A Work in Progress: Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet — 79 Comments

  1. Oh I did enjoy that excerpt! So refreshing! I love seeing Jane with deeper feelings and a snappy come-back. I can see these two take a more skeptical and slow pace to romance. I can see them playing a few of those games that people play when they’re in denial. I can see them both getting surprised when they discover new things about each other that show they’re good people underneath it all. Crises of various types are always good to help peel back layers to honest emotions. There, that’s all I have for supposition. I’m not a fan of undue angst or a lot of patience when characters grow too slowly so I can get picky when people deny attraction too long or do stupid things too often.

    Thanks for tackling Jane and Bingley’s story since it doesn’t get told as much.

    I picked up my copy of your new book from the sale. Thanks!

    • Sophia,
      Oh, I *loved* your suggestions! Thank you so much for sharing them. I completely agree about games some people play when they’re in denial and, also, how the discovery that the other person is good underneath might take each of them by surprise… I think you caught their characters very well 😉 .
      And thanks for picking up a copy of The Road to You, too!! I really hope you’ll enjoy it!

  2. Ooh, this is a very intriguing excerpt! Perhaps Jane and Bingley can babysit little Charlie? And if/when Bingley tries to be genuinely kind to Jane, she might have problems believing him, since Jane herself is an expert deceiver and feels she can spot deceit in him. Bingley’s gambling addiction is known, so that might come up. I think Bingley has no sisters, but he must have ex-girlfriends.

    Now where is the next excerpt? :=)

    • June, I’m *thrilled* that you’re intrigued!! YAY! And I will confess this to you — my original outline *does* include some time when Jane and Bingley take care of Charlie 😉 . His parents have to go on their honeymoon after all, right?! I loved your thoughts on some potential problems and look forward to writing more so I can share it with you all!! xo

  3. I’mwhat a person usually likes romances that take place in the modern day. I prefer it when they take place in the past. I like Jane’s deeper feelings then she had in the original Pride and Prejudiceand the tart responses she made that are very often associated with Elizabeth. I also like that they both think the worst of each other. perhaps a serious situation where they have to rely on each othermight start getting them to know each other better and perhaps even trust each other a little. perhaps each one could have a skeleton or two in the closet.

    • Deborah,
      I have a great love of reading historical romances, too, but I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my contemporary one! I’m especially delighted that you liked Jane’s internal feelings and her commentary, and I really loved the ideas you shared — thank you!!! I think a skeleton in the closet might be just be a perfect thing… *grin*

  4. Fantastic excerpt, Marilyn! I love the idea of forced niceness as a different sort of lie. As for ideas… I’d love to see Will try to take a little turn-about-is-fair-play on Bing by trying to push him into a relationship with Jane, and his scheme could backfire so spectacularly that Bing and Jane gang up to fight off his efforts, and, well, you know what happens once they agree on anything…

    • Abigail, LOLOL!!
      Oh, I *love* your turn-about-is-fair-play idea — that could be really FUN! 😀
      And thank you so much for reading the excerpt and taking the time to comment. I know this has been an incredibly busy week for you, so I truly appreciate it!

  5. I have to tell you, Marilyn, that when I saw you were giving us an excerpt, I got completely giddy–like a girl getting ready for her first date! 😉 Oh, this is going to be such a great story! And I love Abigail’s suggestion about Will getting involved. *hehe* Will be looking forward to hearing more about Perfect Bet (which is a perfect title!) in the future! 🙂

  6. Looks great so far Marilyn! I like the idea of Jane and Bingley having to care for Charlie (maybe have Charlie wander off at the park while Jane and Bingley argue and the hunt to find Charlie helps Jane and Bingley resolve some of their issues with each other). Or maybe have Wickham suddenly pop up out of the blue while Beth and Will are on their honeymoon forcing Jane and Bingley to deal with the deadbeat. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Will’s mom and Charlie. And maybe seeing Bingley’s eccentric parents. Look forward to seeing more in the future and of course reading the final version. Thanks for sharing!

    • Megan,
      What wonderful ideas — thank you!! You’ve given me some excellent possibilities to ponder!
      And I can tell you for sure (based on some of what I’ve already written) that Will’s mom and Bingley’s parents are definitely going to be making appearances in the story!

  7. I’ve never read the first book, but this preview makes me wanna read Book one. I like the new take on Jane’s personality.

    • Gabriella,
      Many thanks! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this modern Jane (yay!) and that it makes you want to read “Perfect Match” 😀 .
      If you do, I really hope you’ll like it!!

  8. Poor Jane and Bingley to be living the angst instead of Beth and Will. I like the babysitting idea thrown in with Wickham showing up and our quarreling couple having to join forces to deal with the deadbeat dad.

    • Rosanna,
      You’re so right — Jane and Bingley are the ones dealing with the angst, in regards to Charlie and just about everything else in this story! I definitely see them as having to join forces at some point…and you’ve all got me thinking about a role that deadbeat Wickham might play…Hmm!!!

  9. First, bow ties ARE cool 😉 You painted such a vivid and fabulous picture of Jane and Bingley and I love the tension between them. Thank you for sharing this excerpt. We learned so much on that short walk down the aisle behind the bride and groom and I can’t wait to read the rest.


    • Pamala,
      Thank you so much, my lovely friend, for taking the time to read my little scene and comment!! *HUGS* to you! And I, personally, happen to be a fan of bow ties, LOL…but only when a man can carry them off well 😀 . Presumably, this Bingley is such a man!!
      p.s. I have a photo of my hubby as an adorable Kindergartener, wearing a bow tie that his mom made him put on for his school pictures — it’s one of my favorites! xo

    • Suze~
      That you loved the first book just makes my day!!
      Thank you…and I hope you’ll enjoy this new one when it’s done — I can’t wait to finish so I can finally share it with you all! 😉

  10. Love seeing a new side to the sweet Jane and Bingley. Their characters are sooo good it is nice to see more depth in a modern telling of their love story. I will be picking up a copy of your first book along with the one on sale. Thanks for the excerpt.

    • Schilds~
      Oh, YAY!! I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you enjoyed the character of Jane & Bingley and seeing this modern incarnation of them 🙂 . And thank you so much for wanting to read “Perfect Match” and “The Road to You” too — I’m really hoping you’ll like them both! <3

  11. Not read the first book so I am wondering what ” Jane’s lies ran deeper” refers to.
    My proof reader part of me kicked in (awful I know ) – Beth and Will had stopped just up ahead of them and were getting ready to greet their guests in the receiving line. Before Jane pulled away from Bingley to dutifully take her place next to Jane – should read Beth

    • Vesper,
      THANK YOU!!!! I happen to *really appreciate* any proofreading catches like that, so I’m sending you a BIG hug for being so observant! You are absolutely right — it should have read “Beth” in that sentence, not “Jane” — and I just changed it on both the post above *and* in my draft document so I don’t forget! So glad you spotted this 😀 . Whew!

    • Cindy,
      I’m so glad!!! Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment. 😀 I’m delighted you enjoyed my modern Jane…who is, as you said, definitely more opinionated, LOL!!

  12. How about if Wickham kidnaps Charlie to try and extort money from Beth and Will? Jane and Bingley would be chasing them tryiing to find them and Charlie would be making Wickham very, very sorry that he has to care for him!
    Love the start…wish I could have read on!

    • Just got back from a morning appointment, so I’m still catching up on all of these fabulous comments in a random order (!!), but I just wanted to say thanks for your awesome idea, Carey ;). It reminded me a little of the O. Henry story “The Ransom of Red Chief.” Ah, if only Charlie were a more unruly kid…LOL!

  13. Yay! You know I love reading #TingleyBingley lol. Did Jane compromise sweet innocent Bingley’s honor in the coatroom? Poor baby. I can’t really think of any suggestions not already mentioned. Anything where Bingley and Jane have to compete against each other would be fun. A friend of mine had a really big bridal party (like 6 attendents on each side) and the week preceding the wedding the bride & groom had organized the Bridal Wars where the bridesmaids & groomsmen had to compete in various contests & challenges for prizes and stuff. It was pretty fun. But if Jane & B pretty much *are* the bridal party I think they have enough to deal with already lol.

    Happy writing. And thanks for the excerpt!

    • Monica~
      You should know just how incredibly often I’ve thought of you while working on the first draft of this #TingleyBingley project!! LOVED the story about your friend and the Bridal Wars — that sounds like a blast! They must both have a really great sense of humor.
      As for any possible “compromising of honor” — all I say is that what happens in the coatroom, stays in the coatroom. 🙂

    • Stacie~
      Whoo-hoo!! So pleased to know that you loved “Perfect Match” — thank you!! <3
      And I'm really looking forward to being able to share more of this one… It's truly a JOY to write for wonderful readers like all of you!

  14. Can’t wait for the follow up book! The first is one of my favorites and one I often reread. Can’t wait to see the finished product, thank you for sharing!

    • Beth, thank you!!
      I’m so thrilled that you’ve not only read “Perfect Match,” but reread it… That’s the highest compliment an author can get! *HUG!* You really brightened my day! 🙂

    • Jennifer,
      Thank you!! Thrilled you enjoyed it…and, to tell you the truth, I can’t wait to see what happens either, LOL!
      It’s one of those leaps of faith we take when we’re writing. There’s almost as much mystery for the author sometimes as there is for the reader.

  15. So the new book will be called ‘Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet’? I like it already.

    Oh, there’s already tension in the air on Beth and Will’s wedding. I like the verbal swordplay between them but I wonder what made them become angsty toward each other. I’m speculating that Jane hates his guts and playful manners. But it’s a bit of a mystery why he doesn’t like her. Is it because she can read him like a book hidden behind his childish veneer?

    • Lúthien~Yes!! Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet is the title for book 2 🙂 .
      As for your excellent question about why he’s mad at her, I’ll just say that it’s because he’s hurt… There’s a full scene that comes before this one above, and another scene directly after, and both of them are from Bingley’s point of view. So, well before the end of Chapter One, the reader should have a pretty good insight into what happened between him and Jane in *his* opinion, LOL. I’m hoping there will be a good occasion for me to share those scenes here as sneak peeks before the book comes out…because I think it could be really fun to get to discuss those with all of you, too!

    • Evie Joanne~
      Many, many thanks!! I’m so pleased you liked and recommended “Perfect Match” to other readers — I truly appreciated it! And I’m hoping you’ll enjoy this new one (when it’s finished!) as much as the first 😉 .

  16. What a perfect way to spend breakfast this morning. Loved Jane and Bingley. And I really looking forward to finding out their strory and how they get together in the end. Sounds already like a must read!

  17. I’m looking forward to the other teasers you are planning to post. I am also liking the suggestion of Wickham showing his sorry self again and causing trouble…such as kidnapping Charles sc C. Allen Pierce suggested…or having forged custody papers.

  18. When I opened this site to read the next chapter in Darcy Brothers, I also began to read about this second book…however, since I was unfamiliar with your books, Marilyn, I then went on Amazon and read ALL the reviews (posted some comments) and, finding myself intrigued, ordered and just finished reading the first book so that I could now read the excerpt from this second book. I plan to go on Amazon and post my review about the first book next. I am very curious about just what went on between Bingley and Jane in the coatroom…betting again??? And what has Jane lied about? These are not our “angels” from P&P. Interesting. The suggestion about Wickham showing up is a good possibility and I always like reading in other variations when he gets a real consequence. However, in a modern story we can’t have him deported nor can he be beaten by a gang of brothers to punish how he defied their sisters, etc. No debtors prison is possible either. So is his only sin that he abandoned and did not support his son or has he been reeking havoc elsewhere in the States? That sin is grievous enough, don’t get me wrong. (Interesting that we are not longer in a British setting also.) Thanks for the bargain book. Always enjoy adding a story to my collection, especially when it is such a “gift”!

    • Sheila,
      WOW!! You went through all the reviews of P, P & the Perfect Match, ordered the book, and read the whole thing that fast so you could read this excerpt from the second story??! You are awesome — thank you!! And I’m thrilled to know that you were intrigued and you took the time to write a review, too. Truly, I appreciate all of that! I enjoyed your thoughts on what might be done in a modern American setting with Wickham as well — he does present some possibilities and challenges, doesn’t he?
      And you’re absolutely right, THIS Bingley and THIS Jane are not “angels”, at least not in the way they’re so often portrayed in film versions of P&P. I’m not convinced that either is all that angelic in the original Austen text, though. Both are very kind, good-natured people to be sure, but they’re primarily seen in the novel through the highly opinionated lens of Elizabeth (!!), and we all know her tendency toward snap judgments, LOL. I always thought of both Jane and Bingley as characters with more depth than they were given credit for and each possessing a different style of intelligence than Elizabeth and Darcy. Both J and B are *very* aware of their social responsibilities but, if I were them, I would have resented it sometimes…even if I could play the part in public quite well. So, that’s the understanding I decided to bring to this modern couple 😀 .

      • Thank you for your in depth reply. Yes, I realize (as Darcy said) no one is perfect. I do believe with that time people of this nature, i.e., Jane and Bingley, begin to develop stronger personalities. In a continuation of P&P: Jane, in handling a household, Bingley in managing an estate, his investments, etc. and both in dealing with the rearing of children would learn very quickly that they have to respond with authority not niceties to get positive results. And many times the response would have to be on-the-spot. I so admire all you authors who give me so many hours of pleasure in how your imagination comes through to give us another viewpoint in “What-if”. Having found pleasure in reading The Perfect Match and the beginning of The Perfect Bet, I will keep your name in mind when I next go to order a kindle book. I do read all the reviews just to get an idea of whether or not I would enjoy the book, as I do not buy just because it is a JAFF. I, actually, have many books in different genres sitting around my house: I am presently reading many “after death” true life experiences, also.

        • Oh, Sheila, thank you for the compliment of reading my work and that of other authors with such intellectual curiosity. I love it when readers bring to *any* piece of literature — Austen-inspired or not, historical or contemporary — that kind of desire to get to the heart of it and to make up their own minds about it. As a reader myself, I enjoy trying to draw out whatever kernels of insight or imagination I find in a novel. And as an author, I *love* getting to discuss the elements that led to writing a story with a particular slant or vision. In many ways, I think of a published story as only one half of a conversation… The other half comes when the reader responds to it 😉 . So, your reflections on Jane and Bingley — both in my writing and in Austen’s original — were so fun to read. And you mentioned in your first comment that you’d gotten my sale book, too — thank you for that as well! Someday, I hope I’ll also get to hear your thoughts on The Road to You 😀 .

          • I was able to e-mail Abigail directly after reading her books (I have all of them) as at that time I was still employed full-time and usually didn’t take the time to post a review on Amazon. Would you be satisfied to read a review on Amazon or would you prefer a direct contact? I would do both if it agreeable.

          • OH, and BTW: I am taking time to re-read many of the JAFF I own and to then post reviews…a long process as I am reading the entire story not just my favorite parts.

          • Sheila,
            I’d be thrilled if you left a review on Amazon, since that helps other readers make their decisions about whether to consider giving a book a try, and I’m always delighted to hear from readers personally, too, via email or via direct message on Facebook!! So please feel free to do both 😉 . As I said, it’s fun to get to continue the conversation! And, btw, I read and enjoyed your review of ‘Perfect Match’ — thank you. It was so thoughtful of you to leave one!

  19. Anne, thank you!!!
    I’m truly delighted that you enjoyed the excerpt! I’m working hard to finish the book so that — when it’s finally polished and ready — I can let you all know about it first 🙂 .
    Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend!!

  20. Perfect Match was my best cup of tea, and it looks that Perfect Bet will second that. I’m all excitement in waiting until the book’s date release. Because I don’t know yet what kind of bet Bingley placed on Jane, I can’t come up with an accurate twist, but I can suggest a counter bet made by Jane on Bingley, while some sort of cold war (prank, teasing,etc…) treatment is cast on him. Jane needs his cooperation in babysitting Charlie (Beth and Darcy left for honeymoon) since she sprained her ankle while dancing tipsy Bingley at their best friends wedding. I wouldn’t mind some angst or use of secondary characters frolics that will put them in the awkward jealousy state. Anyway, you are the best crafter. You’ll do the best in weaving your story. Can’t wait to read it. 🙂

    • Denisia,
      Your thoughts and all of your wonderful story suggestions made me grin in delight!! Counter bets and awkward jealous states may well be on the horizon for this Jane and Bingley…
      Most delightful of all, though, is knowing that you enjoyed “Perfect Match” so much. It’s warming me up on this freezing January evening — thank you again and again!! I’ll do my very best to try to write “Perfect Bet” in a way that will, hopefully, live up to your expectations! 🙂

      • Yeay!
        Marilyn, I’m glad that I made you smile, and I was a little bit useful today. My weather up here in Kenosha, WI is no better than yours.Thanks for the hugs. I reciprocate.;)

        • Denisia ~ You may already know this, but I’m from Wisconsin! I grew up in the Madison area and now live in northern Illinois… I love the Midwest but, ohhhh, I’ve been dreaming of the tropics this winter, LOL! 😉 xox

  21. Both of these books look interesting! Jane and Bingley are clearly struggling with some misunderstandings—I can’t wait to see how they’re resolved.

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