A surprise meeting
A baby alone in the woods
And a second chance at love
Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to his beloved Pemberley with one thing on his mind ̶ to forget Elizabeth Bennet. Riding ahead of his party and racing a storm, he happens upon the very woman he wants to avoid. To his astonishment, she is holding a baby whose name and parentage are unknown.
Elizabeth Bennet never dreamed she had wandered into Pemberley’s Woods on her afternoon walk. But when she finds an infant alone in the storm, she turns to the last man in the world she wants to see ̶ and the only one who can help them both.
As the mystery of the baby’s identity intensifies, Elizabeth finds Mr. Darcy to be quite the reverse of what she expected. But when the child’s family is discovered, will the truth bring them together, or tear them apart?
A baby alone in the woods?? No, no, no! I do not like it already! Well, I actually like it but I don’t. Sorry, a bit of a messy start but basically is that I find it already interesting because we do not know who is the baby or who his/her parents are. Poor Darcy! Poor Elizabeth!
Let me introduce you to the author of this interesting book: Brigid Huey. She is inviting us to have a peek inside the story, she is sharing a vignette from Mr Darcy’s point of view!
Brigid has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids, and spends her free time reading and writing. This is her first Pride and Prejudice variation, though many others live in her imagination.
Thank you, Ana, for hosting me today! This vignette takes place before the book begins and is told from Darcy’s perspective. He is returning home after an arduous journey north. Like the vignette told from Elizabeth’s perspective featured on Half Agony, Half Hope, here we get a taste of Darcy’s state of mind before the novel begins!
Darcy stared out the window of the coaching inn. Darkness had already fallen, and the courtyard beyond was lit by only a few torches. He tried to look past the yard to the trees behind it, but all was cloaked in inky darkness. I should be home! He was only three hours from Pemberley, but instead of sleeping in his own bed, he was stuck at yet another coaching inn.
They had stopped for the evening because the ladies had grown tired. Darcy knew Georgiana would have continued, but the Bingley sisters had been quite insistent that they stop here in Derby instead of pushing on to Pemberley. Though he was eager to see to their needs as a gentleman should, he was loath to spend another evening cooped up. He needed the comfort of home—the wilds of Pemberley.
The Bingley sisters were never easy to travel with, being fastidious about everything. With the exception of their copious praise of his coach, everything fell under their unfavorable scrutiny. At every inn the dinner had been complained of—loudly and often. This night, in fact, Darcy had seen fit to quiet Miss Bingley’s perturbations with a silencing comment. Perhaps he had been too harsh, but the woman was insufferable!
Her ploy to secure him as her husband was embarrassingly obvious. He had been careful to never be left alone with the lady, and had purposefully treated her with as much neutrality as politeness allowed. Darcy had never shown her the slightest inclination, yet she would not be deterred.
Not that he had the talent of interpreting a woman’s feelings. Elizabeth Bennet had taught him that—and much more besides. Yet he was fairly certain he could understand Miss Bingley. She wanted his income and his name. His true self, however, she seemed perfectly happy to ignore. Elizabeth Bennet had always seen the real man beneath the wealth and status. If only I had been half so perceptive then!
A soft knock at his door drew him from his ruminations. He opened it to find Georgiana and her maid.
“Georgiana! Are you quite well, my dear?”
She assured him that she was perfectly well and dismissed her maid. He led her to the chair near the fireplace. Once she was seated, she fixed him with such a look of determination that he blinked in surprise.
“Brother, I mean to give you some advice, though I know it is not my place to do so. An idea has formed in my mind, and I intend to speak to you about it.”
“I beg you, Georgiana, be at ease. I welcome your opinion.”
“Well then, I shall tell you my idea. I believe you should ride ahead of our party tomorrow morning. Ride home to Pemberley on your own. It is only three hours by horseback, I believe, and the solitude would you do good.”
Darcy looked at his sister. Her delicate brow was furrowed in concern, and her luminous skin held a faint blush that belied the surety of her words. Rarely did she entreat him to do anything. Not since Ramsgate.
He shook his head, as much to dispel the ugly feelings that arose from thinking of that time as in response to Georgiana’s suggestion.
“My dear, I have a responsibility to you and my guests. I will see you all safely to Pemberley myself.”
“I know you would never shirk your responsibilities, Fitzwilliam. However, I would beg you to remember that we are not alone. Mr. Bingley and Mr. Hurst will look after us. You need a respite, my dear brother, and you shall not have it once Miss Bingley is ensconced in Pemberley.”
Darcy merely stared at his sister, unable to account for this little speech. She was not usually so forthright with her opinions, preferring to demure to his own thoughts on any matter. He found he rather liked that she was finding her confidence once again.
“I do crave solitude, Georgiana,” he said carefully, “and I thank you for your sisterly concern. It warms my heart that you seek to secure my welfare.”
“I am only following the example you set for me, Fitzwilliam. Please, think about my proposal.”
“I cannot simply leave you. You know I would not leave you or my guests in such a way.”
Georgiana was quiet for a moment, folding her delicate hands in her lap.
“Fitzwilliam, might it not be wise for you to settle your business affairs with your steward, before our guests arrive? Indeed, that would be most polite of you.”
Despite his mood, Darcy felt himself struggling not to smile. “I suppose you are correct, Georgiana. If I meet with my steward before our guests come to Pemberley, I would be more at my leisure to attend them.”
“As is fitting,” she added with a smile.
“My dear girl, I can see you are quite determined!” He came to stand before her, offering her his hand to help her out of her chair. “Come, I shall escort you to your room. You need your rest after our long journey.”
They reached her door in a moment, her room being adjacent to his.
“Will you at least consider my plan, Fitzwilliam?”
“I shall consider it, my dear. I promise.”
A small smile graced her features, and she disappeared into her room after bidding him goodnight. Darcy walked the short distance back to his quarters. Shutting the door behind him, he pondered Georgiana’s suggestion. She was completely correct, he did need solitude. His treatment of the Bingley sisters during dinner was regrettable, especially since he had pledged to himself that he would change his ways and be cognisant of the feelings of others.
He allowed himself a small smile. Elizabeth Bennet did not have Miss Bingley in mind during her heated speech, he knew. The two ladies had never got on well, due completely to Miss Bingley’s abominable rudeness.
A sigh escaped his lips as he loosened his cravat and slumped into the chair Georgiana had so recently vacated. Perhaps she was right. Three hours alone with his horse would do much to clear his troubled mind.
He found that as he drew nearer to Pemberley, Elizabeth was nearly ever present in his mind. Not that a day went by without his thinking of her. In London, he would start if he saw a young lady with her same chestnut curls. He had even gone so far as to follow a woman into a bookstore, just to be sure it was not she. And yet, what would he say to her even if they did meet? He knew she wanted nothing to do with him.
The truth was unavoidable, and it had become achingly clear the closer he came to Pemberley. She was not with him, and had no desire to be so. It was time to be brave. It was time to move on from Miss Bennet.
Yes, he would take his horse and ride for home. He would leave as early as he could, so he might catch Pemberley at its finest. He loved to catch the rising sun as it glinted off the windows of the great house—it was nothing short of a magical. Perhaps it would have the power to ease his mind and rid his heart of Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn.
How sweet of Georgiana! Speaking up to his brother just because she loves him. He knows he needs his peace, mainly away from Miss Bingley! I would like to know if we read more about her behaviour.
Thank you very much, Brigid for sharing your novel with us.
Ladies and gentlemen, one question that maybe you are asking yourself and I am asking myself too… how is this going to work out???!!! We need a happy ending but the blurb is mysterious, are they going to pretend the baby is related to one of them? Are they going to pretend an “attachment”? What has Brigid written!!??
If you want to follow Brigid Huey:
Do you feel like buying this book right now? You can do it on different places, for instance on:
Blog Tour Schedule
This is the last stop of the tour, please catch up with the rest of the tour if you have not done it yet, you will enjoy it!
9th of September – So little time…
10th of September – Darcyholic Diversions
11th of September – Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
12th of September – Savvy Verse & Wit
13th of September – Babblings of a Bookworm
14th of September – My Love for Jane Austen
15th of September – My Life Journey
16th of September – Austenesque Reviews
17th of September – Half Agony, Half Hope
18th of September – Diary of an Eccentric
19th of September – From Pemberley to Milton
20th of September – My Jane Austen Book Club
21st of September – My Vices and Weaknesses
Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of Brigid Huey’s A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods. Click on the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!!