For me, February is a month centered on love and so, I have indulged myself a bit extra by doing some studying on the topic through reviewing articles, poems, stories, and scripture that all talk about love.
One story I reviewed this month, not in its entirety but in reading favourite passages, is Jane Austen’s story of a young girl who falls in love with a young boy. They grow up close together, both in location and friendship. The girl, as is often the case in many stories, discovers much sooner than the boy does that her feelings go beyond that of mere friendship. And as she patiently waits, hopes and longs for him to see her as more than a friend, she must endure him falling for the popular, pretty girl. Compared to her, the young girl is the quiet wallflower and her unwillingness to accept the character flaws of her rival (and some others around her) puts her in the category of goodie-two-shoes. Such is the sad case until, as in all good stories, the popular girl is exposed for who she is, leaving the loving friend to comfort the boy. If only he would catch on that she is more than a shoulder to cry on! Patiently, she waits and listens. Eventually, as the sting of having been tricked for so long and imagining yourself in love wears off, his very boyish eyes are opened to the fact that what he needs, who he needs, has been beside him the whole time.
Have you guessed the book?
Mansfield Park is one of my favourite Jane Austen books, and the happy couple are some of my favourite characters.
I can relate to Fanny — her shyness, her desire to stand on principle and not waver, her longing to fit into her place as she should, her thankfulness for what she has been given, her anxieties, her quietness — so much speaks to me.
And Edmund? Well, he’s just sweet. Yes, a bit too easily duped. And, yes, I, like Fanny, wish to smack him for it, but it is not beyond comprehension. I love the way he often sees to Fanny’s wellbeing and happiness — he does not do this perfectly, but he does far more than anyone else in his family does. He knows what is right and, in the end, his decision to stand by his beliefs saves him from marrying Mary.
I believe that it is these qualities of Edmunds which make him the best match for Fanny. She will not fear him — and we know she does have an issue with fear. She will have confidence in his ability and his desire to care for her as he has already done. She will not have to be the strong, moral compass throughout their life together for he possesses his own. Theirs will be a quiet, contented, very happy life. For as Jane Austen says,
“With so much true merit and true love, and no want of fortune and friends, the happiness of the married cousins must appear as secure as earthly happiness can be. Equally formed for domestic life, and attached to country pleasures, their home was the home of affection and comfort…”
Sigh. True merit, true love, happiness, affection and comfort. Such a sweet happily ever after!
Not only have I been busy this month reading about love and happily ever afters, I have also spent time completing the writing of a sweet romance. It has been my goal to see this book published by this Saturday because, in this month of celebrating love, I get to do it on two special days. First, there was Valentine’s Day this past weekend, and then there is, in my opinion, the most special day which falls this weekend. It is the day when I get to celebrate my dear husband, and it is in honor of this man, who means the world to me, that I am releasing my third book in the Choice’s series, His Inconvenient Choice.
This book focuses on the story of a girl who falls deeply in love with a boy who is not free to chose as he wants. However, after following a bit of a twisting and turning path with hope being given and then snatched away, Kitty and the colonel reach their happily ever after which is, like Fanny and Edmund’s, full of true love, happiness and comfort.
Below, is an excerpt from His Inconvenient Choice.
Richard looked at the door for a moment as he gathered his thoughts before he turned to Kitty. “I am not romantic –.”
“I know.” Kitty lifted his hand and brushed her lips against his knuckles. “A simple question is all that is required.”
“But, what about the pretty words that all women wish to hear?”
She shook her head. “I see your love for me in your eyes and the things you do. You have chosen me ahead of family and fortune. There is no need to put it in words.”
“I would choose you before I would choose myself.” He placed a hand, which had been made rough from working with his men in the militia and the wood he loved, on her cheek. “I do not have the means just yet to support a family,” he began.
“But you will.” She squeezed his hand tightly.
He smiled and nodded. He would gladly face whatever trials might come as he established himself as a tradesman just to have her continue to look at him as she did now with such confidence in his abilities. “Yes, I will, and when I do, I would very much like to create that family with you. Will you marry me when I am established?”
A smile lit her face and eyes as she nodded. “I would like nothing better.”
“It will not be a life of ease,” he cautioned. For a moment, despite his desire to have her as his wife, he doubted whether he was doing the right thing in asking her to share such a life. His thumb caressed her cheek. “You deserve so much more.”
“I love you,” she said pressing her cheek more firmly against his hand. “I will be happy nowhere else save at your side.”
He knew that he felt the same. It was why he was prepared to defy his father. No matter the money and property he may be losing by choosing her, he knew his life would never be as pleasant with those things as it would be with her at his side. Still, he could not resist asking, “You are certain?”
“Then, may I — “
“Yes. You must kiss me.”
And he did — soft as a butterfly landing on a delicate flower in a garden. But even though it was a brief, gentle kiss, the emotion that passed to her through it — to be thought of as so precious, so treasured — melted her to her very core. She wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him close so that her head lay on his heart. And so they stood until a soft knock at the door drew them apart and sent them on to dinner.
If you would like to be entered to win one of two Kindle copies of His Inconvenient Choice, leave a comment below.
I would love to know who your favourite Jane Austen couple is and why. Now, when you answer “why” you must do so by only speaking of the characters themselves and their qualities. You may not compare or contrast them with any other characters. The only exception to the no-compare/contrast rule is if you wish to compare their lovely, good qualities to yourself and/or your special someone.
Contest closes at midnight EST on Sunday, February 21, 2016.