Losing Lizzy by award-winning author @ReginaJeffers is a Stress Busting Festival pick #regency #jaff
Title: Losing Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
Author: Regina Jeffers
Genre: Classic romance; Austenesque; JAFF; Regency romance; historical romantic suspense
She thought him dead. Now only he can save their daughter.
When Lady Catherine de Bourgh told Elizabeth Bennet: “And this is your real opinion! This is your final resolve! Very well. I shall now know how to act. Do not imagine, Miss Bennet, that your ambition will ever be gratified. I came to try you. I hoped to find you reasonable; but, depend upon it, I will carry my point,” no one knew how vindictive and manipulative her ladyship might prove, but Darcy and Elizabeth were about to discover the bitter truth for themselves.
This is a story of true love conquering even the most dire circumstances. Come along with our dear couple as they set a path not only to thwart those who stand between them and happiness, but to forge a family, one not designed by society’s strict precepts, but rather one full of hope, honor, loyalty and love.
Even after reaching England, it had taken them another two days to maneuver up the Thames and dock in London. In all, he had spent three weeks with the crew of The Resolution, an appropriate name for a ship that brought about an ending to his ordeal, who once they had retrieved him from the water and had heard his tale, had altered their course to trap those on The Lost Sparrow in the cove before the pirates could respond. They may have made it to England sooner if they were not required to tow The Lost Sparrow into port, but Darcy knew satisfaction when he finally stepped down on the docks in London, where his nightmare had begun. The clothes he wore had been borrowed from various members of The Resolution’s crew. They were ill-fitting, but so much more than the rags he had known since being pressed into service on The Lost Sparrow.
Wilder had hired a hackney to return Darcy to Darcy House. Now, as he stepped down before his London home, people stared at him in distaste as he approached the door and released the knocker, but Darcy made himself not turn around, concentrating all his energies on surviving the next few minutes. He knew his appearance was less than pristine for he wore mismatched clothes several sizes too large for him. One step at a time—the advice from Bruester, who had heard from his parents in a letter how Lord Matlock had moved to declare Darcy as dead after the authorities had found his cane and the ring he had purchased for Elizabeth somewhere upon the docks, rattled about in Darcy’s head. Therefore, he did not know what to expect when the door opened, but any preparations he had made mentally had not been enough.
“Yes, sir?” A man he did not recognize swung the door open.
“Where is Mr. Thacker?” he asked before he could stop himself.
“Mr. Thacker has taken another position, sir. That was nearly four years past.” The man pulled himself up stiffly. “I am Mr. Jones. Do you have business with the master?” The man eyed Darcy’s mishmash of clothing up and down and edged the door partially closed.
“The master?” Darcy asked. He knew his voice held surprise, but there was no way to control his reaction to this new reality.
“Mr. Fitzwilliam.” Again, the door moved another inch closer to being slammed in Darcy’s face.
Darcy employed his best Master of Pemberley voice. “Yes, I would like to speak to Mr. Fitzwilliam.” The idea the Matlocks had taken over his house did not sit well with him. If he were dead, it should be Samuel Darcy residing in this house, not the colonel. His father’s cousin, Samuel, was the heir to the Darcy fortune, not those in the Fitzwilliam family.
“Who is it, Jones?” a familiar voice called out from the second storey landing.
“I am not certain, sir.” Jones narrowed the opening.
Darcy caught the edge of the door and gave it a good shove, sending the butler stumbling backward. “Fitzwilliam!” he called, using his shoulder to barrel his way into the foyer.
From above, he heard his cousin cry out, “What the—?”
Darcy paused from his exertion to look up. “Why are you acting as master of my house?” he demanded.
His cousin caught hard at the railing. “My God, Darcy. It is you.”
“Most assuredly, it is I.” He started for the stairs, but two unfamiliar footmen stepped before him. “Have you removed all who once served me?” he questioned, a scowl of disapproval forming on his features.
Fitzwilliam gestured the servants from his way. “Permit Mr. Darcy admittance,” his cousin instructed. “After all, as he says, this is his house.”
As Darcy climbed the stairs, never removing his eyes from his cousin, he ordered, “Mr. Jones, if you expect to retain your position, bring me a small meal and a proper cup of tea, and do so quickly.”
“Yes, sir,” the man called as he scrambled away.
Fitzwilliam appeared as stunned as was Darcy. There was no embrace of emotions. Only something that appeared like regret upon the colonel’s features showed. “Lead on, Cousin,” Darcy said through tight lips, a feeling of betrayal settling in his chest. “I am most eager to hear your explanations.”
Without uttering a word, Fitzwilliam turned crisply upon his heels and preceded Darcy into the study. In anger, Darcy purposely closed the door behind them.
His cousin crossed to the tray holding a decanter of brandy. “May I pour you a drink?”
Darcy eyed the room. Subtle changes had been made in the furnishings of the room. At least all he held dear had not been set aside. “I will pass. I fear I will require a clear head to understand what has gone on in my absence?”
Fitzwilliam turned toward him, his features grim. His cousin was a man Darcy had always trusted, but, now, he wondered if he had made a serious mistake in judgment. “It is not as this must first appear,” his cousin pleaded. “What I have done, I did so to protect your interests and those of your sister.”
Darcy thought to assume the chair behind the desk, but, rather, he chose the two wing chairs before the hearth. “I am willing to listen, but know I have recently been in the company of Captain Robert Bruester, who had heard from his family that Matlock has attempted to have me declared dead.”
“Bruester? I thought him at sea,” Fitzwilliam remarked as he joined Darcy before the banked embers in the hearth. The colonel studied Darcy carefully.
“He was. As was I until I managed to escape the pirate ship upon which I have been held for nearly four years.” He nodded to his cousin. “Was my uncle successful? Must I begin my return to the world by proving I am truly alive?”
What’s your favorite way to combat stress?
I love to garden. Pulling weeds is terribly therapeutic. I have multiple flower beds in my yard sporting lavender, roses, giant dahlias, Southern garlic, gladiolas, irises, calla lilies, canna lilies, etc.
Why is your featured book a stress busting read?
Losing Lizzy provides the reader enough drama/angst to keep one reading and rooting for the hero and heroine to win in the end, while providing those who plot against the pair their satisfying comeuppance. Who does not enjoy seeing the “villain” lose? Doing so provides hope that we will all conquer whatever trials we may face.
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Regina Jeffers, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”
Social Media Links:
Every Woman Dreams Blog https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com Regina Jeffers’s Website http://www.rjeffers.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