Title: Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
Author: Regina Jeffers
Genre: Classic Romance; Regency Romance; Historical Fiction; Austenesque
Unless one knows the value of loyalty, he cannot appreciate the cost of betrayal. What if Darcy and Elizabeth met weeks before the Meryton assembly? What if there is no barely “tolerable” remark to have Elizabeth rejecting Mr. Darcy’s affections, but rather a dip in a cold stream that sets her against him? What if Mr. Bennet is a renown Shakespearean scholar who encourages Darcy to act the role of Petruchio from Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” to bring Elizabeth’s Katherina persona to the line? ELIZABETH BENNET’s pride has her learning a difficult lesson: Loyalty is hard to find, and trust is easy to lose. Even after they share a passionate kiss outside the Meryton assembly hall and are forced to marry, Elizabeth cannot forget the indignity she experienced at the hands of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Although she despises his high-handedness, Elizabeth appreciates the protection he provides her in their marriage. But can she set her prejudice aside long enough to know a great love? FITZWILLIAM DARCY places only two demands on his new wife: her loyalty and her trust, but when she invites his worst enemy to Darcy House, he has no choice but to turn her out. Trusting her had been his decision, but proving his choice the right one before she destroys two hearts meant to be together must be hers, and Darcy is not certain Elizabeth is up to the task.
She jammed her diary into one of the boots before catching her skirt in her other hand, hopefully to leave him behind. She dared not glance back at the scoundrel for fear of encouraging him to do more than he had. Unfortunately, when she reached the stile crossing between one field and the next, she heard him behind her.
Rounding upon him, Elizabeth charged toward him. “Why do you continue to torment me? I do not welcome your attentions. Get thee from this place. Yours is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing!”
“I am pleased you can quote Shakespeare to your benefit,” he mocked, “although I cannot imagine any man who loved one of your nature could be so oddly muted by the news of your death, as was Macbeth for his lady.” He disdainfully held out her abandoned stockings and garters. “I thought it might be awkward if you entered your home without these.” He winked at her. “I would not wish an irate father to be at my door tomorrow, accusing me of undressing his daughter.”
Elizabeth wished to tell the fool her father only became irate when he was forced to leave his study for more than meals, but she kept the complaint to herself. She dropped her boots with the book inside to snatch her intimate wear from his hands. “You, sir, are certainly no gentleman!”
“I believe, miss, the correct response should be one where you express your gratitude,” he said in reprimanding tones.
With a regal dismissal of his personage, she stuffed the stockings and garters into her pocket before snatching up the boots again. She turned from him to climb the stile, but hesitated when she recalled the narrow stream on the other side.
“Do you not mean to return your stockings and boots to your feet first?” he taunted. “It is September. It would be a fool’s gesture to make yourself ill to abuse me.” He sobered in what appeared to be a more serious countenance. “I swear I will remain where I stand. I will not pursue you. Do not punish yourself for the likes of me.”
Elizabeth first eyed him and then the narrow stream. “I shall not provide you more pleasure at my expense!” she declared.
Bracing herself against the cold mud awaiting her feet upon the other side of the stile, she gingerly lowered her weight to the ground. The brook was no more than six feet wide, at this point, and there were several stepping stones. Even if one’s foot slipped from the moss-covered stones, the worst that could occur would be a wet boot, for the water was only a few inches deep. However, her boots were in her hands.
“Surely you jest!” he called when he realized what she planned. “This is madness! I mean you no harm!”
“You are a cur!” she countered. “A true gentleman would be gone by now!” She straightened her shoulders before lifting her skirt enough that her stride could reach the first stone. She hesitated, dreading the cold water. As brief as the hesitation was, her stalling permitted the man to cross the stile to reach her.
He scooped her into his arms and began to deftly cross the stream. “A gentleman would not permit a lady to place herself in danger,” he hissed in her ear as he tightened his grip upon her person. “And despite your claims to the contrary, I am a gentleman.”
“Put me down!” She swung her boots about, striking the side of his cheek. “I mean it, sir. I shall see the sheriff calls upon you for your sporting of me!”
He emitted a mild curse, but held her tighter to his chest. “Be still!”
“Place me down!” she screeched in his ear.
The man stopped suddenly. His stillness causing her to cease her squirming. “Such is your wish?” he asked solemnly.
“No, I would prefer to be molested by a complete stranger,” she said sarcastically. “I insist you place me down.”
“Pardon my hopes of providing you with a bit of comfort.” He shook his head in disbelief. “‘Alas, good Kate, I will not burden thee! For knowing thee to be but young and light—’” With that, he bent and set her politely in the middle of the stream, his hat falling into the water also.
The cold water permeated every inch of the day dress and the cotton pelisse she wore. The water flowed spritely by her hips and legs. Elizabeth splashed in the water to find a finger hold to assist herself up. “You, sir, are a madcap ruffian and swearing jacks!” She threw his beaver at his back as he climbed the opposing bank. “I will have your head on a platter!” she shrieked as she rolled to her knees to stand. Her dress was now wet from the knee down on the front, and well drenched from the hip in the back. She slopped her way across the space between them. “You are a coxcomb if I have ever seen one.”
He turned to face her, but did not offer his hand to assist her on the muddy bank. She was both thankful and irritated by his lack of action. He regarded her warily while he said in what sounded of a challenge, “‘Come, come, you wasp; I’faith, you are too angry.’”
“‘If I be waspish, best beware my sting.’”
He retorted, “‘My remedy is then to pluck it out.’” He made her a courtly bow and turned to leave. “Nay, come again, Good Kate; I am a gentleman. Until we meet again, my lady.’” He walked away from her.
Elizabeth growled her displeasure. “This is not finished, sir! And no more repeating Shakespeare’s lines! I am no shrew!”
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Pride-Prejudice-Shakespearean-Scholar-Vagary-ebook/dp/B07831FLDZ/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513344727&sr=8-1&keywords=pride+and+prejudice+and+a+shakespearean+scholar Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/pride-and-prejudice-and-a-shakespearean-scholar Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pride-and-prejudice-and-a-shakespearean-scholar-regina-jeffers/1127645188?ean=2940158865992 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981581359
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Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar is short enough to read in an evening, but long enough to tell a story of real love and devotion that must be achieve before a couple knows satisfaction in their joining.
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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: https://reginajeffers.wordpress.com Website: http://www.rjeffers.com Austen Authors: 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
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