- N. N. Light
Elizabeth Bennet’s Gallant Suitor by @reginajeffers is a Trick or Treat Bonanza pick #regency #books
Elizabeth Bennet’s Gallant Suitor: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
Regency romance; classic historical fiction; historical clean romance; adaptations; pastiche fiction; women authors’ fiction
Elizabeth Bennet will not tolerate her dearest sister Jane being coerced into marriage. Yet, how she will prevent the “inevitable”? Jane, after all, has proven to be the granddaughter of Sir Wesley Belwood, a tyrannical baronet, who means to have his say in Jane’s marriage in order to preserve the family bloodlines. When Colonel Fitzwilliam appears at Stepton Abbey as the prospective groom, Elizabeth must join forces with the colonel’s cousin, a very handsome gentleman named Mr. Darcy, to prevent the unwanted betrothal. Lacking in fortune and unconventionally handsome, Elizabeth Bennet is willing to risk everything so her beloved sister may have a happily ever after, even if Elizabeth must thwart all of Sir Wesley’s plans, as well as those of Mr. Darcy. Fitzwilliam Darcy meant to flirt with the newly named Miss Belwood himself to prevent the girl’s marriage to his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, but one glance to Miss Elizabeth Bennet has Darcy considering everything but his cousin’s fate. Miss Elizabeth thought him a wastrel, but when incidents throw them together, they must combine forces to fight for love for the colonel, for Jane, and maybe, even for themselves.
“In spite of the scowl sometimes marking his features, Mr. Darcy has not an ill-natured look. On the contrary, there is something pleasing about his mouth when he speaks, and there is something of dignity in his countenance that would not give an unfavorable idea of his heart.”
- Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 43
“It is decided,” Sir Wesley declared, “your eldest will marry my nephew.”
“Jane cannot marry him! A complete stranger! Mama, tell him. Tell Sir Wesley he has no right to determine Jane’s future!” Elizabeth argued.
Sir Wesley’s letter to Mrs. Bennet had taken all at Longbourn by surprise. Naturally, her parents were well aware of the situation in which Jane now found herself, but Mr. and Mrs. Bennet had kept the specifics of Jane’s birth a “secret” until Sir Wesley’s letter had arrived a month earlier.
Unmistakably, the whole Bennet family knew something of Sir Wesley Belwood and Stepton Abbey, for the property, which was some twelve miles removed from their beloved Longbourn, was one of the most historic estates in Hertfordshire and the Belwood family could trace its time in England back to the Norman conquest; however, what neither Elizabeth nor any of her sisters had known was, Jane was not one of Thomas Bennet’s daughters, although Mr. Bennet had raised the girl as his own. The difference in Jane’s coloring and her figure made sense in light of the news, but it still had ripped out all their hearts to acknowledge a part of the family history, best kept hidden. To all their shock, Miss Frances Gardiner had originally been married to Mr. Stewart Belwood, Sir Wesley’s second son.
Evidently, from what her parents finally shared, Sir Wesley had not approved of his son’s marriage to the daughter of a wealthy merchant, and the baronet had, for all intents and purposes, disowned his youngest son, although Stepton Abbey remained in the man’s hands. Unfortunately for the man’s young wife, Stewart Belwood passed away some six months into his marriage, and, as the child Mrs. Frances Belwood carried had been a daughter rather than a male to inherit the estate, Mrs. Belwood had been removed to her family home, where she later met and married Mr. Thomas Bennet, a true gentleman, who had accepted Mrs. Belwood’s infant daughter as his own.
Elizabeth looked to her customarily animated mother to find Mrs. Bennet pale and wan, and Elizabeth quickly realized her pleas were falling on deaf ears. No matter how much Mrs. Bennet wished to deny Sir Wesley, she would not. Elizabeth knew, as well as her mother, if Mrs. Frances Bennet placed a daughter as the mistress of Stepton Abbey and wife to a perfectly respectable gentleman associated with the aristocracy, an unspoken dream would come true. A woman who had delivered five daughters, all of whom would require husbands, could not do better than to place the eldest in a position to marry the son of a powerful earl and the nephew of Sir Wesley.
Instead of opposing Sir Wesley, Mrs. Bennet shook her head in the negative and shot Elizabeth a begging look, asking Elizabeth not to rile the baronet further. Instead of responding, her mother concentrated on her needlework with an intensity Elizabeth had rarely observed.
Sir Wesley tapped his cane sharply against the floor to emphasize his displeasure with Elizabeth. “Mrs. Bennet permits you too much latitude, Miss Bennet,” he said in critical tones. “However, I will not tolerate your insolence under my roof!”
Elizabeth valiantly declared, “I am ‘Miss Elizabeth.’ Jane is ‘Miss Bennet.’”
Sir Wesley sat forward and pointed his cane at Elizabeth to place an accent on his response. “Your step-sister Jane is ‘Miss Belwood,’ my granddaughter, and she will do as she is instructed by her mother and by me. If my youngest son had married the woman his family had chosen for him—a woman from a well-placed family—instead of aligning himself with a woman who brought him only misery, he might still be alive and well.”
Elizabeth immediately looked to her mother for a response: Instead of a rebuttal, Mrs. Bennet looked up in dismay, gasped, and ran quickly from the room, a heartfelt sob echoing in her wake.
Fed up with Sir Wesley’s innate mean streak, Elizabeth stood to confront him. “I understand you still grieve for the passing of your son, but attacking my mother will not resolve your loss nor will it promote my family’s cooperation in this endeavor. Your son died in a carriage accident. His fate could happen to anyone. A rain storm and slick roads contributed to his death, not marriage to my mother.”
“How do you know Stewart was not racing away from the greatest mistake of his life?” Sir Wesley argued.
“How do you know Mr. Belwood was not racing home to spend time with his loving wife?” Elizabeth countered.
“You speak nonsense,” Sir Wesley declared.
“Foolish, I may be, sir, but I am not vindictive. From all my mother has shared of her short-lived relationship with Mr. Belwood, your son would not wish to press his daughter into a marriage she does not desire. After all, he remained strong against your edicts, despite the fact you withdrew support of his household. I doubt Mr. Belwood would stand idly by and permit you to demand his daughter marry your choice for Stepton Abbey’s new master.”
“You are warned, Miss Elizabeth, or whatever you choose to call yourself, I will not tolerate your interference in this endeavor. I will send both you and that tart you refer to as ‘mother’ packing. I do not require your opinion or hers—only my granddaughter’s acceptance of my nephew’s marriage proposal will suffice.”
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
The eBook is on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time
Available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited
The print copy will release on October 14, 2022.
Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BGFHCD1J/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2BKX2TTEITL33&keywords=elizabeth+bennet%27s+gallant+suitor&qid=1664186935&sprefix=elizabeth+bennet%27s+gallant+suitor+%2Caps%2C60&sr=8-1 BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/books/elizabeth-bennet-s-gallant-suitor-a-pride-and-prejudice-vagary-by-regina-jeffers
If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
My son’s family and I are attending the Carolina Renaissance Festival this year as part of my soon-to-be-nine-year-old granddaughter’s birthday. Renaissance is the costume theme this year. We tend to be history geeks in my family.
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
When Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy meet sparks of self-righteousness fly between them, but soon they join forces to protect their loved ones from Sir Wesley’s manipulations. Moralizing soon turns to respect and then to trust and then to love. This is a friends to lovers tale turned upon its head with unexpected consequences for all.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US or Canada) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have an active Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to be eligible.
Runs October 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on November 1.
With 50+ books to her credit, Regina Jeffers is an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era-based romantic suspense and historical romances. A teacher for thirty-nine years, Jeffers often serves as a consultant for Language Arts and Media Literacy programs. With multiple degrees, Regina has been a Time Warner Star Teacher, Columbus (OH) Teacher of the Year, and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, as well as a Smithsonian presenter. Her stories have been acknowledged by the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the Frank Yerby Award for Fiction, the coveted Derby Award for Fiction, the International Digital Awards, and the Chanticleer International Book Award, among her many accolades.
Social Media Links:
Every Woman Dreams (Blog) https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com Austen Authors (Blog) http://austenauthors.net Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Regina-Jeffers-Author-Page-141407102548455/?fref=ts Twitter https://twitter.com/reginajeffers Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Regina-Jeffers/e/B008G0UI0I/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1479079637&sr=8-1 Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/jeffers0306/ BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/regina-jeffers Instagram https://www.instagram.com/darcy4ever/ You Tube Interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzgjdUigkkU Website https://rjefferscom.wordpress.com/