Colin Firth’s Wet Shirt

Colin Firth’s Wet Shirt

Now that I have your attention ~ have you ever wondered about the true story behind Colin Firth’s wet shirt? For the first time, you can be privy to the real skinny as revealed in my newest Pride and Prejudice light comedy novella: Lizzy’s Love Apprentice. Help celebrate the release of this comically magic book by posting a comment below. You may be the one lucky person who wins both copies of the first two books in this three book Regency series.
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Don’t you just love when Elizabeth teases Darcy? They are so adorable when they are being playful. That friskiness is the magic I am attempting to bring to this series, since readers of my books have come to expect a bit of mischief from Elizabeth at Darcy’s expense.


Darcy, who is not sure he is altogether equipped to inherit his mother’s magical skills, takes gentle guidance from Elizabeth and Jane, who are, of course, the Witches of Longbourn. This series is a light-hearted Regency trilogy. Love blossoms over three complete but continuing adventures in which Darcy and Elizabeth discover what we have known all along. They belong together.

Will Elizabeth Bennet accept Fitzwilliam Darcy’s hand in marriage? Can a union between two strong willed witches find a happily ever after in the world of Regency? Can Lizzy teach the love witch a thing or two about being lovable? And will one of the most powerful witches in England—who also happens to be Darcy’s mother—accept Lizzy as worthy of her son? And has anyone seen Wickham?




Please enjoy this short excerpt from Lizzy’s Love Apprentice: Pride and Prejudice and Witches (The Witches of Longbourn Book 2)

Remember to comment below. Enjoy!


Excerpt from Lizzy’s Love Apprentice:

Comes a Turtle

An almost comical expression of panic gripped Darcy’s entire being. He appeared to choke on his tongue. Lizzy would have laughed if she weren’t so angry with him.

Moved by pure panic, Darcy suddenly raised his right hand and pointed his finger at Miss Bingley. He mumbled a quick incantation, and the woman—now a pond turtle—dropped to the ground with a light thud. The Caroline turtle scuttled into the lake.

Lizzy broke into unmanageable giggles. “Nervous? Or do you have a thing for reptiles?”

“Miss Bennet, Lizzy, I still do not have control over my magic. It seems when an idea pops into my mind it performs itself before I can stop it. And now I have gone and proven to Miss Bingley what she was determined to discover—that I do practice the dark arts.”

Lizzy looked up at him, wishing she could lose her giggles before they sent something floating, as they were wont to do. “A few pointers if you are to continue dabbling—these stunts of yours are not dark arts but light magic. However you clearly need more schooling, for your bag of tricks is sorely lacking in discipline.”

She moved closer to the water’s edge, looking for the turtle that was Caroline Bingley. “By the way, Mr. Darcy, I did not give you permission to call me by my given name, let alone the affectionate name of Lizzy.”

Darcy took on the appearance of a small boy being lectured by his tutor. “There is a reason I call you that. I know I have much explaining to do and we do not have much time. If you would allow me to show you something within the halls of Pemberley, you might have the answers to which you are entitled.

The couple glanced up the hill and saw the Gardiners watching them, maintaining a distance to allow them privacy; they appeared poised to race to Lizzy’s rescue at a moment’s notice.

“Please accompany me to the north wing of Pemberley where all will be made clear,” Darcy said.

“Have you forgotten your surprise guest? Would you have Miss Bingley remain a turtle for the rest of her life? I have no objection, but perhaps her brother might.”

“Miss Bingley!” He glanced beyond Lizzy, peering into the inky waters of the pond.

“You had best catch her before she disappears forever. I doubt she will remember being shelled if we pretend nothing untoward happened. Let us assume the positions we were in when you turtled her.”

The worried look on Mr. Darcy’s face brought out Lizzy’s nurturing nature. “Please try and relax. That is where you erred in your attempt to remove the spell from the Prince Regent. A witch cannot undo charms under stress. The more you stress, the tighter the spell becomes.”

He gave her a quizzical look. “You mean to tell me that if I had been relaxed, as you call it, I might not have needed Herman the Hermit to restore the Prince Regent?”

Unable to help herself, Lizzy gave him a pitying look. “It all came about to the good, as by giving Miss Feelgood your mother’s rose she was able to undo her love spell. If not for that, I would have carried the guilt of knowing the hermit remained a garden gnome. I can’t begin to describe my feelings of guilt.”

“Speaking of guilt, I must rescue Miss Bingley.” With a deep sigh, Darcy removed his jacket and dove into the water. He sunk below the leafy skim, vanished, and came up in the middle of the lake. Treading water, he shook his head at Lizzy. No turtle.

The master of Pemberley dove again, and long moments later he surfaced with a turtle firmly in hand. He studied the flat brown terrapin, blinking the water from his eyes as he studied its snooty nose.

From the far distance of the bank Lizzy could tell the brown turtle was not Caroline Bingley. The Caroline turtle was a green pond turtle and not the mud turtle Darcy held.

She shook her head.

Letting the brown shell paddle away, Darcy splashed under the water again. When next he arose, full form from the water, he appeared as a triumphant god of the pond with his white muslin shirt clinging to a chest so muscular that Lizzy gasped.

Darcy held up a bright green turtle with a large snout. With a nose that big, it could only be Caroline Bingley.

Lizzy nodded in agreement, and Darcy paddled to shore with one hand, holding the wiggling turtle above the water so that it did not escape. He stepped from the lake, his breeches clinging to his loins in a most arousing manner, but it was the way in which his shirt, now transparent, exposed his broad shoulders, hairy chest, and tight pectorals that caused Lizzy to fall to the ground, or perhaps the muddy bank was merely slippery?

Resolute to disguise her collapse as a normal rest, she adjusted her dress and apron around her, but it was clear from the flushed expression on her face and the glow in her eyes that she was overwhelmed by dampened desire. She waved to her aunt and uncle to keep their distance, and they did.

Blushing a deep shade of crimson, Darcy handed the Caroline turtle to Lizzy. He attempted to wring his shirt dry, ran his hand through his wet head, and then retrieved the creature from the slightly dumbstruck Miss Bennet.

“I am so sorry that I did this to Miss Bingley. But I flustered when I saw you.” He looked sheepish. “I did not wish you think there was anything at all between Miss Bingley and myself.”

Lizzy pulled her most comforting smile from her collection of grins. “All witches panic at one time or another. Best not to dwell on it. I do understand why you altered her, for few can find Miss Bingley in human form to be good company. No offense to the Bingley family.”

Holding the turtle in the palm of his hand, he looked bewildered. “How do I undo the spell? I believe I am suffering from spell anxiety.”

“First you must relax. Think of something pleasant. The words to undo the spell will come naturally,” she said.

By the look on his face, the “something” pleasant that Darcy thought of was not what Lizzy had in mind and she quickly changed the subject. “I understand your sister is a very talented young lady. Think of her playing the pianoforte, and that may relax you.”

Darcy sighed as he envisioned Georgiana’s honey-brown hair shining in the sunlight and her loving eyes looking up from the keys as she played one of his favorite pieces. A feeling of mellowness came over him, and the tension left his body. Holding the turtle in his hand, he blinked twice pronouncing an incantation that sounded like “from turtle to girdle.”

In a soft poof, Caroline Bingley appeared on the edge of the bank. She looked down at her dress, a soggy drape of orange muslin, then glanced at Darcy, her eyes lingering over his wet shirt. A dribble of drool fell from her lips. She tore her eyes from Darcy’s torso and cut a suspicious look at Lizzy. “What just happened here?”



Please remember to leave a comment before midnight April 9 (Saturday) to qualify. Only one winner will be drawn from those who comment. The prize is one copy of Darcy’s Royal Dilemma (ebook) and Lizzy’s Love Apprentice (ebook) – both going to one winner. US and UK.




34 Responses to Colin Firth’s Wet Shirt

  1. Being a great fan of turtles and other reptiles (we own a wonderful rescue tortoise), as well as of achingly handsome men in wet shirts, but not much of a fan of magic and “turtling” people, I’m a bit torn about this!

    • TeaGuide, I adore turtles. I featured them in one of my non-JAFF comedies. I met a lady who had 400 rescue turtles in her home. I was inspired to create a rather funny tale. I am still searching for someone who collects achingly handsome men in wet shirts. 🙂

  2. What a scrumptious excerpt, such fun to read, and a lovely premise too. You write their playfulness so well and what a hoot to imagine Miss Bingley as a turtle 😀

    • Joana, Thank you. I see Darcy and Elizabeth as having a very playful relationship, once he relaxed a bit. I think he could be a delightful tease.

  3. I wonder if Colin Firth has any idea what that wet shirt did to the women of the world? Sigh…it is such a delicious thing… the effects of water on a good lawn shirt… oh sorry.
    I have not read this series… yet. I have been working my way through the offerings of the Austen Authors and haven’t gotten to it… so by all means add me to the list.

  4. Lizzy always was able to cast a spell on Mr. Darcy. He never stood a chance. As it always was and will be.

    • Caryl, Hang on! I don’t want you to miss the conclusion. 🙂 What will happen to the little Love Witch? And will Lizzy and Darcy prove two witches can live happily ever after? 🙂

  5. Wikipedia has it as: “However, in early modern Scottish Gaelic, the word came to be used as the male equivalent of witch (which can be male or female, but is used predominantly for females)”…it just that in all the books I have read it has always been Warlock for a male witch. I have not run across a male “witch” before. But at least you did look into it. Sorry to question it but, as I said, I had not run into that usage before.

    • Sheila, I was trying so hard to be politically correct. I’m still not sure I have it right. I know I did not call Darcy a warlock. I think I avoided calling him a witch and worked by way around it by referring to him as a son of a witch. (Sorry…I could not resist. I love playing with words) I shall make myself go stand in the corner, right now.

  6. I can readily see that this book will be just as hilarious as your others, Barbara! Can’t wait to have time to read it for you certainly have a way with words!

  7. Sheila, Poor Darcy has been denying his abilities all his life, until he is pressed by the Prince Regent to use them. But he does need to practice as his magic is a bit misdirected and gets out of control. As to Witch or Warlock ~ I did my research and found there were two schools of thought. 1. A warlock is a male witch. 2. Male witches are never called warlocks. ~~~ scratching head 🙂

  8. I really don’t know why he had to turn Caroline back, they could have had turtle soup (although it would probably have been quite bitter!) Very amusing and I would love to read the rest so thanks for the giveaway ?

    • Glynis, I did not think of Caroline-soup. But then again, I do want to keep her around for the fun of it. She makes for lovely comic relief. 🙂

  9. Wow, some imagination there, dear lady. I remember telling a Jane Austen Reading Group monitor about having to read the book after viewing the 1995 P&P movie and she asked me, “Because of the wet shirt scene?” NO but I laughed…and then they had to put a “wet shirt scene” in the movie “P&P and Zombies”. That had me laughing out loud in the theater. It was so obviously as nod to the 1995 version.

    So Darcy doesn’t have control of his magic? Is he considered a witch? Or a Warlock? I am confused by the text.

    Thanks for the amusement before I am off to bed.

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