Way back in the autumn of 2015, I started writing a series of four books which became Choices, a Pride and Prejudice variation series. The whole series starts with just one choice by a father, Mr. Bennet, to see his eldest two daughters happily married. The choice he makes to arrange a marriage through scheming leads to several other choices which, because I am writing romance, eventually lead to many happily ever afters.
The third book in that series is titled His Inconvenient Choice. In this book, a different sort of Colonel Fitzwilliam has fallen in love with Kitty Bennet. However, Kitty is not an heiress, nor does she have any significant connections. These things make her an unacceptable choice as far as the colonel’s father is concerned. What is love to do when faced with such opposition? Does it die away and become as if it never existed? Can it be transferred from one lady to another with ease or at all? Does it just cower in the shadows feeling bitter, ill-used, and unwilling to ever step into the light of day again?
Not in this story.
In this story, Kitty and the colonel’s love demonstrates great strength, as well as hope and patience.
“If you could wait but a year,” she had said as they strolled the perimeter of the ballroom last evening, “then your inheritance would be yours.”
“He will not allow me to be free. He will insist on my marrying before he gives me one farthing more than I have,” he had replied. Her eyes had filled with tears that she refused to shed, and his heart had broken a bit more at the thought of a life without her. “If I could wait,” he had whispered, “I would wait a thousand years for you.”
She had smiled sadly at him and said, “And I would wait for you.”
His Inconvenient Choice, Chapter 1
Both are determined to find a way to overcome the seemingly insurmountable challenge placed before them, even if it takes years. The colonel decides to seek employment rather than counting on his inheritance. Kitty finds a way to also earn some money, which she hopes to use to help the colonel break free from his father’s power.
Darcy stared at the door to Mrs. Havelston’s shop for a moment. “She sold the designs for him,” he said softly. “No one is supposed to know of the arrangement, so I am telling you in strictest confidence.” He sighed. “And I do it only because I know that Miss Bingley and her friends will use the information whether it is true or not to disparage Miss Bennet.”
“What do you mean, she sold them for him?”
“She wished for me to invest the money she made from her sales in hopes that someday, she might have enough to help him do what he loves, and perhaps with any luck, he might still be free to marry her.”
“But that would take years, would it not?” asked his aunt in surprise.
Darcy nodded and motioned to Lady Matlock’s carriage. “It is time I go collect Richard.”
She took his proffered arm. “Surely, she would marry and the plan would come to naught. I cannot believe a husband would allow his wife to continue saving money for another man.”
“She did not plan to marry if she could not marry Richard,” he said as he handed her into the carriage.
“But she is so young,” protested Lady Matlock.
“And so very much in love,” countered Darcy. “So very much in love,” he repeated as he closed the door.
His Inconvenient Choice, Chapter 6
Things at this point in the story have turned from cloudy to downright dreary and appear hopeless. The steps Kitty and Richard have taken to try to work out a solution to their predicament have fallen short — very short.
However, “love always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:7 NIV)
In this story, Kitty and the colonel are fortunate to have the support of a group of people who love them. These individuals step in when Kitty and Richard’s world is darkest and work to dispell some of that darkness. While these individuals are doing their part, Kitty, who does not know what plans have been set in motion, sets out to make one final attempt in winning the colonel’s freedom from his father — even if it comes at the cost of losing the man she loves.
“…I must say I am impressed by my son’s selection. You are lovely and daring, coming here to blackmail me with your sketches. Did you expect to win me over, so that I would allow you to marry him?”
Kitty groaned softly and rubbed her head. “I did not come to win his hand. I came to win his freedom.”
“Freedom? I do not see how he had ever been anything but free.”
She straightened herself and folded her hands primly in her lap, attempting to ignore the movement of the objects around her. “My lord, if you will forgive me for being so direct, I must disagree. Neither man nor woman can be free when they are controlled by another. If you would but release him from this betrothal and allow him to choose his own path…” She swallowed and allowed her gaze to drop. “I will give you my drawings and turn him away, if I must.” She blinked at the tears that gathered.
His Inconvenient Choice, Chapter 10
But wait! Is this not love giving up hope and failing in an epic fashion?
No, this is love not being self-seeking (1 Cor. 13: 5 NIV). I told you that Kitty and the colonel’s love in this story was strong. Their love was never going to die. Their love was never going to give up hope — did you notice her small “if I must”? She still held a bit of hope in her heart. But this love was also not going to allow the object of her love to suffer if she could provide some relief, no matter the personal cost.
And because this is a work of fiction — and a romance at that! — with a sprinkling of fairy dust and the help of a secret being revealed and an interesting advertisement in the paper, the patience, hope, and perseverance of Richard and Kitty’s love will be rewarded as all good romances should be — with a very happy happily ever after.
Theirs was a love that would be spoken of in corners of drawing rooms and behind fans at balls, not for its passion, though there was plenty, nor for its demonstrative nature, though their hands were often joined in public, but for its quiet assurance and its unbreakable bonds.
His Inconvenient Choice, Chapter 12 (The End)
*Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The four-book omnibus collection of The Choices Series is currently on sale on all vendors for just $2.99 USD (with all other currencies also reduced) until March 14, 2020. That is all four stories for less than the cost of just one book!
One Choice ~ Many Happily Ever Afters
When Mr. Bennet makes a choice to help his eldest daughters find happiness, he sets off a chain of events that will affect the lives of not only all his daughters but also many of Darcy’s relatives. Enjoy these stories as a Fitzwilliam family secret unfolds, new loves are formed in the face of opposition, and an old love is rekindled.