Gardiner: Emily.
Miss Emily: I know, Tory. That is not very ladylike. But, it doesn’t mean I still don’t wish to.
Anngela: That’s alright, Miss Emily. We all have moments of wanting to do what we shouldn’t. I have another question. Some people believe Mr. Darcy to be a proud disagreeable man. Did you find him that way?
Miss Gardiner: Not at all. He was kindness itself.
Miss Emily: And he is so handsome. I told Lizzy that I was going to ask him to wait for me until I grew up and I would be happy to be his wife. I thought––
Miss Gardiner: Emmy. Once again, remember what Mama said.
Miss Emily: Really Mrs. Schroeder and Mrs. Esparza, it is so trying acting the part of a refined lady. I would much rather run and climb trees and skip and throw stones. Buuut, if I wish to marry a man like Mr. Darcy, I must behave more like our Li––excuse me. More like a lady. Are we almost finished?
Anngela: Yes, my dear, we are finished. Have fun at the park, and say hello to your parents for us.
Miss Gardiner: Thank you, we will. Good day.
Anngela: Good day, girls.
Aren’t they just so delightful? What a lively conversation. And now, as a special treat, here is an excerpt from the story itself.
~ Excerpt from An Unexpected Merry Gentleman ~
Just then there was a knock and a woman’s voice calling from a distance, “You must leave your parents alone. You should have already retired for the night.”
“Come,” Mr. Gardiner said, attempting to hide his grin as the door swung open with force.
“Papa, save me!” A mop of brown curls rushed through the door and leaped through the air into Edward Gardiner’s lap. “Nurse is going to turn us into mermaids and make us live in the sea forever.”
“Please, Mama. Please don’t let her,” the second girl said.
Mrs. Gardiner scooped up her eldest. “Victoria. Do you honestly believe Nanny would do such a thing?”
Her little blonde head began to whimper. “No, but Emmy said if I didn’t eat all my peas, Nanny would sell us to the fishmonger and turn me into a mermaid.”
“Emily!” Mrs. Gardiner said, hiding the smirk from her lips. “You have scared your sister, and for that, I will have to reconsider if you will be coming with us to Netherfield for Christmas.”
Both girls startled. “Oh, no, Mother, please.” Emily wiggled out of her father’s arms and ran to her mother’s. “I was only teasing, Tory. I promise, Nanny is a good sort of person…except when she makes us drink castor oil,” she said with an earnest expression. “Please, Mother, please let me go.”
“Oh, yes, Mother. Please don’t keep Emmy away from us at Christmas. What if I take fright? I could not sleep without Emmy in the room.”
Mrs. Gardiner silently studied her daughters, while her husband grinned behind his hand before he relented. “Very well, then. If Emily promises to behave and not bother Mr. Bingley or his aunt, then she may come.”
“Oh, I do, I do, Papa. Thank you.” Emily leapt back into his arms and kissed his cheeks with enthusiasm before climbing down. She then addressed the harried looking young woman waiting at the door. “Now, Nanny. We must go to bed. It is high time you forced our hand.”
“Emily Elizabeth Gardiner!”
“Yes, Papa.” She turned back with a penitent expression. “I apologize for my manners, Nanny. I am ready for bed.”
I hope you enjoyed this brief peak into An Unexpected Merry Gentleman and the minds of the Gardiner girls. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday everyone!
Thank you so much for sharing, Anngela! Loved both the interview and excerpt! I’m already in love with the Gardiner girls! I cannot wait to see more of Miss Emily…especially any scenes she has with Mr. Darcy! I pretty sure that will make him even more irresistible!!! I am so looking forward to reading An Unexpected Merry Gentleman!!! Congrats on your new release!
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