Happy New Year!
I’m always a little sad when the Christmastime is over and we need to take down the decorations. During the Regency period, however, they did not believe the Christmas season was finished until after Twelfth Night, so I can use that as an excuse when my Christmas decorations still haven’t been put away. 🙂
In the spirit of making the Christmas season last, I have included an excerpt from my most recent novel, Christmas at Darcy House. I hope you enjoy it!
Mr. Darcy hopes Christmastime will help him to forget the pair of fine eyes that he left behind in Hertfordshire. When Elizabeth Bennet appears unexpectedly in London, Darcy decides to keep his distance, resolved to withstand his attraction to her. But when he learns that Wickham is threatening to propose to Elizabeth, Darcy faces a crisis.
For her part, Elizabeth does not understand why the unpleasant master of Pemberley insists on dancing with her at the Christmas ball or how his eyes happen to seek her out so often. She enjoys Mr. Wickham’s company and is flattered when he makes her an offer of marriage. On the other hand, Mr. Darcy’s proposal is unexpected and unwelcome. But the more Elizabeth learns of Mr. Darcy, the more confused she becomes—as she prepares to make the most momentous decision of her life.
It’s a Yuletide season of love and passion as your favorite characters enjoy Christmas at Darcy House!
Excerpt from Christmas at Darcy House:
Elizabeth hurried to the edge of the terrace, leaning against the balustrade to better view the Marlowes’ extensive garden. Naturally, nothing was in bloom at that time of year, but the bare tree branches and ornamental bushes were decorated with a delicate covering of new snow. Torches had been placed at intervals along the garden paths, providing a gentle golden illumination.
“How enchanting!” Elizabeth sighed. “A fresh layer of snow can make anything lovelier. Do you not think so?”
Mr. Darcy regarded her with a most peculiar expression on his face; his lips were slightly parted and his eyes wide. He appeared, for all the world, as if he gazed upon a most wondrous and unusual sight. But he was staring at Elizabeth, not the snow.
“Is the snow not beautiful?” she prompted again.
“Oh yes, yes!” His eyes shifted toward the snow-covered garden below them. “Yes, it is quite pretty.”
“Pretty” was a completely inadequate word to describe such a sight, but Elizabeth was not of a mind to quarrel with him. She turned her gaze back to the garden and the snowflakes illuminated in the torches’ glow. Fortunately, the terrace was protected from the elements by a roof of sorts, and she was only struck by an occasional wayward snowflake. “I wish I could have a painting of such a scene!” she exclaimed. “It is altogether charming.”
“Indeed,” he breathed. The wonder on his face would have been more appropriate if he had never before seen such a sight. “Do you know, Miss Bennet, I do not believe I fully appreciated the beauty of snow before this moment.”
At least he was finally gazing at the snow. Why was the man so vexing? Most of the time he seemed so distant, but occasionally he would demonstrate how he was not only attending to what Elizabeth said but also taking it to heart. And it was most frustrating. It complicated her propensity to dislike the man and caused her to rethink her opinion of him. As she grew better acquainted with him, the more he puzzled her.
Only when Elizabeth felt a chill did she recall why they were outside: Mr. Darcy had professed a desire to say something to her. What could it be? Customarily there was only one reason a single man would ask to speak privately with a single woman. Her momentary panic was quickly quelled. Mr. Darcy would no more think of marrying Elizabeth than he would consider marrying his cook.
Now she was quite curious about the topic of his desired conversation. And quite cold. “Mr. Darcy, you wished to speak with me about something?” she prompted, wrapping her arms around herself.
He started as if in a reverie and slowly focused his eyes on her. “Yes. Yes, I did. I…” His voice trailed off as his eyes fixed on her…lips? What an odd man.
Still, Elizabeth could not help noticing that he cut a fine figure in his well-tailored coat. And a wayward dark curl over his forehead gave him a completely undeserved rakish appearance. I could brush it away from his forehead. How would it feel beneath my fingers? Merciful heavens! How could she entertain such thoughts about Mr. Darcy of all people? Her eyes sought the safer sight of the garden.
Christmas at Darcy House is available at