‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ – Upcoming release and Giveaway

‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ – Upcoming release and Giveaway


Of all the scenes in all the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ adaptations, ‘The Look’ at Pemberley is, hands down, the one I love best.

But the piano scene at Rosings is a close second, followed by the gentlemen’s first visit at the Parsonage.

2 Sept 15 NL Rosings_9_ungenerous of him
Photo: BBC
2 Sept 15 NL Parsonage_2
Photo: BBC

It was the last two scenes that inspired ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’. I’ve been drawn to write love triangle scenarios before – what better way, after all, to torture Darcy for being a self-centred sanctimonious prig and not proposing to Elizabeth while he had the chance? But this time the Rosings and Hunsford scenes simply goaded me into writing the worst triangle of all. What if his rival was not some secondary new character that nobody really cared about – that Darcy didn’t care about? What if his rival was his dearest, closest friend?

2 Sept 15 NL Parsonage_5_any relief_2
Photo: BBC

Around this time last summer, while my family was climbing up Langdale Pike in the Lake District, my idea of fun was very different. There I was, in the garden of a gorgeous old coaching inn, with a glass of lime-and-soda, pen and plenty of paper – and the story started to take shape. Writing at Britania

Then I went home, and set it aside. It’s always tempting to punish Mr. Darcy in some pretty harsh ways for his excessive pride and his misjudgements, but I thought that making him learn that the love of his life is engaged to his dearest cousin is probably a step to far! And what of the dear Colonel? We love him very nearly as much as we love Darcy, so how can we bear to see him lose the girl in the end – as surely he must? How to ensure that the close connection between the cousins doesn’t get irretrievably damaged in the process? How to bring about a happily ever after’ for everyone?

So I started writing another story instead and got a few chapters down, that owed a lot to Deborah Fortin’s knowledge of horses and side-saddle riding. Thanks ever so much for the info, Debbie, that story will be written one day. But not yet. It just didn’t want to be written. But ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ really did.

The Unthinkable Triangle 3x4

The main reason is that, fraught as it might be in the first half, ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’, with its premise of Elizabeth’s engagement to Colonel Fitzwilliam, presented terribly appealing opportunities for her and Mr. Darcy to spend more time together than they ever did. Because, in everybody’s eyes, they were almost related – they were as good as cousins. So, along with Jane, Elizabeth can accept Georgiana’s invitation to spend time at the Darcys’ townhouse. She can get to know Darcy, if not at his most intimate, then certainly at his least formal. She can learn to see him for what he truly is: a good man, an affectionate brother, a considerate master. Someone who would be a tower of strength in times of dire trouble. Someone for whom reserve is but a mask he wears to strangers. Someone who would preserve the woman he loves from every evil. And thus she can discover at long last there is nothing she wants more than to be that woman.

An excerpt from the first chapter is now up at the Writers’ Block and if you’d like to have a peek, you can find it here. More excerpts will be available on various stops on the blog tour, but for now what do you think of these two short quotes?

“What have you against my engagement?” Fitzwilliam queried. “You may not approve of Elizabeth, but I pray matters would mend between the two of you. Will you not try, for my sake, to accept her?” 

From his deepest hell, Darcy wished he could beg for mercy – for an end to the cruel torture. Yet he could not, for it would only bring a different hell, where all the sores would be laid into the open.


“Elizabeth, you must leave me room to hope! Or, as God is my witness, by this time tomorrow I will have carried you off to Gretna Green and damn the consequences!”


So, are you intrigued or plain terrified? Are you willing to take this roller-coaster ride with me?

‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ will be released soon after the Jane Austen Festival, on the 23rd of September. In the meantime, please leave a comment for the chance to read it for free as soon as it’s released. The international Giveaway is open until midnight (BST) on Wednesday 23 Sept 2015 and includes a paperback and two e-copies. Good luck and see you soon!

117 Responses to ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ – Upcoming release and Giveaway

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Sarah! I hope you’ll like this one too, even if you might read it through the gap between your fingers, like Gail 🙂 Best of luck in the giveaway!

  1. Looking forward to reading about a love triangle but oh my, we will have to wait to see who wins! It will be a very interesting read and I will have to put away a day just for reading it! Great news. Thanks for the exciting news!

    • Thanks, MaryAnn 🙂 Hugs! Hope you’ll enjoy it. Poor Darcy has a very hard time (bad, bad me!!!) but he’s happy in the end, and that’s all that matters 🙂 Thanks for visiting, lovely to see you here, and good luck in the giveaway.

  2. I am intrigued automatically with the Colonel getting more page time. I am definitely willing to ride the rollercoaster to see how this plays out. Thank you for the giveaway!

  3. Absolutely loved those quotes!! I like the idea of punishing Darcy but as you wrote, I am a bit scared as well of what could happen next!

    After reading the chapter I am destroyed 🙁 poor Darcy. “He was born poker-faced” but it did not help at ll in this case! And what abou “several months” later, are Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth on a long courtship? will Darcy have time to b ehimself again and fight for her?

    OMG!! I want to read it now!!

    • Thanks ever so much, Ana, I’m so happy you loved the quotes!! Well, spoiler or not, let me say that I just can’t imagine Elizabeth actually married to anyone but Mr. Darcy, unlikely as it seems at first, and whatever cruel obstacles I might put in his way 😀 Yes, you guessed right, I’m banking on a long engagement and courtship, that would buy Darcy some time, the poor man needs it!!

      Sorry about the delay, I’m still hoping to make it available for pre-order in a few days, so that at least it arrives in people’s Kindle at 00:01 on September 23. But first see if you win this giveaway or the other one at http://www.joanastarnes.co.uk. Best of luck and thanks for taking part.

    • VERY possible 🙂 That’s exactly how I felt when I first thought of this love triangle, without any clear idea as yet about how I could credibly fix it. Hope you’ll like the way the story unfolds. Good luck and thanks for taking part in the giveaway.

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence on getting on this ride. See you at the entrance 😉
      I’ll post the blog tour announcement in a couple of days, with more excerpts and giveaways.
      Thanks so much for your interest and the lovely comment!

    • Sorry about the late reply on my site, Carmen. Weebly had a little stretch of not accepting comments, but thankfully it’s fixed now. Thanks ever so much for your kind words, hope you’ll like the story. Best of luck in the giveaway, and you’re very welcome 🙂

  4. I don’t like roller coasters but I do LOVE a tortured Darcy, Joana. I am soooo looking forward to reading this story and these excerpts are holding me in suspense! I am anticipating this story as much a steak and lobster dinner, I am also looking forward to reading your WIP.

    • You’re so wonderful, Debbie, as always!! Hope the story won’t give you indigestion 😉 Fingers crossed!
      Thanks for all your lovely support, much appreciated. Have a great week and chat very soon.

  5. I can’t wait to read this and see how the situation plays out. The engagement would be quite a difficult obstacle for Darcy to overcome. Not only does he care deeply for his cousin and friend, but breaking an engagement was extremely serious. The clergyman who performed my parents; wedding ceremony was subsequently defrocked for advising someone to break off an engagement; the discarded party went to court with a breech of promise suite (which they won). I don’t have any more details than this, but my parents married in 1934, so this happened sometime within the past 70 years.

    • Wow! Never imagined it would have happened as recently as that, it’s so harsh! I can imagine it would have been a VERY big deal in early 1800s too, even more so. Hope you’ll like my getaway clauses, if I can call them such 🙂

      One of the things I found extremely encouraging were snippets of period gossip involving real people who eloped with other gentlemen’s wives, not merely fiancees (Lord Paget and Lady Charlotte Wellesley, both married to other people when they eloped together, then his unmarried younger brother and the very-much-married Lady Boringdon). Yet, despite the scandal, they were all received in society eventually. Of course, Darcy would never do something as dishonourable as eloping, even if he were desperate. And besides I think Col Fitzwilliam would be too kind to take his ladylove to court for breach of promise 🙂

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you’ll like the story. Good luck in the giveaway!

  6. Oh, this is one I definitely will have my hands on one way or another. I do love both of these men and want happy endings for both so I have to see how this is handled. I did read the other book, which I won’t mention, that had a similar premise and I was crying! Read the excerpt from the first chapter and could feel both the joy and the despair. End of September, you say?

    • I absolutely loved Victoria Kincaid’s book, Sheila (I was wondering if that’s the one you were thinking of). So much emotion and heartache! I devoured it in a few hours. We were chatting about it when the release was announced, Victoria and I, and she mentioned, just before I had the chance to get my mitts on ‘Pride and Proposals’, that although the starting point was the same, our stories would unfold in different ways. I could see why, once her book was released, and I guess that’s what makes P&P variations so appealing and exciting. So many twists, so many possibilities! It was so lovely when she also said she was thinking of writing a Darcy and Anne Elliot variation a while ago, and that we seem to connect on some mysterious plane, and the same plot ideas occur to both of us. Hope you’ll like my take on it too. You have been so very kind about my other books and thanks so much for your encouragement and support, MUCH appreciated!

    • We do love to torture Darcy, Coleen 🙂 Can’t imagine why, but we really do. Probably, just as you say, because it makes the happy ending more meaningful, when he had to work really hard for it. Thanks for your comment and for taking part in the giveaway.

  7. I am so excited about this book! I do
    enjoy Darcy suffering for his sins…as
    long as it all turns out right in the end.

    • LOL ‘For his sins’. Yes, I guess he deserves all the hoops we make him jump through, for not proposing to Elizabeth when he had the chance 😀 But you’re right, there HAS to be a happy ending. A world where Elizabeth is not Mrs Darcy is a world I don’t want to live in 😀
      Thanks for visiting and good luck!

  8. I am so nervous about this! I will definitely be reading, but I may save it for fall break because I have a feeling it won’t want to be put down. I can’t wait to see how you work this all out!

  9. I love the premise, Joana! But I am one who likes to write outside the box stories so it is right up my alley! Can’t wait to read more, more, more!

    • Hugs, Brenda! Thanks do much for the kind words and your lovely support, MUCH appreciated! We do love to write outside the box stories, they’re such fun! Hope you’ll like this crazy one too 🙂

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