I’m excited to announce, at long last Mistaking her Character (formerly Wholly Unconnected to Me) is ready to be released into the wild. To celebrate I want share a new excerpt with you AND host a giveaway with lots of fun prizes.
Some of you have asked why the title change. I admit, I loved the original title, but it was kind of clumsy and difficult to fit on a book. The title came from Lady Catherine’s speech to Elizabeth when she visits the Bennet’s house. Mistaking her Character comes from that same speech, so it felt like a fitting new title.
Now, without further ado, here’s a new excerpt from the book:
They paused at the base of the narrow, rough hewn servants’ stairs. Slender rays of sun trickled from a distant window above, painting the confined space in wisps of light and shadow.
“Are you well?” Fitzwilliam asked sotto voce.
Darcy worked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. “Well enough. You have seen far worse.”
“Indeed.” Fitzwilliam’s lips molded into a tense, thin line. “At least, there was neither blood nor gunpowder.”
Darcy suppressed a shudder. “Do you think he will live?”
“I have never seen anyone ingest that much laudanum and survive, but he just might.”
“If Bennet can affect this cure, then—”
“There is hope for my brother. Still, one must wonder how much is Bennet’s expertise and how much is his daughter’s dogged stubbornness. She has the will of a general I once served under. One did not breathe—or die—without a direct order from him. She would make a formidable commander.”
Darcy sniggered. How did Fitzwilliam joke of death so easily?
“Should we leave her alone with him? The maid is there …”
“I do not like it.” Darcy flexed his fingers and released them several times. “She is a gentlewoman.”
“Indeed she is, acting more like the mistress of Rosings than its mistress. Are you in danger of her?”
Darcy grunted and shuffled his feet.
Fitzwilliam eyes narrowed, and he tilted his head. “You are considering more than merely a carnal attachment with her.”
“Our aunt may not see through your bluster, but I am not so easily beguiled.”
Darcy turned aside and stared at the wall. A small spider scuttled up from the floorboards and into a small crack. “She owns no fortune.”
“You do not need one.”
“She is without connections.”
“You do not care for the ones you have. Fewer for you to dislike?”
“Her mother is frightful.”
“And our aunt is not?” Fitzwilliam nudged Darcy’s foot with his own. “I ask you again, are you in peril of falling under her arts and allurements?”
“What arts and allurements? She has no artifice, makes no efforts to put herself forward, nor call attention to herself.”
“So you are in no danger—”
“Because you have already fallen.”
Darcy scrubbed his face with his hands. “I take offense at the way she is treated by our aunt—do you know Anne considers her—”
“To be Mrs. Jenkinson’s replacement? Yes, Anne spoke of it yesterday. She expects to bring Miss Elizabeth to Pemberley.”
Darcy’s eyes bulged. “How did you respond?”
“That Miss Elizabeth was not currently seeking a position and might be offended at such an offer. I suggested that Anne might rather stay at Rosings with me.”
“You cannot image it could be so easy? She has little intention of staying at Rosings when Pemberley is much pleasanter—and free of her mother. Still, she did not reject my offer outright. Though without a suitable home to offer her, I am not an appealing suitor. You are still her first choice.”
“I suppose I should be flattered.”
“Do not be. Her preference is less about your person and more about what you can provide. As it has ever been, Anne considers little beyond her own wants.”
“Not a desirable trait in a wife, is it?”
Fitzwilliam braced his shoulder against the wall. “No, but a fortune and an estate are. So I shall continue to press my suit.”
“I can help you lease a house in town, or elsewhere.”
“I would rather usher Lady Catherine to the dower house.”
Darcy choked back laughter. “I do not foresee—”
“Nor I. I shall keep your offer in mind.”
Moans and coughs floated in the stale air. They turned toward the butler’s rooms.
“You know, Darce, if Bennet gets word that Anne wants Miss Elizabeth for a companion, he will probably force her to accept.”
Darcy bounced the back of his head against the cold stone wall.
“If that happens, you cannot pursue your interests in her. No, no, hold your ire for a moment, and hear me out. Even were you to marry her, Miss Elizabeth would forever be stained by suspicion over how she got your proposal. Not to mention the taint of having been in service! Her reputation would be tattered, and the ton would treat her like rubbish. That would not be fair to you, your children, or her. Better to set her up under your protection—”
“I will do no such thing!”
“I will never understand your rarified notion of marriage. But if you insist upon it, you best act to secure your happiness quickly, or it may be forever lost to you.” Fitzwilliam brushed past him and climbed the narrow stairs.
Darcy sank down on the bottom step and drove his elbows into his knees. Bloody hell and damnation! Fitzwilliam was right.
Retching and liquid noises raced through the narrow corridor. He might join the chorus himself very soon.
No woman had ever been so well suited for him or Pemberley. But she was so unsuitable, with nothing but herself to recommend her. Would it even be fair to her to expect her to manage a place like Pemberley? She knew nothing about estates or—no, that was not true—she cared for Rosings, above and below stairs, as much as any proper mistress. With her quick mind and active nature, she would certainly rise to any occasion.
If only he had kissed her. Then he might—gah! He sounded like Fitzwilliam now. She had bewitched him utterly, mind and soul.
You can find the book
Now for the giveaway!
Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about Col. Fitzwilliam’s advice to Darcy in the excerpt and tell me if there’s a particular prize you’d like to win.(listed below)
3-3 notecard sets of Jane Austen Note cards (will ship 1 internationally)
3 -Jane Austen quote magnets (will ship 1 internationally)
2- ebooks of Mistaking her Character (International)
3- audiobook copies of Remember the Past narrated by the incomparable Elizabeth Klett
Give away open until June 9.