“Three Brides for Three Cousins” by Christine Combe, excerpt

Dear all,

I am really glad that I got a bit of time to say hello to you and most importantly, to present you the latest novel by Christine Combe: Three Brides for Three Cousins.

I hope you are all well and if you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a great time. If you do not celebrate it, I still wish you a lovely time if you get some holidays. Either way, what would be best but to add a book to these days? You have the blurb below and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I find I pretty refreshing and original. I am also expecting to read some nice verses 🙂 Look at that colourful and beautiful cover too.

Let´s welcome Christine once more as she is bringing so much for us today!

Hello everyone! I am so very excited to be returning to My Vices and Weaknesses to talk about my latest Austen variation, Three Brides for Three Cousins. And if you’re wondering if my title was inspired by a certain John Wayne movie, you’d be right!

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s twin cousins are ready for their debut in society, and one might think that would keep their mother—the Countess of Disley—well occupied. But even preparing her daughters for presentation to the Queen and their debut ball has not stopped Lady Disley’s plans to marry off her two sons and her nephew at last.

Elizabeth Bennet and her elder sister Jane are in London with their aunt and uncle at Gracechurch Street to enjoy some of the delights of the Season. They do not expect that meeting Mrs. Gardiner’s cousin from Derbyshire and the young lady to whom she is companion will lead to a reunion with the young man who wrote Jane some verses of poetry when she was 15 … or that he will be revealed to be a viscount.

Although sure this means the end of their new acquaintance with the shy Miss Darcy, Elizabeth and Jane are surprised when her brother lets the friendship continue. More than that, Lord Rowarth is forced to confess that his feelings for Jane remain strong, and his determination to defy convention and pursue a match with her unintentionally draws Elizabeth and Darcy to each other. Amidst supporting his brother’s attachment to one Bennet sister and encouraging his cousin Darcy’s growing feelings for the other, Colonel Theodore Fitzwilliam is enlisted by a duke’s daughter to help prevent her family’s ruination from scandal.

Family drama, misunderstandings, and the expectations of society are difficult waters to navigate. Can these three cousins get through it all to win the hearts of their chosen ladies and secure their own happiness?

Hope that little blurb intrigues you! Now here is a sneaky-peek at the first part of chapter one:

Sunday, 15 December 1811

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lady with children will be quite determined to see them all married very well.

Better than she did, if possible.

This mission is the same for sons as well as daughters, though the former are generally more stubborn than the latter at being properly directed. Many a mother over the ages despaired for sons that preferred more to enjoy the pleasures of life than to do their duty of seeking a suitable wife with whom to sire an heir and continue the family.

Frances Faulkner Fitzwilliam, Countess of Disley, was one such woman. Lady Disley had two grown sons well past their majority—her eldest, in fact, was already four-and-thirty, and his younger brother was but five years his junior. She often lamented the single state of her sons, Philip and Theodore—occasionally joined by her husband—and was not shy about haranguing them about their duty. Philip, Viscount Rowarth, was adamant that he would marry for love or not at all, and as he’d yet to meet a woman who inspired the emotion, he steadfastly remained a bachelor. Only Theodore had some excuse for being single in their parents’ eyes, as he was a soldier in His Majesty’s army, and was often away from home for months at a time. In fact, his most recent return from the war—Britain’s capture of Isle de France, now known as Mauritius—had been after more than a year’s separation from his family.

And that was more than a year ago—plenty of time in which to find a wife and settle down. But neither of the brothers seemed inclined to be serious about the matter, choosing instead to visit with friends, enjoy their clubs, and go to parties where they were very much admired, but with no intention of forming any serious attachment to any of the girls to whom they were introduced.

Their cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy, was too much the same. Nearing eight-and-twenty himself, and already in command of a vast estate, Lady Disley felt it was past time he select a wife to manage his household. Her nephew, unfortunately, was not as outgoing as her sons, and so had more difficulty in conversing with those he had not met before. Darcy had made it clear some time ago that could he stay at Pemberley all year round, he would.

“My lord,” said the lady to her husband one day, “we really must do something about the boys.”

Richard Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Disley, did not look up from his newspaper. Emitting a light scoff, he replied, “So you have said, my dear, at least once a week for the last five years.”

“Fie, my love,” Lady Disley said with a flip of her hand. “You know you are as adamant as I am that they should marry! Philip will be the last Earl of Disley if he does not soon take a wife. Do you not understand that we shall never have grandchildren if our sons do not marry?”

“Frances, you know very well that we will once our daughters are married,” Lord Disley reminded her. The couple also had twin daughters, Cecilia and Olivia, who were seventeen. They were to have their come-out in the upcoming Season—which they and their mother were looking forward to with great pleasure and which their father and brothers were not. Lord Disley had said to his wife on more than one occasion that he was just not ready for his “surprise girls”—called so due to their coming so long after the birth of their second son—to be grown up.

“Yes, and if one of them should have a son, the title will pass to him,” his wife reminded him in turn.

“No, my dear, it will go to my nephew before my grandson—which you well know,” said the earl.

Lady Disley frowned. “And I love your sister’s son, you know I do, but Fitzwilliam is his Christian name, not his family name. As deserving as the Darcys have long been of having a title, I know how much you desire yours to remain with the Fitzwilliam line.”

That was the one point on which His Lordship most agreed with his wife. It had been his family’s honor for nearly three hundred years to have the Disley earldom and Rowarth viscountcy, and it would pain him indeed to see it passed to another—even a nephew.

Disley lowered the newspaper slowly, casting a shrewd gaze to his lady. She was a sharp one, his wife, as she knew precisely which points to needle every time the subject of their sons’ bachelorhood was brought up. Lady Disley did not bother to hide her triumphant smile.

“All right, my lady, I see what you are about,” said he. “You’ve some scheme in mind, haven’t you?”

Lady Disley grinned. “I do indeed! I should like to invite some friends to the Court for a few weeks’ visit—”

“Frances, do you not recall your own determination to have the girls in London in only a fortnight?” her husband interjected. “You said yourself you wanted to arrive in Town a little early, that they might have several new gowns made for all the balls and parties you intend to take them to.”

Lady Disley’s expression became thoughtful. “Yes, there is that… Not to mention we have the girls’ presentation at Court and their come-out ball to prepare for.”

“And yet with so much shopping and party planning to be done, you still have time to be concerned over the unmarried state of your sons,” Lord Disley mused. “I cannot fathom how you manage it all.”

“I am a mother, Lord Disley. It is what we do.”

He could not argue the point. “I agree, my dear, that both our sons marrying is long overdue.”

“And Fitzwilliam,” said Lady Disley. “He’s but two years younger than Theodore, and Pemberley really is too large a house for only him and Georgiana. He needs a wife!”

“Indeed, Lady Disley. With your plan to be in London early to raid the linen drapers and buy up all the most fashionable fabrics for your daughters’ wardrobes, therefore to have an edge on the other mothers of the ton, how then do you propose to have both of your sons and your nephew married by the end of the Season? All three of them do their utmost to spend as little time in Town as may be during those six months.”

“Philip and Theodore are already to be in London for the girls’ come-out ball,” Lady Disley replied. “We must insist that Fitzwilliam attend also.”

“That won’t keep any of them in London for long, Frances,” said her husband with a snort, before lifting his newspaper and giving it a slight shake to even it out again.

Lady Disley scoffed. “They will stay in London if they know what is good for them, Richard,” said she. “As we cannot have a house party—it really is too close to Christmas anyway for such a scheme, now I think on it—then I shall just have to see to it they are all of them invited to every ball and party the girls will be attending. It will stir up a little brotherly protectiveness in our sons and give Fitzwilliam a taste of what it will be like for Georgiana next year.”

“I doubt Fitzwilliam will allow his sister to debut next year, given what happened this summer.”

“I hardly think he will punish her for that long,” Lady Disley said then.

“And I hardly think he would have his sister debut at an age younger than our daughters,” said Lord Disley. “Cecilia and Olivia are already seventeen, Georgiana little more than fifteen. Her birthday’s not until the Season is nearly over, so I’d not put it past my nephew to wait until the year she’s to turn eighteen.”

“The poor child. To miss so much gaiety… I am sure that seeing her cousins having such a grand time will make her envious,” observed Lady Disley. “Perhaps that will draw her out of her melancholy and lead to Fitzwilliam allowing her to debut early.”

Lord Disley sighed. “My dear, why don’t you concentrate on your own children, and leave Georgiana to her brother.”

“Oh, if you insist I should, I will. For now,” the countess agreed. “But I still mean to see to it that both of our sons and our nephew are married by the end of the Season. I’ll not settle for anything less.”

Once again, the earl lowered his newspaper, and in noting the determined set of her features, began to wonder if she might just succeed in marrying off her sons at last.


What an opening! Looks like Lady Catherine is not the only determined aunt in Darcy’s family. Do you think the countess will be successful in getting her sons and nephew married? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Three Brides for Three Cousins is available in ebook from Amazon! Paperback and hardcover coming soon.

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon DE Amazon ES


Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen’s work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on her next book.

Blog: All That They Desire / Facebook: (1) Christine Combe | Facebook

What do you think of Lady Disley? I already like her and I am hoping that she is very annoying to her sons and Darcy too! I think maybe her husband could help a little.

Would you let us know what you liked best from the blurb of the beginning of chapter 1? I cannot decide in one thing only.

All the best and Happy New Year!


2 thoughts on ““Three Brides for Three Cousins” by Christine Combe, excerpt”

  1. I almost missed this post! Yet another great excerpt, and I forgot to comment on the cover. I love those colours but the blue is definitely my favourite!

    Liked by 1 person

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