Becoming Entangled

Becoming Entangled

Anne de Bourgh turned her phaeton from the well-travelled road on which she was travelling onto a less used avenue. Five large trees down the path was a small open area that was just the right size for a small carriage like hers. After drawing to a stop, Anne climbed down, secured her horses and, with a glance back at the avenue, scurried into the seclusion of the trees.

“You’re late,” a low voice rumbled, causing Anne to smile.

“It could not be helped,” Anne replied, stepping closer to the source of the voice and enjoying the flutter his presence created in her chest. “I finally found Miss Bennet alone.”

The gentleman pushed off from the tree against which he had been leaning and pulled Anne into his embrace as she continued, “She seems willing to take on my cousin.”

“So you are free?” he asked hopefully.

So begins my newest book baby. This one is called Becoming Entangled and is the sequel to Unravelling Mr. Darcy.  If you have read that book, you will know that where Anne de Bourgh is and what she is up to is left hanging in the air — completely, totally, absolutely unresolved. Becoming Entangled is her story.

Anne is something. She’s not the retiring, sickly young lady you might expect. (But then, if you read Unravelling Mr. Darcy, you probably already know that as she surprised both Elizabeth and Darcy in that story.)  She does not have a strong constitution, and she is a slight little lady.  However, she is also Lady Catherine’s daughter and a lady that has been overprotected, leaving her naive which in turn leads her to make some determined (that’s her mother in her) but foolish decisions.

As I have mentioned before, into every story a little research must fall.  I did a good deal of researching for this novella, but instead of choosing one thing from the story about which to tell you, I thought I would create a couple of scrapbook pages.  Those two pages are below.  Enjoy looking at them, but don’t miss the excerpt and giveaway that I am including below those pictures.

Note: Alistair is Alistair Pratt, the son and heir of Lord Metcalfe.  Do you remember who Lady Metcalfe is from Pride and Prejudice? Miss Pope is also mentioned in this story.  Do you remember who she is from Pride and Prejudice? (Those two questions are related.)

 

“Now, tell me,” Ralston demanded as the door to the carriage was closed. “It is not proper to speak of marrying with all haste and then leave the details hidden for two full hours. It is simply not right. I suppose if you were another who was given to rashness such a comment as you made could be overlooked, but you are not. You are a time for everything and everything in due time Alistair Pratt.”

Alistair rolled his eyes. “Are you about through, or would you care to scold a bit longer? Honestly, Jack, there are times you sound very much like your mother.” A grin spread across Alistair’s face as Jack’s eyes narrowed.

“I am her son,” he defended. “It only stands to reason I might have inherited a few traits.”

“Only a few,” Alistair assured his friend with a chuckle. Alistair liked Jack’s mother. She was doting and sweet, but she was also given to blathering on for an extended length of time when she got a bee in her bonnet. Likewise, irritation sometimes spilled out of Jack in a river of words. It did not happen often, and then only with those with whom he was intimately acquainted. “I do not intend to remain at Stanton’s for the full duration of the house party. As soon as we arrive, I must investigate the best place and time for Anne to meet me before we continue on to Scotland.”

Alistair crossed one leg over the other and peeked out the window. The sun had disappeared below the horizon, leaving only a few fingers of light in the sky. Lamps were being lit along the street and windows in homes were beginning to glow in a welcoming fashion. He smiled as he turned back to the silent interior of the carriage. “I do look forward to having Anne waiting for me behind the glowing windows of our home at the end of the day.” A peace settled into his heart at the thought. Anne had always caused such a comforting feeling in him. It was as if with her his heart had found a home.

“You are eloping?” Ralston asked as he finally found his voice.

“It seemed the most practical course of action,” Alistair replied.

Ralston shook his head as if trying to clear a fog from it. “How is an elopement ever practical?” he demanded. “It is always scandalous, but … practical?” He shook his head again.

Alistair blew out a breath of air and settled back into his seat. “I need a wife. I love Anne. Anne needs to escape her mother.” He held up a finger as he listed each point. “Added to that, there is the saving of the expense of a wedding breakfast. I suppose we will have some sort of dinner to celebrate when we return, but we should be able to keep it small and intimate as my mother will not be involved.”

“Escape and saving money? These are your reasons for eloping?” Ralston was looking at Alistair as if Alistair would be a good candidate for a residency in Bedlam.

“Yes, as well as the need of a wife and the fact that I love her,” Alistair added. “I did protest when she suggested the idea. I am not unaware of the scandal and possible displeasure this will bring. But, I cannot marry anyone else and neither can she.” The sharpness of his words caused his friend to recoil a few inches from where he had been leaning forward.

“Possible displeasure? Possible displeasure? Have you considered the extent of the disapprobation you will face when you return? And not just from your mother, whom you are denying the privilege of seeing you leg-shackled by a parson, but what of Miss de Bourgh’s mother?” He clasped the sides of his head with his hands. “And what of her uncle? Your father relies on the earl’s support, does he not?”

Again, Alistair blew out a breath. “My father and Lord Matlock agree on most things. It is not as if Father must persuade Lord Matlock to vote in accordance with him on many issues. And I do not see how my marrying his niece would make Lord Matlock cut ties with my father. It is not as if I am some merchant’s son without a penny to my name. My wealth is secure, and I shall, in the hopefully distant future, ascend to the title of Lord Metcalfe. A viscount is not so lofty as an earl or a duke, to be sure, but I do think it outranks a mere gentleman, even if that gentleman is Darcy.”

“You are certain of this?” Ralston asked as they drew to a stop in front of his home. “You love her enough to face whatever consequences might come?”

Alistair nodded. “I would gladly face far greater scandal than an elopement will cause to see her by my side as my wife.” He held his friend’s gaze in the fading light as the shadows within the carriage lengthened and spread into blackness outside. If anyone knew how deep Alistair’s aversion to scandal was, it was Ralston.

Ralston accepted the meaning and determination of his friend’s words with a simple nod of his head as the carriage door opened. “Then, I will assist you,” he said as he exited in front of his friend.

“And I will return the favour should it become necessary,” Alistair assured him.

“I would expect nothing less.” Ralston chuckled as he clapped his friend on the shoulder. “The place is looking positively brilliant, Mr. Patrick,” Ralston called to the man climbing down a ladder which leaned against one of the lampposts in front of Albany.

Here’s another question to test your memory. Do you remember my mentioning Mr. Patrick in my post Unravelling Mr. Darcy at Vauxhall? Mr. Patrick was the name of an actual lamplighter at Albany. Of course, I do not know more about him than that, so his part in this story, aside from his name, is completely fictional.

~*~*~

Becoming Entangled is now on preorder and will be available to read on November 28, 2017.

I hope you will give it a try — it is a fun story. I honestly did not wish to leave this story. Alistair is pretty great, and Anne is fun. As it happens, I am not leaving all of the characters from this story behind. There will be a sequel to this sequel — but my lips are sealed on that for now.

To celebrate the release of Becoming Entangled, I am giving away two e-book copies.  To enter, simply leave a comment below.

Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on November 28, 2017. 

~*~*~

Leenie B Books

WEBSITE     KOBO      AMAZON      NOOK      IBOOKS      MAILING LIST

23 Responses to Becoming Entangled

  1. From Chapter 29…
    “No governess! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without a governess! I never heard of such a thing. Your mother must have been quite a slave to your education.”

    Elizabeth could hardly help smiling as she assured her that had not been the case.

    “Then, who taught you? who attended to you? Without a governess, you must have been neglected.”

    “Compared with some families, I believe we were; but such of us as wished to learn never wanted the means. We were always encouraged to read, and had all the masters that were necessary. Those who chose to be idle, certainly might.”

    “Aye, no doubt; but that is what a governess will prevent, and if I had known your mother, I should have advised her most strenuously to engage one. I always say that nothing is to be done in education without steady and regular instruction, and nobody but a governess can give it. It is wonderful how many families I have been the means of supplying in that way. I am always glad to get a young person well placed out. Four nieces of Mrs. Jenkinson are most delightfully situated through my means; and it was but the other day that I recommended another young person, who was merely accidentally mentioned to me, and the family are quite delighted with her. Mrs. Collins, did I tell you of Lady Metcalf’s calling yesterday to thank me? She finds Miss Pope a treasure. ‘Lady Catherine,’ said she, ‘you have given me a treasure.’ Are any of your younger sisters out, Miss Bennet?”

    • Well done, madame! 🙂 This is the section that inspired my decision to make Alistair a member of the Metcalfe clan and Lady Metcalfe to be a particular friend of Lady C’s. That Lady C was a regular employment agency for young people it seems! She’s so helpful and full of advice 🙂

      • Is she not? We should all model our Christian behavior on her, for I am certain Lady Catherine will not have it any other way. After all, she has employed Mr. Collins as our spiritual leader. LOL!

  2. This story sounds fun. Can’t wait for the reaction of Lord and Lady Metcalfe and Lady Catherine’s reactions when they found out about Alistair and Anne’s elopement.

    • There reactions are only seen briefly in this story as the action all centers on Anne and Alistair — and a scoundrel. Lady C did show up at the end of Unravelling Mr. Darcy in quite a state at Darcy House because her daughter was missing — so there is that bit of reaction as well. 🙂

  3. I remember Lady Metcalfe praised Miss Pope as a treasure. Lady Catherine likes being helpful. I’ve read Unraveling Mr. Darcy and look forward to reading this one. Congratulations on a new launch and I wish you much success on it and future endeavors.

  4. Anne is someone I never gave much credit or thought to. She never really stood out to me as a character worth expounding on. Would be interesting to see what she can do.

    • She does kind of hide in the background, overshadowed by her mother. However, that little glimpse we get of her is so small that there are so many possibilities in creating her character, that she becomes fun (for me) to write her story. I think this is the third story I have crafted for her. 🙂 Good luck in the giveaway.

  5. I always love a story about Anne! I am definitely intrigued but a little behind in my reading! I still have to read ‘Unraveling Mr. Darcy’! Yes, that pendant is gorgeous and one I would like to own too! Thank you for the generous giveaway!

    • Wouldn’t it be nice to have more hours in a day to read? I seem to be very short on them. 🙂 Good luck in the giveaway – maybe there will be another book that needs reading in your library. 🙂

  6. It all sounds quite intriguing. Thank you for sharing and for the chance to win a copy. Congratulations on the new book!

  7. I love this story, but I guess you already know that! 😉 You are so creative, both with your graphics and your books! Good work!! No need to add me into the drawing, I already have a copy. 😀

  8. Thank you for the giveaway! I still have to read Unravelling Mr. Darcy but the excerpts you posted here sounded really fun. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thank you. I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful! I will be working a normal day on Thursday and thinking of my family in the States who will be eating turkey and pie. 🙂 I miss American Thanksgiving. We have Thanksgiving here in Canada in October (your Columbus Day) and it is a great holiday that I enjoy, but it is just not the same as the holiday I grew up with in the US — and putting up your Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving up here is deemed too early. LOL However, now that the US holiday is done — I can see some Christmas decor finding its way out of storage 🙂

  9. YAY! I love it when Anne takes her future into her own hands. Also love that there are sequels to sequels 🙂 Love seeing the research. That pendant is gorgeous! Looking very much forward to this story.

    Please don’t enter me in the giveaway, I have already placed my pre-order.

    • I would love to have a pendant like that! I do enjoy looking at jewelry options when researching — so many pretty things! Anne is a lucky girl. 🙂

      Thank you for the order. Your support is greatly appreciated. I hope you will enjoy the story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I do love Alistair and Anne. They make a great couple.

Your thoughts are precious!