As I approach the end of the long months of drafting Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet (White Soup Press, Summer 2014) and get ready to dive into the nearly as lengthy revising portion of the process, one of the great perks of being at this stage is that, with the plot in place, it’s time for the cover to be revealed!!
Considering just how MANY fabulous suggestions you wonderful Austen friends gave me for what Bingley McNamara should look like (!!), I wanted to share the cover art for the novel with you all here first. 😛 What do you think? Does he look like that breathlessly handsome combination of Matt Bomer/Josh Duhamel/Tom Hiddleston/Richard Armitage (in his youth)/Orlando Bloom that we were hoping to find?! I hope so!! I’ll admit to being quite taken with him, and I think the playfulness of the couple on the cover is indicative of the relationship my very modern Bingley and Jane have with each other.
Back at the end of January, I shared one of the early scenes from the novel, which was in Jane’s point of view. In a few weeks, I’ll post another scene, but from Bingley’s viewpoint this time. He’s been such a fun and flirtatious character to write that I always look forward to the hours I get to spend with him, trying to see the world through his eyes.
Most of you know this, but for those who may not — this novel is the sequel to Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match (White Soup Press, January 2013), which was the story of Dr. Will Darcy and Beth Ann Bennet. They met on Lady Catherine’s Love Match Website, although both had motives for seeking online dating that had nothing to do with the search for true love!! Bingley McNamara (the hero of Perfect Bet) is Will’s first cousin. And our heroine, Jane Henderson, is Beth’s best friend. The cousin and the friend are thrown together FAR too frequently for their liking simply because of Beth and Will’s romance and consequent marriage. Jane and Bingley’s story actually starts at the Darcy/Bennet wedding, as they are the maid of honor and best man for the happy couple…
In her everyday life, Jane is an interning school psychologist and a woman who wears an angelic mask in public, but she’s not as sweet tempered as she’d like everyone to believe. Turns out, she may have just crossed paths with the one person who’ll unnerve her enough to get her to reveal her true self. As for Bingley, he’s a wealthy and compulsively social financial guru, who likes to wager on stocks (and, let’s face it, on just about anything that strikes his fancy). But this dedicated ladies’ man may have finally met the woman who’ll challenge his bachelor ways!
Truly, I cannot wait to get to share Bingley and Jane’s love story with you all. Every word has been written for YOU…for every single one of you who read Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match, told me you’d enjoyed it and/or asked me for a sequel 🙂 . If all goes as planned, the release of Perfect Bet will be this summer, which is just a few months away!! Until then, I will be revising…and revising…
What are you all doing over the next couple of months? Any special events coming up for any of you in the near future? Family reunions or weddings or baby showers??! I’d love to hear what’s going on!
Marilyn Brant is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction, romantic comedy & mystery. She was named the Author of the Year (2013) by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She loves all things Jane Austen, has a passion for Sherlock Holmes, is a travel addict and a music junkie, and lives on chocolate and gelato.