[Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
On April 30, 2020, I released a book titled Cherishing Kitty. Here are some details about the book:
- It was first a Thursday’s Three Hundred story on my blog before being published.
- It is the fifth book in my Marrying Elizabeth series.
- The heroine is Kitty Bennet. (Elizabeth’s second to youngest sister and the last Bennet daughter to be unattached in this series.)
- The heroine is Lorcan Langley, best friend of Viscount Westonbury from book 4, Persuading Miss Mary.
- Kitty and Lorcan were caught in a compromising situation at Mary and Wes’s wedding.
Here’s how part of that scene went:
“Kitty!” Lydia cried from the doorway to the music room. “What are you doing?”
Wes and Mary hurried down the hall.
“Langley, what is the meaning of this,” Darcy growled.
Good heavens! What had his friend done? Wes knew the answer as soon as he took in Miss Kitty’s appearance. Her hair was dishevelled, and her lips appeared to have been most thoroughly kissed. Thankfully, her gown appeared to be in order.
“Could we refrain from shouting,” Mary said, stepping into the room. “The incident is contained for now.”
“That is wise thinking,” Richard commended her. “Langley, take a seat away from Miss Bennet so that we might sort this out.” The words were spoken as one might expect a seasoned colonel to bark out orders. “Lydia, see to Kitty.”
“It is well in hand,” Wes whispered, attempting to draw Mary toward the door. He would rather be kissing his wife than listening to Langley being lectured for kissing her sister.
“He is your friend,” Mary whispered.
“Yes, but I do not control his actions.”
“You might wish to save him from the actions of the other men in this room,” Mary replied with a pointed look.
Wes scowled. “I am not so certain that I actually wish that.”
“Did you see what they did to Wickham?”
Wes nodded. “I see your point. To have him arrive in the ballroom in such a state would cause some suspicion.” “
Indeed,” she said flatly.
“Well, Langley,” Wes said, pushing his way to the forefront. “It appears we shall be brothers.”
“Oh, I am not marrying him,” Kitty said.
“I think the way you were allowing him to kiss you says otherwise,” Lydia stepped up beside Wes, who looked at her in surprise. Perhaps she did share some traits with Mary, for she seemed to be very good at scolding.
“No one knows,” Kitty said. “It was a mistake that will not happen again.”
Wes watched Langley’s jaw tighten. The kiss which had been interrupted was not a mistake to his friend.[Persuading Miss Mary, Ch. 21]
It is those words, highlighted in boldface above, and the attempts of our hero and heroine to not be self-seeking that set up the misunderstanding which must be resolved in Cherishing Kitty before Kitty and Lorcan can proceed towards their happily ever after.
The first misunderstanding boils down to the fact that Kitty has a reason for her refusal which has nothing to do with her desire to marry Lorcan but everything to do with honoring a promise to a friend.
The second misunderstanding, which is spawned by the first misunderstanding, happens here, at the end of the prologue to Cherishing Kitty:
“Are you certain this is what you want?”
Langley turned away from Lady Matlock to find Mr. Bennet observing him with great interest and a hint of compassion. He allowed himself to glance at Kitty. Her cheeks were flushed, and her jaw was firmly set. She did not look at all pleased with how things had progressed this morning. However, he did not know why she should look so stricken. This was what she wanted. She had made it perfectly clear yesterday that she had no intention of marrying him. One would have to be excessively stupid to misconstrue “I am not marrying him” to mean anything other than the lady had no desire to be his wife.
He nodded as he turned back to her father. “It is.”
This lie did not fall any easier from his lips than any of the others had so far today.
“Well, then, Mr. Langley, if things can be kept quiet, I will absolve you of any duty to my daughter. However, if you change your mind…”
Langley clamped his teeth together tightly and gave a sharp nod of his head before looking at Miss Bennet one final time and leaving the room and any hope for a happy future behind him.[Cherishing Kitty, Prologue]
Lorcan is attempting to put Kitty’s wishes above his own — aka, he’s giving her what he thinks she wants.
So, to summarize, we have both a hero and a heroine who are doing exactly what 1 Corinthians 13:5 says — “love is not self-seeking” — and the results are a disaster. How can that be? Surely, if one follows what the scripture says, one’s life should be perfect, right?
*chuckles and wishes it were true*
My dear reader, perfection only exists in heaven. We might get close here on earth, but our lives are never going to be perfect. Humans err — a lot and often. And our hero and heroine, though not real humans, are just as imperfect as any of the rest of us are.
What’s the human error here?
Kitty and Lorcan have not communicated with each other. They were caught kissing passionately and separated with no time for a heart-to-heart conversation in private. Lorcan is basing his decision on what he heard and assumes that he is giving Kitty what she wants. Kitty, when she declared she is not marrying Lorcan, was expecting to have time to tell him the full story. However, that never happens, and, upon hearing Lorcan’s refusal to offer for her, she assumes he does not love her as she loves him.
With things muddled and messy, Lorcan leaves town and returns to his home while Kitty is required to return to Longbourn and miss the remainder of the season because of her indecorous behavior.
How does one resolve a misunderstanding based on miscommunication or, more accurately in this case, lack of communication?
One communicates. 🙂
That means that in this story, these two need to be forced together so that they can talk and work this problem out. Thankfully, they have me and a Regency-era “flat tire” to help them out with that.
The carriage with four good wheels drew to a stop, and Lorcan’s groom joined one of the carriage’s grooms in speaking to someone inside the carriage.
Lorcan moved closer so that he could hear what was being said.
“We cannot carry our passengers. They will need a place to rest,” his groom was saying.
“Of course, we can assist,” came the reply from inside the carriage. Then, to Lorcan’s delighted surprise, Charles Bingley stepped out of the vehicle. Lorcan could manage spending a bit of time with Bingley – even if it did require him to also spend time with Kitty’s eldest sister who was now Mrs. Bingley.
“Langley,” Bingley cried. “It is very good to see you.”
Though the man wore a smile, he glanced nervously back at his carriage. “I believe we have room for – is it two passengers?”
“Yes, and a place for a groom.”
Bingley nodded. “That is absolutely doable.” He looked at the groom who had hailed his carriage. “See that Mr. Langley and –” He looked at Lorcan.
“Alfred Langley, my cousin,” Lorcan supplied.
“See that both Mr. Langleys’ things are transferred. We have several empty rooms just waiting to be occupied.” Again, he cast a nervous look toward his carriage.
“We can stay in Meryton,” Lorcan offered. “Nonsense. I am sure we will get on just fine at Netherfield.” He sounded confident, but there seemed to be hesitance in his expression.
“Are you certain?”
“Yes, yes. I am sure it will all work out as it should.”[Cherishing Kitty, Ch. 2]
And it will work out as it should, but not without some difficulty. Pride and hurt feelings can make things challenging. Admitting one’s fault or regret is never painless. But then, love is not for the faint of heart. As Kitty and Lorcan discover, it takes a good bit of fortitude to carve out and maintain a happily ever after.
I am giving away one ebook copy of Cherishing Kitty to one lucky reader who leaves a comment below. You must leave a comment to be entered in the draw for the book. The contest closes at 11:59 PM Eastern on May 12, 2020. Winner will be announced on May 17, 2020, so watch for that blog post! 🙂
One more item which might be of interest to you —
During this unsettled time in our world, I have been running weekly promotions on my ebooks. You can find out which books currently have their prices reduced at this link.
This week’s $0.99 book special ends tomorrow, May 6, so make sure you check out my promo page to see which book it is.
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.