From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:
It is full-on winter here, however, there is hope. My tulips are starting to sprout despite the cold and pounding rain, so Spring is on its way. This ebullience of nature, despite the challenging conditions, is reassuring during a difficult time. I hope that things look brighter in your corner of the world too.
I am delighted to welcome Cass Grafton and Ada Bright back to Austenprose today to share their forthcoming release, Mr. Darcy’s Persuasion. The premise of this novel is intriguing—it combines characters from two of Jane Austen’s beloved novels, Pride and Prejudice, and Persuasion. How creative! I was so curious how they would pull this off.
As you will see in the book description, this story is a variation from Austen’s original novel of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s romance that pivots after the electrifying events at the Netherfield Ball.
Cass and Ada’s publisher has kindly supplied an exclusive excerpt. Mr. Darcy’s Persuasion publishes on March 9, 2021, and pre-orders are available.
Thank you for visiting today, and best wishes to Cass and Ada for its success.
Two of Jane Austen’s classics collide in this intriguing tale of pride, prejudice, and persuasion, set in England’s beautiful West Country.
In the aftermath of the Netherfield Ball, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are determined to find respite—Darcy from the allure of the lady and the feelings she evokes in him, and Elizabeth from the drama unfolding at Longbourn.
Fate is not done with them, however, as they both—unbeknownst to the other—take refuge on the Kellynch estate in Somersetshire, home to Sir Walter Elliot and two of his daughters.
Whilst Elizabeth takes solace from her friendship with Anne Elliot, Darcy finds little comfort in his reacquaintance with the woman fast taking hold of his heart—or, indeed, in the eldest Miss Elliot’s company, whose fluttering eyelashes make her intentions plain.
As for Anne, it is five long years since she last laid eyes upon Frederick Wentworth, and though her regret lingers, she has found some contentment in life… until distressing news of the captain arrives.
When hints of deep secrets emerge—some recently stolen, others harboured for decades—the mystery begins to wrap tendrils around Darcy as he struggles to free himself from its ever-tightening bonds.
Can Darcy discover the truth before it is too late? Will Elizabeth even care if he does? And just what has become of Captain Wentworth?
If you enjoy Austen-inspired variations, then you’ll love Mr Darcy’s Persuasion—a tale of romance, friendship and mystery from award-winning writing duo, Cass Grafton and Ada Bright.
The gentlemen moved forward to greet Sir Walter before Darcy’s eyes skimmed over the other occupants of the room, then stalled, his hand instinctively drawn to his chest.
What the devil was this? What strange Fate was at work, bringing Elizabeth Bennet not only to the West Country, but to the actual estate where he had taken refuge?
Refuge, Darcy? Come now. Did you not take this step for Georgiana?
A loud drumming filled Darcy’s ears as they were led across the room. Elizabeth, Miss Bennet!…before him…and so enchanting. Her eyes gleaming with unknown thoughts; her chin raised as if ready to spar with him over any manner of topic.
Lord, he was not prepared for this!
‘Mr Darcy.’ Her voice. How he had missed her voice.
His throat was strangely dry. ‘Miss Bennet. How…unexpected.’
Sir Walter, with complete disregard for the smooth skin of his forehead, frowned.
‘What is this, Darcy? You are acquainted with my daughter’s com…’
‘Then introduce me at once, Darcy!’ The colonel smiled widely, and Elizabeth returned it. It was hardly helpful to Darcy’s current lack of wits.
‘Darcy?’ His cousin nudged him hard in the ribs.
‘Yes, yes, of course.’ He turned back to the lady who had assumed an enquiring air. ‘May I introduce Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn in Hertfordshire to your acquaintance. Miss Bennet, please forgive me for introducing my cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, to yours.’
She laughed delightfully, and Darcy drew in a short breath, then held it as his cousin regarded him intently before addressing Elizabeth.
‘Words cannot sufficiently express my pleasure in finally making your acquaintance, Miss Bennet.’ His eyes slid towards Darcy and back to Elizabeth. ‘At last.’
Darcy pressed his lips together, silently cursing his cousin, but before any more could be said, Sir Walter clapped his hands together.
‘Yes, yes. Quite, quite,’ he blustered. ‘Come Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam. I shall introduce my other daughters to you.’
Elizabeth glared at Mr Darcy’s back. Had that hateful man thought she found him amusing? Unfathomable. It was the surprise of seeing him, that was all, a visceral reaction. And what did the colonel’s ‘at last’ mean? Had Mr Darcy shared his opinions on the Bennet family with his own kin? How dare he?
The blood rushing in Elizabeth’s ears almost muted the exchange between the Musgroves and the new arrivals. How could anyone care how Mr Darcy’s journey to the West Country had passed, or where they rode out to every day? Why was Charles Musgrove so particularly interested in the type of rifle the colonel favoured?
Fixing Mr Darcy with a blank stare, she only wished he could hear her far more pertinent thoughts.
Anne had come to stand beside her. ‘It is he, is it not? The man you told me of?’ She spoke softly, and Elizabeth turned her back on Darcy.
‘Yes. ’Tis Mr Darcy, though how he comes to be here, I cannot think.’ The last word was almost a squeak, and Anne took her by the arm and led her to where a footman prepared drinks.
Anne handed one to Elizabeth. ‘Drink. It will help with the shock.’
‘I am quite well.’ Elizabeth raised her chin, but then she downed the sherry in one, emitting a small cough as her eyes met Mr Darcy’s across the room.
Anne indicated to the footman to refill the glass, then steered Elizabeth to a sofa in a quiet corner.
Positioning herself so she could not see the rest of the party, Elizabeth tried to concentrate on her friend. The surprise had faded, but she was all anticipation to learn how this coincidence had come about.
‘I did not know you were acquainted with the Darcy family?’
‘I am not. I had not heard the name before you mentioned it.’
‘How is it he is here?’ Elizabeth’s curiosity was at its height, and she tried to curb her impatience. ‘I hope he is not long in the country. Perhaps he is passing through…?’
Anne seemed a little discomfited. ‘From what I understand, Mr Darcy and his sister are to reside on the estate for the duration of the winter. Father had merely said he met a gentleman in Town and was pleased to offer him a property. I knew not the name until he was introduced, but then I saw your face and realised it must be your Mr Darcy.’
A small sound came from Elizabeth. ‘Believe me, he is not my Mr Darcy.’
Both avid bookworms since childhood, Cass Grafton and Ada Bright write the sort of stories they love to read – heart-warming, character driven and strong on location. Cass loves travelling, words, cats and wine but never in the same glass. Ada loves nothing more than a good, subtle love story… well, except cake. She also really loves cake.
Cass and Ada are close friends who enjoy writing together. Their popular time-travel romance series featuring Jane Austen recently came out on audio and they have just completed a Regency inspired novel, Mr. Darcy’s Persuasion, in which two of Jane Austen’s classics collide.
When they are not working together, Cass writes uplifting contemporary romance and Ada writes romantic suspense.
ADDITIONAL BOOKS BY CASS GRAFTON & ADA BRIGHT
- Mr. Darcy’s Persuasion: An Austen-inspired tale of Pride, Prejudice, and Persuasion, by Cass Grafton & Ada Bright
- Tabby Cow Press (March 9, 2021)
- Trade paperback & eBook
- ASIN: B08TV579TV
- Genre: Austenesque, Regency Romance
Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image, book description, excerpt, author bios, and giveaway copies courtesy of Tabby Cow Press © 2021; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2021, austenprose.com.