From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:
Happy Friday, dear readers. I am delighted to share a preview with you today of a new Austenesque novel from one of my favorite authors, Monica Fairview. Dangerous Magic is an Austen-inspired fantasy involving characters from Pride and Prejudice. In this creative reimagining of the courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, our favorite couple are mages who must marry to unite their powers to save their kingdom.
For the benefit of those who may not know what a mage is, according to the Urban Dictionary, they are “A skilled magic user who, unlike wizards and sorcerers, needs no staff as an outlet of his magic, but instead uses his hands.” Mages populate many role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, World of Warcraft, and Dragonlance. So, in reference to Dangerous Magic, just imagine a fantasy world, Darcy and Lizzy with magical powers, and the classic “hate at first sight” trope all wrapped up in an intriguing package.
We are pleased to offer our readers a short glimpse into this magical world with an exclusive excerpt from the publisher. Enjoy!
A sparkling tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two mages who must work together to save the Kingdom.
Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans.
But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.
Join the author of Fortune and Felicity in this enchanting story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.
Everyone was looking at him expectantly. Naturally, they required him to be charming and considerate. He would not be any of those things. She did not deserve the position. She had not sweated blood and tears to reach it. But he was a gentleman, and he would at least be civil, because that was how gentlemen behaved.
“Welcome to Founder’s Hall, Miss Bennet. I hope you will find it to your liking.”
He could not keep the hint of irony out of his voice. For someone like her, living at the Hall must seem like she had perished and woken up in heaven. Any moment now, she would start cooing all over him. He would make it abundantly clear that he would not put up with it. He disliked flattery intensely.
“Thank you, Mr. Darcy,” she said. “I have not had the chance to look around yet, but what I have seen of it seems adequate. I was surprised that I am expected to share a room, but it seems we maidens must band together.”
Darcy was surprised. This was not the response he was expecting at all. His opinion of her rose a tiny notch. At least she was not the cooing type.
“Not for long,” he said, in reply.
“Not for long about sharing a room, or about maidens banding together?”
Once more, she surprised him.
“Both, I suppose,” he answered, then realized she was regarding him with a gleam in her eye, “though naturally you will still be free to band with the maidens.”
“I am very grateful to you, sir, for granting me that permission.”
The words were perfectly polite, but the tone was not.
How had the conversation slipped so quickly away from his control? He flicked a look at his uncle to see how he was taking it. Lord Matlock was standing with his arms crossed. The curve of his lips suggested that he was amused. Meanwhile, Bingley was grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Darcy felt his ears burn. Somehow, he had become the object of a joke that he did not quite understand.
“I think we should leave the young couple alone for a few minutes to become better acquainted,” said Lord Matlock. “I am sure they have plenty to talk about.”
Lady Alice looked severe. “Very well. We will leave the door open, and I will be outside, ready to take Miss Bennet back to the Maidens’ Hall.”
Bingley clasped Darcy’s shoulder as he went. “Good luck,” he said, and sauntered off.
Lord Matlock was the last to leave. He winked at Darcy and shut the door pointedly behind him. Beyond the door, Lady Alice could be heard objecting, but the door remained shut.
Darcy concealed his unease. It was hardly improper to be alone in the room with her, of course, not when they were to be married in a few days, but he hoped she did not expect any – displays of affection from him.
“May I speak seriously with you, Mr. Darcy?”
“Of course,” he replied, eying her warily as she approached. He preferred to stay as far away from her as possible.
“I had always thought I would marry for love,” she said.
Surely she could not be that naïve? Her parents must have been very careless if they had allowed her to believe in that possibility.
“Those with strong mage powers do not have that luxury, Miss Bennet. We have the responsibility of passing on the gift of our magic to future generations. We cannot allow our Talents to thin out and be weakened by marrying those who are without a lineage.”
“I heard someone else recently utter almost the exact same words,” she said. “There is some merit to what you are saying, but we are always given some choice. I had hoped that sooner or later, I would have a Season, be introduced to other mages, and find a gentleman who was reasonably suitable. What I never imagined was that I would be forced into marriage by the Council.”
Forced? The word slammed into him. Did she think she was being forced into marrying him? Was she saying she did not want to marry him? He stood there dumbfounded as he grappled with this new perspective.
His mind quickly sifted through the possibilities until he found one that made sense. Of course. She was a country miss and she had no idea what an honor it was to join his illustrious family. Had no one explained to her that she was marrying the nephew of an earl? Had no one told her that he was one of the most powerful mages in the country? She was complaining that she was obliged to marry him?
The more he thought about it, the more indignant he became. He was the one who had the bad end of the bargain. His aspirations of marrying into a True-blood family had been laid to ruin.
Civility prevented him from pointing out these facts. She would find out soon enough how fortunate she was.
Chapter 3, pages 31-34
- Oh-My-Gosh! This was amazing and grabbed me immediately…It was fun reading familiar dialogue used in new and unique ways…I highly recommend this for those lovers of paranormal with loads of angst. 5 Stars.”— J. W. Garrett, Goodreads
- “And so, readers, I urge you to read this tale which is very different from canon. The names are the same but the story is very different…I was kept on the edge of my seat…I highly recommend this story.”— Sheila Majczan, Goodreads
Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen sequels and variations as well as Regencies. Her latest novel is a Pride and Prejudice fantasy variation, Dangerous Magic. Her biggest claim to fame is living in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester, long before the house was restored. After studying in the USA, she taught literature, then became an acupuncturist. She now lives near London.
Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. Among her favorite dramas are ‘Pride & Prejudice’ (all adaptations), ‘North & South’, ‘Cranford’, ‘Sanditon’, ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘Downtown Abbey’. During the Coronavirus lockdown, she has been re-watching The Paradise,’ ‘War and Peace’, and ‘Bright Star’.
Apart from her avid interest in the 19th century, Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink tea, and visit National Trust Properties [those were the days], and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says.
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
- Dangerous Magic, A Pride & Prejudice Fantasy, by Monica Fairview
- White Soup Press; 1st edition (March 15, 2021)
- Trade paperback & eBook (242) pages
- ASIN: B08W4CFT4Y
- Genre: Austenesque, Historical Fantasy
Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image, book description, excerpt, and author bio courtesy of White Soup Press © 2021; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2021, austenprose.com.