Title: The Road to Understanding: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
Author: Regina Jeffers
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Christian Romance, Inspirational Romance; Vagary; Colonial Romance
DARIUS FITZWILLIAM’s life is planned down to who he will marry and where he will live, but life has a way of saying, “You don’t get to choose.” When his marriage to his long-time betrothed Caroline Bradford falls through, Darius is forced to take a step back and to look upon a woman who enflames his blood with desire, but also engenders disbelief. Eliza Harris is everything Darius never realized he wanted. ELIZA HARRIS is accustomed to doing as she pleases. Yet, despite being infuriated by his authoritative manner, when she meets the staunchly disciplined Captain Fitzwilliam, she wishes for more. She instinctively knows he is “home,” but Eliza possesses no skills in achieving her aspirations. Plagued with misunderstandings, manipulations, and peril upon the Great Valley Road between eastern Virginia and Tennessee in the years following the Revolutionary War, Darius and Eliza claim a strong allegiance before love finds its way into their hearts. This is a faith-based tale based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
He’d been but ten when his mother passed while giving birth to his sister. After that, it was just he and his father and Grace. Grace was eight when Darius departed for the war, and until five years ago, he’d lived alone or with Charlie’s family. It was only after he’d attended a tent meeting in a small town upon the South Carolina coast that he’d known any peace from his nightmares. The preacher spoke at length upon forgiving oneself in the same manner as a man prays for God to do. He learned something that night of discovering triumph when he’d only observed tragedy up until that time. Like John and Simon Peter, he’d found hope where others saw nothing but an empty tomb.
Darius was far from the epitome of a “good” Christian, but he possessed a deep felt faith in God’s existence and God’s goodness, which had served him well since he’d reached his maturity.
“Some were wondering if you mean to reach Sapling Grove by tomorrow evening,” Charlie said as he sat upon a downed tree trunk.
“That might be too much for the animals. The mountains grow steeper,” he observed. “I’d say if the weather holds we’d be at the fort by day after tomorrow. We’d also arrive early enough in the day to permit laundry and socializing.”
The words barely crossed his lips when he heard her call. “Captain!”
Immediately, he was on his feet and running in the direction where he observed Eliza’s entering the woods. Darius responded purely from instinct, pushing through the brush and swatting away low tree limbs. He heard Charlie’s short pants as his friend trailed after him. His heart beat out the questions: Wild animal? Snake? Renegade Indian? Or a different sort of enemy? Shannon?
Shouldering his way through the undergrowth, Darius was upon the scene within seconds. He came to a stumbling halt to discover an Indian holding the blanket once belonging to the ladies. Miss Jonquil hunkered behind Eliza in a state of dishabille. Darius didn’t know whether to be frightened for Eliza’s safety or that of the cluster of five Cherokee braves.
When she spotted him, Miss Eliza’s hands fisted at her waist. “Tell him the blanket belongs to me,” she ordered.
Despite the situation, a smile claimed the corners of Darius’s lips: Eliza Harris was like no woman he’d ever known. Whoever earned her regard would never spend a day without excitement.
“Do you think I speak fluent Cherokee, or do you expect our Indian friends here to be fluent in English?” he asked as he edged closer to the Indian holding the blanket.
Behind him, he heard the click of Charlie’s gun, but he motioned his friend to wait.
“You must do something,” she ordered without regard to the danger in which they found themselves.
“I intend to,” Darius said as he gestured to the brave to return the blanket to Miss Eliza’s outstretched hand. The Indians didn’t appear to be overly aggressive, but Darius was of the nature to be cautious.
The brave shook off Darius’s gesture before offering him a bargain: the blanket for one of the women. The Cherokee motioned for Darius to take the blanket and to turn over either Miss Jonni or Eliza.
Darius stepped around the Indian to stand before Eliza. “Hequu asaquaningodotu,” he said, enunciating two words he knew of the Indians’ language: “Woman” and something he hoped meant “possession.”
He reached a hand in Eliza’s direction. “The woman is mine,” he declared in his most authoritative voice, one for which he’d rarely found a use since the war’s end.
“I am not yours,” Miss Eliza hissed from behind him.
Darius spoke in low tones so the Cherokees couldn’t quite catch the drift of their discussion. “The man wishes to trade my woman for the stolen blanket. Which is more important?’ He extended his hand again. “Come stand beside me,” he whispered.
“But Jonni...” Eliza began in protest.
“Charlie will see to your sister’s appearance,” he said firmly. “You possess the choice of a bit of embarrassment or becoming a Cherokee squaw.”
He suspected Miss Jonquil presented her sister a nudge when Eliza lurched forward to accept his hand. Darius tugged her safely against his side. Without asking her permission, he planted a kiss upon her upturned forehead. “Smile at me,” he murmured through a gritted toothy smile.
Although he expected reluctance, what he discovered upon Eliza’s features shook him to his core: Welcome. She’d welcomed his presence.
Although he was generally an even-tempered man, he thought to kill the Indians before him so he might dispense with this farce and claim the lips that enticed him completely.
When Charlie stepped before Miss Jonni, Darius returned to his sense.
He repeated the two words again–“Hequu asaquaningodotu”– before he clutched Eliza to him. If the Indians attacked, he meant to be in a position to protect her from harm.
“Hequu asaquaningodotu,” Charlie repeated behind him.
Darius suspected his friend had a like hold upon Miss Jonquil. The leader of the group tossed the blanket to one of the younger braves. Laughter followed his actions, but Darius waited for the man’s next move. For several elongated seconds, no one stirred, but then the brave presented Darius a nod of respect before motioning his men into the underbrush.
And still Darius didn’t move. The heat of Eliza along his side was all he ever wished to know.
“You may release me, Mr. Fitzwilliam,” she grumbled in disapproval.
Even so, Darius paused to relish her closeness before he loosened his hold on her. For a brief second, he considered claiming Eliza’s mouth for an intimate kiss and relish the consequences.
A shove on his side said the lady wouldn’t put up with his manipulations further, and so he opened his arms to permit her escape.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/The-Road-Understanding-Prejudice-Vagary-ebook/dp/B01E9O7Y38?ie=UTF8&keywords=the%20road%20to%20understanding&qid=1460737004&ref_=sr_1_2&s=digital-text&sr=1-2 Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Road-Understanding-Prejudice-Vagary/dp/1532760906?ie=UTF8&keywords=the%20road%20to%20understanding&qid=1460830739&ref_=sr_1_2&s=books&sr=1-2 Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/hz/subscribe/ku?passThroughAsin=B01E9O7Y38&_encoding=UTF8&shoppingPortalEnabled=true
Why is your featured book a must-read?
Most Americans think they know the history of this country, but, unless a person knows something of the state called “Franklin,” he/she does not know the full story. Nor does he/she, generally, know how many rivers in the eastern part of the U.S. run south to north, rather than north to south. This book paints a portrait of what it was like to travel through the Appalachian mountains from Virginia to what is now part of Tennessee to build a new home upon the frontier. Mix the history with a bit of romance, and one has the perfect tale.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 24 books featured in the Canada/America Bookish Event:
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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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