After the lovely reception of my first mash up, Darcy, Lizzy and Emma, I began to wonder what would happen if the notorious Lady Susan set her sights on Mr. Darcy? What if she struck when he was at his most vulnerable?
Lady Susan arrives at Rosings as Darcy is reeling from Lizzy’s rejection of his first proposal.
Darcy is penning his letter to Elizabeth defending himself; when he is informed that the infamous flirt Lady Susan Vernon is about to pay an unexpected visit. Lady Catherine is not happy to receive her, but as a matter of courtesy, welcomes her deceased husband’s cousin.
Lady Susan takes one look at Darcy and decides to employ her legendary charms to claim him.
Will be available for purchase later this month.
*** Giveaway ***
See details after excerpt!
The fun begins as Lady Susan plots to sever Darcy from Elizabeth, and claim him for herself. We all know she can’t possibly win his heart, but it is a bit of a giggle to watch her try.
Darcy, Lizzy and Lady Susan, based on Jane Austen’s comic gem, will be available late this month. In the meantime here is the official trailer from the witty, hilarious, film Love and Friendship based on Austen’s Lady Susan, and starring Kate Beckinsale.
And now for a little excerpt from Darcy, Lizzy and Lady Susan:
It was at that moment a chaise clattered up the stone drive, the team of chestnut horses lathered as if driven hard. The conveyance, a rather old piece, was clearly a hired transport. The driver guided it close to the steps; once in position the footman leaped from the high seat, dropped the stairs, and opened the chaise door.
Mr. Darcy came down the stairs to welcome his aunt’s guest. He rightly assumed this was the infamous Lady Susan Vernon. As he peered in the vehicle, the afternoon sun chose that moment to move from behind a cloud, casting a beam of light into the conveyance. Darcy was greeted by a pair of dark eyelashes from under which peeked fine grey eyes, the exact shade of the sky just before sunrise; the lady’s features were delicate, and if her history were not known, she could be taken for ten years younger than her five and thirty years. She was a woman blessed with rare good looks, which she now employed to her advantage, gracing Mr. Darcy with a smile designed to enchant him.
“May I be so bold?” Darcy said. “I am Lady Catherine’s nephew Fitzwilliam Darcy, and you must be Lady Susan Vernon? My aunt is expecting you.”
“And I thought you were the head footman,” she teased, her voice as soft as velvet, a smile playing around her full pink lips. She extended her gloved hand. “You wouldn’t be the Mr. Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire?”
Having been warned of Lady Susan’s bewitching ways, Darcy chose to merely nod. His normally aloof manners would serve him well in avoiding this most accomplished flirt.
The lady stepped from the chaise, and stumbling by accident or design; she fell into Darcy’s arms. He immediately righted her; then he quickly stepped back, the thought that they might be seen in such a compromising position caused his heart to race. What if Miss Bennet chanced to walk to Rosings? No sooner had the idea occurred to him than he condemned himself for a fool. Why would she come here when she never wished to see him again?
“I am so sorry, Mr. Darcy!” Lady Susan blushed most becomingly. The woman practiced blushing in the mirror every morning; it was a skill that served her well, although there were times when she was forced to bite the inside of her cheek to produce just the right shade of pink.
Darcy did not respond to her apology, fearful anything he said might encourage the notoriously wicked woman. He could not, however, help but notice her form, which was perfect both in height and composition. She was dressed entirely in black, the color flattering her porcelain complexion; the few golden-brown curls that peeked from under her black hat softened the severity of the look around her face. Darcy did not know much about ladies’ clothing, but being a man quite guilty of sparing no expense on his own wardrobe, he supposed her garments to be of the highest quality.
He signaled to the Rosings’ footmen, who obediently scurried down the stairs to remove Lady Susan’s trunks from the chaise and carry them into the foyer.
“Be careful with my things!” she snapped. Then realizing she sounded harsh, she turned her smoky eyes to Darcy. “I am usually not so short of temper, but my trip has been very tiring.”
Scrutinizing the conveyance, expecting her maid to emerge, Darcy was surprised she had traveled alone. He inquired as to the reason she was unaccompanied.
“The remains of my husband’s estate did not allow for the necessities of life. The dear man was, unfortunately, not wise with money and I am left without a servant. It is a great impediment.”
Darcy nodded, acting as if he understood, when in fact he could no more do without a manservant, than walk the grounds of Pemberley in his bare feet. His entire life had been spent with a servant close at hand. “I will escort you to Lady Catherine, I believe she is in the formal parlor.” He offered his arm.
Lady Susan studied Darcy’s handsome countenance; his broad shoulders caused her to tremble with anticipation. She would make short work of this pompous young man, for there was nothing she enjoyed more than a challenge. She allowed her eyes to roam quickly over the landscape, and then back at Darcy. “The prospects here are ravishing,” she said, as she took his arm. She savored the game to come for she found something quite agreeable in changing the feelings of those set against her— Mr. Darcy was just such a person. She vowed to win him over within three days. He glanced down at her, and she immediately adjusted her prediction—two days would be all it would take to soften him into the utmost submission.
“Eek!” Lady Catherine shrieked at the sight of the vision in black that could only be Lady Susan Vernon. Not only was she early, but she also appeared to have claimed Darcy for herself—already. Lady Catherine determined to make it resoundingly clear, as soon as possible, that her nephew was spoken for, promised to her daughter Anne.
In anticipation of the release of Darcy, Lizzy and Lady Susan, I am giving away three ebook copies of Darcy, Lizzy and Emma. To enter your name in the drawing, please leave a comment on this post by April 22nd.The winner will be notified on April 30th.
With love & laughter,