Blog Tour of “A Most Handsome Gentleman” by Suzan Lauder, character interview and giveaway

Hello, hello! I am going straight to the blurb of this book that I am completely sure will be awesome to read. Let’s talk again after you read the blurb:

Book Blurb

Elizabeth Bennet’s life is uncomplicated until she meets a quartet of new men: the haughty but handsome Mr. Darcy, the pert-with-a-pout Mr. Bingley, the confident and captivating Mr. Wickham—and then there is her father’s cousin, the happy man towards whom almost every female eye has turned.

Mr. Collins is HOT—well, incredibly handsome in Regency-speak—beautiful of face, fine of figure, elegant of air, his perfect clothing and hair matching his Greek god-like form. Unfortunately, when he opens his mouth, Elizabeth wishes he were mute. With affected servility and prideful self-conceit, he capitalizes upon his exquisite appearance and fixes on Jane Bennet as his bride.

Can Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy form an alliance to stop Jane’s suitors from issuing challenges—and will Elizabeth coax a smile from Mr. Darcy?

Bestselling Regency romance author Suzan Lauder delivers a hilarious Austenesque romance suitable for all readers of Pride and Prejudice.

So, let’s read that again: “Mr Collins is HOT”… what??? As I commented on From Pemberley to Milton, “Hot and Collins… until now that meant a suffocating experience where he was praising your potatoes and you could not run away!!”. Collins like a Greek god? OMG! That cannot be true :S

Now let’s try to be serious and think about the rest of the information that this blurb is giving us… Elizabeth needs Darcy’s help to stop any challenges that Jane’s suitors are issuing, what suitors? Collins and Bingley… anyone else?  What kind of challenges? My mind can race from just being very insistent to try to ruin her… you never know with these characters!! The most important part that it is not included here, will Mrs Bennet’s nerves let her live having to “endure” several suitors for Jane?? 🙂

I have to say that I am super intrigued by this book. This time I have avoided to read much about it as I want to have my reading time full of surprises. However, that does not mean that you should do the same. There is a great blog tour with stops in several amazing blogs that you must check. I will write the schedule below, but first let me introduce the lovely author of A Most Handsome Gentleman, Suzan Lauder.

A lover of Jane Austen, Regency period research and costuming, cycling, yoga, blogging, and independent travel, cat mom Suzan Lauder is seldom idle.

Her first effort at a comedy, A Most Handsome Gentleman is the fourth time Lauder has been published by Meryton Press. Her earlier works include a mature Regency romance with a mystery twist, Alias Thomas Bennet, a modern short romance Delivery Boy in the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter, and the dramatic tension filled Regency romance Letter from Ramsgate.IMG_20150318_114408

She and Mr. Suze split their time between a loft condo overlooking the Salish Sea and a 150-year-old Spanish colonial home near the sea in Mexico.

Suzan’s lively prose is also available to her readers on her blog, road trips with the redhead www.suzan.lauder.merytonpress.com, on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/SuzanLauder, and on Twitter @suzanlauder. You can follow her on different social media: Website    Goodreads Author Page   Facebook          Twitter     Amazon Author Page   Pinterest

Suzan has prepared a great character interview that it is hilarious and inappropriate (wink wink)… you’ll understand in a bit what I mean. Enjoy!!

Meryton Residents speak about Mr. Collins: a modern/Regency mashup interview.

Martin Drölling, Portrait of the artist's daughter Louise-Adéone, 1812

Miss Katherine Bennet: “Good morning. My name is Kitty Bennet and I am secretly hoping to be a novelist one day like the lady who wrote Pride and Prejudice. I will be writing a novel where the heroine is me and the hero is my cousin Mr. Collins because he is the most handsome and accomplished man of my acquaintance. He is so handsome and accomplished, no one even notices John Lucas any more. The only thing that would make Mr. Collins more handsome and accomplished would be a red coat. Then I think even my sister Mary would swoon. But here. Let Mary speak for herself about my cousin.”

 

Miss Mary Bennet: “Mr. Collins reads Fordyce with the voice of an angel. He smells like an angel, too.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “What does an angel smell like?”

Miss Mary Bennet (nearly swooning): “Mr. Collins.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “What kind of answer is that? Pooh. I shall go on to another person to find out their impression of Mr. Collins for my novel. Here is my aunt.”

Mrs. Archibald Phillips: “Mr. Collins has big feet. You know what ‘big feet’ means. Big…uh…shoes.” (She winks.)

Miss Katherine Bennet: “I do not care about his shoes. I care to know if you think he is too handsome for a hero in a novel. Do you not think he is A Most Handsome Gentleman, Mama?”

Mrs. Thomas Bennet: (fans herself) “Handsome? Bless me! Did you know your father is nearly eleven years my senior? Weak hearts run in his family. It is not out of the question for a widow to remarry a younger man. Widows make the best of wives. After all, I am already Mistress of Longbourn. If Mr. Collins could just wait…yes, he is the handsomest man. Oh, dear, you have made me hot, and these flutters of my heart! Goodness! Bless me! Bless me!”

Miss Jane Bennet: “Come, Mama, sit down.”

Mr. Charles Bingley “May I join you, my angel?”

Miss Mary Bennet: “Really, Mr. Bingley. Do not confuse things. Mr. Collins is the only heavenly creature around here.”

Mrs. Bennet: “Bless me! Mr. Collins is too handsome for heaven. Bless me!”

Miss Kitty Bennet: “I suppose Mr. Collins is accomplished enough to do so, Mama.”

Mrs. Thomas Bennet: “Oh, my poor nerves. Where are my salts? I have these flutters and urges…”

Miss Jane Bennet: “Really, Kitty, must you work her up so?”

Miss Lydia Bennet: (giggles) “Kitty did not work her up. She was ogling Mr. Collins’s breeches as she mentioned Papa’s heart.” (giggles and ogles Mr. Collins’s breeches)

Mr. Thomas Bennet (shouting out of library window): “I have the heart of an ox. Now leave me in peace whilst I snigger to myself about Mr. Collins’s antics right in front of his too-handsome face. Accomplishments, my eye. My left foot is more accomplished than Mr. Collins. I had to teach him draughts of all things!” (closes window to library)

Miss Katherine Bennet: “Come, Mr. Wickham, what say you? Do you think Mr. Collins is handsome and accomplished?”

Mr. George Wickham: (grumbles) “He may be handsome and accomplished, but does he have a credible sob story? Take pity on me. Have you heard about the living I was supposed to have?” (winks and waggles eyebrows)

Mr. Reginald Denny: “Collins is so handsome, I want to date him. Wicky, want to bet who will snag Collins first, me or Miss Lydia?”

Miss Lydia Bennet: “Or little Chamberlayne, all dressed up like a lady!” (snorts and guffaws in true non-Regency form)

Mr. George Wickham: “Excuse me, ladies, but I have some pressing militia business to attend to.” (turns to Mr. Denny) “Odds?”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “Oh, here is Lizzy. She will have a rational answer. Lizzy, is Mr. Collins not the handsomest and most accomplished man you have ever known?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: “He would be if I could reform him from his obsequious blabbermouth doofusoid tendencies. I must really stick by his side so I can admire, uh, train him to be more sensible. Perhaps I could hold his tongue.”

Miss Katherine Benet: “What?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: “I meant to say, he needs to learn to hold his tongue. If he could do so, he would be hot.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “What do you mean, hot?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: “Incendiary.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “Huh?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: “Oh, look! There’s Mr. Darcy. I detest the man.”

Mrs. Archibald Phillips: “But have you noticed the size of his feet?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: (mumbles) “I was not looking at his feet.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “No one seems to make sense around here. Why is the world so enamoured of feet? We were talking of Mr. Collins’s handsome face and manly accomplishments. Yes, my research confirms that he is A Most Handsome Gentleman. This is Miss Kitty Bennet, signing off for the day.”

So, what do you think? feet apparently are important… I do not know why… (ehem ehem) Did you like Mrs Bennet? No so worried about Mr Bennet dying and leaving them on their own.

I am pretty sure that you cannot wait to read A Most Handsome Gentleman, in order to buy it, go to Amazon UK or Amazon US (check if you prefer ebook or paperback).

I could not forget to mention the cover, OMG! they are actually very handsome indeed. The quartet of male protagonists of this book that they could make anyone swoon!! Janet Taylor is an awesome artist!! Janet, beautiful faces!!

Blog Tour Schedule

10/20   My Jane Austen Book Club; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway

10/21   My Love for Jane Austen; Guest Post, Giveaway

10/22   Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review

10/23   Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

AMHG Blog Tour BannerV M

10/24   Tomorrow is Another Day; Review

10/25   Babblings of a Bookworm; Guest Post, Giveaway

10/26   From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway

10/27   Just Jane 1813; Guest Post, Giveaway

10/28   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

10/29   My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Giveaway

10/30   Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt

10/31   Laughing With Lizzie; Vignette, Giveaway

11/01   Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

11/02   So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

11/03   Margie’s Must Reads; Review, GA

Time to Give Away

You really need to try to win this book or just go and buy it on the links I shared above. If you want to participate click the following link but also read the terms and conditions mainly to know how to get extra entries. Good luck.

Rafflecopter “A Most Handsome Gentleman”

review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries. A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

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“Green Card” by Elizabeth Adams is back, excerpt and big giveaway

Hello all! I cannot believe we are almost in November!! Halloween (for a lot of you) is very close and you may be deciding what to do. For others, you may be expecting more All Saints Days, some others will receive the end of October and beginning of November as any other month coming and going. Whatever you are looking forward to, let me remind you that a good book is always necessary and why not a modern version of Pride and Prejudice: Green Card by Elizabeth Adams.

Since I read Green Card a few years ago, I simply loved it! This book is a modern version but it does not lose the personality of the protagonists and it is properly placed in the 21st century with different problems and difficulties.

I have been also lucky to tell the author my opinion, both online and in person and I can say that Elizabeth Adams is a lovely woman, very talkative and full of energy. I have repeated a sentence several times to her and she is not annoyed, or at least she did not say it 😉 Why is the sentence so important? Because it is my favourite sentence from Green Card. No, I am not telling you what sentence it is but I can say that these four words make a great moment in the book. No, no again, the four words are nothing like “Would you marry me?”.

Let’s know a bit more about this multifaceted author:

Elizabeth Adams is a book-loving, tango-dancing, Austen enthusiast. She loves old houses and thinks birthdays should be celebrated with trips—as should most occasions. She can often be found by a sunny window with a cup of hot tea and a book in her hand. 

 

She writes romantic comedy and comedic tragedy in both historic and modern settings.

You can find more information, short stories, and out-takes at elizabethadamswrites.wordpress.com

Follow her also on: Facebook     Twitter      Goodreads

Elizabeth has written lovely stories and you can buy them on: Amazon UK     Amazon US

Now let’s start with what today is the protagonist of this post: Green Card.

Green Card Blurb

William Harper has it all: looks, money, power. There’s just one tiny problem—he’s about to be deported. He needs a green card. Fast. An American wife is the easiest way to get one. But where will he find a woman to marry him on such short notice?

Elizabeth Barrett is a full-time student, part-time dog walker, and weekend tutor. With a room-mate who just ran out on her and neck deep in tuition payments, she needs money. Now. Harper just might make her an offer she can’t refuse.

He thinks he’s worked out the perfect deal, she thinks she’s signed up for an easy job. Neither of them bargained for the ride of their lives.

What about the marriage by convenience? A marriage without love? A paid marriage? A rich man and a penniless woman, but it is the 21st century!!

Excerpt

Harper opened the door to the apartment and set his bag on the floor. He loosened his tie and headed to the kitchen to grab a beer. On his way, he heard music coming out of the living room. This wasn’t unusual in and of itself. However, what was unusual was the grunting he also heard. He stopped for a moment, then his eyebrows shot up to his hairline when he heard, in what was clearly Liz’s voice, a loud groan that morphed into a sort of yelling whine.

A dark look on his face, he quickly stalked toward the living room. If there was another man in his house, he’d throw him out on his backside. Then he’d have a thing or two to say to Liz about contracts and abiding by an agreement.

In one loud move, he threw the door open and stormed into the room.

Oh, hey, Will. You’re home early. Would you do me a favor and turn on the fan?”

He just stood there, looking at Liz where she was on the floor on all fours, one leg extended behind her that she was moving in a semi-circle. Over to her right, touch the ground, back up as high as it could go and all the way to her left, touch the ground, then back up to center and to her right again. He watched her dumbly as her leg arced gracefully, her back sweaty and her thighs trembling slightly from her exertion. She was wearing a black pair of calf-length leggings and a pink sports bra, and that was it. He couldn’t keep his eyes away from her bum, which was flexing tightly with the movement. Had it always been that round?

Will?”

Yeah?”

The fan?”

Oh, sorry.”

He flipped the switch and she called out a quiet thank you. Several more minutes passed with him just standing there as she watched the movement of the people on the television screen, the TV muted while her iPod blared from the speaker on the console.

Are you enjoying the show?”

Will started. “Huh? What did you say?”

Liz laughed. “It’s okay, you can make fun if you want to.”

Make fun?”

Of my video. It’s the Brazil Butt Lift. I know it’s weird, but it really works.”

Why are you doing a butt video?”

Because someone has been taking me out for high-calorie, fattening dinners! All those carbs go straight to my butt. My jeans were feeling a little tight so I borrowed this from Laura.” She walked over to stand in front of him. “See,” she turned her back to him and looked over her shoulder, “it’s already working and it’s only been two weeks! This part right here,” she ran her hand along the top of her bum, “is already higher and when you touch it, it’s much firmer. It’s not scary hard or anything, but you can feel the muscle under there. Feel.” She grabbed his hand and placed it at the top of the swell of her bottom.

After a moment’s hesitation, he pressed his hand a little more firmly into her flesh, then moved it lightly side to side.

You’re right. It’s firm, but still soft. Very nice.” He nodded and removed his hand. “Why do you have the volume off?”

I don’t really like the music and the guy kind of gets on my nerves after a while. I’ve got the moves almost memorized by now. I just use the video as a guide.”

Why haven’t I seen you doing this before?”

I usually do it when you’re gone. You’re home early today.”

He walked over to the TV and turned the volume up, mostly to distract himself from her glistening skin and tight leggings.

Is this guy for real?” Harper gestured to the man leading the exercises on the screen. “Why does he talk like that?”

He’s Brazilian, genius, he has an accent. You know, kind of like you do, only from another country.”

Why are you getting snarky with me? You just said he gets on your nerves!”

Just because he can be annoying doesn’t mean he’s not good at his job. Besides, this is a really hard workout. Don’t knock it till you try it.”

He looked at the women in tiny little shorts, lifting their legs and smiling broadly.

I don’t think it would do much for me. It looks girly.”

Girly?”

Her tone should have alerted him, but it didn’t. “Yeah. Men like to work out with weights, not shiny yellow bands,” he said as he gestured toward the resistance bands the women on the screen were using.

Care to test that theory, big boy?”

Now he heard the tone, but he was never one to back down from a challenge.

What do you have in mind?”

Throw on some gym clothes and try this with me. We’ll see who’s the last man standing.”

He raised his brows and looked at her like she was crazy. “Are you serious?”

Dead serious.” Her arms were crossed over her chest and her face was set. He was beginning to recognize that look. She was not about to back down.

All right, I’ll be back,” he said airily as he left the room.

Mmmmm… steamy!! However, Harper, what do you think about “girly” stuff? Let’s see how you manage!

Time To Give Away

Super happy birthday to Elizabeth Adams!! It’s not only the release day of Green Card but also her birthday.

She has put together a great present for one of you, lovely readers of My Vices and Weaknesses.

She is giving away her entire catalogue, five books, to one of you!! 1 winner gets her 5 books and you will love them!!

You have to comment here with your questions to Elizabeth and your opinions about what you have read.

You only have a few days to participate, until the 3rd November at 11:59pm CET.

Good luck!

Review of “Colonel Darcy” by Timothy Underwood

Lizzy locked up in her bedroom as she were the mad woman in the attic but in this case the “stubborn” woman in the bedroom according to some.

Darcy, soldier with a horrible experience that changes his temper.

Letters, so important in Jane Austen’s world. Love letters, friendship letters, letters that bring people to life. Letters that may not be read, or will be read by the recipient years later.

Honour, reputation, the ton… that does not matter sometimes but who can decide? who can decide what to believe? People will believe anything that they do not like and will just label it under any tag that goes against honour and reputation, no matter what…

Two fathers taking his children to see the continent. Little Lizzy and very little Georgina become more than friends, sisters. Fitzwilliam likes the friendship that her sister has, he enjoys little Lizzy and her mind. Mr Darcy and Mr Bennet, the “nerds” of the time: Latin, Greek, calculus… A trip that unites two families but death is ruthless. First Mr Darcy, then Mr Bennet. Moreover, war, India, so far away.

‘Promise me that we will write to each other’.

Years in order to read the letters, but everything changes, hearts change and the future looks good but not very good.

Hearts are still closed and real happiness takes a while. Actually we could even thank Mr Wickham for the beginning of pure happiness, although… it is Wickham nonetheless.

5out5 stars

Really sweet story set a few decades before the time that Jane Austen gave to her Pride and Prejudice. There is a lot of suffering going on but we cannot underestimate the power of a letter even if it is not meant to be read directly.

Just a warning, you may dislike the dislike you will feel towards some normally lovely and loved characters from P&P.

 

This is the first book that I read by Timothy Underwood but it will not be the last one, that is for sure.

If you want to follow him or buy any of his books, check the links below:

Amazon US       Amazon UK    Goodreads

 

“Fair Stands The Wind” is finally available on Kindle!

Dear all,

I am super glad to finally tell you that you can already find the kindle version of “Fair Stands the Wind” by Catherine Lodge on Amazon:

Amazon US                   Amazon UK

fstwfullcover wobld M small

 

 

Blog Tour of “Particular Attachments” by L.L. Diamond, excerpt and giveaway

I hope all of you are very well and ready to read a bit more about another great book. Today I am pleased to present Particular Attachements by L.L. Diamond. This is the second book of her Particular Intentions Series and our protagonist is Miss Georgina Darcy.

Let me introduce you to our author, she is a very accomplished woman apart from a really good writer.

L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way.leslie

After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Leslie’s books include: Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, An Unwavering Trust, The Earl’s Conquest, Particular Intentions, and Particular Attachments.

To follow L.L. Diamond, you can go to:

Facebook       Twitter      Goodreads      Austen Variations

Let’s enjoy the excerpt that Leslie is sharing with us 🙂

Thank you so much for having me!  It’s been so much fun sharing different parts and such about Particular Attachments with everyone. Today, I have one more excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!

 Georgiana placed her pen upon the stand, sprinkled some sand upon the page, and then, returned the coarse grit to its bowl. Bright light filtered in through the window, so she stood and stepped over to enjoy the view. The sun had already begun its path across the sky and a breeze rattled the limbs on the trees in the square. It was a brilliant blue day for December. If she were at Pemberley, she would saddle Phaethon and ride around the peaks. In weather such as this, Phae was always in high spirits, snorting and prancing about. How she adored riding on a crisp, cool day!

Well, if she could not ride, perhaps she could convince Lizzy to walk—if she was awake.

She arrived in the drawing room to no one about, but a humming reached her ears and she pivoted back and forth. Where had it come from? She followed the sound to the dining room where Mrs. Rowley ran a finger across the sideboard, looking for dust.

“Mrs. Rowley?”

“Oh!” The older lady’s hand pressed to her chest. “You gave me quite a fright, Miss Darcy. I was not aware you had left your chambers.”

“Forgive me. I had not meant to alarm you.” She glanced about the room. “I was wondering if my sister, brother, or Miss Bennet were awake?”

“Mr. and Mrs. Darcy requested trays a little over an hour ago. I believe they were to spend the morning with young Master William once they breakfasted. Miss Bennet’s maid has yet to be called to the lady’s rooms.”

Georgiana nodded. “Thank you. I shall be practicing my pianoforte should I be needed.”

“Of course, miss.”

She exited to the hall and was about to turn into the music room when a rap sounded at the door. Jobbins appeared from the servants’ corridor and with his usual calm, slow manner opened it.

“Miss Darcy!” Before Jobbins could speak, Nathaniel strode forward, took her hand, and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. “I hope you will forgive my early call, but the weather begged for a canter down Rotten Row and I hoped you would join me.”

She blinked. Nathaniel was in her home. She glanced at the clock—at half nine, and he wanted to ride—with her? “I had not—I—That is, I have no mount in town. My mare remained at Pemberley and Fitzwilliam does not keep a horse for me in London since I have stayed in Derbyshire the past several years.”

“I hope you will not think me presumptuous, but I considered just such a circumstance. My mother keeps a horse in town for days like today, though after the late night at the ball, she preferred to keep London hours than ride.” He grasped her hand, led her to the drawing room where the windows overlooked the street, and pulled back the draperies. “When I mentioned the possibility last night, she offered the use of her mare.”

Her eyes darted to the street before the house where three horses stood with a girl holding the reins of each.

“Who is the girl?”

“Our stable master’s daughter. She is as proficient a rider as the grooms, and you mentioned last night of your companion visiting her family for the holiday season. Since I was uncertain whether Miss Bennet would be awake and whether she even rode, I thought a chaperon might be a prudent idea.”

“Prudent indeed.” How she wanted to join him! Had she not just longed for Phae as she admired the pleasant weather? Not to mention, the closest of the mounts was the most beautiful dapple-grey she had ever laid eyes upon.

“Which is your mother’s mare?” Her teeth scraped along her bottom lip. Be the grey! Be the grey!

His breath made the curls at her temple flutter and heated her face. “Which do you want her to be?”

She drew back and gasped. “What an impudent response!”

“You cannot deny you have a preference, else you would not think to ask,” he taunted with an impish grin.

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Why will you not answer?”

He mirrored her stance, his riding crop still clutched in his hand. “Agree to accompany me, change into your habit, and I shall give you the information you seek.”

She peered out the window one more time and back to Nathaniel. “Very well. I shall return as quickly as I can.”

As she hurried up the stairs, she worried at her lip with her teeth. Was this wise? Nathaniel said they would just be friends, but was it a sensible expectation?

Lucy started when she strode into her dressing room and requested her habit, but complied with haste. With her usual efficiency, her abigail had Georgiana undressed and dressed again with her riding gloves in hand in under a quarter hour.

She stared at her reflection in the mirror. The timidity about London and being in town needed to cease! What did the opinions matter of those so wholly unconnected to her? The truth was they did not. She needed to do what she wished without regard to those who would disparage her for sport.

One last, large gulp of air was drawn into her lungs and released. If she and Nathaniel were to be friends, she would have to rid herself of this ridiculous aversion to his company. He was not the same as the boy she once knew. Of course, characteristics of the younger Nathaniel remained, but he was now an adult. He had also come to her defence in the hat shop, had he not?

When she returned to the hall, Nathaniel grinned and gave a bow. “I am pleased you would accept my invitation, milady.” He held out his arm. “Shall we?”

A laugh escaped at his antics. “Lead the way, my lord.”

As Jobbins appeared to open the door, she paused. “Should my brother or Mrs. Darcy enquire as to my whereabouts, inform them I am riding with Lord Sele.”

“We will be in Hyde Park,” offered Nathaniel.

The aged butler peered to the horses and the young lady who would accompany them. “Very good, miss.”

After the door closed behind them, Nathaniel chuckled. “Did he ensure we had someone to accompany us?”

“More than likely. Since my companion Mrs. Annesley has been visiting her family, I am usually joined by Lizzy, Lydia, or my aunt when I leave the house. I am certain Jobbins found my departing on the arm of a young man singular and cause for concern.”

“Jobbins was your butler before your mother’s death. I remember I found him rather terrifying as a young boy.”

“But he is kind and what I imagine a grandfather to be. When my governess would bring me to the kitchen for a biscuit, Jobbins would tell me the most wonderful stories. I believe he would create them as he said them aloud.”

“Ah,” replied Nathaniel, squinting a bit as a particularly gusty breeze blew in his face. “You have a perspective of him I lack. I remember the ever so tall, quiet, and imposing figure who answered the door. He also gave me a rather disapproving glare when I tried to chase after your brother on several occasions.”

“There is no running in Darcy House, did you not know?”

Nathaniel studied her for a moment out of the corner of his eye. “You are different this morning.”

“I hope the change is not unwelcome.”

He faced her and their eyes held one another until she had to fight to remain still. How she needed to fidget about, but she could not. To wiggle like a worm would be mortifying!

She held out her hand and took a step in the direction of the dapple-grey, who stretched her neck and sniffed Georgiana’s palm. Once she had deemed Georgiana worthy, she nickered and nuzzled Georgiana’s glove with her velvety muzzle.

“Do you like her?”

Her cheek prickled from his steady gaze while she pressed her palm against the star between the mare’s eyes and stroked down the length of her face. “She is stunning.”

His shoulders relaxed as he smiled. “I am glad. She is your mount for the morning.”

She gave a delighted gasp. “I had hoped. What is her name?”

“My mother named her Viola.”

He laced his fingers and held them down and palms up to help her mount. Once they were both in their saddles, and walking towards Hyde Park, she lifted her face to feel the cool breeze as Viola blew noisily from her nose and tugged at the reins.

“She must enjoy Twelfth Night to name her horse for one of the characters.”

“My parents attended a production of Twelfth Night for my mother’s birthday the evening before Viola arrived as her gift. While she does take pleasure in that particular play, I believe the name is more as a remembrance.”

When they entered the Grosvenor Gate and headed in the direction of Rotten Row, Viola began to stomp and prance about.

“She loves to run Rotten Row, and my mother tends to give her free rein. You will need to use a firm hand if you do not wish for the same.”

“Phae knows the paths at Pemberley where I prefer to test her speed. She behaves much the same as Viola is now when we approach one.”

Nathaniel’s brows drew down in the middle. “Phae?”

“Phaethon is the immortal horse of the goddess of the dawn, Eos.”

“Your brother’s horse is named from the stories of the Greeks as well, is it not?”

“Boreas is the god of the north wind who assumed the shape of a horse to pull the chariot of Zeus.”

He laughed and reined his horse back so they remained together. “While the story has Boreas pulling the King of the gods, the actual horse carries the Master of Pemberley.”

One side of her lips curved upwards. “My father was still alive when my brother named his horse. He was not yet master. We have quite a few horses with names taken from the Greeks or the Romans.”

After a peek in Nathaniel’s direction, she cued Viola to a trot. The horse had a graceful gait. Her bottom would not be terribly sore on the morrow, thank goodness.

The rhythmic plodding of Nathaniel’s horse from her side was a reminder of his presence—not that she required one. She was not far ahead of him as they neared the corner where the Route du Roi, also known as Rotten Row, began.

Despite this hour of the morning being a fashionable time to ride one’s horse on Rotten Row, few men were out with their mounts and even fewer ladies.

“I hoped most of the ton would keep to their beds this morning. Between Lord and Lady Fitzwilliam’s ball and Sir John Sutton’s masquerade, most of London was occupied until the early hours.”

She brought her mount to a canter and began riding down the path, ensuring she did not collide with the other riders. Nathaniel rode to her left, but his horse was just far enough to the rear that she could see nothing but his head if she peeked to that side. His horse stretched his neck and wore at the bit. Nathaniel was holding him back. Did he believe her to be a less than competent rider?

Without thought, she leaned forward and pressed her leg into Viola’s flank. The horse did not throw her head or object, but accelerated forward with grace until the horse could not go faster without galloping.

An exclamation came from behind as she laughed and pushed forward until she neared the end where she pulled back and turned to ride along the edge of the Serpentine. She kept Viola at a trot until Nathaniel drew alongside and then slowed her to a walk.

“You do enjoy defying convention, Georgiana Darcy.”

“I wanted to give her a good run.” She lifted her chin just a bit. “Besides, I do not require you to rein in your horse. I have no doubt Viola and I can match your pace.”

“Ladies do not typically race the gentlemen along the Row—not that I object. I enjoyed it immensely.” His slight smile widened. “I wanted to be certain you were comfortable on my mother’s horse, but I never expected my ensuring your safety from behind would wound your pride.”

Her jaw dropped. “You did not wound my pride.”

“Then why the need to prove yourself?” He trotted ahead with an altogether too smug expression on his face.

If only she could wipe it off as easily as a smudge of dirt!

“You have no response?” he taunted with his head turned back towards her. “The Miss Darcy I remember would not have allowed such a statement to go unanswered.” He stopped his horse and pivoted in his seat as he awaited her.

She brought Viola to a trot once again and gave him what was hopefully her most disdainful expression. “The Miss Darcy you knew no longer exists. I do not seek your approbation. I need no one’s approval.”

Who is that Nathaniel? Have you been in other stops of this book tour and you already know? How has she learnt to dismiss people’s approval? Why is she repeating that they are only friends as if she wanted to convince herself?

Blurb: She swore would never marry!

Georgiana Darcy is a lady with a secret! The last thing she wants is to return to London, but what else can she do when her brother and his wife make plans to spend the Christmas season in town. When Lizzy’s youngest sister, Lydia, joins them, Georgiana gains a confidante, but will Lydia’s outgoing nature cause problems when Lord Sele, son of a family friend reappears in Georgiana’s life?

As an insufferable boy, Lord Sele vowed he would marry Georgiana, but was his return from Ireland a coincidence or was his sole purpose to pursue her? He admits to desiring friendship, but Lydia is determined his desire is Georgiana and she will stop at nothing to see her best friend happily settled.

What is Georgiana to do when faced with the 

 

society she has managed to avoid for her entire adult life as well as the one man determined to change her mind about marriage? Will she be able to overcome her fears despite the spectre from the past that seems to be haunting her? Will she be forced to tell her secret and choose happiness or will someone from her past ruin everything?

 Lydia… friend of Georgiana? What is going on? 😉 Someone from her past? OMG! nooo, more angst when it comes to our beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice.

Do you want to read this book straight away? You can do it, among other sites, here:

Amazon UK                 Amazon US                       Kobo           Barnes&Noble

The Particular Attachments Blog Tour

book

Great stops in this blog tour, I cannot choose my favourite, so visit them all! 🙂

September 8: Just Jane 1813 – Review

 

September 9: Babblings of a Bookworm – Character Interview

 

September 11: From Pemberley to Milton – Excerpt

September 12: More Agreeably Engaged – Character Interview

September 13: Austenesque Reviews – Outtake

September 14: Austen Variations – Release Day Post and Giveaway

September 15: Just Jane 1813 – Character Interview

September 16: My Jane Austen Book Club – Outtake

September 17: My Vices and Weaknesses – Excerpt

 

Time to Give Away

Leslie is giving away an e-book copy of Particular Attachments to one winner. Please leave a comment or question for her with anything that you would like to know or what to say about this excerpt.

The Giveaway will be open until the 24th September at 23:59 (CET). If you want to get more entries, share with a friend and ask them to join us on the comment section. Your friend will have to say that he or she has found us through you.

Blog Tour of “D&E: Hope of the future” by Sharon Lathan, guest post + giveaway

Good morning or good afternoon or even good night for some of you! Yes, I am back after only a week 🙂 I am trying to behave and do not keep you out of the loop. That is why today I am very happy to present Sharon Lathan with her latest book Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future. It is her second book on her Prequel Saga, our loved protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy are getting married, aren’t they? …

Blurb of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future (Darcy Saga Prequel Book #2)

Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet will soon be joined in Holy Matrimony!

The initial month of their Season of Courtship has passed. Together, the lovers strengthened their bond through honest communication, as they dealt with adversity, jealousy, and distrust. Ever growing in mutual love and understanding, a dramatic confrontation broke through the final barriers. 

Now their Hope of the Future “happily ever after” is assured! 

As long as Lady Catherine can be stopped in her scheme to interfere, that is. Or, will Mrs. Bennet’s bad advice ruin future marital felicity? Might increasing liberation lead to overwhelming passions that cannot be controlled, with catastrophe a result? 

Continue the journey began in Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. Delight in their flourishing romance, ride along on their escapades in London, and be a witness at the wedding of the century.

The miraculous design of how Two Shall Become One begins before the sacred vows.

After this blurb, can you not wait to buy the book? Print or ebook? You could buy both formats here, and also the first book of the saga Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship.

Amazon US                   Amazon UK                         Barnes & Noble Nook and Print

Kobo digital                                         iBooks digital

Apart from introducing the book and give you a “male” excerpt for you to enjoy, Sharon has done a guest post where you will find a lot of information about weddings during the Regency. I have learnt a lot, I must admit that I knew maybe half of the facts presented. I would recommend you to read this post but also visit the different posts where her book is being promoted because she has great information to share with all of us.

 

Let me introduce you to Sharon Lathan in case she may be a new author to you, although she has been written great novels for a long time now:

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Her first novel, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, was published in 2009. Sharon’s series of “happily ever after” for the Darcys now totals nine full-length novels and one Christmas themed novella.Sharon Lathan photo

Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship and Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future complete the “prequel to the sequel” duo recounting the betrothal months before the Darcy Saga began.

Sharon is a native Californian relocated in 2013 to the green hills of Kentucky, where she resides with her husband of over thirty years. Retired from a thirty-year profession as a registered nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care, Sharon is pursuing her dream as a full-time writer.

Sharon is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, JASNA Louisville, the Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Beau Monde chapter of the RWA, and serves as the website manager and on the board of the Louisville Romance Writers chapter of the RWA.

Sharon is the co-creator of Austen Authors, a group blog for authors of Austenesque literary fiction. Visit at:  www.AustenAuthors.com 

Connect with Sharon at the following places:
Website/blog:  www.SharonLathanAuthor.com       Facebook at Sharon Lathan, Novelist                 Twitter @SharonLathan                     Pinterest  SharonLathan62

 

After introducing her, let’s read what Sharon is sharing with us, not only a very “funny” excerpt but also, as mentioned above, interesting information about weddings.

 

First and foremost, I must thank Ana for hosting me on her blog today. It is a pleasure to be here sharing a bit of wedding history and my latest novel with the My Vices and Weaknesses readers. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second book in the two-volume Darcy Saga Prequel Duo, which began with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. These two novels perfectly fit with my Darcy Saga Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the series now including nine lengthy novels and one novella.

Regency Wedding Preparations

To understand wedding preparation during the Regency, you must start by erasing everything you envision as part of a modern-day wedding. English weddings prior to the Victorian Era were small, understated events. The primary purpose of the ceremony was the religious solidification of the marriage contract. For the most part, everything was approached with this serious aspect foremost.

The simplicity factor was one reason why the time between proposal to marriage could be very short. For most couples, the two weeks waiting for the three readings of the Banns was plenty of time. A longer courtship period would likely be the result of concerns such as ensuring a house to live in, financial security, and similar practicalities rather than needing time to plan the ceremony itself.

Unless a special license was procured—this was quite rare—or one was of a faith other than the Anglican Church, the wedding procedure was standardised. Couples with extreme wealth and social importance might have a glitzier arrangement and grander celebration, but never the ostentatious affairs we have today.

the-village-wedding-sir-samuel-luke-fildes1883

Location and Timing of the Wedding:  An Anglican wedding could take place on any day of the week, but ALL weddings took place in the parish chapel where at least one of the two persons lived. Per Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, weddings were required to take place during the canonical hours of 8 AM to noon.

Since most members of the ton could claim the fashionable London districts of Mayfair, Grosvenor, and St. James as their residence, the vast majority of Regency weddings took place at Saint George’s Church in Hanover Square. Established in 1725, thousands of weddings were conducted at St. George’s—1063 in 1816 alone!

Wedding Guests:  Invitations were handwritten by the bride—if they were sent at all—and depending on her creativity, the invitation may be fancy, but more often it was a basic letter giving the facts.

It was unusual for anyone outside the immediate family and closest friends to attend the ceremony. If family members lived further away they would be notified and an invitation extended, and in special circumstances time may be allowed for travel, but this was not the expectation and no one thought it wrong if they chose not to come. The only essential attendees were the clergyman, parish clerk to ensure formal logging in the register, and two official witnesses.

Local citizens often waited outside the church, ready to cheer and congratulate the newlyweds. It was common for these folks to form a processional behind the couple, shouting well-wishes all the way back to their house.

Bride’s Attendants:  A bride was typically assisted by one or two female attendants, perhaps a few more if she was of higher society. These attendants could be married or unmarried and helped the bride in various ways—penning invitations, getting dressed, making the bouquet—and one was designated the official witness for the parish registry.

The term “bridesmaid”—or more commonly “bridemaid” without the S—was in use since the 1500s. “Maid of Honor” was akin to “lady in waiting” so more specifically referred to royal attendants. The use of “maid of honor” in relation to a bridal attendant was a late 19th century, American addition. The term “matron of honor” to specify a married attendant is an Americanism not seen until after 1900.

Groom’s Attendants: Historically, the groomsmen were “blade knights” who served as protectors of the bride and guards for the couple during their vulnerable hours preceding and following the ceremony. We see this same tradition today in military weddings where a sword wielding “honor guard” form the saber arch for the couple to walk through.

Such fears were gone by the civilised Regency. Instead, the enlisted groomsmen were close friends who lent a hand as necessary. With the ceremony being a quiet event, the groom having little to do beyond show up on time, and a bachelor party or extensive reception speech unheard of, groom attendants had minimal stated duties. The number varied, and probably was very small, but as with the bride, one man was designated as the “best man” to stand with the groom and serve as the official witness.

 

After reading this, I know that I would have been one of these local citizens waiting for Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy to leave the church together with Mr and Mrs Charles Bingley J Enjoy the excerpt of a really appealing book.

 

Excerpt from Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future

By the time Darcy, Richard, and Georgiana returned to Netherfield, the Hursts and Caroline Bingley had arrived. 

“Terrific,” Darcy muttered grumpily upon espying the familiar coach in the drive. It was a sentiment of which neither Colonel Fitzwilliam nor Miss Darcy could disagree.

As per the agenda for the final days and evenings, the brides and grooms would honor tradition by not seeing each other after sundown on the eve of the wedding, meaning they would dine apart. For tonight, however, Mr. Bingley had offered to host at Netherfield. It was the sensible choice, presuming the likelihood of some of their families arriving that day. As it turned out, everyone arrived that day. It was, for all intents, a prewedding reception.

When the dust finally cleared, and the last visitor had departed with the rest retired to their guest quarters, the grooms and Richard Fitzwilliam met in Bingley’s private sitting room.

“Well, that went swimmingly, I’d say.” Richard handed a brandy to Darcy, who grunted, then took a large swallow.

“As swimmingly as in a river of piranhas.”

“Oh, it wasn’t that bad—maybe sharks, or stinging eels, but not piranha level.”

Bingley smiled at Richard’s humor but looked a bit dyspeptic and also gulped at his brandy. “We may as well accept it, Darcy. After all, we will be family in two days so these gatherings, while hopefully rare, will happen from time to time.”

Now it was Darcy’s turn to look ill.

“Does Mr. Hurst ever smile?” Richard blurted in a tone of sincere curiosity.

“Sometimes, I think.” Bingley frowned, then shrugged. “Can’t recall to be honest.”

“Huh. Well, here is to family.” Richard lifted his glass. “Got to love them, for better or worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer… Wait, that is for spouses. What are the rules for family again?”

“That is the real tragedy. One has no choice in the matter and is stuck with them,” Darcy grumbled.

“Yes, well, cheer up, Cousin. You have me! That is a stupendous blessing from the Almighty. And soon you shall have Bingley here. We make up for a dozen Mr. Hursts or Mrs. Bennets.”

“I suppose I will have to give you that,” Darcy admitted grudgingly, and then he laughed.

Richard joined in, but Bingley was quiet, eyes faintly troubled and a frown creasing his brows.

“What is it, Charles?”

“Was Caroline…” Bingley paused. “That is, did she do or say anything I am unaware of?”

Richard shook his head, but it was Darcy who spoke. “Surprisingly, no. In fact, I don’t think she said much at all. She sat with Mrs. Hurst the whole night. I know she never approached Elizabeth, at least when we were all together. I was watching. I think the time away did her good, truly I do. But really, what does it matter for the present? We should put all this aside and focus on what is important. The reason we are gathered here in the first place.”

“Here! Here!” Richard raised his glass, but only halfway. Staring at Darcy with a comically confused expression, he asked, “And why was that again?”

Time to Give Away

You cannot miss the great giveaway that Sharon is doing with us today. She is giving:

  • One print, signed copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future and a magnet duo of Darcy and Elizabeth from The Darcy Saga (1 winner, only US)
  • One ebook copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future for 1 international winner.

What do you need to do to participate? As usual, share your opinion with us about what you have read. What do you think about the excerpt? Did you know the info about the weddings? Were you surprised about any of it? Please comment on this post and please, write your email and specify if you are participating on the US part of the giveaway or if you are participating on the international.

This time for an extra entry, you could share this post with some friends and if a friend of yours leaves a comment and indicates that he/she has found the post through you, you get an extra entry (maximum of three friends to be counted).

The giveaway will be open the 14th of September and I would like to post the winners during the following weekend. All the entries before 12pm (CET) will be counted. Good luck!

 

Winner of “When We Are Married” by Caitlin Williams

and the winner is…

wait wait! First of all I want to thank you for commenting and sharing my stop in the Blog Tour of When we are married by Caitlin Williams. I hope all of you read it and enjoy it because it is worth it!

Without further ado, here you have the result of the randomiser that I have done with random.org:

randomwwam

Vesper, you are the winner! I will email Claudine right now and sooner than later, you will enjoy this book!!

WWAM Final Front Cover 070617[1688] small

If you are not Vesper, you can always buy this great book, below you have a few links that you could use:

Amazon UK Amazon US  Amazon CA   Amazon ES (English version)

It is also available through Kindle Unlimited.