In the flurry of activity at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019—as I released Darcy and Deception—a couple things got lost in the shuffle, in particular the recent release of audiobook versions of President Darcy and The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy, two of my most popular books. But both audiobooks deserve attention. Lucy Emerson does a terrific job narrating President Darcy, my first modern Pride and Prejudice variation and the first that called for narrator with an American accent. The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy was narrated by Stevie Zimmerman a JAFF fan favorite who also narrated The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth. You can click on the links above to hear samples of the narration.
Below are blurbs and excerpts from both books—and information about a double giveaway of the audiobooks!
President William Darcy has it all: wealth, intelligence, and the most powerful job in the country. Despite what his friends say, he is not lonely in the White House. He’s not. And he has vowed not to date while he’s in office. Nor is he interested in Elizabeth Bennet. She might be pretty and funny and smart, but her family is nouveau riche and unbearable. Unfortunately, he encounters her everywhere in Washington, D.C.—making her harder and harder to ignore. Why can’t he get her out of his mind?
Elizabeth Bennet enjoys her job with the Red Cross and loves her family, despite their tendency to embarrass her. At a White House state dinner, they cause her to make an unfavorable impression on the president, who labels her unattractive and uninteresting. Those words are immediately broadcast on Twitter, so the whole world now knows the president insulted her. Elizabeth just wants to avoid the man—who, let’s admit it, is proud and difficult. For some reason he acts all friendly when they keep running into each other, but she knows he’s judging her.
Eventually, circumstances force Darcy and Elizabeth to confront their true feelings for each other, with explosive results. But even if they can find common ground, Mr. Darcy is still the president—with limited privacy and unlimited responsibilities—and his enemies won’t hesitate to use his feelings for Elizabeth against him.
Can President Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet find their way to happily ever after?
Without a word, Hilliard pulled Darcy to an unoccupied table, where they were immediately joined by Caroline. Hilliard handed Darcy a scotch on the rocks—a bad sign. Hilliard spoke in a low tone. “Sir, we have a potential situation on Twitter.”
Darcy frowned at Caroline, who handled social media. His predecessor in the office had been a disaster on Twitter, but most of Darcy’s tweets—posted by his social media staff—were about his policy positions.
“Not your Twitter account,” Caroline clarified. “There’s a guest here tonight by the name of Lydia Bennet.” Darcy couldn’t recall which sister she was. “She has a picture of herself with you.” Darcy shrugged; people posted pictures with him all the time.
“She also complains that you ‘threw shade’”—Bob used air quotes—“at her sister Elizabeth. Supposedly you said ‘she is stupid and not pretty enough to dance with.’ It’s been retweeted 800,000 times.” He checked his iPad. “Wait a minute…800,015.”
Darcy was suddenly nauseated. Not only had Elizabeth overheard, but her sister had tweeted it? “That’s what I said when—” Hilliard nodded knowingly. Darcy gratefully gulped scotch before scowling at Hilliard. “That area should have been cleared before we talked.”
Hilliard grimaced. “The Secret Service should have cleared it, but apparently they didn’t check the ladies’ room.”
Darcy tossed back some more scotch. “Elizabeth Bennet heard me insult her in person?” Hilliard nodded, and Darcy stifled a groan. He had harbored a small hope that she had heard it from a third party. I’m lucky I got off with a cold shoulder instead of a slap to the face.
“The Washington Post wants to know if we have a comment,” Caroline said.
How soon was too soon to leave his own state dinner? This had been a series of fiascos. “They want us to respond to a tweet from a high school student?”
Caroline consulted her phone. “Her profile says she’s at GW University. The Post wants to know if you actually said her sister was ‘ugly and stupid’ and if you said it to her face.”
“No!” Darcy practically yelled. “I would never—” Several heads pivoted in their direction; Darcy lowered his voice. “Obviously I didn’t know she was there.”
Caroline frowned. “Her father is a big donor. Can we issue a denial?”
Darcy’s predecessor had been notorious for his falsehoods, and Darcy had been scrupulous at avoiding any appearance of being less than truthful. It was one of the ways he had gained the public’s trust and restored faith in the presidency. “No,” he said wearily. “I did say it. I haven’t lied to the press before. I’m not starting now.”
Caroline took notes with brisk efficiency. “We can say ‘no comment,’ but perhaps we should get someone working on damage control.” She shot a quizzical look at Hilliard, who nodded.
Darcy rubbed the back of his neck where the headache had now taken hold. He couldn’t help imagining Elizabeth’s reaction when he had uttered those words. How had her face looked? What had she thought? Had he made her cry? God damn it! Darcy scrubbed his face with his hands. “Can I issue an apology?”
“What?” Hilliard’s voice squeaked, and Caroline barked a laugh.
“I was irritated at you.” He waved at Hilliard. “And it was an insensitive thing to say. I didn’t even mean it.” Darcy’s breathing constricted just thinking that she might believe those ill-considered words. They were beneath him and beneath the office of the president.
“No, you can’t apologize!” Hilliard hissed. “An apology would only confirm that you said it. That would be the surest way to transform this into a media circus. It would be breaking news on the cable stations. Rule number one of the presidency: don’t admit mistakes.”
“Stupid rule.” Darcy hated to maintain a façade of infallibility. Presidents were human and made mistakes. Pretending otherwise was idiotic and counterproductive, but admitting to errors gave your enemies too much ammunition. He gripped the scotch glass so tightly that his fingers turned white.
“If we don’t say anything, it will likely die down,” Hilliard said.
Darcy stretched his neck, willing the muscles to loosen. Hilliard was right, but still. “Can I at least apologize to Elizabeth Bennet?”
“Why bother?” Caroline asked sharply.
He drained the last of the scotch and slammed the glass down on the table. “Because it was rude and inaccurate. She’s neither stupid nor ugly,” he growled at Caroline, not even caring when she drew back slightly.
Hilliard shook his head sadly. “No. You can’t apologize to her. It would be the first thing she’d mention if the media contacts her. It would be best if you didn’t have any conversations with her at all.”
Darcy thumped the glass on the table, startling Caroline. “Great. Just great,” he muttered to himself.
Elizabeth would continue to believe that he thought she was unattractive and dumb, and the whole world would think he’d insulted a woman he barely knew. And he’d been barred from speaking with the most intriguing woman he’d met in years.
Sometimes being president sucked.
The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy
Mr. Darcy arrives at Longbourn, intending to correct the mistakes he made during his disastrous proposal in Hunsford. To his horror, he learns that Elizabeth Bennet was killed in a ship’s explosion off the coast of France—in an apparent act of sabotage. Deep in despair, he travels in disguise to wartime France to seek out the spy responsible for her death.
But a surprise awaits Darcy in the French town of Saint-Malo: Elizabeth is alive!
Recovering from a blow to the head, Elizabeth has no memory of her previous life, and a series of mistakes lead her to believe that Darcy is her husband. However, they have even bigger problems. As they travel through a hostile country, the saboteur mobilizes Napoleon’s network of spies to capture them and prevent them from returning home. Elizabeth slowly regains her memories, but they often leave her more confused.
Darcy will do anything to help Elizabeth reach England safely, but what will she think of him when she learns the truth of their relationship?
When she next awakened, William sat in the armchair reading a book. He sprang to his feet the moment she stirred.
“How do you feel? Should I get the doctor? What do you need? Whatever you want, I shall obtain it for you.”
Sitting up in the bed, Elizabeth tapped her lips thoughtfully. “Whatever I want? Hmm…I would like a strawberry and apple tart.”
William took a step toward the door and then stopped, turning to her with a crestfallen expression. “I do not believe strawberries and apples are in season.”
Elizabeth placed her hands on her hips indignantly. “No strawberries?” William’s eyes widened with near panic until Elizabeth ruined the effect by laughing.
A slow smile broke out over William’s face. “I should have known that even a blow to the head and lung fever would not quell your mischievous sense of humor.”
Elizabeth grimaced. “At this moment I would happily trade it for a lifetime’s memories.”
Her husband’s expression darkened. “Do not say so. I would not alter one thing about you.”
She suppressed a shudder. Such sentiments were disconcerting when spoken by someone who essentially was a stranger. Elizabeth cleared her throat. “Would you pour me some water?”
“Of course.” William poured a glass from which she drank greedily. “Have you remembered anything at all?”
“No.” Trying to remember anything was like visiting a house that should be full of people and activity, only to find nothing but empty echoing chambers. Something of what she was feeling must have shown on her face. William took the glass gently from her hand. “It is early yet. You have barely started to recover.”
Elizabeth wished she shared his optimism. William poured more water into the glass. “The doctor wishes you to drink. You have not drunk nearly enough over the past days.”
Finding she was quite thirsty, Elizabeth eagerly drank and then held out her glass for more “Would you like some soup?” William asked. “You have not eaten a proper meal in days.”
At the mention of food, Elizabeth’s stomach rumbled. “I believe that is your answer,” she said with a smile. “Soup would be welcome—and bread if they have it. And tea. Tea would be lovely.” She could focus her attention on food and forget the agitation over her missing memories.
He left the room briefly to speak with the maid. Upon his return he hovered about the bed, observing her intently. “What else do you need?”
“I do not require such scrutiny, sir. I suspect my most interesting activity today will be falling asleep. And I am unlikely to injure myself doing so.”
He shook his head. “You can always make me laugh at myself.”
Was she indeed this sort of person? How strange not to even be aware of her own nature. William knew her better than she knew herself. A tight panicked feeling fluttered in her chest. What would she do if she never recovered those memories?
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY. I am giving away two free audiobook copies—one of President Darcy and one of The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy— for two winners randomly chosen from those who comment below. The giveaway will end at midnight EST, Tuesday, March 5. The winners will be announced on March 17. Good Luck!