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Pemberley’s Christmas Governess is a Christmas in July Fete pick #romance #ku #giveaway



Title:

Pemberley’s Christmas Governess: A Holiday Pride and Prejudice Vagary


Author:

Regina Jeffers


Genre:

classic romantic fiction; pastiche fiction; women authors, classic literature and fiction; clean romance; British historical literature; vagary


Book Blurb:

Two hearts. One kiss.



Following his wife’s death in childbirth, Fitzwilliam Darcy hopes to ease his way back into society by hosting a house party during Christmastide. He is thrilled when his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam sends a message saying not only will he attend, but the colonel is bringing a young woman with him of whom he hopes both Darcy and the colonel’s mother, Lady Matlock, will approve. Unfortunately, upon first sight, Darcy falls for the woman: He suspects beneath Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s conservative veneer lies a soul which will match his in every way; yet, she is soon to be the colonel’s wife.


Elizabeth Bennet lost her position as a governess when Lady Newland accuses Elizabeth of leading her son on. It is Christmastide, and she has no place to go and little money to hold her over until after Twelfth Night; therefore, when Lieutenant Newland’s commanding officer offers her a place at his cousin’s household for the holy days, she accepts in hopes someone at the house party can provide her a lead on a new position. Having endured personal challenges which could easily have embittered a lesser woman, Elizabeth proves herself brave, intelligent, educated in the fine arts of society, and deeply honorable. Unfortunately, she is also vulnerable to the Master of Pemberley, who kindness renews her spirits and whose young daughter steals her heart. The problem is she must leave Pemberley after the holidays, and she does not know if a “memory” of Fitzwilliam Darcy will be enough to sustain her.


Excerpt:


Darcy looked on as the woman, who had just bewitched him with a simple smile, executed a perfect curtsey. “I am humbled, my lady, by your kind recognition.” She glanced to the colonel and smiled largely. “Colonel Fitzwilliam has told me numerous tales of his family.”


The countess arched an eyebrow which said she thought Edward’s actions odd, as did Darcy, for his cousin had shared nothing of the lady with any of his dear family, but Miss Bennet had said something similar to him only moments earlier. Darcy’s aunt smiled her “social” smile. “I believe I speak for all of the colonel’s family in saying we will be most happy to learn more of you, Miss Bennet. For now, welcome to Pemberley.”


From a place on the staircase, Hurst called out, “Now, now, boys. No way for children to act. Louisa, I say do, something!”


Mrs. Hurst caught one of the boys just as Mrs. Anderson came rushing upon the scene. The nurse presented the gathering in the foyer a quick curtsey. “I apologize, Mr. Darcy,” she said, wringing her hands in obvious distress. “I be puttin’ Miss Cassandra down for a nap, and the boys slipped out when Megs was called away to assist Cook. They followed their parents after Mr. and Mrs. Hurst left the nursery.”


Mrs. Anderson’s whole demeanor said she was fearful of Darcy’s disfavor. He did not like the look on the woman, who had been very loyal to his family over the years.


He said, “No harm, Mrs. Anderson. I will ask Mrs. Reynolds to have Megs and another maid take turns in assisting you. I am grieved to have added to your duties. I will see you are readily compensated.”


“I beg your pardon, Mr. Darcy. Might I be of assistance, sir? I would be happy to return the boys to the nursery and entertain them until the maid can return to her duties there.” Miss Bennet’s earnest expression said she spoke honestly. “Surely there are some items in the house which can be used to entertain the boys. Toy soldiers, perhaps, from when you and the colonel were younger. Most large households store such items away as the children age.”


His cousin suggested, “The grey trunk. Hey, Darcy. We kept all our best cavalry in it.”


Darcy nodded his understanding and looked to his butler.


“I believe it was placed in the attic some years back, sir. I can have someone bring it down immediately, Mr. Darcy.”


“We should have done so before now,” Mr. Darcy admitted, although, in reality, it should be the Hursts’ responsibility to see their children were entertained.


Miss Bennet immediately handed her cloak, bonnet, and gloves to Mr. Nathan and then climbed a few steps to claim the hand of first one of the Hurst boys and then the other. “Why do you not come with me? Mr. Darcy has promised us a treasure chest full of toys to explore together. Will that not be grand?”


The youngest of the two said, “Yes, ma’am.”


The lady turned to Darcy. “With your permission, sir,” she murmured.


Darcy attempted to keep the frown from his features, but he knew he failed. “I must object, Miss Bennet. It would be the worst of society to accept a young lady into my home as a guest and then expect her to perform the work of a governess. Neither I nor my household can impose upon your good nature in such a manner.”


“I assure you, sir, I would not feel put upon in any such way. I prefer to make myself useful, and, as my position in society is one of governess, please permit me to assist you.”


Without waiting for his permission, she turned the boys’ steps toward the above storey and gracefully climbed the stairs to where Mrs. Anderson waited to show her the way. As her little party turned toward the nursery, he heard her say, “You must tell me your names. I am Miss Bennet.”


“Governess?” the countess asked her son. “Did Miss Bennet say she was a governess?”


“Yes, she did,” the colonel declared. A look of admiration marked the colonel’s features. “Was it not wonderful how she quite readily took the matter in hand? I am very proud of how quickly Miss Bennet proved herself useful to Darcy.”


“But—” the countess thought to lodge her objection, likely the same objection rushing to Darcy’s lips.


However, Edward claimed his mother’s hand and brought the back of it to his lips. “I will explain later, Countess. For now, I want to freshen my clothes, and, then, I wish to hear all there is to learn of both Roland and father. How is the esteemed Miss Ashley? Is a wedding date set?” He turned to the rest of Darcy’s guests. “I will look forward to hearing something from each of you at supper.” He looked to Darcy. “My customary quarters, I assume.”


“Yes, and the captain is in the blue suite across from you.”


Edward motioned the captain to follow him. “Come, Stewart. Darcy and my mother keep the gentlemen and the ladies in different wings of the house. I will show you the way. If one does not have a guide, he may become lost in a maze of rooms.”


As they all disappeared to different reaches of the house, including the countess and Georgiana, Darcy remained staring off at the point where the lady, who had quite literally sent his heart pounding in a manner he had never experienced previously, had disappeared. Growing up together, Darcy had, most assuredly, idolized his older cousin, for Edward had always appeared stronger and wiser than he, but, until a few moments prior, he thought he had finally caught up to the man; perhaps, even, had outdistanced him in many of the essentials required of an English gentleman. Yet, with absolute certainty, his cousin had once again left Darcy wishing for some “unknown,” which Fitzwilliam possessed.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):




Available to Read on Kindle Unlimited




What I love most about the holiday season:


Up until last year when I moved into a more economical house in a brand new subdivision, one of “jobs” in my former community (an incorporated village of about 4000 people) was to be a part of a committee that chose the best decorated house and the best decorated street in each of the 8 smaller communities within the village. Such a chore! NOT! Those of us on the committee drove around and around the various streets, picking possibilities, visiting them again and again, before coming to our decisions. One of the happy moments of this endeavor was knocking on the door of the house and telling the occupants they had been chosen as “Best House in Alden” or “Best House in Churchill” or whichever community it was. Those inside were always so appreciative of knowing they had received the recognition for their hard work. Many came out and put up their own “Best of ...” yard sign.


Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?


Any must-read book requires different types of tension. The protagonists may face off with other characters, the environment, or some internal struggle. None of that changes in a JAFF story. The protagonists, for example, in this tale are familiar ones to those who have read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but what pastiche fiction does and what specifically Jane Austen Fan Fiction does is to take the original tale and add a few “what ifs” before leading the familiar characters and a few unfamiliar ones through a series of incidents that prove Jane Austen had it correct all along: Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are the epitome of “opposites attract.” The fact the tale is set during a Regency Christmas part only adds to its appeal.


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card:



Open internationally.


Runs July 1 – 31, 2023.


Drawing will be held on August 1, 2023.



Author Biography:


A writer penning more than 60 novels, Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of stories with dashing heroines and daring heroines, all set in the Regency or early Victorian era. A Smithsonian presenter and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, Jeffers has been honored with multiple awards for her tales: She writes full-time, skillfully enveloping her readers in the hearts and minds of her characters. She will have you cheering for her characters, will likely make you cry, will have you laughing aloud, as well as wanting more.


Social Media Links:


Always Austen (Group Blog)

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